NEW BOOK ADDED TO OUR LIBRARY: 'Chicken in the Oven' by M. C. Arvanitis

What in the world would make a chicken smile?  

When Farmer Dill comes to the chicken yard to choose the fattest chicken for her Sunday dinner, BFC (short for Big Fat Chicken) certainly isn't smiling. What can she do to convince Farmer Dill not to choose her to be the Chicken in the Oven?  

This hilarious story tells  how BFC saves herself from the oven and becomes a famous model.  

Delightfully illustrated by Dori Murnieks, 'Chicken in the Oven' will bring giggles and laughter into your classs room as you read this 'read it again', or "I can read it mysefl' beginning reader story book. 


Page example 

Take a peek at this page sample. BFC squawked and flew into the open bedroom window of Farmer Dill's house. She hid under the bed. Clump, clump, clump, Clump. Farmer Dill's feet came closer. "I want my chicken in the oven." She shoved the hook through the open window. BFC squawked and flew out of the window. She ran as fast as she could past the gate and down the lane.

Purchase link for Chicken in the Oven

Hunny Bunny Welcomes you to our preschool library. She loves to hear stories, and hopes to read these books when she is a bit older.
No matter what age children, or no matter how many students you may have, plan to read to them at least once a day. After reading ask them what they thought about the story. This will impress the love of books in their minds forever.

Every class room should have BOOKS, BOOKS, and more BOOKS. The books should be brightly illustrated with color and simple pictures.  There are millions of choices and we each have our favorite books we like to read to our students. As a preschool teacher I always looked for picture books that hold students' attention. I find that both the story and the illustration are important to making a book a child will want to hear over and over again.



List of Suggested Books

When I see a particular book that I would add to my classroom reading center I will leave it here. My rule of thumb for a book I keep in my classroom is: If it keeps the students attention (they show this by sitting still, and looking wide eyed at the illustrations,)  and by asking to hear it over again. 

(Books can be bought at or at listed links. I only list print books that can be kept on your classroom's bookcase.)


OUR BOOK LIST (listed in alphabetical order)

** books: Their authors have been interviewed above.

Are you My Mother by P.D. Eastman

A baby bird has hatched while its mother was away. Fallen from his nest, he sets out to find her and asks everyone he meets, "Are you my mother?" Children adore the little bird and are thrilled with the happy ending.

Link for


Bread And Jam for Frances by Russel Hoban  

Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

Link for


**Christmas Owl by Angela Muse

Owl has fallen out of his perch. He is hurt and cannot fly so he seeks refuge in other animals homes. Each animal is leery of this owl but eventually allows him to come in and shares their meal. kindness goes a long way and gratitude is key to happiness.

Link for


Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter!  by Mercer Mayer 

It's Valentine's Day, and Little Critter's class is celebrating! They're decorating the classroom with hearts, eating cupcakes, and making Valentine's Day mailboxes. Little Critter is making an extra special card for an extra special valentine. Who will it be? 

Link for


**Lily and the Tarantula by John Murnieks

Cute and charming bug characters and help students to look at these buggy nature objects without fear and to treat them with respect and kindness.  

Link for


Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert 

It's summer in the city, and a rascally squirrel is up to all sorts of tricks. But when he sneaks inside an apartment window, he'll need one nutty solution to get back out! Labels identify plants, birds, and insects on each page, and a glossary at the back of the book offers factual details about squirrels. Link:


 **Mama Grizzly Bear  by Margot Finke

 A rhyming tale. Follow Mama Grizzly Bear thru the seasons. Teachers are provided with additional references and resources to further explore the world of grizzly bears.  

Purchasing Link:


**Rainbow Pants by Kelly Brooks-Bay

Can you imagine being able to choose your pants for the day, based on how you feel? That is just what Peter T. Peacock has decided to do. A fun way to learn about colors AND emotions.

Purchasing link:  


**Shaping Up the Year by Tracey M. Cox

Teaches shapes, colors, counting, and holidays. There's an activity page too. link:



Thimble Kisses by Crystal Clifton

Christmas gifts: Andy wants to give his mom a very special gift for Christmas and after watching his favorite movie he has decided as to what that gift will be.  (Now an e-book but soon to be a print.) link:




Ms. Marge Interviews Authors

Below I share books and their authors who I know have a child's interest at heart and whose talent and hard work has brought alive a book I would read in my classroom with pleasure. Please support these authors by buying their books and leaving a review at the site where you purchased it.  🙂

Making fun of someone is never a nice thing to do, especially when you don’t know what they might become in the future. Find out what happens to Jefferson that surprised all his friends.

