5-Minute Story collections are big news in my library. Parents love being able to get a volume full of storybooks and only carry one book home. Sometimes, they take the place of the 3 or 4 picture books that are out at the moment, so kids can still take home their favorite story. They’re great gift ideas, too; they economical in an age where we’re laying out upwards of $15 for a picture book. I’ve got a couple to crow about here.
5-Minute Stories by Margaret Wise Brown, (Sept. 2019, Silver Dolphin Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684128495
For anyone who thought Margaret Wise Brown only wrote Goodnight, Moon and The Runaway Bunny, I have news for you: publishers have been working with her estate to publish recently discovered books with new artists for a few years now. This collection of 5-Minute Stories includes eight stories by Ms. Brown, and all have that wonderfully calm cadence that kids love to listen to. Most rhyme, all have the repetition of concepts and sounds that help kids grasp the narrative and jump in after a couple of pages. The stories explore concepts and seasons (Count to 10 With a Mouse; A Song for All Seasons; Sleep Little Angel; All the Families); adventure (Away in My Airplane); nature (The Tickly Spider); and soothe at bedtime (Sleep Little Angel; All the Families; Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears; Wish Upon a Dream). They’re fully illustrated and unabridged, so readers will lose nothing from the picture book to this collection.
It’s a lovely anthology of stories, illustrated with calming pastels and muted colors, featuring adorable mice, spiders, bears, butterflies, and kids. 5-Minute Stories by Margaret Wise Brown is a good volume to keep on hand for your readers, a nice way to introduce reaaders to Margaret Wise Brown beyond her two most famous stories, and a good gift idea to hang onto, whether it’s for a baby shower or for the holidays.
Disney Stories for 2-Year-Olds, (Sept. 2019, Studio Fun International), $12.99, ISBN: 9780794444341
Who loves Mickey Mouse? Any of your Disney fans will love this anthology of 14 stories, all starring the original Mickey Mouse crew: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Huey, Duey, and Louie, Daisy, and Pluto are all here. Stories run about 12-14 pages long; each story is brightly illustrated, has bold, brief sentences, and are good for kids starting at 2 and going up to at least 6. Kids will love seeing Mickey and his friends go camping, help put on a parade, visit an airport, and give a cow a bath! Throw in some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse songs in between stories for extra fun, and have Mickey and friends coloring sheets available.
These are especially helpful for libraries like mine, where many Disney/Mickey books are hard to find, or in formats that get quickly beaten up in circulation. A nice volume like this is a quick and easy go-to for anyone who wants Mickey Mouse stories, and a nice all-in-one to have on hand at home.
Disney Stories for 3-Year-Olds, (Sept. 2019, Studio Fun International), $12.99, ISBN: 9780794444358
More Disney 5-minute stories! Slightly longer and wordier, these 14 stories are simplified versions of favorite Disney movies, including classic favorites like 101 Dalmations, Lady and the Tramp, and Alice and Wonderland, and newer picks like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Hercules. The colorful pictures depict favorite scenes from each movie, and stories run about 12-14 pages long; sentences are slightly longer and there’s more text on each page, making this a good start to read with 3-year-olds, and to keep reading all the way up through the early grades. I’ve been reading through these with my 2nd grader, and he loves them – he can read most of them on his own, and I love the chance to curl up on the couch with him and read these to him at the end of a long day. Familiarity with the movies brings the chance to talk about the scenes as you read (fair warning: Bambi and Dumbo are in here. My family knows I have refused these two movies since I was 5, and this goes for the stories, too. Get a stunt reader in for you if you need to.) Pair with Disney coloring pages, or pull up your Disney DVDs and make an afternoon of it.
As with Disney Stories for 2-Year-Olds, this is a nice anthology to have handy for kids who want to read through their favorite Disney movies, but are finding the pricing for each book a little much or just can’t find each book available.
Any of the 5-Minute Stories are great gift ideas, great anytime books, and handy go-to books on your storytime shelves.