You know I love Brita Teckentrup’s books, right? She’s got a new board book series out through Orca, and I was squealing nonstop. These animal stories are all adorable, tell brief stories, making them great books for toddler readers who are ready to listen to stories beyond basic concepts. The books are part of Orca’s All Natural series, published on recycled paper and using eco-friendly inks, so it’s doing a good deed to have these available!
Little Owl, by Brita Teckentrup, (Sept. 2020, Orca Book Publishers), $10.95, ISBN: 9781459826922
It’s nighttime, and Little Owl is excited to be flying with Mom and Dad tonight! The family swoops through the skies, seeing beetles, hedgehogs, and a bat together, before Little Owl is just too tired to keep going. The family snuggles down for a good day’s sleep, ready to take to the skies again the next night. The prose is simple, with sight words aplenty and brief sentences. The artwork is just lovely, with expressive large-eyed owls and smiling forest animals. Colors are deep, and the night sky shifts from a sunset, to night, to the barest light as morning approaches, really giving readers a sense of time. This story is lovely for a lapsit, with tons of snuggle-worthy moments; use with flannels for extra fun. There are some great owl storytimes available online, including this one from North Mankato Taylor Library and this one from Literary Hoots.
Little Squirrel, by Brita Teckentrup, (Sept. 2020, Orca Book Publishers), $10.95, ISBN: 9781459826915
Little Squirrel lives high up in an old oak tree and loves running and playing with his friends, the birds and the fox! But the nice weather won’t last forever, so Little Squirrel has to collect acorns and nuts to eat before the winter sets in. Once the cold weather arrives, Little Squirrel is safe and sound in the tree with his family, and they wait for the nice weather to return. Adorable art gives us expressive, friendly animal faces that enjoy play, and the message about being responsible and helpful is there, but subtle for toddlers. The seasons change during the course of the story as blue skies give way to cloudy, snowy skies and white snowflakes fall as the snow piles up. A nice store of acorns lets readers know that Little Squirrel will be just fine this winter, and our parting picture is of a happy Squirrel family together in their tree. There’s some factual information here, placed in the story’s context: squirrels living in the tree, saving food for the winter, and cracking open nuts with their teeth. Perfect for little readers Storytime Secrets has a great squirrel storytime available, and Jen in the Library has the cutest squirrel flannel up. The Canton Public Library has good squirrel book suggestions, too!
Little Duck, by Brita Teckentrup, (Jan. 2021, Orca Book Publishers), $10.95, ISBN: 9781459826946
Little Duck is happily swimming in the pond with her siblings and Mama. She dives, says hello to dragonflies, frogs, fish, and tadpoles, and plays hide and seek with her siblings until everyone starts getting tired. Time for a nap! They curl up to Mama and fall asleep. A sweet story that will work with flannels and begs to be read alongside the song Five Little Ducks, this is another snuggy lapsit story that babies, toddlers, and caregivers will love to read together. Add some sound effects, encourage games like peek-a-book when Duck looks for her siblings or waving when Duck encounters new friends to greet. Canton Public Library has good readalike suggestions, and there are excellent storytime ideas from North Mankato Taylor Library, Abby the Librarian, Sunflower Storytime, and Storytime Katie. Little Duck will be out in January 2021.
Little Fox, by Brita Teckentrup, (Jan. 2021, Orca Book Publishers). $10.95, ISBN: 9781459826939
Little Fox is the most interactive of the All Natural series so far. Little Fox emerges from his den, sleepy but shaking it off in time to spend his evening playing with friends and observing his surroundings. He sees a woodpecker, some deer, and a few other animals, and plays hide and seek with his friend until the birds start singing. Daytime is coming, and it’s time for Little Fox to find Mama and go back to sleep until late in the day again. The book brings up some observational questions for toddlers to discover, like finding Mama and wondering what the woodpecker is looking for. Kids can point or begin verbalizing, and parents can also point out animals, colors, and shapes as they go along. The day moves into evening, back into morning, giving readers a feel for the passage of time. Sunflower Storytime has a very cute fox storytime available, as does Jen in the Library. Pasadena Library has a cute fox storytime with some flannels.