Posted in Toddler Reads

It’s another Board Book Blitz!

Time for more board books!

Tummy Time! A high-contrast fold-out book with mirror for babies, by Mama Makes Books, (March 2022, Red Comet Press), $8.99, ISBN: 9781636550138

Ages 0-1

A two-sided, fold-out board book that’s perfect for infants whether they’re laying on their tummies or during a lapsit. On one side, there is rhyming verse and photos of baby faces; a mirror lets baby see themselves. On the other, high-contrast black and white images with pops of bright primary colors attract baby’s attention. Stiff cardboard allows the book to stand up without tipping over, and the foldout pages allow for caregivers to lay out multiple images for baby to look at. Great for lapsit storytime and baby social time. These are sturdy enough to put into circulation, too!

 

The Trainbow, by Nina Laden, (Aug. 2022, Chronicle Kids), $8.99, ISBN: 9781452176413

Ages 0-3

Another foldout board book! This time, a colorful “trainbow” is rolling down the track, with rhyming text reminiscent of Donald Crews’s classic Freight Train. One side folds out into a color study of the cars on the freight train, all inhabited by colorful cartoon art animals and people. The other side features a cheerful rhyme as the train chugs past a group of well-wishers. Die cut pages fold into a rainbow readers will see from either side of the book. The pages are sturdy and will hold up to circulation and storytimes and will easily stand up for display or tummy time. A very cute collection choice from the author of the Peek-a…. series of die-cut board books, another board book collection staple.

 

Baby Hippo Finger Puppet Book, Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang, (Sept. 2022, Chronicle Kids), $7.99, ISBN: 9781797212876

Ages 0-3

I can’t get enough of these adorable finger puppet books! I love putting them up and around my early reading area so my littlest learners can see and easily reach them. Baby Hippo has an exciting day, splashing in the water and playing with her fellow calves, having some grass to eat, and running back to Mama in time to go to sleep. There’s one sentence on each spread except for the last page; gentle blues and greens make up most of the scenery, making this a good naptime/bedtime lapsit choice. Let your kiddos take turns wiggling their fingers inside of the Baby Hippo puppet as you read, letting them act out the story. I won’t lie – the pages are blocky and study, but that puppet is going to go in little mouths, so give them a wipe down with some soap and water if you can. They are durable enough to hold up in circulation.

 

Baby Lion Finger Puppet Book, Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang, (Sept. 2022, Chronicle Kids), $7.99, ISBN: 9781797212869

Ages 0-3

Set up your own jungle adventure storytime by pairing Baby Lion with Baby Hippo. Baby Lion spends his day playing with friends, nuzzling and getting a bath from Mama, taking a nap, exploring, rejoining his family as the sun starts setting. Oranges and yellows are the main colors here, with greens, blues, and browns joining the natural colors that dominate this story of life on the African Savanna. The Baby Lion finger puppet will easily accommodate a couple of tiny fingers to wiggle around and act out the story. These books are very sturdy and will hold up to multiple readings and in circulation; with all the finger puppet books, my suggestion is to wipe them down; I’ve seen my in-house copies are going in little mouths as toddlers and babies use all of their senses to explore.

 

Mr. Bear’s World of Food, by Virginie Aracil, (Sept. 2022, Twirl Books), $19.99, ISBN: 9791036345173

Ages 2-5

This oversize book has so much to discover! Mr. Bear just loves food, and takes readers on a trip through their taste buds to learn about different types of flavors, including sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Each spread introduces a new flavor, showcases foods with those flavors, and a little commentary from Mr. Bear on how each one makes him feel. Salty makes Mr. Bear thirsty; he thinks bitter, like coffee, tastes funny; fried makes him feel warm and toasty. Foods are labeled, expanding vocabularies, and introducing children to all sorts of different food, from endive and radicchio to miso and mushrooms; seasonings like vanilla bean and star anise to rich foods like salmon and whipped cream. A section of Favorite Foods features popular comfort foods – ask readers what they love most! – and Foods to Share encourages readers to share the love. There are lift-the-flaps and pop-ups to further delight readers, and a baguette bookmark assures readers can return to their favorite spreads again and again. Great for a yummy storytime! Originally published in France in 2021, this Mr. Bear book accompanies the three previous titles: Mr. Bear’s ABC, Mr. Bear’s Birthday, and Mr. Bear’s Colors.

 

So Many Kisses!, by Alexandra Garibal/Illustrated by Claudia Bielinksy, (Sept. 2022, Twirl Books), $8.99, ISBN: 9791036348822

Ages 0-3

An adorable board book that’s just perfect for a cuddly lapsit storytime. Adorable animals have a lovefest and show off all the fun ways of showing affection! Do you prefer a nose-to-nose kiss? Maybe a foot-to-foot kiss is more your style. An octopus loves to give tickly kisses, and a porcupine is there to give prickly kisses! Colorful animals and colorful backgrounds engage kids’ attention and different “kissy sounds” give readers a chance to really make this a fun readaloud. Originally published in France in 2021, So Many Kisses! gives readers the opportunity to show their caregivers how they like to be kissed and hugged.

