Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Tale of Fatty Catty

Author: Jan Krystkowiak

Illustrator: Kimberly Schwede

Appropriate Age: 2-4

About the Author:

Jan Krystkowiak loves being a mom. Her five children and NBA player husband are the inspiration behind her books. When not working at her Direct Marketing business, Jan writes personalized books. Families provide the artwork and information and then the children reap the benefits of books that are tailored to be about them. All of Jan's proceeds from this endeavor goes back to charity.

About the Book:

In this simple tale, readers are introduced to three brothers who like to go fishing and make up "big fish" stories. Their story about Fatty Catty is of a catfish with three eyes, rainbow colored fins and ghoulish features. However, the rhythmic rhymes make this a story young children will enjoy again and again, gently propelling from one page to the next. It is similar to a simple Seuss book that makes children laugh and want to read it again and again.

Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves it:

All of Krystkowiak's books are helpful as early reader books. First of all, and most important, they are fun to read. This means that your children will want to read them again and again. The purpose of re-reading books functions as a way to build a child's vocabulary, comprehension and joy of reading. This message is reiterated on the author's website. When children receive one of Krystkowiak's personalized books, they recognize their connection to the literacy world; thus, inspiring more reading!

Also, the very simple images created by Kimberly Schwede are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss as well. Basic shapes and colors are great for stimulating early minds. They are relatable for children as well since they are similar to drawing 8-10 year olds might sketch out.

Other Books You Might Enjoy...

Currently, Krystkowiak has two books in print that can be found on Her other children's book is called "I Don't Want to Move." Her personalized books can be created and ordered on

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Works of J.K. Rowling

Author: J.K. Rowling

Appropriate Age: 9-90

About the Author:

Jo Rowling was collecting food stamps and writing tid bits of ideas on napkin corners before hitting her big break with the Harry Potter series. Since then she has inspried the youth of a nation to read again. Her tales of bravery and courage have swept across continents, bridging borders and bringing together children of all areas. It is the new universal. Rowling is an incredibly tallented writer who includes intricate complexities from first page of first novel to the last. This is a series all should experience. While her novels are considered to be "children's books," they are enjoyable and exciting for all ages.

About the Books:

Readers are welcomed to the "muggle" (or non-wizarding world) with Harry Potter, a regual boy who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin. He discovers soon after this though that he is special and posesses a true gift. He proceeds into the wizarding world Rowling created from napkin squares and imagination. The seven books allow readers to see how much Potter grows, evolves and changes. In her most recent book, Rowling has written a collection of "fairy tales for wizards." However, these are no first-grade-level reads, they are on par with the rest of the highly educational books that include intensive vocabulary.

Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves It:

Many have condemned the books as containing "witchcraft" and "wizardry." However, regardless of this nonsense, the major themes of the stories are courage, bravery, strength of will, emphasis of heart, moral fiber and other strong attributes we should all share with one another. Everyone should read these stories.

Other Books You Might Like...

All Harry Potter Books, 1-7

A Tribute to Banned Books: Chris Crutcher

Author: Chris Crutcher

Appropriate Age: ***While these books are wonderful, there is some language to them. For parents who would truly like to gage if a book is appropriate for their child, the best way to find out is to read it yourself. Mr. Crutcher's novels have wonderful messages in them, but they must be read to be understood.***

About the Author:

Chris Crutcher never thought he would be a writer. He started his career working with children and others in therapy and counseling. Many of his stories are inspired by real life situations he saw as reoccuring problems. His stories are very real in this way. Nearly all of Crutcher's works have been considered controversial. Many have been banned and are possibly not found within your local library. He speaks out to the population that many writers will not call to. He stands up for the groups of children and middle schoolers who feel they are in the minority, like there is something wrong with them. To them, as well as many others, he gives inspiration and hope.

About Banning and Why Little Aristotle's Library Hates It:

Book banning is a serious problem in America. It takes just one voice to say they disagree with a book or dont like what it teaches and it can be taken from library shelves. However, when a child is faced with an issue, they seek mediums and look for others who have experienced the same problems. In this way, Crutcher's stories about rape, teen pregnancy, mental handicaps, and many other problems teens face are ones that real teens can use to solve their own problems.

While not everyone is going to have the same taste in novels, it is diversity that is the spice of life. Plus, many of the general favorites and classics have been removed from shelves. Books like Black Beauty, Huck Finn, The Giver, Maniac Magee, and many others that have even been added to Little Aristotle's Library. Fighting to keep books will help keep young readers reading.

If you really want to make sure what your child is read is appropriate, the best way is to read a book yourself. But remember, what you might like may be dull as mud to your student or child. Keep in mind that their likes and dislikes are very different than yours. Keep it interesting, keep it fun, but don't keep it narrow minded or closed from reality. Books are a way of learning and expressing oneself in a safe way. Keep your child reading!

Other Books You Might Like...

Crutcher's award winning books include, "Running Loose," "The Crazy Horse Electric Game," "Chinese Handcuffs," "Iron Man," "Whale Talk," "The Sledding Hill," "Running Shorts," "Deadline," and more coming soon.

Mr. Crutcher is featured below.

