Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Board Book Bonanza!

I haven’t done a board book bonanza in a while, so let’s get right to it! There are OODLES of great board books out and hitting shelves soon, so make sure you have your collections ready for your littlest learners!

Surprise! Slide and Play Shapes, by Elsa Fouquier, (Feb. 2021, Twirl Books), $14.99, ISBN: 9782408024697

Ages 0-3

Way too much fun! A cat goes on an adventure in this adorable book with chunky sliding panels and colorful spreads. Readers can twist, push, wiggle, and slide colorful shaped blocks to reveal hidden panels that pop up to delight and surprise: Make birds fly, shoot stars into the sky, grow a tree, and reveal a happy rainbow. Sturdy pages will hold up to multiple readings; if your budget allows, buy two: the kids will thank you.

 

Sleep, Cat, Sleep!, by Antje Damm, (March 2021, Prestel), $9.95, ISBN: 9783791374482

Ages 0-3

This board book about a cat who wants to go to sleep is perfect for naptime and bedtime. Cat want to have a nap, but the reader’s woken him up by opening the book! With every turn of the page, sleepy cat just gets grumpier… but, wait! Cat notices YOU look a bit sleepy, too… would you like to take a nap together? Sleep, Cat, Sleep! is a silly, funny way to nudge readers toward a nap: toddlers will see themselves in a grumpy cat who doesn’t want to be woke up once he falls asleep, and they’ll also appreciate cat’s expressive facial expressions. Ask your little ones if they want to peek in and see Cat, but that they mustn’t wake him… and watch the giggles begin. If you’ve ever read Grover and the Monster at the End of the Book, you know what to do here. Colorful spreads and playful fonts will make this a book your littles will come back to often.

 

Sharing, by Alice Le Hénand/Illustrated by Thierry Bedouet, (Feb. 2021, Twirl Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9782408019716

Ages 0-3

Twirl’s Pull and Play books teach toddlers and preschoolers valuable social and emotional skills. In Sharing, Little Bear, Little Cat, and their friends are learning how to share. It’s not always easy, but thank goodness their grownups are there to help support them! Little Crocodile isn’t so sure about sharing his car with Little Kangaroo, but when Mom suggests letting Little Kangaroo play with another toy while he’s got the car, the two friends even figure out a game to play together. Little Kangaroo doesn’t really want to give up space on Mama’s lap, even for her baby brother, but Mama encourages her to scoot over, showing her that there’s room for both. Each spread has a pull tab that shows readers the before and after effects of sharing, and straightforward, simple text helps guide parents through the not-so-easy work of negotiation. The books are durable, the illustrations are colorful, and the characters are expressive. Great additions to your social-emotional learning collections.

 

Pacifier, by Alice Le Hénand/Illustrated by Thierry Bedouet, (Feb. 2021, Twirl Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9782408024611

Ages 0-3

Another addition in the Pull and Play series from Twirl, Pacifier is all about the big moment: moving away from the pacifier. Little Bear, Little Crocodile, and their friends still use their pacifiers, but their parents encourage them to leave them behind, little by little: a slow, gradual separation; say, to take a walk or go play outside. Parents encourage their little ones to think about whether or not they want to use the pacifier any more, or mention that sometimes, the pacifier is a hindrance, making it harder to be understood when speaking. When the children all leave their pacifiers behind, even for a little while, the parents cheer their children on! They’ve taken big kid steps today! Pull tabs show each character with the pacifier and in the process of putting it away. Straightforward text helps give adult caregivers easy ways to talk to children about the process of separating from the pacifier. Pull and Play Books are all about support, encouragement, and empowering our children, making them a good addition to your collections. There are nine other books in the Pull and Play collection, covering a wide range of topics for toddlers, including potty training, feelings, siblings, and saying please and thank you.

 

Drive the Race Car, Illustrated by Dave Mottram, (March 2021, Chronicle Books), $9.99, ISBN: 9781452178868

Drive the Fire Truck, Illustrated by Dave Mottram, (March 2021, Chronicle Books), $9.99, ISBN: 9781452178851

Ages 0-3

We’ve got a twofer here, with Dave Mottram’s super-cute Drive the Car books! The wheel-shaped books open up to let little hold onto the book like a steering wheel and play as their grownup reads the rhyming stories of a day in the life of a race car and a fire truck. Each spread lets the reader imagine themselves behind the wheel of a vehicle, watching the action take place from the dashboard.  The race car puts the reader on a race track, where they can see other cars they’re racing against. They can pretend to press the buttons on the dashboard and make all the fun sound effects of a race car on the move!

