Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

The Longest Letsgoboy brings a dog’s journey to a close

The Longest Letsgoboy, by Derick Wilder/Illustrated by Cátia Chien, (Oct. 2021, Chronicle Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9781452177168

Ages 3-6

A dog reflects on his life, his human, and his last day in this painfully beautiful story about the relationship we have with our pets and how love goes beyond our time on earth. Told using the dog’s language, we see a white-faced dog spending the day with his “foreverfriend”, Little. They run and play, and he takes in all the joy, all the feeling of this day as he quietly bids his farewells to the world around him. When he lays down to sleep one more time, he keeps an eye on Little and her “pack of twopaws”, watching them from beyond. I can’t even describe this book accurately, because it’s such a powerful experience to read. If you’ve ever loved a pet, you’ll feel Good Boy’s words in your heart; it’s painful, yet so comforting to read, and will call to mind your own Good Boys, Girls, and Pals who have moved on, and maybe you’ll look up to see if they wigglewag down at you, too. Mixed media illustrations create feelings rather than images, with muted colors that come together and give life to Good Boy’s thoughts and emotions. Endpapers show GoodBoy’s life with Little, and how he stays on as a guardian after he’s moved on, and how he’s still playing with Little and her Awpuppy.

An incredible book to help kids work through grief, and a wonderful way to talk about what happens to our pets when they die. It’s optimistic and hopeful while honoring the grief and loss we feel. An essential purchase.

The Longest Letsgoboy has starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Maybe… is hilarious

Maybe… by Chris Haughton, (Sept. 2021, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536220247

Ages 3-7

A mother monkey warns her three little ones against going to the mango tree. There are tigers lurking! As soon as Mom leaves, you know what happens. The three rationalize, rationalize, rationalize: “Hmm… maybe… maybe we could just look at the mangoes. That’d be OK. Right?” Naturally, looking at the mangoes leads to getting closer… closer… This hilarious story about pushing boundaries will make kids and grownups alike laugh out loud in recognition. The suspense keeps readers turning the pages and makes for a fantastically dramatic readaloud that will make your listeners gasp if you play it along with Haughton’s expert pacing and theatrical pauses. Chris Haughton’s digital artwork is bold and dramatic, with expressive monkeys whose blue and green coloring stand out against the brightly colored backgrounds. Sharp-eyed readers will see the murky outlines of the tigers lurking in the background, just like Mom said. Every single Chris Haughton book is a storytime hit for me; this joins the ranks.

Maybe… has a starred review from The Horn Book. Download a free activity kit at publisher Candlewick’s website.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Every Little Kindness makes goodwill contagious

Every Little Kindness, by Marta Bartolj, (Oct. 2021, Chronicle Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781797207926

Ages 5-8

A young woman hangs posters of her missing dog, handing an apple to a street musician as she goes about her day. Her act of kindness inspires others, creating a link between the inhabitants of a town as they inspire each other to do something kind for another. This wordless story speaks volumes about humanity, and how one good act can inspire countless others. They don’t need to be grand gestures, full of extravagance; one simple, thoughtful action is filled with meaning. The pencil, ink, acrylic, and watercolor artwork is rendered largely in shades of gray, with yellows to warm up various moments and reds to signify the passing of one good deed to another: handing a red apple to a musician inspires a man with a red bag to pick up a discarded red soft drink can, motivating a young boy wearing red overalls to buy a red balloon for a little girl who’s lost hers. The lost dog’s posters run throughout the book, reminding readers of the story that began this chain of empathy. A lovely way to explain good deeds, and how kindness links us to one another; it offers an opportunity for children to tell you their own stories. An essential book for your SEL (social-emotional learning) collections.

Every Little Kindness has a starred review from Foreword Reviews.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

The Day Time Stopped: What were we doing?

