Author: John Briggs
Illustrator: Nicola Slater
Published September 6th, 2016 by Sterling Children’s Books
Summary: Think before you leap! Lemmings look alike, they sound alike, and they act alike. So if one jumps off a cliff, the others will jump right after him . . . except Larry. Larry’s very independent-minded and he won’t follow his fellow lemmings blindly to their doom. But can he teach them to use their brains and stop making terrible group decisions? John Briggs has created a wonderfully funny, quirky tale about staying true to yourself, while Nicola Slater’s witty illustrations capture all the humor and pathos of Larry’s situation.
My Thoughts: Leaping Lemmings looks at human identity but the message is symbolized by lemmings. The book personifies the saying, “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you?!” and has the reader examine the dangers of trying to follow a crowd as well as the excitement of being yourself. Told in a silly way but with a very important message, this story is a perfect one to share with kids as they struggle with being themselves versus being accepted by their peers.
Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep
Author and Illustrator: Leslie Helakoski
Published March 14th, 2017 by Sterling Children’s Books
Summary: Dark sky. Wake or doze?
Some eyes open. Some eyes close.
Some chicks like day, others like night. Some sleep in the dark, and some in the light. Hoot, an adorable owlet, and Honk, a fuzzy gosling, have just hatched—but their eggs got switched and now they’re in the wrong nests. Will they find their way home? Leslie Helakoski’s gentle, lilting verse and irresistible illustrations make the perfect bedtime story as they capture two adorable babies exploring the world for the first time.
My Thoughts: Hoot & Honk’s story is literally an animal identity story. It looks at nature and different types of birds, and tells the story of two birds trying to find their correct home and sleep schedule. The text is a perfect time to discuss nocturnal versus diurnal animals and how they work within nature. The story is also a perfect bedtime story because the writing is so rhythmic and the story is all about finding the right time to sleep. Kids are going to love this story whenever it is used–before bed or in the classroom.
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