 

Bookscape Board Books: We Love Books!, Illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius, (Oct. 2022, Chronicle Books), $8.99, ISBN: 9781797215587

Ages 0-3

Bookscape Board Books pack a little world into each book! We Love Books is all about developing a love of books, showing readers that they can enjoy a book just about anywhere, and maybe even consider writing a book one day. Arrhenius’s bold artwork is eye-catching, and the die cuts work together to create a layered world that reveals more with each turn of a page. Sturdy and absolute fun for exploring hands and minds, the Bookscape series is great for young learners. We Love Books is the fifth in the series and is great for board book collections. See more of Ingela P. Arrhenius’s illustration work on her Instagram.

 

Little Wild Animal Hugs, by Hans Wilhelm/Illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan, (Oct. 2022, Chronicle Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9781797207186

Ages 1-3

Pair this one up with So Many Kisses! for your cuddly lapsit! Little wild animals love hugging, and this die-cut board book allows readers to mix and match the hugs. When a monkey and a seal hug, they make a Chitter-Chatter, Splish-Splash Hug! A porcupine and a lion make a Prickly-Prickly, Roar-Roar Hug! You can read this in a different way each time, just mix and match your animals any way you please. Die cuts make the animals look like they really do hug, and colorful cartoon art shows affectionate, lovable animal friends sharing affectionate embraces. Perfect for readalouds.

 

TouchWords: Color Cards : Touch and Feel, Illustrated by Rilla Alexander, (Sept. 2022, Chronicle Kids), $14.99, ISBN: 9781797214993

This oversized deck of ten cards is perfect for learning color. The die-cut cards let little hands feel and trace color names and a primary image on each card. Card backs show different shades of the featured color and other items of the same color. Purple is the color of a violet, with accompanying vocabulary words to help kids visualize and identify the world around them: flower / blossom / petals / leaf / stem / wild / delicate. On the back, shades of lilac, violet, and indigo give children additional shades of color, with examples including an iris, an eggplant, and grape jelly. The cards are study and will hold up to exploration; you may lose some in circulation, but keep a set or two handy for your storytime/playgroup collection.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Uncategorized

The Book of Hugs: Tim Harris tells you everything you need to know about hugging

The Book of Hugs, by Tim Harris/Illustrated by Charlie Astrella, (Sept. 2021, Flowerpot Press), $12.99, ISBN: 9781486721047

Ages 4-7

Hug-master Tim Harris – seriously, he is a world record holder for giving hugs – has written the book that’s just what we need right about now. It’s all about different types of hugs: happy hugs, sad hugs, fast hugs, bear hugs, they’re all in here, and Tim tells you how to give them. He even gives you the important steps to follow to give the best hugs: make sure the recipient wants to receive a hug; open those arms up really wide, and hug them nice and tight, but cozy and comfortable. You can make people feel better with a hug, and you can give someone a quick hug or a nice, 10-second hug. Are you friends with a monkey? There’s monkey hugging tips in here, too! Adorable illustrations of Teddy Bear Tim – our guide to hugging – and his monkey friends are like hugs themselves: warm colors, softly illustrated, and with all the wonderful emotions that a good hug evokes: closed eyes, tucked in heads, and joyful smiles. The word on consent makes this a particularly great read-aloud for preschool through the lower grades. Cheerful endpapers show cascades of yellow bananas – you have to have them for the monkeys, you see!

Tim Harris is a disability advocate, Special Olympics athlete, and restaurateur who had hugs on the menu of his New Mexico restaurant, Tim’s Place. He closed his restaurant, but is now a motivational speaker and heads up Tim’s Big Heart Enterprises. Visit his Instagram page here.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour Stop: Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson

Bernard isn’t like other birds, but he doesn’t let that stop him from trying to fly! It takes a sad orangutan to help Bernard realize his true purpose, though…

Bird Hugs, by Ged Adamson, (Feb. 2020, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN: 978-1542092715
Ages 3-7

Bird Hugs is such a sweet story! Bernard is a little purple bird with very big wings. They just can’t keep him in the air, no matter what he does. He sadly watches his friends soar into the skies as (adorably silly) attempts fall flat. When he’s at his most dejected, though, he sees a crying orangutan… and gives him a BIG HUG. Who doesn’t love a hug, right? Well, it turns out that this is Bernard’s purpose in life: those big wings let him wrap everyone up in a warm, loving hug, and boy, do the animals need it! Day after day, Bernard hugs his way through a line of animals who need a hug, a sympathetic ear, and a kind soul to be present. What a wonderful message.