Drive the Fire Truck! puts the reader in the driver’s seat of a fire truck as a call comes in: there’s a fire and they have to go to the rescue! The dashboard shows readers button including the siren, horn, and the radio, all of which come into play throughout the story. The action on the streets unfolds in front of the reader as they see the black smoke, and drive toward the fire. Perfect for lapsits, and if you’re able to secure copies for a few families to read their own copies during the storytime, even better. If you’re doing a virtual storytime, this comes in handy: hold the book up and let the readers imagine they’re at the wheel as you read.

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Spring Books for Toddlers!

There are so many great toddler and preschoooler books hitting shelves this Spring! There are picture books, board books, lift the flap books, and slide books – all sorts of books for little ones to explore and enjoy. Let’s take a look at a few.

 

The Three Little Pugs, by Nina Victor Crittenden,
(March 2018, little bee), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-4998-05279-1
Recommended for ages 2-7

Three little pugs – Gordy, Jilly, and Zoie – love to play, and they really love to nap in their big cozy basket. One day, they head over to their basket for their morning nap, but – oh no! – the big bad cat is in their basket! The three little pugs each devise a plan to get the cat out of their basket, using straws, sticks, and bricks: sound familiar? This cute little take on the classic fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs, ends up a lot happier for all, with decidedly less huffing and puffing. Kid-friendly art makes for a fun read-aloud or quiet time; endpapers add to the fun, with framed photos of the pugs, cat, and other pets looking warily at one another at first; closing endpapers have everyone posing in harmony. I’d pull out some plush cats and dogs (bean-bag size would be great) for small storytimes to play with, and read as part of a pet storytime or the original Three Little Pigs.

 

 

The Backup Bunny, by Abigail Rayner/Illustrated by Greg Stones,
(March 2018, North South Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9780735842823
Recommended for readers 3-8

Meet Fluffy. He’s soft and lush, and he lives in Mom’s sock drawer. You see, he’s the backup bunny. Parents, you know the Backup Bunny – the one we’ve got just in case the Luvvie/Lovey goes missing; the one we hope will stave off the tears. That’s exactly what happens when Max misplaces Bunny, and Fluffy’s called into service. But Fluffy isn’t right! His ears don’t feel right – he’s too new, he hasn’t been loved enough. Imagine how poor Fluffy feels, after waiting all this time to be played with; to be thrown on the floor, hung by his ears on a clothesline, and dunked in the mud – but wait! That’s the key! As Max plays with Fluffy, he breaks him in – and before Fluffy realizes it, Bunny’s been found, and Fluffy finds himself part of the new Lovey rotation. Kids will love The Backup Bunny because they’ll get it: the stress of missing a beloved toy and the frustration of a toy that isn’t quite right. The artwork is gentle and soft, with warm browns, and soft blues inviting the reader into a world of stuffed toys, cushiony beds, and soft sock drawers. The endpapers are adorable, with Fluffy hanging out, waiting by himself on the front papers, only to be part of the Max/Bunny group on the back pages. Caregivers will appreciate The Backup Bunny, because we’ve all been there. Overall, a nice addition to picture book collections, and a fun addition to storytimes where kids bring their own stuffies to cuddle.

From Mother to Mother, by Émilie Vast,
(March 2018, Charlesbridge), $7.99, ISBN: 9781580898133
Recommended for readers from 0-4

Émilie Vast has two adorable board books out this month, celebrating the relationship between generations. From Mother to Mother uses Russian matryoshka nesting doll artwork to illustrate ancestry. Narrated as a mother to a child, each page traces a new branch in the family tree: from mother’s great-great-grandmother to “my own child”. Each nesting doll becomes progressively smaller, with the child being the smallest doll; each doll and its accompanying artwork is a different color, with unique artwork.

