Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Let’s get the school year off to a great start!

You want books for back to school? I got books for back to school!

 

My First Ready for School, by Roger Priddy, (May 2021, Priddy Books US), $9.99, ISBN: 9781684491384

Ages 3-5

Priddy Books does it again; I’ve loved their board books and early learning books for babies since my own now-fourth grader (fourth grade!) was born. This preschool activity book is the perfect Welcome to School gift for preschoolers, and a great add to preschool shelves and collections in your classrooms and libraries. It’s all about concepts, early learning, and fun: there are pull tabs and flaps on every single page, all getting the little ones ready to experience a school day. Learn what to put in your school bag, with pull-down flaps that reveal what goes in your pencil case, lunch box, gym bag, and backpack; use the pull tab to discover all the great activities taking place at school, like playtime and storytime; learn about mixing colors, school shapes, patterns, and more! The book is tough, strong enough to stand up to repeated use, with bulky board pages, strong tabs, and secure flaps. Colorful and friendly animal characters will greet little readers and help them sharpen their pattern and shape recognition, counting skills, and sight words. Get a few of these in your collections if possible; they’re a great investment.

 

 

Let’s Be Safe, by Alice Le Henand/Illustrated by Thierry Bedouet (Oct. 2021, Twirl Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9782408028497

Ages 0-3

I am a big fan of Twirl Books’s Pull and Play series. This outing, Let’s Be Safe, teaches readers about safety while doing everyday tasks. Familiar animal friends from previous books in the series are back, like Little Kangaroo, Little Cat, and Little Monkey, and their parents gently guide them through scenarios that could end up with tears – but don’t, thanks to some smart thinking and safe action. Little Crocodile wants to come down the stairs by himself – great! – and Dad lets him, as long as he holds onto the railing. Little Kangaroo wants to stand up to play in the tub, but Mom cautions against it, because slipping and falling really hurts. Isn’t it better to sit and play? Pull tabs illustrate the before-and-after, with the Little Gang modeling safe behaviors as parents lovingly explain and stand by to help. Parents will appreciate the modeling on what to say to newly independent toddlers and preschoolers, and kids will love pulling the tabs and seeing their animal friends be safe. Win-win for all.

 

The New Kid Has Fleas, by Ame Dyckman/Illustrated by Eda Kaban, (June 2021, Roaring Brook Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781250245243

Ages 3-6

Award-winning author Ame Dyckman’s story about welcoming the new kid is a study in kindness and discovery. There’s a new kid at school, and she’s a little… different. Naturally, the rumors fly when the mean girl tries to spread rumors, but our narrator, who ends up paired with the New Kid for a science project, discovers that she and her family are pretty cool, after all! The New Kid – who we discover is named Kiki – is different, with a different family and a different home. She doesn’t wear shoes, she howls, she chases squirrels, and her family seem to be wolves! After spending a day working on a school project, though, our narrator – a young boy – embraces Kiki’s family, tussles with her brothers and sisters, and, in a laugh-out-loud moment, “goes with the flow” when it comes to using the restroom. Turns out, welcoming the new kid is a far more fun way to go than being mean! Digital illustrations capture the fun spirit of the story and show the growing friendship between Kiki and her new friend, and I loved the use of a wolf’s shadow to illustrate the Kiki is more than meets the eye. What a great way to teach kids to extend a friendly hand to new students. Another win from Ame Dyckman!

Visit Ame Dyckman’s author page for more information about her books.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads, Uncategorized

Board Books everywhere!

It’s time for another board books rundown! I’ve got a pile that begs to be shared and enjoyed. Let’s see what’s cooking.

My Big Birthday Party, by Jeffrey Turner, (May 2021, Schiffer Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9780764361050

Ages 0-3

Schiffer’s board book program has just taken off. They’ve been putting out consistently great concept books, working with great authors and illustrators, for a few years now and I get excited whenever a box shows up for me. Author Jeffrey Turner has been putting out a series of board books to explain concepts, starring a fluffy white poodle. My Big Birthday Party explains opposites, framing the words in the context of Poodle’s birthday party. Lights are off, then turned on to reveal friends of all shapes and sizes, holding gifts; we see the group from the front and back; piles of gifts are closed, then opened; we see a page loaded with colorful balloons, illustrating “more”; when Poodle’s friend Porcupine enters the page, we see a burst balloon, and “less”. Colorful, bright digital artwork holds exciting reveals on each page, and a note about the science of magnets – a branch concerned with opposites! – closes out the book. It’s a great way to communicate the concept to newly budding STEM/STEAM learners. Schiffer Kids’s Resource Hub has free, downloadable coloring sheets, too!

 

Smile, Baby! (Beginning Baby), (June 2021, Chronicle Books), $8.99, ISBN: 9781452170923

Ages 0-3

Chronicle has a new board book series debuting, and it is adorable. Beginning Baby addresses developmental milestones, teaches motor control and self-identification, and is loaded with friendly characters and bright colors. A series of questions about finding baby’s smile, nose, ears, eyes, cheeks, and mouth take readers through each page, with a die-cut revealing a mirror for baby to see themselves in at all times. Each question comes with an activity for baby and caregiver: blow a kiss, pat baby’s cheeks, find baby’s ears and nose. Perfect for lapsit reading, this is a great way to bond with baby: let baby see you reading in the mirror with them, and let them learn the parts of their face with colorful words paired with loving gestures as you tickle baby’s cheeks, blow kisses, give a brushing kiss on their eyes. What a fun way to snuggle and read together!