Bernard is adorable, and kids are going to love spending time with him. He’s sympathetic and empathetic all at once; he’ll give readers a giggle as his attempts to fly bring him all to close to the ground, and readers will feel for the little guy as he struggles with seeing other friends do things he can’t do, and he feels left behind. The book changes perspectives, moving from horizontal to vertical spreads, adding interest to a readaloud. Ged Adamson’s pencil and watercolor artwork creates sweetly pastel animals and landscapes for readers to wander in, and the endpapers – representations of Bernard’s very, very long wings – are just fun.

Bird Hugs is a sweet story about sharing friendship, empathy, and the importance of just being available.

 

Ged Adamson is a children’s book author and illustrator. His picture books include A Fox Found a Box; Douglas, You Need Glasses!; Shark Dog!; and Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed). He has also worked as a cartoonist, storyboard artist, and composer for film and TV. He lives in London with his partner, Helen, and son, Rex. To learn more, visit his website: https://gedadamson.myportfolio.com/home-page 

Twitter: @ged_adamson 

Instagram: @gedadamson 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar know the power of The Hug

The Hug, by Eoin McLaughlin/Illustrated by Polly Dunbar, (April 2019, Faber & Faber), $15.95, ISBN: 9780571348756

Ages 3-6

A sad hedgehog just wants a hug to help feel better, but every animal he comes across seems to find an excuse to run away. A tortoise also wants a hug to boost its spirits, but the animals all have other things to do, too. A wise owl tells the hedgehog that he’s a bit spiky to hug, and the tortoise’s shell is a bit hard, but “there’s someone for everyone”. And when the hedgehog and tortoise meet, they share a hug that will warm the insides of every reader in the room. The Hug is an adorable flipbook with short, easy-to-read sentences about the power of a hug. Read Hedgehog’s story, then flip the book and read Tortoise’s; they meet in the middle, in a hug that makes the two friends, and their readers, “as happy as a hug can make you… as happy as two someones can be”.

The artwork is simple and sweet, set against a plain ivory background. When the two characters hug, the joy on their faces is matched only by the swirls of color, stars, and flower petals surrounding them. It’s a sweet story that is perfect for storytime, perfect for cuddletime, wonderful for any time. I read this in a recent storytime and the kids and parents alike loved the leadup to the hug and the flip from one story to the next. A sweet story that reminds readers that there’s always someone out there to hug, no matter how prickly or how tough you may think you’re feeling.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Your heart cannot handle the adorableness of Tiny T. Rex!

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug, by Jonathan Stutzman/Illustrated by Jay Fleck, (March 2019, Chronicle Books), $15.99, ISBN: 9781452170336

Ages 3-7

Tiny T. Rex wants to hug his sad friend, Pointy the Stegosaurus, but there’s one problem: he has very tiny arms! He seeks advice from his parents, aunt, and siblings, and ultimately decides that practice makes perfect: but it’s sometimes precarious!

I have been squealing about this book since I first saw it at a Book Buzz a couple of months ago. A combination of smart writing and adorable cartoony artwork makes Tiny T. Rex one of the cutest, funniest books I’ve ever read. Tiny T. Rex is every kid, from preschool age on up, who has to contend with weird adult responses to big childhood dilemmas. When he asks his new age-y Aunt Junip for hugging advice, she recommends “balance and freshly squeezed cucumber juice”, to which T. Rex responds, “That is disgusting. I will ask my mother for help instead”. Mom’s advice isn’t much more helpful; she falls back on the traditional mom answer (which I’ve used quite a few times, myself): “It’s okay if you can’t hug. You are good at many other things… You are tiny, but your heart is big!” You can almost see his little eyes roll when he responds, “I cannot hug with my heart, mother”. When T. Rex decides to take his siblings’ advice and practice, he creates a hug strategy blackboard that kids will love: he’s considering being shot out of a cannonball, parachuting into the hug, and several other hilariously adorable ways to accomplish the hug. As he starts putting his ides into practice, he learns that trial and error can be a little painful, but ultimately, that the best hugs are the ones given with all the love you have to give. The artwork is heart-exploding levels of adorable. T. Rex and his fellow family and friends are bright and bold, with bright, cheerful foliage all around them.

It’s impossible not to squeal when you first lay eyes on this book: I have a dining room full of librarians and educators that backed me up, when Chronicle debuted this at the book buzz. With a sweet storyline about compassion and determination, eye-catching graphics that kids and adults alike will love, and text that was made for storytime reading, Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug is a home run. Now, we wait for another adventure…

Illustrator Jay Fleck has a video on drawing Tiny T. Rex – invite your storytime kiddos to give it their best!