The Day Time Stopped: 1 Minute, 26 Countries, by Flavia Ruotolo, (Oct. 2021, Prestel), $14.95, ISBN: 9783791374895

Ages 5-9

A little girl living in Genoa, Italy, takes a bite of her popsicle when time stops, all over the world. What was everyone doing? In Germany, two girls screech to a halt on their scooters; in the U.K., a child takes a picture, while in Cape Verde, Africa, a boy’s soccer ball gets stuck in a tree. A grandma in La Paz, Bolivia, was knitting a sweater, and a scientist at Concordia Station in Antarctica gets a call from his mother, who lives in Paris, France. Dolphins cuddle their babies, and snails get to enjoy their strawberries. One moment links the world in this sweet, moving story about the things that unite us. Bright illustrations show a variety of humans and animals. The story opens with an explanation of the world and how it’s split into different time and weather areas that helps kids understand how it can be morning in one area of the world and night time in another; summer in one country, and winter in another.

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour: You Are Revolutionary

Every child has the power to change the world! You Are Revolutionary is all about encouraging kids to use that power.

You Are Revolutionary, by Cindy Wang Brandt/Illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao,
(Oct. 2021, Beaming Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781506478302
Ages 4-7

Podcaster and author Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to know they are revolutionary: their very existence has changed the world in some way! This rhyming story lays out all the ways children can have a voice in the world, and it’s stuff kids are already really good at: speaking up, being a good listener, being a dreamer, and making art are just some of the ways kids can take a stand. Vibrant, colorful artwork with a diverse cast of children and adults assures that kids will see themselves in this empowering book.

In a Q&A with author Cindy Wang Brandt, she talks about causes important to her: “I served on the board of One Day’s Wages, a grassroots organization that fights global poverty. Economic inequity across the world is the root of many social problems so ODW is a good fit to address a wide range of issues by niching down on global poverty. But I care about inequality of any kind, when people of power wield that power unjustly over marginalized people, it fuels my anger and stirs me to action.”

When asked about who should read You Are Revolutionary, Ms. Brandt writes, “I work with parents and I want parents to know that their responsibility isn’t just to raise happy and healthy children, but that we have an awesome responsibility to raise conscious citizens that together create a better world for all. The best way to love our kids is to create a world that is kind to all kids. Parenting is a revolution in itself, an act of changing the world. I hope parents who feel this responsibility deeply will pick up my book and read it for their inner child as well as their own kids.”

Learn more about You Are Revolutionary at Beaming Books’ website and visit Cindy Wang Brandt’s author page here, where you can also tune into her Parenting Forward podcast. Download free activity sheets here: Speech Bubble; You Are Revolutionary Maze; and Make Your Revolutionary Sign.

 

Visit all the stops on the You Are Revolutionary Virtual Book Tour!

Find You Are Revolutionary on GOODREADS!

Follow on Instagram:

Author: @cindybrandt

Illustrator: @lbontigao

Publisher: @beamingbooksmn

Literary Publicity Team: @prbythebook

 

Follow on Facebook:

Author: https://www.facebook.com/cindywangbrandt

Illustrator: https://www.facebook.com/lynnorbontigaoillustrator

Publisher: https://www.facebook.com/BeamingBooksPublishing

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Spoooooky Books for your Halloween Displays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. It’s a celebration of fun, all things spooky and weird, and candy.

If you’re going to have a seasonal, Halloween, or spooky book display up, consider some of these fun new books!

Poultrygeist, by Eric Geron/Illustrated by Pete Oswald, (Aug. 2021, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536210507

Ages 4-8

This cautionary tale is worth a giggle or three at storytime. When a chicken crosses the road without looking both ways, he reaches THE OTHER SIDE. No, not *that* other side, The Other Side: he’s a ghost chicken now… a POULTRYGEIST. The fun play on words brings us into a story where other ghostly animals try to pressure our poor chicken into scaring others, but Poultry doesn’t want to do that! The peer pressure continues until Poultry asserts himself, proving that even the friendliest ghost can show a little “pluck”. Smart wordplay, a fun story, and a strong messages about peer pressure and standing up for oneself let readers know that it’s okay to say “no” to bullies. The digital artwork is a Halloween delight, with sprawling midnight blue and black landscapes and shimmery, colorful ghostly animals. Spooky eyes dot the landscape, giving a tummy tickle to the littles. A free teacher tip card offers tips on introducing wordplay, homophones, and puns to students.

