Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

DK First Emotions Help Kids Identify Feelings

DK has a new board book series, First Emotions, that really speaks to the whole experience of emotions and how to identify them. Spun off the recently released How Do I Feel? A Little Guide to Emotions, the books get into the physiological reasons behind emotions, how kids can recognize the emotions they’re experiencing, and different situations that can spark these emotions. Great to introduce to toddlers and preschoolers, these books gives kids more words to make themselves understood and to understand others. Cheery and upbeat, with bright and fun cartoony, emoji-like characters, this series is a great place to start your social-emotional learning collection for little ones. The first two, I Feel Happy: Why Do I Feel Happy Today? and I Feel Sad: Why Do I Feel Sad Today?, come out on August 11th; I Feel Proud: Why Do I Feel Proud Today? and I Feel Angry: Why Do I Feel Angry Today? are due out in October. Print out some emoji faces for coloring or display during a Feelings/Emotions storytime.

I Feel Happy: Why Do I Feel Happy Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498052
Ages 0-3


I Feel Sad: Why Do I Feel Sad Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498250
Ages 0-3

I Feel Proud: Why Do I Feel Proud Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498076
Ages 0-3


I Feel Angry: Why Do I Feel Angry Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498090
Ages 0-3

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

To Baa or Not To Baaa… it’s William Sheepspeare’s Wild Bio!

William Sheepspeare (Wild Bios), by Courtney Acampora & Maggie Fischer/Illustrated by Benedetta Capriotti, (Apr. 2019, Silver Dolphin), $7.99, ISBN: 9781684126194

Ages 2-5

The latest in the Wild Bios board book series introduces readers to William Shakes- I mean, William Sheepspeare, the Baa-rd of Avon. Like Frida Catlo, the first book in the series, William Sheepspeare uses animal-related puns to tell the story of playwright William Shakespeare: “William Sheepspeare wrote over thirty plays-histories, comedies, ram-ances, even shearious tragedies”. The authors even pun the titles of several of his play, including “Hamblet” and “The Taming of the Ewe”, and notes historical details like men taking on women’s roles: “…no ewes acted. All of the roles were performed by rams. The rams would perform the parts of the ewes, dressed in fancy fleeces and wooly wigs“. Sheep-related words are highlighted and in bold yellow font to stand out, and the artwork is cartoonish and charming. Most of this is going to go over little ones’ heads, but for preschoolers and kindergarteners, it’s a cute story about a sheep who writes plays. There’s a lot of text for a board book, and I lost my little ones during a storytime; I had to pick up the pace to get them back again. If you’re reading during a toddler time, you can cut it down to a sentence or two per page, and they’ll love it. I do like the Wild Bios, and want to continue getting the set to keep for my preschoolers.

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Think Board Books teach concepts

Former Romper Room teacher Karen Robbins still keeps her Do-Bees in mind with a trio of concept board books! Think Triangles!, Think Circles!, and Think Squares! are a sturdy series of books that help develop toddler and preschooler thinking skills. Each colorful book has ten flaps that present a a number of shapes to readers, asking where they can be. Lift the flap, and a bright, cheery scene – mountains, birdhouses, watermelon slices – invites kids to count the shapes. Colors are bright and easily identifiable, and inviting readers to “think… and lift the flap to see!” challenges them, asking them to pause and count the shape outlines before moving on to identify them after lifting the flap.

Think Triangles!, by Karen Robbins, (Sept. 2017, Schiffer Publishing), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764353819


Think Squares!, by Karen Robbins, (Sept. 2017, Schiffer Publishing), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764353833


Think Circles!, by Karen Robbins, (Sept. 2017, Schiffer Publishing), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764353826

Recommended for readers 0-3

Posted in Toddler Reads

Learn to Count with Dracula!

baby-draculaLittle Master Stoker: Dracula, A Counting Primer, by Jennifer Adams/illus. by Alison Oliver (Gibbs Smith, 2012), $9.99, ISBN: 978-1423624806

Recommended for ages 0-3

I was in a great little indie bookstore this weekend, when I came across this lovely. Seeing as how I like a little of the unusual in my board books, I fell instantly in love. BabyLit, in case you aren’t familiar with them, produces gorgeous board books, based on the classics, for babies. They drill down basic concepts in each classic, perfect for little ones.

Dracula is a counting book. Going from 1 to 10, we count different objects present in the famous classic: 1 castle, two friends (Mina and Lucy), 3 wolves, 4 ships, 5 heroes (Harker, Seward, Turnbull, Morris, and Van Helsing), and more. The pictures are rendered in the sweetest detail with just a touch of baby goth. The art is mainly black, gray, and white, with accents of red as necessary. There are little winks to the grownups who will read this book over and over again – Dracula’s face on the Demeter flag, well-known character names and locations, a rat wearing a bat shirt – that will make you smile and chuckle. There’s a wonderful sense of humor in the book, which is as perfect for grownups as it is for children.

1 castle

This is now in my toddler’s short stack of favorites. He carries it around with him and asks to read it several times a day. I can’t wait to fill out his classics bookshelf with more BabyLit, and I know for sure that I’m buying some of these for my storytime toddlers. How often do you get to read babies Frankenstein and Dracula, where they learn about basic concepts?

Check out BabyLit’s webpage for more titles, but don’t blame me if you end up buying a Pride & Prejudice playset. They’ve also got one of the best Pinterest layouts going, and you can check out some of their videos on Google+.


Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Toddler, Toddler Reads

Mini-Myths – A board book series that brings the myths to your toddlers!

play nice herculesMini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! (2015, Abrams), by Joan Holub/Illus. by Leslie Patricelli, $6.99, ISBN: 1-4197-0954-2

Recommended for ages 0-3

This series works for me on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin. This new board book series, written by Joan Holub – whose Goddess Girls chapter book series is a huge hit with the girls at my library – and illustrated by one of my favorites, Leslie Patricelli (Tubby, Yummy Yucky, and Toot, and other fabulous baby board books), is the perfect way to introduce the wonder of Greek myths to your toddler.

Hercules is a strong little boy. He doesn’t want to be nice – he wants to wham-bam monsters! To whomp-stomp bad guys! But when he ka-booms his baby sister’s castle, he learns that being strong also means using strength to help people, too.

This book is wonderfully subtle. Toddlers aren’t going to sit down and have a discourse on Greek mythological heroes, but they can get the big older brother acting like a strong man – or even a bully.  Parents will love the hints Ms. Patricelli includes in the story – Hercules wham-bams a Cyclopean monster, and stomps on Greek soldiers. The blocks of the castle depict the twelve labors of Hercules. A note from Ms. Holub at the end of the story gives more detail on the myth of Hercules, allowing even older siblings to join in the fun and learn about the story of the mythological strong man.

I adore this book. I bought it for my library, and I’m buying a copy for my own little guy. Abrams has a series of Mini Myths ready to hit shelves; Be Patient, Pandora is out right now, and books on Medusa and Midas are coming. Get this series – it’s BRILLIANT.