The Works of Beatrix Potter

Author: Beatrix Potter

Appropriate Age: 3-8

About the Author:

Beatrix Potter grew up without many peers as friends. Thus she learned to love the environment and animals around her. She published her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, when she was thirty. It was widely popular but infuriated her parents who did not want her intellecutal side stimulated. She continued her passion of writing with many other sequels to her original, as well as others that introduced new animal friends.

About the Books:

All of Potter's stories deal closely with nature. The main characters in her stories are animals with human qualities. Meet Peter Rabbit, one of her most beloved characters. In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, the bunny has a blue jacket with brass buttons. All of the stories teach lessons and have wonderful morals to them. The adventures are terribly exciting for children. The classics have been around now since Peter Rabbit's original publishing date, 1902.

Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves It:

The stories have become part of our library because of the timelessness of the stories. Their natural state helps children from the early 1900s find similarities with children today. The stories are relatable for children who are expeirencing things like curiosity, problems with friends, and the like. I've never met a child who did not like the Tale of Peter Rabbit or the stories of the rest of her characters. For the children who grow to love the books, there is a series of videos which are basically readings from the books with illustrations on the screen that are very loved as well.

Other Books You Might Like...

Any of the Beatrix Potter books follow the same criteria listed above. My favorite story, as seen above is The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.

Meeting the author of Albino Animals

Author: Kelly Milner Halls (seen above)

Appropriate Age: 7-12

About the Author:

Kelly Milner Halls currently resides in Spokane, Washington. Her career started in the newspaper field. She transitioned from this to magazine work and then to writing children's books. Halls always loved the strange and weird when she was a child, thus she seeks out the unusual and unique subject matter to write about. Her years in magazine work reflect on the pages of her books with their interactive cut outs and vivid, photojournalistic pictures.

About the Book:

Albino Animals brings to life the evidence of Albino Animals within various species of animals. Did you know that the Albino gene resides within each species? Well it does! Beautiful animals and even people come to life on the pages of this fabulous book. Plus, each species comes with their own stories. It is a riveting book that kids will be bound to spend hours looking at in awe of the photos.

Why Little Aristotles Library Loves It:

The book encourages kids who may be reluctant readers to find a niche they never knew existed. Just because your reader doesn't enjoy conventional reading, doesn't mean they can't find anything! Albino Animals is fun for even adults to look at and learn about.

Other Books You Might Like...

Kelly Milner Halls has several books published with equally as unique subject matter and images. Some of her other popular books include, "Tales of Cryptids," "Dinsoaur Parade," "Dinosaur Mummies," "Wild Dogs," "Mysteries of Mummy Kids," and many others. Her books can be found at many local libraries and bookstores!

The Bridge to Terabithia

Author: Katherine Paterson

Appropriate Age: 10-14

About the Author:

Katherine Paterson never thought, as a girl, that she would be a writer. She wanted to become an actress. Instead she wrote plays for her sixth grade friends to act out. The worldy traveller has many different stories to tell, in addition to her own. For more information about Katherine Paterson, visit her website at

About the Book:

Jess is known in school as fhte fastest runner in school. However, that all changes when Leslie, the new girl in school shows Jess up. After some initial hard feelings, the two become friends and embark on a magical journey through their imaginations. Readers cycle through everything with these characters, life, death, and the hardships many middleschoolers must face. It is a beautiful book.

Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves It:

This powerful story of friendship and courage has stayed with me for many parts of my life. I will never forget reading the story in my sixth grade class and avidly gobbling up page after page. The story is so elequently written and very real to me.

Other Books You Might Like...

Paterson has had several other novels that have won distinguished awards. You may enjoy these other titles, "Jacob Have I Loved," "The Great Gilly Hopkins," and "The Master Puppeteer." Seek them out at your local public library or book store, she has 15 books in all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Miss Spider's Tea Party

Author: David Kirk

Appropriate Age: 4-6

About the Author:

David Kirk grew up in Ohio, exploring the suburbs for bugs and such. He also grew to love painting. He is said to be the utmost experts of bug poetry. He now lives in New York with his wife and his daughters, Violet, Primrose and Wisteria. Several different Miss Spider books have been released since the original in 1994.

About the Book:

The lonely lilttle spider is anxious to invite friends over for tea. However, all of the other insects are afraid of being eaten by the spooky spider. When one moth gets harmed in a rainstorm, Miss Spider nurses him back to health. He spreads the word among his friends until her tea table is full!

Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves It:

The book is wonderful for counting. Each page introduces a new number that opens a doorway for children to scower pages looking for each tea cup or butterfly. It is a very interactive story with colorful images that jump out from every page. Your readers will ask you to seek out the next books so they can read more abou the loveable yellow spider who wants to make friends with her fellow bugs.

"I loved this story when I was little. My mom used to read it to me on rainy days, like in the book, and we'd drink tea together. Sometimes she'd even make treats to go along with the story too." --Amy G. (A Little Library Supporter)

Other Books You Might Like...

Within the same series of Miss Spider are also "Miss Spider's ABC Book," "Little Miss Spider," and many others. You can find these at your local library or book store.