Poultrygeist has starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.

 

 

This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story, by Eoin McLaughlin/Illustrated by Robert Starling, (Sept. 2021, Pavilion Children’s), $16.95, ISBN: 9781843655060

Ages 3-6

This rhyming tale turns into a hilarious dialogue between a monster who sees himself and his friends as terribly terrifying monsters, and the woodland animals who have questions. Lots of questions. A red, stripey, fairly adorable monster tells us straight from the start that he’s got teeth, claws, and big roars, but everything else points to the contrary. He claims  that his middle name is “Terror”, but his Scary Monster Society card reveals that his full name is “Fluffy Terry McFluff”. He calls in his “horrible bunch” of monster friends, but their monster stew is a tasty recipe they’re too happy to share, and their spooky hauntings are really quite sweet. As the story progresses, we see that the monsters have their own concerns and fears, and they’re getting just a little bit sleepy. Illustrations are colorful, kid-friendly, with kindly, cute monsters that readers will want to snuggle with, not run from. A monster story for kids who aren’t really crazy about monsters, this fits nicely with Rebecca and Ed Emberley’s Go Away, Big Green Monster and If You’re a Monster and You Know It. The rhyme scheme and fun spreads that break the fourth wall make this a great readaloud candidate. There’s no need to worry about these monsters – if they’re under your bed, they’re fast asleep!
Tiny T. Rex and the Tricks of Treating, by Jonathan Stutzman/Illustrated by Jay Fleck, (Sept. 2021, Chronicle Kids), $7.99, ISBN: 9781452184906
Ages 2-4
Tiny T. Rex is all about Halloween, and he’s ready to share with us what it takes to be a Treat-master! This delightful board book lays out the Six Tricks of Treating, according to Tiny T. Rex and his best friend, Pointy. Kids will love the step-by-step process, from costumes (try them all on!) to staying warm, to trick or treating with friends. Tiny makes sure to remind little Treaters to be kind and gracious, and that candy shared is much better than candy eaten alone. Tiny is cheerful and upbeat; the sentences are simple and to the point, injected with humor and kindness. Illustrations make this book a win – I can’t read Tiny books without squealing as I turn to each spread – with Tiny and friends dressed in adorable costumes. Cute details throughout, like Pointy’s and Tiny’s experimentation with bubble gum, and the costume montage, will have readers heading for this book again and again. A wonderful introduction to Halloween for little ones.
Owl Has a Halloween Party, Illustrated by Jannie Ho, (July 2021, Nosy Crow), $8.99, ISBN: 9781536217346
Ages 0-4
This cute little story about an Owl throwing a Halloween party for his friends is loaded with durable pull-tabs that babies and toddlers will play with for hours! Owl is having a Halloween party, and readers can help him look for his friends. Each page features a pull tab that reveals owl’s friends, hiding in costume. An astronaut monkey and princess frog peek out from behind pumpkins; a pirate lion and flowery bear hide behind treees. Tabs stick out from the book, showing a variety of friendly animals peeking out in all directions. Simple sentences are good for emerging readers and for a little lapsit storytime. Let your little ones play hide and seek with the animal friends, and identify who each could be; point out colors; count bats and pumpkins: there are so many great ways to extend the fun here.
My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters, by Owen Davey, (Oct. 2021, Candlewick Studio), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536217643
Ages 3-7
Owen Davey introduces young readers to the world of mythological monsters in his follow-up to My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs (2019). Taking readers all around the world, My First Pop-Up Monsters encounters 15 faces familiar and new, as each spread reveals bold and colorful creatures rising off the pages, with a brief descriptive note and country of origin. Kids will likely recognize Greece’s Cyclops and the Minotaur, but have they met the Ushi-Oni from Japan, or Sarimanok from the Philippines? Absolute fun, with beautiful illustration and detail; this is a great book for kids and grownups alike.
Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Animals, Animals, Animals for all!

