Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Vroom, Vroom! Books about trucks for Christmas!

Construction Site: Merry and Bright (A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book), by Sherri Duskey Rinker and AG Ford, (Nov. 2021, Chronicle Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781797204291

Ages 0-3

The Construction Site gang are getting ready for Christmas in this rhyming lift-the-flap ode to Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve in the big construction yard, and with all the day’s work done, there’s only one more thing for the truck friends to do: decorate for Christmas! Each truck has a special job, and sturdy flaps let little learners help with some of the heavy lifting: help Excavator put a star on the tree, and give Dump Truck an assist with unloading presents. When all the work is done, there’s only one thing left to do: go to sleep and wait for Christmas morning. You know the artwork, you know the rhyme scheme; Sherri Duskey Rinker and AG Ford know what their readers love, and deliver once again. Construction Site: Merry and Bright captures the fun and expectation of getting ready for Christmas, and their message about teamwork shines through. It’s a great holiday read-aloud and a Christmas Eve storytime.


20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas, by Mark Lee/Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, (Sept. 2021, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536212532

Ages 3-7

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street (2013) team Mark Lee and Kurt Cyrus join forces for a rhyming story about the 20 big trucks preparing for Christmas. Starting with a donut truck arriving in a snowy town, the story builds as other trucks arrive for a Christmas celebration: snowplows clear the area so another truck can bring in a giant tree; a truck arrives with a band and a dancing snowman; a flatbed carries Santa’s sleigh. Trucks arrive, all bringing something new for the celebration, and a minor crisis calls for some quick thinking to save the day! A fun counting book, 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas also features great rhyming for a fun read-aloud and a story about teamwork and how to work with a backup situation. Kids will enjoy the photorealistic trucks and people, letting them put themselves into the story.

Have donut coloring sheets ready for a post-storytime activity along with Christmas tree coloring sheets and truck coloring sheets.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

A search for the Biggest Puddle in the World and a lesson on the water cycle!

The Biggest Puddle in the World, by Mark Lee/Illustrated by Nathalie Dion, (March 2019, Groundwood Books), $18.95, ISBN: 9781554989799

Ages 4-7

Siblings Sarah and Charlie go to stay with their grandparents for six days; at first, it rains, allowing the two to explore the old house, but they’re itching to get outside and wander. Finally, the weather lets up, and they head out, with their grandfather, on a nature walk. Big T, their grandfather, promises to show them the biggest puddle in the world, and encourages Sarah to keep a puddle map; all the while, explaining the water cycle: the rain comes down and collects in the puddles; the water in the air become the clouds in the sky. The clouds are made up of water from ponds and rivers and the biggest puddle in the world, which, the kids discover, is the ocean!

This is a great way to lead in to a discussion and/or lesson about the water cycle. The story and illustrations are all about the joy of being a kid: they enjoy spending time with grandparents; jump in puddles; explore nature, and find ways to keep themselves occupied when stuck inside on rainy days. Big T gives them a simple, illustrative way to understand the water cycle and how puddles collect, form bigger puddles, and eventually, become part of the clouds, which bring the rain. He encourages learning, and invites the kids to use hands-on learning by exploring and mapping their day.

The real and digital watercolor artwork is soft, with earth tones and faded colors, allowing nature to calmly take its place as the focal point of the story. Grasses gently move in an imagined breeze; the ocean stretches across a spread as Big T watches his grandchildren and their dog play, boots left on the sand.

A nice bridge between fiction and nonfiction, and a good addition to science storytime.