'Jefferson the Colorful Caterpillar' by Crystal Clifton

Self esteem begins at a very young age with love and hugs from parents and family. Positive attention from teachers builds on the students feelings of worth. This book teaches children how to treat others, but also in a way teaches them to like themselves even when they are teased by other children.  

Author Crystal CLifton is married and has four children and six grand children and her Childrens Books are loosely based on them. She was raised in Dalhart, Texas where she still calls home. She currently resides in Michigan. Writing has always been a passion of Crystals. She has been writing since she was about eleven years old. 

Crystal, Thank you,  for agreeing to this interview.

Where did the idea for ''Jefferson the Colorful Caterpillar, come from? 

My oldest son was made fun of because his hair was different once when he was in elementary school back in 1996 and came home so upset and I for some reason sat down then and wrote this story from that happening because I knew he would change one day and they would be so surprised and he did.

What convinced you to write Jefferson the Colorful Caterpillar?

I knew kids needed to be shown that making fun of someone for being different in so many ways was not nice and they should never tease or bully. I was just so hurt when my son came home that day .

Please tell us about yourself as a writer. when do you write, where do you write, what gives you inspiration to write? 

I pretty much write in spurts when I get an idea or a memory. My books are usually loosely based on my kids childhood. I write wherever I am sitting at the moment I come up with it. My kids and grandkids give me all the inspiration I could need.

Do you have other preschool picture books in the works for future publication?

I have one releasing in April and I have a series based on my Grand daughter that I am working on but that will be a while in coming.

We are looking forward to reading your next book. Thank you for sharing this book with our teachers. 

Ms Marge 

Other books by Crystal Clifton:

Thimble Kisses

You can purchase Crystal's books at

You can reach her at her blog: 



This is a rhyming story about a year in the life of Mama Bear and her cubs. It is part of a 7 book series about animals from the US and Australia – fun as well as educational. Teachers are provided with additional references and resources to further explore the world of grizzly bears

'Mama Grizzly Bear' by Margot Finke

Children love the thought of bears. However they rarely see a real one, only the cute stuffed toys. In her book, this author tells about the year with Mama Grizzly and her cubs. Hunting, eating and hibernating. Then her cubs arrive. Spring sets them free to roam and Mama teaches lessons on how to survive. The book gives the student the reality of real live bears. Teachers are provided with additional references and resources to further explore the world of grizzly bears

Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes mid-grade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. She now lives in Oregon with her husband and family. Margot didn't begin serious writing until the day their youngest child left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day. 'Mama Grizzly Bear' It is part of a 7 book series about animals from the US and Australia – fun as well as educational. She has authored three other rhyming picture books; She also writes mid grade/teen books.  You can see more of her woks at her web site:  

Welcome to Ms-Marge's Cyber preschool class room, Margot.

Where did the idea come from for 'Mama Grizzly Bear?'

 Coming from Australia, I knew that Down Under critters would have kid appeal, and that bears, prairie dogs, bald eagles, platypus, kangaroos, and koalas would fit my “kid friendly” needs perfectly.

What convinced you to write 'Mama Grizzly Bear?'

I wanted to write something for young kids that was fun as well as educational.


Thanks you for sharing this book with our teachers. You certainly brought both entertainment and education to the readers of your book. 'Mama Grizzly Bear' will fit in with any classroom's nature center.

Ms Marge 

 You can purchase Margot Finke's books at her web page:

Or at link:

Other books by Margot Finke

Rattlesnake Jam

Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind

Kangaroo Clues


Different shapes make up objects that relate to each holiday but it doesn't have to be a holiday to shape up into a great day. Teaches shapes, colors, counting, and holidays. There's an activity page too.

'Shaping Up the Year', by Tracey M. Cox

There are many ways of teaching shapes. I found this shape book by Tracey M. Cox to be a valuable tool. Samantha Bell's illustrations will keep the students interest.  

Tracey M. Cox lives in South Georgia with her husband, and three children. She has been writing professionally for over 10 years. Her journey as a writer began once upon a time, in a land far from where she lives now. In that far away land there was magic, the magic of listening to stories and in telling them.

