SHARED by: Katherine Grier, Librarian at York Avenue Preschool
Summer is over and the beginning of another exciting school year is upon us. Welcome back to all of our returning students and hello and welcome to our new families.  Library classes will be beginning soon and it is never too early to begin thinking about read-aloud books you can share with your child’s class if you are able to sign up to do so.  Below, I talk about two new books just released in August that are sure to be preschool crowd pleasers both in the library and at home. 


In this followup to the award-winning “The Day the Crayons Quit”, Duncan receives postcards from several of his crayons who either have been forgotten or lost, or have fallen on some other misfortune. There is Maroon Crayon who is lost in couch and Neon Red Crayon who has been left behind on vacation. Yellow and orange crayon from the first book are now melted together from being left out in the sun.  Other crayons write about being ugly and unloved, eaten by the dog, stuck in a sharpener, or put in the dryer.   Just like in the first book, the crayons in this story all masterfully express their emotions and own unique personalities.  I was excited to see the author develop the personalities of Esteban the Magnificent (the crayon formerly known as Pea Green) and Neon Red more fully by having them write multiple postcards on different pages.  I also particularly liked how the author had Duncan once again lovingly and creatively respond to the crayon’s various plights.   In the end, he welcomes them all home, and when he discovers they can no longer fit into his crayon box, he builds them a new home– an assisted living facility of sorts–which has a special door or other special feature which will accommodate each of them.
The illustrations (done again by Oliver Jeffers) greatly add to the fun of this book.  His asides add witty conversations by the crayons outside of the postcard format and are perfect compliments to the main text.  His glow-in-the-dark page with texture is very cool.
The only negative about the book, in my opinion, is that the some of the humor is more quirky (and a little gross).  Some of the puns and sight gags also are a little more adult.  But the story is still delightfully funny and is one that readers of all ages will get a huge kick out of and thoroughly enjoy.

FRIENDSHAPE by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Colors, shapes and friendships are staples of the YAP curriculum so I am always searching for new books that feature these subjects.  It is like hitting the lottery when I find one that is written and illustrated by one of my absolute favorite children’s book author/illustrator teams, and therefore, I was pleased to find “Friendshape” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld in a recent Amazon Editor’s Pick list.  It is a winning introduction to simple shapes and colors, as well as the importance and emotions of friendship.
“Friendshape” is a pun-filled book that relies heavily on visuals much like Rosenthal and Lichtenheld’s latest collaboration “I Wish You More” and their earlier books “It’s Not Fair” and “Duck! Rabbit!”  Like those books, there is not really a plot that moves along with each turn of the page.  Instead, each page introduces a concept for the reader and her listeners to explore and discuss.  As a librarian, I can tell you that this type of interactive read-aloud also can work very well in story time, especially with preschoolers.
The main characters of the book are a red rectangle, green triangle, yellow square, and blue circle who strike up various poses to illustrate a variety of friendship truisms. Each friendship concept is printed in bold black text, but it is fun to see if your audience can figure out what the concept is just by looking at the shapes and reading the text of their conversations.  On one page, rectangle is shown as a red carpet with square sitting on top of triangle to create a house shape, and circle rolling toward them with a grin, illustrating the idea that “Friends make you feel at home”.  In another page-spread where the friends disagree, the shapes are shown all squiggly and distorted, but then they go back to their old selves illustrating the concept that good friends don’t stay bent out of shape over unimportant things.  Good lessons! Good book!

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