Archive for August 28, 2017


Written by Claire Saxby
Illustrated by Julie Vivas

This cute new read aloud follows the routine of a young male koala. Readers learn about how a mother separates from the older joey in preparation for a newcomer. He must find his own tree, as older males may have already claimed the one he wants. Territorial claims can turn violent. The young male must also find a place plentiful with the eucalyptus leaves he will be eating. Koalas are so secure in the trees that they can even sleep through storms, with fur that protects them from rain. When startled or frightened, they can move fast on their hind legs like kangaroos. Lyrical text enhances the reader’s love for the gentle animal.

Meticulous and striking illustrations show the reader where the koalas live.

Filled with important facts for young readers, this would be great for classrooms learning about Australia, marsupials, or unusual animals and environments. It would also be great for parents just wanting to share with their kids.

  • KoalaTitle: Koala
  • Author: Claire Saxby
  • Illustrator: Julie Vivas
  • Published: Candlewick Press, September 5, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Nature
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9481-4
  • Extras: Endnotes, Index

No More Noisy Nights

Written by Holly L. Niner
Illustrated by Guy Wolek

Funny and lighthearted, this a delightful way for kids to learn about how to deal with minor irritations and make new friends.

Jackson Mole moves into a new home only to be confronted by noisy neighbors. After an exhausting day of unpacking, he is unable to sleep due to the ghost in the attic “OOOEEEeee OOOEEEeee OOOing” all night. Rather than getting all upset and yelling at the ghost, he politely asks him to be quiet. The ghost is at a loss as to what else he can do. So, the next night, Jackson leaves the ghost a puzzle he can work on. Then the boogey monster in the basement goes “BOOGETY WOOGETY WHOOPS” all night, which calls for a train set to be provided. The pixie in the piano insists on “Plink! Plunk!” and Jackson gives her sheet music for a lullaby. All three become great friends of Jackson, who now gets a great night’s sleep.

The author adds humor with Jackson’s sleepy antics, like pouring orange juice on his cereal and washing his face with toothpaste.

Enchanting and detailed illustrations help to complete the feel of Jackson’s world, right down to the sorts of things a gentleman mole might have around his home.

This is best as a read aloud, but kids will enjoy it as independent reading too.

  • No More Noisy NightsTitle: No More Noisy Nights
  • Author: Holly L. Niner
  • Illustrator: Guy Wolek
  • Published: Flashlight Press, September 1, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Paperback, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: K to 2
  • Genre: Fantasy, Friendship
  • ISBN: 978-1-936261-93-2
  • Extras: Activity pages available on publisher’s website

Pattan’s Pumpkin

Written by Chitra Sounder
Illustrated by Frané Lessac

Great flood stories, as well as new beginning stories, are almost universally present in cultures throughout the world. This great twist on the flood comes directly from the Irula people of southern India.

In this version, a man named Pattan is growing a pumpkin, which turns out to be so large that even the elephants can’t see over the top. The original story had a bottle gourd, but the author changed it to the more familiar pumpkin. When the rains begin, Pattan harvests the pumpkin and hollows it out with the help of his wife, Kanni, and all the animals. They ride inside the pumpkin as a sort of ark, along with grain, seeds and herbs. Kanni sings lullabies to the baby animals to soothe and help pass the time. When the rain stops, they come to rest on the plains. The Irula people trace their ancestry to Pattan and Kanni, They still raise pumpkins to this day.

The author has deep roots in India and brings that flavor to the story. The illustrations have a folk art feel that goes well with this legend.

This is a great text for exploration of cultures in a classroom or just as a bedtime story to think about how other cultures might tell the story of Noah.

  • Pattans PumpkinTitle: Pattan’s Pumpkin
  • Author: Chitra Sounder
  • Illustrator: Frané Lessac
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Folk legend
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9274-2