"Sally" is back, with a shelf full of reviews and book chat. But first - a holiday story.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lost Socks, Tiny Toads, and Sleepy Bats

I want to share these before the holidays... because they're just plain fun to read.

Odd Socks
by Michelle Robinson; illus. by Rebecca Ashdown
32 pages; ages 3-6
Holiday House, 2016

If you've ever lost a favorite sock and spent hours or days searching for it, then this book is for you. Suki and Sosh are a sock couple - in human terms we'd call them a "pair". They have a good life playing in the park, on the beach, even drying on the clothesline.

"I love hanging out with you," says Sosh. At the end of the day they curl up together in the drawer. When Suki starts to unravel, her days are numbered - and one night she doesn't come back to the sock drawer. So Sosh sets out to find her.

Not only is this fun to read aloud - whoever thought a story could be told from a sock's point of view? - you might be inspired to gather unmatched socks and make some puppets.

Teeny Tiny Toady
by Jill Esbaum; illus. by Keika Yamaguchi
40 pages; ages 4-7
Sterling Children's Books, 2016

On a perfectly normal day, Teeny and her mom are minding their own business when, "Help!"
Mama is toad-napped and stuck inside a bucket. Teeny hops as fast as she can to get her brothers to help her. They are big and strong; surely they can rescue mama.

They try one thing, they try another... and then those great big toady brothers end up in the bucket with mama. Now it's up to Teeny, the tiniest toad of all, to figure out how to get them all out of that bucket. Fortunately, she is inspired by leaves swirling on the wind, and comes up with a plan!

Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel!
by Paul Meisel
40 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2016

Bat needed a new home. There's no room in the barn (too crowded!) or in a hollow log (bats are too stinky, says skunk). Finally he finds a cozy home up in a tree - a clump of leaves with a small opening. There were even twigs he could hang from.

But when Squirrel wakes up she is not happy to find Bat. "This is my home," she says. But Bat isn't listening because he's fast asleep. Z-z-z-z-z-z. So Squirrel leaves a note. Bat misinterprets the note - and over the next few days Squirrel and Bat leave notes for each other. "Leave my house," writes Squirrel. OK, Bat thinks, and collects leaves to add to the house. Then he writes, "I leaved your house." It escalates until Squirrel tells Bat to get lost. And they each go their own way ... until they realize that they liked having a friend. A warm, satisfying ending that will make you wish you'd fixed a cuppa cocoa before reading this to your kid.

Review copies from the publishers.

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