Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Two more Thanksgiving Books, just in time!

I’ve got two more Thanksgiving books for the Littles, just in time for the big day on Thursday!

See, Touch, Feel: Happy Thanksgiving, by Roger Priddy (Aug. 2020, Priddy Books U.S.), $7.95, ISBN: 9781684490738

Ages 0-3

Another adorable Roger Priddy book for the littlest of Littles! See, Touch, Feel Thanksgiving is a rhyming book of gratitude for food, nature, pets, and friends, with tactile pages for little explorers to touch and feel. They can run their fingers across the ridged corn husks and nubby corn, soft and smooth textures of handpainted trees, glittery rain, and a fuzzy dog. Colorful, with photos and childlike artwork sharing space, this is a book that will be a joy to sit down with, put your Kiddo in your lap, and let them know how thankful you are for them. Use the book as inspiration, if you have paints, and let them make their own hand-stamped crafts. A sensory feast for the hands and eyes!

 

If Animals Gave Thanks, by Ann Whitford Paul/Illustrated by David Walker, (Sept. 2020, Farrar Straus & Giroux), $9.99, ISBN: 9780374388737

Ages 3-6

The latest in the If Animals… series, this rhyming story welcomes readers with colorful fall leaves across endpapers. Inside, the author wonders what different animals would give thanks for, if they could: Rabbit would give thanks for being able to hop and for his thick fur; Crow, for the sky and the ability to fly; Turtle, for his hard shell. Meanwhile, the story returns to Bear, who’s gathering ingredients to make all sorts of delicious food for his friends at a harvest table! A kind story of gratitude and friendship, it’s a gently illustrated, softly colored story with colorful sound effects that invite readers to join in with multiple readings, whether it’s a chomp-chomp, chewy-chew, or a shuf-shuffle, or a pickety-pick. Great storytime pick.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Runaway Pumpkins is fun Fall reading

Runaway Pumpkins, by Teresa Bateman/Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, (Aug. 2020, Charlesbridge), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1580896818

Ages 3-6

A school trip to the pumpkin patch goes awry when all but one of the pumpkins fall through a loose hatch… but the townspeople and the kids are determined to look at the bright side in this sweet Fall story, originally released in 2018. The story, written in rhyming verse, captures the excitement of a class trip, including the bouncing bus and the excited kids. The illustrations capture the crisp Fall feeling, with orange, yellow, and occasionally, green trees and a darkening blue Fall sky. Kids imagine creating all sorts of jack-o-lanterns with their pumpkins in an amusing spread, with all sorts of pumpkin faces and the children dreaming them up. When the escaped pumpkins are discovered, the kids salvage the remaining pumpkin and focus their attention on it, while the townspeople who’ve discovered the broken, banged up pumpkins in their yards decide to show kindness to the children, and surprise them with a veritable pumpkin feast at the harvest fair. Kids look on in hungry astonishment at pumpkin soup, pie, even ice cream and barbecue, earning the cutest line in the book, “Our pumpkins are back, but they came in disguise!” A recipe for caramel frosted pumpkin cookies at the end lets readers and their grownups experience some of the fun.

A fun Fall readaloud for preschoolers and Kindergarteners, have plenty of pumpkin coloring sheets ready. There are some great ones on The Spruce Crafts and First Palette, and Education.com has some really great activities, including a dress-up pumpkin and paper bag Jack-o-Lantern.

Posted in Uncategorized

Porcupine’s Pie: Friendship is the best ingredient of all!

Porcupine’s Pie, by Laura Renauld/Illustrated by Jennie Poh, (Oct. 2018, Beaming Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9781506431802

Ages 3-7

It’s Fall Feast Day, and Porcupine is so excited: she’s going to make her famous Cranberry Pie! She sets out to wash her cranberries, and comes across her friends Squirrel, Bear, and Doe, along the way, each of whom has their own delicacy Porcupine is looking forward to. Each of her friends is missing a crucial ingredient for their signature dish, so sweet Porcupine offers them use of her stocked pantry. But when Porcupine arrives at the river – oh no! – she discovers that her pail of cranberries is empty, something sharp-eyed readers will notice as they read along. When Porcupine’s friends find out about Porcupine’s cranberries, everyone comes to the rescue with ingredients of their own, and Porcupine makes the best pie of all: Festive Friendship Pie!

This is a sweet story of friendship and sharing that kids will love and that makes for a great Thanksgiving/Harvest storytime. Jennie Poh’s illustration has a lovely, textured feel to it and concentrates on details like the burlap feel of a sack on one shelf, the cloth of Porcupine’s apron, and the oh-so silent falling of her cranberries as she heads to the river. There’s a sweet little ladybug who shows up in every spread and on the endpapers: challenge your readers to find it! The colors are warm autumn shades of green, brown, and dark red; the titular “Pie” appears in a dark red plaid tablecloth filling, with a big, bold font. The story font alternates between plain black and plain white (against a darker background), not interfering with the story, allowing the atmosphere to take center stage.

Porcupine’s Pie is a sweet book about friendship and being grateful, and it’s perfect for preschoolers and Kindergarteners. A recipe for Friendship Pie at the end is the perfect ending to the story, and an invitation to some holiday baking. Display and with readalikes, Karma Wilson’s Bear Says Thanks, and Stone Soup.

Author Laura Renauld’s author website offers links to the KidLit community, her blog, and information about her books. You can see more of Jennie Poh’s illustration on her Instagram.

Posted in programs, Storytime

Harvest Festival Programming

The Mid-Autumn Festival starts tomorrow, October 4th, so I’ve been doing some programming with the kids here to celebrate. Yesterday, I had a Fortune Bookies workshop where we made fortune cookie bookmarks with felt. The glue didn’t hold so great – I really need to get a hot glue gun – but the moms jumped right in and made the best of a Make It Work Situation and saved the day with a few discreetly placed staples.

PictureNot one of my Fortune Bookies – this is Heidi Fiedler’s model.

 

Today’s program was more successful. I had a tea party! Ever since reading How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, I knew I wanted to use the story in a tea party setting. The Festival provided the perfect time. I bought some moon cakes, palmiers, and milk tea and set up a proper tea table, cutting the moon cakes up so everyone could share, laying out bags of palmiers so I’d have extra food on hand, and pouring cups of milk tea for everyone. I was able to accommodate 10 kids and 4 parents, with no leftovers and a very happy group!

The reception to How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea was good; they were engaged and interested in the different teas throughout the book. Next up was Loretta Seto’s book, Mooncakes, which I loved. It’s the story of a little girl sitting with her parents, underneath the full harvest moon, and telling the three most popular stories about the Harvest Moon: the story of Chang’E and how she flew to the moon; of how Wu Gang chops away at a tree to gain immortality, and the Jade Rabbit. This one seemed to be the biggest hit with the families as a whole. I finished up with Grace Lin’s Thanking the Moon, for my younger kiddos, and had one QH Kid say, “That’s a really short one.”

All in all, a nice little party to welcome the harvest.