 

From Father to Father, by Émilie Vast,
(March 2018, Charlesbridge), $7.99, ISBN: 9781580898140
Recommended for readers from 0-4

Émilie Vast’s From Father to Father, the companion to From Mother to Mother, celebrates the link between fathers. Using male nesting dolls and narrated by a father to his son, each spread describes one generation’s link to another, from the birth of a great-great-grandfather to the narrator’s own son.  The artwork, as with From Mother to Mother,  is inspired by nature and changes color and design with each generation; dolls grow smaller from great-grandparents to child, throughout the book.

These are adorable board books that will resonate with kids as easily as they will with adults, and it’s a wonderful way to show children the relationship between parents, grandparents, and beyond. I can’t wait to get these on my shelves (and possibly, my bookshelf at home) at my library, where my community often sees grandparents as caregivers for the little ones. Books like this form beautiful bonds.

 

Me and My Cars, by Liesbet Slegers,
(Apr. 2018, Clavis Publishing), $11.95, ISBN: 9781605373997
Recommended for readers 1-4

A little boy takes readers along with him on a tour of all different types of cars: vehicles that get us from one place to another, like buses and vans; vehicles that help others, like ambulances and police cars; vehicles that get hard work done, like tractors and street sweepers; and vehicles that race, like racecars and Formula 1 racecars. Perfect for cars and truck fans, this is going to be a staple in my early childhood area. The colors are bright, the lines and fonts are bold, and books about vehicles are a home run for little readers.

 

Open the Suitcase, by Ruth Wielockx,
(Apr. 2018, Clavis Publishing), $17.95, ISBN: 9781605374017
Recommended for readers 3-5

Different animals have different jobs! Can you guess which animal has which job based on their suitcase?  (The clothing hints help.) Meet different friends with different jobs, with a fun flap on each spread that gives readers a peek inside their work bag. See what a teacher, a magician, a doctor, and a car mechanic take to work with them! There’s an opportunity to talk to readers about what they would pack in an overnight bag for a sleepover; use that as a chance to talk about what goes in your bag when you go on vacation; what goes in Mom’s or Dad’s bag, and what different people in careers may have in their bags. What about what goes in a diaper bag? (Eww! Not stinky diapers, I hope!) A fun addition to toddler and preschooler bookshelves and a chance to talk about different careers.

 

My Bed, by Anita Bijsterbosch,
(Apr. 2018, Clavis Publishing), $14.95, ISBN: 9781605373874
Recommended for readers 3-5

It’s nighttime, and all the animals are tired and ready for bed. Reindeer tries out every bed he sees, but they’re not his! He grows more and more tired – will he ever find his own bed? This is an adorable lift-the-flap book that reveals the different animals whose beds Reindeer tries out. The animals are wearing bright, eye-catching pajamas that match their bedding, so kids can match up the animals with repeated reads. The nature of the book – Reindeer searching for his bed – and the lift the flap format makes for a great interactive read; invite the kids to call out whether or not they think it’s Reindeer’s bed. Give some exaggerated yawns as you continue reading, illustrating how tired Reindeer is getting. My library kiddos (and my own kiddo) love Anita Bijsterbosch’s previous lift-the-flap books, When I Grow Up and Do You See My Tail, so this one is a go for me.

 

Take a Look. More Fun Together!, by Liesbet Slegers,
(April 2018, Clavis Publishing), $12.95, ISBN: 9781605373829
Recommended for readers 2-5

Sure, you can have fun on your own, but some things are even better with friends! Six different individuals are by themselves, but a slide of the board book reveals more friends! A cat plays with yarn, but with a pull of the slide, there’s another cat joining in the fun! Clavis board books tend to be sturdy, and the slides will hold up to repeated use. I’ve got  a few in my children’s room that have circulated quite a bit, and they’re still good to go. Liesbet Slegers books never disappoint, either: her artwork is bold and bright, and toddlers love it. This one’s a solid add to collections that let kids explore their world through interactive books.

 

Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Blog Tour: Race Car Dreams by Sharon Chriscoe!

race-car-dreams_1

A race car finishes his race and gets ready for bed in this adorable rhyming bedtime story. Going through his nighttime rituals: he washes his rims, fills his tummy with oil, and heads to the library for a book to snuggle down with for the night. It’s a story that’s just perfect for bedtime, as my 4 year-old will gladly attest to; it’s entered our nightly reading routine, and the gentle rhyme and bright but subdued, kid-friendly art is a lovely transition from go-go-go running around all day to slowing down and getting ready for bed.

