Sleep Like a Tiger

Written by Mary Logue
Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

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One thing most children do not like is bedtime and most will avoid bedtime at all costs. The little girl in Sleep Like a Tiger is no different. She finds herself still wide awake even though the sun has set. She tells her parents she is not tired nor is she sleepy. The parents are typical parents who tell her that it is alright if she doesn’t go to sleep, but for her to just get her pajamas on and do her usual bedtime routines. Instead of the usual drink of water, or hunger pangs most children are preoccupied with, the little girl proceeds to ask her parents about various animals and if they sleep.

The story focuses on animals from the family dog to colossal whales in the ocean with wonderful, vibrant illustrations of the animals and their sleeping habits. Second graders will relate to the young girl not wanting to go to bed. They will be thoroughly entertained and enchanted with the author’s way of introducing the world to the reader and will love the way the darkness and bedtime routines are depicted in the story. This would be a great read aloud when introducing connections to children. Children can share their bedtime rituals and see how they relate to the experiences that the young girl experienced in the story.

This book is written by poet, Mary Logue, who has written several books for both young readers and adults. This is her first picture book.

The illustrator, Pamela Zagarenski, is not only an illustrator for this book, but has been awarded the Caldecott Honor medal for her book Red Sings from Treetops. She also creates large paintings, which can be viewed at

  • Sleep Like a TigerTitle: Sleep Like a Tiger
  • Author: Mary Logue
  • Illustrator: Pamela Zagarenski
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Reviewer: Rebecca L. Wagner
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7
  • Genre: Fiction

Those Darn Squirrels Fly South

Written by Adam Rubin
Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

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Old Man Fookwire is a grump! Even though he lives near a beautiful forest full of birds and amazing nature animals, he always finds something to grumble about. From clouds being too fluffy to blossoms smelling too sweet, there always seems to be something wrong with even the most perfect days. However, he does find himself enjoying summertime, spending most of his time painting the colorful birds who often visit his backyard. Sometimes, however, the squirrels get in the way of his paintings and ruin his pictures by painting themselves to which Old Man Fookwire will shout, “those darn squirrels!”.
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Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration

Written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by Tom Leigh

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Passover is a holiday that many students may have heard of in church or from their Jewish friends, but without instruction, it is impossible to understand the very rich historical significance of this ancient celebration. Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration is a nice way for students to dip into learning about the Passover Feast called seder.

Follow familiar friends Big Bird and Grover on their way to seder at a Jewish friend’s home. Along the way, readers learn Hebrew greetings and other vocabulary relevant to Passover, such as boker tov, shalom, and mitzvot. Though this book does not delve into the meaning of the traditions of “The Four Questions” or “finding the afikomen,” simply by reading about familiar characters participating in these activities, students will want to dive into some research to better understand the story.

As a follow-up activity, a second or third grade class may brainstorm a list of twenty questions they have after reading this book and visit the library where each student researches a different question. This activity not only supports comprehension, but also encourages investigation and skill development in using the media center. This illustrated book is only a small portion of the resources available in the Shalom Sesame series of books. These books are great tools for introducing young readers to Jewish celebrations throughout the year as part of a broad scope of social studies. After reading Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration, students will surely echo Big Bird’s final sentiment, “Whew! My brain is full of new words.” And this is a very good way to feel, indeed.

  • GroverTitle: Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration
  • Author: Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
  • Illustrator: Tom Leigh
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben
  • Reviewer: Sharon Schulte
Hardback, 24 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-7613-8491-5
  • Genre: fiction/Passover/Shalom Sesame

The Adventures of Jo Schmo: Wyatt Burp Rides Again

Written by Greg Trine
Illustrated by Frank W. Dormer

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Jo Schmo loves her superhero powers that came with a cape she inherited from her uncle. After a successful round of crime fighting, Jo is bored with ordinary life. She wants to be fighting crime, but there isn’t anything going on in her hometown of San Francisco. When she hears about Wyatt Burp, a criminal who terrorized San Francisco in the gold rush days with his stinky burps, Jo decides to build a time machine and fight crime in the past. She doesn’t see the crime right in her own classroom! Two mean girls, Gertrude and Betty, decide to stop Jo with, of all things, a wrecking ball. They don’t realize that the reason Jo didn’t come to school that day is because she’s in the past. Jo and her drooling dog Raymond track down Wyatt, who thinks the girl and her dog are mini-vampires. What follows is a chase of the hilarious kind.
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That Cat Can’t Stay