 

10 Hugs and Kisses (Beginning Baby), (June 2021, Chronicle Books), $7.99, ISBN: 9781452170947

Ages 0-3

Another Beginning Baby book! This one is all about cuddles and counting from 1 to 10. Sweetly affectionate animals count their hugs and kisses through each rhyming spread, making for a perfect lapsit where caregiver and little one can join in for hugging, smiles, and butterfly kisses. A big number on the left-hand page stands out against the background; the book invites readers to trace the numbers as they go through the story. Pairs nicely with Karen Katz’s Counting Kisses.

 

Welcome to Shape School!, (Beginning Baby), (June 2021, Chronicle Books), $7.99, ISBN: 9781452170947

Ages 0-3

It’s a day at Shape School! Our animal friends (Gabriel Gabriel Giraffe, Elijah Elephant, Riley Narwhal, Mia Monkey, Layla Llama, Paisley Octopus, and Mateo Red Panda) want you to help them navigate all the space challenges they encounter in school: count squares, touch the three points on a triangle, outline the ovals in a book nook, and press hearts in the garden, for starters. There are 9 tabs that let kids explore each shape, and something new to discover on each spread. Helping develop story-following and fine motor skills and helping reinforce understanding shapes, this is just an adorable book for littles to enjoy.

 

Who is Hiding in the Sea?, by Marc Clamens & Laurence Jammes, (March 2021, Schiffer Kids), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764361029

Ages 0-6

A board book and puzzle all in one sends kids underwater to explore. Four underwater spreads to discover, and eight punch-out puzzle pieces of underwater friends to set into their homes. Each animal fits into a die-cut piece hidden under flaps: who lives in the sea anemones? Where does the seahorse call home? Facts under each flap provide a little more information on the animal that fits in the space, and colorful artwork gets readers’ attention with cute, friendly underwater buddies. Great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination for littles, learning about underwater life and habitats for bigger kids, this is a collection you’ll need a few copies for if you’re circulating the book (or put out when you put your toys out).

 

Who Is Hiding in the Forest? by Marc Clamens & Laurence Jammes, (March 2021, Schiffer Kids), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764361012

Ages 0-6

Another Who is Hiding? book by Marc Clamens and Laurence Jammes, this board book includes 8 puzzle pieces of forest friends. Kids can look for homes for a badger, squirrel, fox, wild piglet, fawn, bat, beaver, and owl, across four wintry forest spreads. Who hides in the tree, and who makes a lodge out of mud and banches? Where do these little animals go to stay warm? These are such sturdy pages, flaps, and puzzles pieces, assuring that they’ll hold up to multiple reads. Make sure to have a few copies on hand, especially if you’re putting them into circulation. Pair with animal coloring sheets, like these cute ones from Simple Everyday Mom, or animal toys and go over names for each animal.

 

Mommy, You’re Amazing, by Roger Priddy, (March 2021, Priddy Books), $7.99, ISBN: 9781684491254

Ages 0-3

Part scrapbook, part board book, Mommy, You’re Amazing is a celebration of moments between mommy and child. Each spread has a rhyming passage about why Mommy is amazing: for discovering new things, dancing and singing together, or playing imagination games being just a few of the great things mommies do. Each spread has a space for a keepsake, whether it’s an envelope to hold little treasures, like those dandelions we all get, or slots to slide in photos, drawing spaces, or a spot to write a story. It’s a warm, loving keepsake that moms will adore (and a darned good baby shower gift).

Posted in lift-the-flap, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Happy Belated Easter!

Hi all!

I’ve lapsed a little in my posts, and I apologize. I’ve had some health wackiness going on that’s left me a little run down, but I’m fine, honest. Today, I’m starting off with two Easter books – yes, Easter was yesterday (tonight, actually, as I write this), but there’s still Greek Easter in May! So add this adorable book to your basket – and crack your eggs and make a wish.

Dragon’s Easter Egg Hunt, by Priddy Books US, (Dec. 2020, Priddy Books), $9.99, ISBN: 9781684491278

Ages 1-3

It’s an Easter Egg Hunt, and your kiddos are invited! Dragon has seven magical eggs to hide for Easter: can you help him out? Die-cut eggs are easy to pop out, and lift the flaps throughout the book instruct kids where to hide different eggs, and reveal fun fairies, unicorns, and other fun reveals. Colorful and playful, the book lets keep play with color and encourages hand-eye coordination and matching skills practice – different eggs go to different spreads – while letting them explore again and again. The flaps, eggs, and pages are sturdy and will hold up nicely. If you’re keeping a copy for your library, plan to make some backup eggs! Adorable and fun for all the littles!

 

 

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 Toddler Reads

Don’t miss these Halloween reads for babies!