Tracey knew about this magic because her grandfather had shared his own story magic with her when she was a little girl. When she was older, she began to spin her own tales for her children. One night after the story magic had been told, her oldest son caught that magic and did a magical thing of his own...
"Mom," he said. "THAT would make a great book."

Since that long ago night, Tracey has had many articles published in local newspapers, magazines, and ezines. She is also the author of several picture books and has many more manuscripts under contract.

Thank you, Tracey for agreeing to this interview.  

Where did the idea come from for 'Shaping Up the Year'?

I was taking an online class and one of the lessons was to take something everyday and incorporate how we use it to symbolize other things. It gave examples and shapes stuck out to me. I got to thinking how shapes make up everyday object and how we used shapes for holidays. For example, a green triangle with a brown rectangle is a tree that we use as a symbol for Christmas. A red heart makes us think of Valentines Day.

What convinced you to write 'Shaping Up the Year'?

I did some research for preschoolers for shapes associated with holidays. There was little to none out there. So I decided to write it for the year and include the holidays we think about and the ones we don't think about as much.

Do you have other preschool picture books in the works?

Oh yes, I have an assortment of manuscripts that are in various stages. One that has a special place in my heart is how a little boy handles his big brother being away for so long at basic training. My second son is a Combat Engineer for the Army.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world and especially with our students. 

Ms. Marge

This book is available at

Other books by Tracey M. Cox:

'Ribbert's Way Home' 

''Liddil Gets Her Light

'Just the Thing To Be' 

You can visit Author Tracey M. Cox on her web site:





Squirrel knows that New Year's Day is a great day for making resolutions! But what does it mean to make a resolution? As she makes visits around the forest she learns about New Year's resolutions and helps her friends get started on theirs. If only she can think of a resolution of her very own.

Squirrel's New Year's Resolution by Pat Miller.

We chose to feature this book because Author, Pat Miller tells a fun story about a hard to find topic in children’s books. Illustrator, Kathi Ember does an excellent job bringing really fun characters to the pages.

Pat Miller was born an Air Force brat in Aurora, Colorado. Her first published book, Substitute Groundhog was named a Junior Library Guild selection. Scholastic reissued that title and Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution, and We’re Going on a Book Hunt in paperback and audio books for the school market. Pat is a former school librarian, now a Contributing Editor for LibrarySparks Magazine, and has written 20 professional books and 200 articles for school librarians.


Welcome, Pat, to Ms Marg'e Cyber Preschool classroom

Where did the idea come from for Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution?

I became quite attached to my animal characters from Substitute Groundhog. The manuscript was rejected 32 times before I got the euphoric phone call from Albert Whitman. So I had really gotten to know the characters through numerous rewrites and plot variations. When I wanted to do a book about making resolutions for the New Year, I turned to those characters.

What convinced you to write Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution?

I was an elementary school librarian. One January, my first grade teachers asked if there was a book about making New Year’s resolutions. We had none in our library. I searched area public libraries and publisher catalogs without success. Then it dawned on me that I could write that book. Two years later, I was able to supply my teachers with Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution in which a rookie squirrel learns about making resolutions from her friends.

Do you have other preschool picture books in the works?

I have other books that have been a hit in primary grades: 'Substitute Groundhog', 'We’re Going on a Book Hunt', and 'Library Monkeys'. You can find out more about all of my books, and order them, on my web site at .

Thank you Pat for sharing your charming book. All teachers of 4 - 6 year old  students should have this book on their reading list.

MS. Marge 

Pat Miller's web site is:

You can purchase this book at  



Margaret Arvanitis 06.02.2014 08:10

You are very Welome, Crystal. I am looking forward to seeing your next book. Ms.Marge

Crystal Clifton 06.02.2014 00:23

Thank You so very much Marge seeing my book listed is amazing.

Kelly Brooks-Bay 25.11.2013 23:55

Thank you so much for a fun interview!!! Very nice job. I am wearing my "happy pants yellow".

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Latest comments

28.04 | 22:53


06.06 | 01:22

I would like to purchase your books for Artemis my 3 year old Great-Grand Daughter. Amazon is backed up, so may I please purchase directly from you?
1 910 22

28.08 | 11:30

Awesome things to enjoy in March and have fun. I would like to try in next month to have fun.

28.06 | 10:04

Real pleasure talking with you. Teachers are so important. Without teachers we not have leaden are the future of our country. Becky was reading fourth grade l