Written by Thad Krasnesky

Illustrated by David Parkins

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Dad attempts to put a stop to Mom bringing home stray cats, but somehow Mom keeps them anyway. The first cat Mom brings home is in the pouring rain.  Dad says “No way!” until he realizes how miserable the cat would be in the rain.  He relents, saying no one can pet him or play with him.  Don’t become attached because the cat is going.  Then Mom finds a calico that is too skinny and pathetic.  Mom finds a cat lost in a parking lot where it could get run over.  And worst of all, Mom finds a cat with a broken leg!  With every cat, Dad repeats his reasons why the cats can’t stay ending with “I’m sure EVERYONE agrees: we can’t have ANY more of these!”  Finally, when the oldest daughter brings home a lost kitten, Dad reaches his breaking point.  He comes home with…a dog!
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Stuck with the Blooz

Written by Caron Levis

Illustrated by Jon Davis

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Some days it is hard to get away from the Blooz. So what do you do when you have them? Do you lay down? Ride a bike? Write a story? Do some crafts? In Stuck with the Blooz, the main character explores some ideas for shaking the blues. We follow a nameless character that could be a girl or a boy on a day when the Blooz sticks around, despite several efforts to shake him. The character talks to the Blooz and tries to avoid him, but finally he embraces the Blooz’s presence and together they read, make a hideout, go outside and enjoy nature, and finally on a fast bike-ride, the Blooz just floats off. The illustrations are quite cheerful and enchanting; reading this book and taking in the pictures could cheer anyone.
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Princess in Training

Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Joe Berger

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Hi-Yah! Splash! Zip! Zup! Zoom! Modern Princess Viola Louise Hassenfeffer wants to be the darling of her kingdom, but with her love of daring stunts and karate, she’ll never fit into the princess mold.  Throughout Camp Princess, Viola can’t seem to help but revert to her less-than-prim ways. A basic princess’ wave needs more “oomph.” The fashion walk is not nearly exciting enough without a moat-dive, and the dancing lessons are just too slow for her skate-boarding preferences. But even this modern girl can become the darling of her kingdom when her unique skills become useful by saving the director of Camp Princess.
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Bedtime is Canceled

Written by Cece Meng

Illustrated by Aurélie Neyret

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When a prank note from two elementary aged students finds its way to a news room desk, an entire community is unbalanced and out of control. What would happen if bedtime were canceled? Cece Meng and Aurélie Neyret explore that childhood dream in this hilarious book. What second grade student hasn’t hoped that bedtime could be canceled so that he/she could play a little longer? Maggie and her brother simply try to trick their parents with a note reading, “Bedtime is canceled”, but when their parents do not believe them, their note was discarded, only to be picked up by a night newspaper reporter and then the news channel. This book describes the sequence of unfortunate events that follows, until Maggie delivers a note to the newspaper reporter UN-canceling bedtime.
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By Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Tony Ross

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Hippospotamus has a spot on her bottom and she has no idea what it is.She gets advice from lots of other animals on what they think it is. Weasel thinks it’s the measles, Fox thinks its “hippopox”. Each animal she encounters has their own idea of what the spot on her bottom is. All the animals take turns at trying to decide what is wrong with Hippospotamus, but are not successful. A boy, at the end of the story who is searching for something he lost, ends up being the one who discovers what really is wrong with Hippospotamus. He discovers that he lost his gum when he “spots” it on the bottom of Hippospotamus and discovers it is not a spot at all.
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Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

Written by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
Illustrated by Sanjay Patel

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Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth not only makes a lovely addition to any school library interested in exposing children to other cultures, it also entertains through the bold colors and images of India that leap off of the page.It will surely appeal to every child with a sweet tooth and sense of humor.
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