Monday, October 31, 2011

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi and Argus by Michelle Knudsen

Good Monday! The Queen here with two new books for your enjoyment. Did you know numbers are very important? Even the number Zero. Well, they are. Read to find out how Zero finds that she too counts. Our second book is also about value, even when someone is different. Argus is about one of my favorite creatures: Dragons. But he is supposed to be a chick like all the other kids have in class. Hummm... what's Sally to do with her different and troublesome science project? Read to find out. 


Publisher and date: KO Kids Books (September 15, 2010)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Book Info: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
ISBN: 097239463X

Author and Illustrator: Kathryn Otoshi

Book Theme:
Values, counting, courage, social skills, numbers, math

Book Summary
Zeros search to find value in herself and in others.

Activity Adventures:

Use the book to teach children to count by 10s.

Show just how important a Zero really is. Have children count out the numbers 1-9 using stickers, rocks, buttons, ect. Now, if the Zero is added to that number, how many items are needed to make say, 20, or 30. Now the numbers are much bigger.

Crafty Ideas:
Print, color and cut out the numbers 0-9. Add stickers to show how many each number represents. This will help smaller children learn the number values.


Publisher and date: Candlewick (February 22, 2011)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Book Info: Hardcover: 32 pages
ISBN: 0763637904
Genre: fiction picture book

Illustrator: Andrea Wesson

Book Theme: Different isn’t so bad

Book Summary
Sally’s class is doing a science project, and Mrs. Henshaw is handing out eggs for hatching. "Mine looks different," says Sally. When Sally’s egg cracks, what emerges is something green and scaly with big yellow eyes. Argus isn’t like the other chicks: he isn’t small and fuzzy, and he doesn’t like seeds and bugs. He’d rather eat other chicks (or children, as he grows even bigger). Watching the other kids playing with their identical chicks, Sally wonders, would she be better off without Argus? With sly humor and a subtle tug at the heartstrings, Michelle Knudsen hatches a story about learning not just to tolerate, but to love what is different, while Andréa Wesson’s endearing illustrations bring the tale to life with quirky details and offbeat charm.

Activity Adventures:

Crafty Ideas:
Print or cut out egg shapes. Let little ones paint their own dragon eggs.

Writing Prompts:
What would you do with a pet dragon?

Discussion Questions:
Have you felt different and wished you could ditch that thing that makes you stand out?

Authors Arena

Michelle Knudsen is the author of more than 40 books for children. Her best-known title is Library Lion (Candlewick Press), which was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into several languages. Her latest book is the picture book Argus. Formerly a full-time children’s book editor, Michelle continues to edit manuscripts on a freelance basis and teaches children’s book writing at Gotham Writers' Workshop in NYC. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her diabetic cat, Cleo.

Illustrator: (from
Andréa Wesson graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. She studied Illustration, and has since illustrated several books, including Not Just Another Moose, Jack Quack (both Cavendish), Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkanasti Jungle (Candlewick), and Opera Cat (Clarion).

She lives in Davis, California, with her husband, son and daughter. She has three cats, five fish, and a shrimp named Manny.

Andréa is currently working on Encore Opera Cat and watching Manny as he moves into the sunken pirate ship at the far end of the tank.

Happy Reading to you all!
The Queen

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