RaceCarDreams_int.indd

The endpapers bring us into and lead us out of the story with black and white checkered flag; in auto racing, it’s the checkered flag that waves when the winner has crossed the finish line; it’s a fun fact to add to a storytime and it adds both to the beginning and end settings for the story.

RaceCarDreams_int.indd

Cars fans, racing fans, boys and girls alike will enjoy this sweet bedtime story. I love that the race car snuggled down on its own with a good book, showing that while snuggle time with Mom or Dad is great, you can also be perfectly content to cuddle up with a night time read all on your own.

Is your little one a fan of “just one more book” at bedtime like mine is? Add Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Steam Train, Dream Train to the reading rotation for another rhyming dream story.

You can pick up a copy of Race Car Dreams for your little racer on September 13th. It’s available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or IndieBound. Support your local libraries and borrow it, too! Don’t forget to add it to your GoodReads!

Make sure to visit more stops on the RACE CAR DREAMS blog tour!

9/6 My Word Playground

9/7 MomReadIt

9/8 Unleashing Readers

9/9 Once Upon a Time…

9/10 Stacking Books

9/11 Geo Librarian

9/12 Flowering Minds

9/13 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

9/14 Little Crooked Cottage

9/14 MamaBelly

9/15 #kidlit Book of the Day

9/16 Just Kidding

Posted in Early Reader, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Calling All Cars – Fun for Storytime, Fun for Anytime!

Calling All Cars coverCalling All Cars
Written by Sue Fliess, Illustrated by Sarah Beise
March 1, 2016; 10×10 Hardcover, ISBN 9781492618812
Also available in 8×8 Hardcover, ISBN 9781492638353

Book information:
Title: Calling All Cars
Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Sarah Beise
Release date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

This month, I’ve got a spotlight on Sue Fliess and Sarah Beise’s adorable transportation book, Calling All Cars! This brightly colored salute to all kinds of cars is a great addition to libraries who enjoy storytime rhyming books.

Transportation books are huge with toddler and preschool audiences, with good reason: they’re fun! Calling All Cars takes readers on a trip with all sorts of cars: clown cars, trip cars, dogs in back cars, and more! The bold, black text makes for easy storytime reading; the text is as playful as the art, going up hills and through the snow next to their vehicles. The pictures are bold, with fun geometric shapes and cartoony drivers that kids will enjoy.

I read this one with my 3 year-old, who played along with his own toy cars. Could be a great storytime activity: let the little ones drive some cars of their own around after storytime, or let them color in car pictures (I always have a Word document with about 10-15 of Disney’s Cars characters ready to print). There are some great transportation songs and fingerplays on the Web, too – explore!

Enjoy the spotlight on Calling All Cars – thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky!

Praise for Calling All Cars:

“Each double-page spread offers a surplus of amusing sights: three pigs in a convertible, a kitten chauffeuring a royal pair of lions, love-struck snakes hugging and tugging their cars too close together. Beise’s digital illustrations pop with vivid colors…. [Fliess’] rhyming couplets bounce off the page.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This successful collaboration combines brisk and spirited writing with bold, effervescent pictures and will have wide appeal to young readers. Fliess’s punchy rhymes mimic the speed and energy of the cars being described, making for a lively read-aloud… Young car enthusiasts will enjoy the ride through this zippy, robust picture book.” —School Library Journal

Calling All Cars spread

About the Book
Big cars, small cars, let’s call ALL cars! This bouncy text explores the wonderful world of cars zipping up, down, fast, and slow. A perfect basic concept books for eager young learners from the author of Tons of Trucks. Then cruise into bedtime!

Rest cars, Hush cars
No more rush, cars.
Cars pull in, turn off the light.
Sweet dreams, sleepy cars…goodnight!

Filled with vibrant art, adorable animal characters, and cars of all kinds from love bugs to the demolition derby, Calling All Cars is for every child who loves to read about things that go! Surprise bonus—follow one long road throughout this vividly imagined world and don’t miss the hidden clues in the artwork!