Ultimate Spotlight: Polar Animals, by Sandra Laboucarie/Illustrated by da-fanny, (Aug. 2021, Twirl Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9791027608782

Ages 5-8

As kids area getting ready to put on sweatshirts and jackets, the Ultimate Spotlight: Polar Animals are here to show readers how they handle the extreme weather in the Southern Hemisphere. Five spreads, loaded with flaps, pull-tabs, pulls, and fold-out spreads illustrate how penguins, orcas, whales, musk oxen, polar bears, and more animals eat, travel, and live on land and in the ocean. A brief, factual paragraph introduces readers to the subject matter on each spread: Born in the Cold, Eating Underwater, Traveling Underwater, Winter and Summer in the Tundra, and On the Ice Sheet. Interesting facts run through each spread: penguins use their wings to swim, not fly; humpback whales have baleen plates, not teeth; a seal’s clawed front flippers help it cut breathing holes in thick ice. Sturdy flaps and pulls will stand up to multiple reads; the illustrations and facts will make this an interesting book that will keep toddlers happy during a read-aloud, and preschoolers and emerging readers fascinated as they discover and learn about life in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Cool Antarctica has beautiful photos and facts about Arctic and Antarctic animals, as well as recipes, PowerPoints, and other school resources.

 

The Ultimate Book of Animals, by Anne-Sophie Baumann/Illustrated by Éléonore Della Malva, (Aug. 2021, Twirl Books), $22.99, ISBN: 9791027610006

Ages 5-8

This oversized beauty is chock full of activities for curious little minds and hands. With more than 50 flaps, pop-up, pull-tabs, mini-books, and more, kids won’t know where to look first! A great starter animal encyclopedia, The Ultimate Animal Book has spreads on Animal Bodies, Birth and Growing, Body Coverings, movement, the five senses, movement, and more. Each spread is loaded with manipulatives for kids to explore: lift the wings of a seagull or a macaw or pull a tab to learn how horses, cats, bees, and bald eagles see; pull a tab to see a snake’s slithery tongue, and lift flaps to discover the inner workings of all sorts of animals, from a pigeon to a dolphin. Loaded with facts that let kids learn hands-on, this is going to be a popular book in your collections. Preschool shelves should absolutely keep one of these on-hand for their science/STEM stations.

Put out the animal coloring sheets and display with other interesting animal books – maybe take a spread to draw attention to related books in your collection! If you were doing a spread on Animal Hearing, you could feature books like What If You Had Animal Ears?, by Sandra Markle; the immortal Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr., and Caroline Arnold’s Did You Hear That? Animals with Super Hearing.

 

Magnetology: Animals, by Maud Poulain/Illustrated by Camille Tisserand, (Sept. 2021, Twirl Books), $22.99, ISBN: 9791027609987

Ages 3-5

If you have play areas, this is the book for you! Perfect for science stations and play areas (and a pretty darn nice gift), Magnetology: Animals includes 45 magnetic pieces and a strong cardboard envelope, built into the book, for storage. Five magnetic spreads let readers create their own animal habitats across the Arctic, a forest, the Savanna, the rain forest, and a coral reef. A few lines on each biome gives readers an overview of each area; short fun facts across each spread give readers more to read and learn. Let kids create their own habitats, mix and match animals, and create their own stories! Consider putting a rubber band around the top of the page to keep pages open and offer some toy animals, too, if you have them available. Illustrations are colorful and eye-catching. Toddlers can easily get in on the fun. Make animal board books available around the play area, if you’ve set one up. Some recent favorites of mine include Giuliano Ferri’s Go Fish and Lo Cole’s Ten in a Hurry; Turn Seek and Find Habitats, and Brita Teckentrup’s Little Animal series.

