The Popcorn Astronauts:  And Other Biteable Rhymes

by Deborah Ruddell                   

This collection of short rhymes and colorful illustrations is sure to tickle the funny bone. The poems are organized and color coded by the four seasons of the year. This picture book easily lends itself to an introductory unit on poetry or possibly to younger "readers' theater" participants.  Keep this one in mind for April's Poetry Month celebrations.

When Penny Met POTUS

by Rachel Ruiz             

Penny is very excited about going to work with her mom.  She knows her mom works for someone very important--POTUS.  Throughout the story, Penny shares ways that show how important POTUS is.  In Penny's mind POTUS is a large, blue, and fuzzy and she enjoys picturing the creature in various activities. Once they get to her mom's workplace, mom has business to tend to before she can introduce Penny to POTUS. An anxious and impatient Penny wanders around the White House trying to find POTUS. When her mom catches up with her in the hallway and she meets POTUS in, she is in for a surprise. This is a very short, limited text story with colorful, fun illustrations from a child's imagination.  A nice read for President's Day with younger readers.

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)

by Josh Schneider                    

Every kind of bird and beast has to sleep, from the monkeys in the jungle to the whales in the ocean to the ants under the ground.  But not Fred. His to-do list is far too long!  Armed with plenty of imagination, this determined little boy and his attempts to resist bedtime are sure to strike a chord with today's over scheduled families. Drowsy animals of all stripes look on in disbelief as Fred keeps on going and going and going, until . . . Could it be that, after so much activity, even Fred needs to rest?  Shhh. Close the book softly, and please let Fred sleep.

Creepy Pair of Underwear!

by Aaron Reynolds              

Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!

The Skin You Live In
by Michael Tyler and illustrated by David Lee Csicsko

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose. Vivid illustrations of children's activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are also provided. This delightful picturebook offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children.

The Golden Rule
by Ilene Cooper           

This book is a gentle reminder of a timeless rule for parent and child: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Everyone knows a version of the Golden Rule. But what does it really mean? And how do you follow it? In this gorgeously illustrated book, a grandfather explains to his grandson that the Golden Rule means you "treat people the way you would like to be treated. It's golden because it's so valuable, and a way of living your life that's so simple, it shines." And though it may be a simple rule, it isn't easy to follow. Fortunately, following the Golden Rule is something everyone can do, which means that every person-old or young, rich or poor-can be a part of making the world a better place.

Special thanks goes to Roberta Sejnost, Leslie Forsman, Carol Owles, Julie Hoffman, Mallory P., Sherry Sejnost, Sheila Ruh, Amy Potts-Ostrowski, Donna Vorreyer, and Tammy Potts for their help in writing the book descriptions for the 2018 books.