Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Liven up storytime with Play This Book and Pet This Book!

I love using interactive books in my storytimes. They get the kids involved, engage their minds and their bodies, and they’re just a load of fun. I’ve just received two new interactive books from Bloomsbury that will be big fun for pre-k and Kindergarten readers, and that can easily be applied to lessons incorporating music time or a sensory storytime. Let’s read on.


Play This Book!, by Jessica Young/Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman,
(May 2018, Bloomsbury USA), $15.99, ISBN: 9781681195063
Ages 4-7

A group of friends is getting ready to put on a show, but they need some extra hands to play in their band! This rhyming story invites kids to try out their musical skills on each spread: strum a guitar, bang on a drum, tickle the ivories on a piano, or shake some maracas! Every instrument has its own sound in bold, expressive fonts. Pass the book around and let your readers take a turn on the instruments in the book, or lead a band of your own with toy instruments! A diverse group of children march across the stage playing their song, and invite readers to make their own music: take the book up on that offer, and lead your little band on a march around the room. It’s absolute fun to read, and the art is big and eye-catching. Endpapers get into the fun, with a stage bearing a “Welcome” banner in front, and a custodian cleaning up afterward.


Pet This Book!, by Jessica Young/Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman,
(May 2018, Bloomsbury USA), $15.99, ISBN: 9781681195070
Ages 4-7

Bust out the stuffed animals and get cuddly for this fun book about the senses. A child of color (reminiscent of Doc McStuffins) invites readers right into her world, where she’s getting ready to take care of pets. Readers can pet a cat, scrub a pup in a tub, and feed a lizard a tasty treat. Each spread features a bright, boldly illustrated animal and a bold animal sounds. As with Play This Book, there’s time for a break, where kids can count to three and continue. There are no textures here for the kids to touch, but the book provides a perfect opportunity to ask kids what they think a cat, bird, or a lizard feels like. Have some textured toys available for kids to touch and explore! The rhyming text moves the book along at a fun pace, and a there’s good advice about the responsibility of caring for a pet built into the rhyme. A diverse group of kids line up with their animals to sound off. Endpapers open with a daytime scene on a farm, and close with the same group of animal friends sleeping, moon and stars in the sky.

Each book has digital art created with “Photoshop, custom brushes, and a lot of bright colors”, and kids will thoroughly enjoy it. Author Jessica Young has free, downloadable resources, including printable activity sheets for both Play This Book and Pet This Book, at her website, so make sure to visit.

These are big fun for storytimes bookshelves. Check them out.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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