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27015390-calling-all-cars

Buy the Book
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WHmpgX
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1QZwx0q
Books a Million: http://bit.ly/1SRWipt
!ndigo: http://bit.ly/1WHmzFf
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1SRWuVL

Sue Fliess photoAbout the Author
Sue Fliess is the author of more than a dozen children’s books, including the popular Tons of Trucks and Robots, Robots Everywhere! Her background is in copywriting, PR, and marketing, and her articles have appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine; Huffington Post; Writer’s Digest; and more. Her article from O, the Oprah Magazine was chosen for inclusion in O’s Little Book of Happiness (March 2015). Sue lives with her family and a Lab named Charlie in Northern Virginia. Visit her online at www.suefliess.com.

Connect with Sue Fliess!
Website: http://www.suefliess.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sue.Fliess.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/suefliess
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/suefliess/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4484623.Sue_Fliess

SBeise_portraitO2About the Illustrator
Sarah Beise, a graduate of Minneapolis College of Art and Design, is an innovative illustrator and designer who loves to create fun and unique characters that help tell stories. Originally from Matthews, NC she now makes Kansas City her home along with her two dogs, Maxwell and Mazzie May. For more info visit http://www.SarahBeise.com.

Connect with Sarah Beise!
Website: http://www.colordotstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-Beise-Art-Design-LLC-233477983374912/

Calling All Cars Giveaway: Runs March 1-31 (US and Canada only)! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
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Posted in Preschool Reads

Book Review: Ride, by Stephen Gammell (Harcourt, 2001)

rideRecommended for ages 3-6

A mother and father decide to take their children on a Sunday ride. The siblings don’t share their parents’ enthusiasm. Once in the car, it begins. First come the insults: “You’re a poopy face.” “You have booger breath.” The argument escalates into an all-out fantasy brawl, with furniture flying, rockets blasting off, and a dinosaur showdown. Mother offers a snack, which calms things down momentarily: but for how long?

Mr. Gammell’s pastel-pencil-watercolor illustrations are bursting with color and energy. His rainbow palette is reminiscent of a Spin-Art machine, with splatters and smudges throughout each page. The text is woven into the story, as there is no narrator, only the dialogue between family members. The bold text exists in the same space as the illustration, with exaggerated sizes, colors, and splatters. The book will appeal to young audiences, especially those with siblings or other family members who can relate to being stuck in a car with someone who drives them crazy, and the imaginative tussles that the siblings create.

This would be a fun addition to a sibling read-aloud. It may also be enhanced by using puppets to act out the family’s interactions; in particular, the brother and sister, whose battle frames the book. There are songs and fingerplays about siblings available that can be easily taught to audiences, including “Here is Sister/Here is Brother”, to the tune of Frere Jacques.

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads, Uncategorized

Book Review: Baby in Car, by Monica Wellington (Dutton Books, 1995)

baby in a carRecommended for ages 0-4

Monica Wellington’s Baby in a Car begins with the question, “What does baby see?” and answers by taking a toddler on a road trip filled with fun things to see from the car. This brightly colored board book is filled with bold, bright illustrations that toddlers will easily recognize, from traffic lights and taxis to flags and umbrellas.  The cartoon style illustration uses gouache collage to provide texture, including the blades on a helicopter, leaves on an apple tree, and the moon’s shading. Young readers will be attracted to the bright pictures of easily identifiable objects, and the childlike lettering further communicates a young, happy tone. Parents and guardians can use the book on car rides, whether to the grocery store or a longer family trip, to keep children happy and begin conversations about their surroundings.

Baby in a Car is part of a series by Wellington that includes Baby in a Buggy, Baby at Home, and Baby Goes Shopping.

Story time activities could include traveling rhymes and fingerplays including Wheels on the Bus and Over the Mountain. The book can be used in a participatory fashion, with the reader asking, “What does baby see?” and allowing parents and children to respond with each picture. 

Posted in Toddler Reads

Book Review: A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa, by Jonathan London/Illustrated by Denis Roche (Henry Holt, 2005)

truck goes rattley bumpaRecommended for ages 0-4

Trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Readers learn about different types of trucks – what they carry, what sounds they make, what colors they can be – as a family of three gets ready to move into a new house.

A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa’s gouache artwork and brief, rhyming text will appeal to young readers and would work well for storytime. Truck and car books are always popular, and there are many storytime songs, fingerplays and crafts that can work with this book. The author, Jonathan London, is also the author of the popular Froggy book series.