Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Interactive fun: This is Frog, This is Crab

I fell in love with This is Owl, by Libby Walden and Jacqui Lee, a year ago. It’s interactive fun for storytime and anytime, and it lets you be absolutely silly with your littles! Two more This is… books have hit shelves, thanks to Kane Miller; both authored by Harriet Evans, with Jacqui Lee staying on as illustrator, and they are every bit is adorable and fun as This is Owl. Pep up your storytime!

This is Frog, by Harriet Evans/Illustrated by Jacqui Lee, (July 2019, Kane Miller), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-61067-997-8

Ages 2-6

More interactive animal fun! The narrator invites us to gently shake the book to help Frog jump, and then we assist frog in moving flies toward him for some food, avoid being a toucan’s snack, find shelter from the rain, and find his way back to the water. The text invites readers to help out on every page, with flaps to lift and pages to shake. Frog is wide-eyed and looks vaguely concerned, which will give readers gleeful giggles as they jiggle, hug, and lead him around the book. I read this during a Facebook Live storytime and received several messages from parents telling me their littles loved it! The book is largely rendered in lush greens with bright backgrounds to pop against. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers with exploring fingers.

This is Crab, by Harriet Evans/Illustrated by Jacqui Lee, (Jan. 2020, Kane Miller), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-68464-064-5

Ages 2-6

More die-cut, interactive silly fun! Crab opens up a wealth of possibilities for finger-clacking, shuffling shenanigans. We start off by gently tempting Crab out of his cave, then accompanying him in a walk across the ocean floor. Readers need to be mindful – Crab has a bad habit of pinching others, and tries to take things that don’t belong to him! Readers steer him away from Octopus and negotiate how to play nicely with a decorator crab, and play a game of underwater hide and seek. When cracks show up in Crab’s shell, readers also have a chance to help Crab shed his old shell. Too much fun, with a colorful underwater playground to wander in. Let your readers clack their crab pincers and shuffle sideways to add to the fun!

The This is series is essential for storytime collections. They’re just too much fun to read and explore.

Posted in Non-Fiction, picture books, Preschool Reads

Take a nature walk On Gull Beach

On Gull Beach, by Jane Yolen/Illustrated by Bob Marstall, (March 2018, Cornell Lab Publishing Group), $16.95, ISBN: 9781943645183

Recommended for readers 4-7

The latest book in Jane Yolen and Bob Marstall’s On Bird Hill & Beyond series takes us to the beach, where a boy wanders along the shore, observing the wildlife as he goes. He sees a starfish get snapped up by a gull, and he follows along as a group of gulls toss the sea star, trying to grab it as the birds pass it from one to the next. As he follows along, readers learn about the shoreline ecosystem; the tidepools, seaglass, and crabs.

All of the On Bird Hill books are standalone stories, each looking at a different ecosystem through the eyes of a child; all come together to form an early reader science and nature series on habitats. On Gull Beach looks at life on a New England beach, with extra information about different gulls, shorebirds, sea stars, and crabs that make an appearance in the book. There’s also a note about supporting our beaches and wildlife that back up discussions about ecology and conservation. This is a beautifully written and illustrated rhyming story about nature that kids will enjoy and that supports early earth science and habitat study. Have kids point out the different birds they see, and the crabs they spot – that’s my son’s favorite part of the book!

Posted in Preschool Reads

Book Review: Clumsy Crab, by Ruth Galloway (Tiger Tales, 2007)

clumsy-crabRecommended for ages 3-6

Nipper the Crab’s claws always seem to get in his way, until one day, when he discovers how helpful they can be. Clumsy Crab is a very good story about accepting yourself that should resonate with preschoolers. Nipper the Crab hates his claws because they always seem to get in his way; one day, though, playing hide and seek with his friends, he discovers that having claws to snip, snap and clip, clap can come in handy when he is the only one that can rescue a friend. All of the sea creatures are friendly and helpful to Nipper; there is no bullying, only encouraging. The cartoon artwork is bright and the sea creatures have expressive, happy faces. The endpapers offer an underwater welcome, with Nipper and some sea life friends greeting readers. The text is rounded, almost cartoonish to match the illustrations, with larger, bolded words for emphasis.

The book’s use of alliteration and onomatopoeia makes this a good storytime selection that will keep readers interested. Storytime Katie’s blog offers songs and fingerplays for a Sea Creatures read-aloud; if possible, stock the storytime area with plastic and plush sea life toys to allow for playtime after the read-aloud. Enchanted Learning offers ocean life printables for a coloring craft. The Raffi CD, Baby Beluga, is a fun music choice to for children to listen to while playing and coloring.