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Let’s Play: To make a friend, be one!

Let’s Play! A Book About Making Friends, by Amanda McCardie/Illustrated by Colleen Larmour, (May 2021, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536217650

Ages 3-7

A young girl named Sukie arrives at her new school, feeling “lonely, sad, and small”, but her new classmates welcome her and help her feel comfortable in her new surroundings. As a result, Sukie greets other new classmates, and before she knows it, she has a new group of friends that play together, look out for one another, and support each other. Amanda McCardie touches on recognizing and supporting others’ comfort zones, whether it’s understanding that some friends prefer to work alone, or reassuring friends when they feel scared or sad. Mixed media illustrations present a diverse group of kids playing together and spending time together at school. Endpapers show a variety of school-related objects, from playground equipment to paper airplanes and backpacks. Let’s Play! is all about understanding social situations, and is a good choice for preschool and kindergarten-ages children, who are just starting to navigate these waters.
Let’s Play! A Book About Making Friends has a starred review from Kirkus.
Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Rafflecopter Giveaway: Between the Lines by Lindsay Ward

You read the post, now enter the giveaway! One winner will receive a copy of Between the Lines, courtesy of Two Lions – will it be you? 

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway today!

The fine print: U.S. addresses only, and no P.O. Boxes, please. If you’ve won a giveaway in the last six months, please don’t enter this one: give someone else a chance! Good luck and thanks for reading!

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Between the Lines Blog Tour: New Lindsay Ward!

If you’ve read this blog for a minute, you’ll know that I love Lindsay Ward’s books. From Brobarians to Dexter T. Rexter, and all the books in between, I love her storytelling and her artwork, and I’ve been able to get kids to laugh out loud along with the world’s most neurotic dinosaur, marvel at a tractor who pitched in during World War II, and extend a hand to friends who may be feeling… well, a little gray. So a chance to read her latest book? Count me in, please!

Between the Lines, by Lindsay Ward, (Oct. 2021, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN: 9781542026901
Ages 4-8

A young boy remembers when all the colors “were swept from our street”. His community loses their connection to one another and as they do, the vibrancy fades. A storm sweeps away the last “hints of bluebird skies and lemon-Popsicle days”, leaving a divide that feels almost impossible to breach. The adults seem content to move around in this faded haze, but the boy wants color back in his world, and sets out to make changes.

 

Lindsay Ward has beautifully captured how to explain what is going on in our world, on a larger scale, to children. In a world without color, compartmentalized and without diversity, a dull landscape fills the void. Where we had laughter, we have silence. In three words – “Lines were drawn” – we get a mental image of our world today, divided along lines of color, beliefs, opinions. Her artwork communicates the story, with soft color heralding the fade; the storm rains down on the neighborhood, taking with it what little vibrancy remained, and leaving only black and white lines. Bringing color back, we have a rainbow of people and landscapes, happy once more. Can we get there? We have to hope. Lindsay Ward empowers children with her latest story: they have the power to bring color back into their world.

 

Essential to read, essential to discuss.

“A vibrant neighborhood loses its color, literally, as the community becomes fractured.” Kirkus Reviews
“The illustrations…bring the atmosphere and ideas of the story to life. The depictions of both isolation and community in a dense urban neighborhood are poignant, especially after a year when COVID-19 forced people worldwide to forgo, and then to reinvent, community togetherness.” Booklist
Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Rosie: Stronger than SteelThis Book Is GrayBrobariansHelping Hospital; the Wheels on the Go series; Rosco vs. the Baby; and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family in Peninsula, Ohio with her family. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.
Twitter: @lindsaymward
Instagram: lindsaymward
Check out a storytime for Between the Lines and other books here on Lindsay Ward’s website!