Basketball and Big Rigs: New Items for Younger Readers

BIG RIGBig Rig by Jamie A. Swenson, illustrated by Ned Young
Fans of I’m Fast and I’m Dirty by Kate and Jim McMullan are sure to blast their horns for this new picture book by Jamie A. Swenson. A big-rig semi truck introduces himself and invites the reader to accompany him on the road. This multi-wheeled guy is friendly, but tells it straight: “Do I have a horn? Ha! What do you think? Go ahead: pull down — URRRRNNNT-URRRRNNNT!” From there, the sounds of the brakes, the wipers, and, oh no!, a blowout tire punctuate this brightly colored and enjoyable read. Guaranteed to be a big hit for storytimes, Big Rig will also satisfy avid readers of our Things That Go! section. (ages 3-6)

EIEIOcover-330E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a Little Help From a Hen) by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Matthew Myers
We all know the story of Old MacDonald and his many farmyard animals. E-I-E-I-O! But how did the famous homesteader get that farm? Master picture-book writer Judy Sierra tells her version of how Old MacDonald first decided to chuck his lawnmower and begin an honest-to-goodness farm. Using humor and rhyme, Sierra weaves a delightful tale of dirt-digging, heavy-watering, compost-creating, poop-spreading, worm-nurturing, neighbor-protesting mess, leading to a glorious, functional, organic farm. Working as both a funny take on the song and an effective way to teach about gardening, this marvelous new picture book will serve equally well at bedtime and in preschool circle times. (ages 4-8)

CURIOUSJim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea by Matthias Picard
Klang! Bong! Bong! Wearing a clunky deep-sea suit and helmet, Jim Curious tottles out of his stone cottage. He teeters down the road and descends a ladder into the sea. As soon as he ducks under water, a voluptuous octopus floats past and a big smile spreads across Jim’s face. For readers of this wordless picture book from France, a big smile is sure to make a similar appearance. Curious comes equipped with two 3-D glasses in the back of the book. With these aids, this sumptuous and innovative tome makes all kinds of exotic underwater life and hidden locales float off the page. Parents, prepare yourselves for many excited shouts of “It looks real!” as your children swim along with Jim Curious. (ages 6-10)

Hoop-GeniusHoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball by John Coy, illustrated by Joe Morse
Who could imagine that it took a gym class of sweaty, pushy, out-of-control kids and a last-ditch effort by an audacious teacher to devise one of the most popular sports in the United States today? With vivid writing, John Coy tells the story of how a teacher named Joe Naismith created basketball. Naismith went through indoor football (too rough), indoor soccer (also too rough), and indoor lacrosse (much, much too rough) before arriving at a totally new game inspired by his boyhood sport of “Duck on a Rock.” Joe Morse’s muscular, fresh, and large-scale illustrations provide the perfect complement to this fascinating tale. (ages 6-9)