Developing a love of Halloween starts early. Encourage your littles from the beginning! Read Halloween!

Brooms Are for Flying!, by Michael Rex, (July 2020, Henry Holt), $7.99, ISBN: 9781250241481

Ages 0-3

Michael Rex has been an essential part of my Halloween storytimes for years. Goodnight Goon and The Runaway Mummy get regular rotation and my kiddos love the familiar spin on beloved bedtime stories. His 2009 book, Brooms Are For Flying!, is now available in board book for your littles to gnaw on (but not if they’re library books, please!) and wander through again and again. If kids love Goodnight Goon and The Runaway Mummy are because they love the similarities to Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, then Brooms Are For Flying! will appeal to kids who love Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance!: a young witch leads a group of her fiendish friends through a spookytime dance that gives every part of the body a workout: “Legs are for marching/  Feet are for stomping.  Eyes are for peeking. / Arms are for reaching.” Get your little ones up and stomping, shambling, and dancing like their favorite ghouls and ghosts! Perfection for Halloween readalouds and for any old time, really.

 

Spooky Pants, by Roger Priddy, (July 2020, Priddy Books), $9.99, ISBN: 9780312530211

Ages 0-3

Part of Priddy Books’s Turn the Wheel series, Spooky Pants gives kids a treat – lots of laughs! – as they scroll through various tops and bottoms to match 8 costumed friends with their missing pieces. Give Billie Bones a Jack-o-Lantern head, or Hound the Werewolf a groovy disco pair of pants and platform shoes. Little prompts on each page offer a seek-and-find for little pointer fingers, as they are prompted to search for other items in each picture: magic wands and fizzing potions, jingly-jangly chains and fancy collars. A fun page at the end lets kids see all the different possibilities, and choose their favorites. Study cardboard pages and wheels hold up to lots of use by exploring hands! Priddy Books are great to have for little explorers – I’ve had some in my own home collection since the third grader was wee.

Check Priddy Books’s free downloads page to get activity sheets, picture puzzles, and more.

Posted in Early Reader, Intermediate

Spooky Halloween Activities – A spooky wipe-clean doodle pad

Spooky Halloween Activities, by Priddy Books, (July 2019, Priddy Books), $6.99, ISBN: 9780312528836

Ages 4-7

A quick Halloween goodie to crow about: Spooky Halloween Activities is a fun activity book from Priddy Books, that comes with wipe-clean pages and a dry-eraase pen. Kids can complete scary mazes, decorate a door and design a Halloween monster, or use the included stickers to design a costume and fill a witch’s cupboard. The book is spiral-bound and sturdy, and you can use any dry-erase pen if the one that comes with it goes missing, or if two kids want to work together on a creation (and since the book is spiral, it can be laid out flat to let two kids work on a page simultaneously). If you are able to invest in a few of them, are a nice, reusable handout to kids at the reference desk, classroom for quiet time, or your living room. It’s a fun, creative way to get the Halloween vibes flowing.

Posted in Toddler Reads

Board book fun: Yum Yummy Yuck and A Mischief of Monsters

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I love a good board book: they’re easily portable and ready for a storytime, or to quietly hand to soothe a fussy kid during travel time, storytime, or anytime. They’re sturdy and can hold up to the Mary Poppins-like madness that is my purse, or a toddler’s exploring hands and mouth. And they’re just adorable. Here are two new ones to enjoy.

 

Yum Yummy Yuck, by Cree Lane & Amanda Jones, (Sept. 2019, Prestel Publishing), $9.95, ISBN: 9783791374055

Ages 0-3

Love Leslie Patricelli’s Yummy Yucky? This book takes things a hilarious step further, giving kids some foods that are “yum”, some that are “yummy”, and then… well, some stuff that’s just “yucky”: boogers, for instance, are yucky, no matter what your 2-year-old tells you. Each “yucky” comes with a little lesson: use a tissue; band-aids are for ouchies; there will be regrets if you try to eat sand; and toothpaste gets spit out, for starters. Minimalist art in bright colors, with a wry sense of humor translated through artwork and sparse text make this a hilarious read-aloud that you and the kids will love reading again and again. Like it says on the back cover, this is a “book for the kid who likes to eat boogers”. Priceless.

 

 

 

A Mischief of Monsters: A Book of Noises and Actions, by Roger Priddy, (July 2019, Priddy Books), $8.99, ISBN: 9780312528829

Ages 0-3

Well, what else would you call a group of silly monsters? A Mischief of Monsters is adorable, tactile, silly fun. Rhyming monsters snore, roar, squelch, belch, leap, creep, and more across the pages of this board book, which sports raised shapes and cutouts on each page, letting little fingers (and toes) roam and explore. Different sound effects on ever page make for great storytime reading, and the goofy, colorful monsters encourage kids to shriek with giggles, not fright. The pages are super tough, and will be able to take a beating from multiple readings and play. Priddy Books are always good for toddlers – I’ve been reading them to my own kids for years. The Priddy Books webpage has free, downloadable coloring sheets and puzzles, too. A Mischief of Monsters is a great add to your lapsit Halloween storytimes, or anytime.