Archive for the ‘Good for the Very Young’ Category

Review of Bear & Hare: Where’s Bear? by Emily Gravett

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Bear & Hare

Where’s Bear?

by Emily Gravett

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. Originally published in Great Britain in 2014. 28 pages.
Starred Review

Here’s a sweet toddler-friendly story that provides counting practice along the way.

The text is simple. The first line is the most complicated one of the whole book:

Bear and Hare are playing hide-and-seek.

From there, the words are the numbers 1 through 10 written large, stretching across the page, showing Hare with his eyes covered. On the other side of the spread, next to the number 10, are the words “Where’s Bear?”

We turn the page and see Bear trying very inadequately to hide behind a lamp. Hare is pointing and saying, “There!”

The idea repeats.

After three tries where Bear is very easy to find, we see:

Maybe Hare should try hiding instead?

We’ve got the big numbers across the page again, this time with “Where’s Hare?”

Hare’s a lot harder to find. Sharp readers will spot his ears poking out. But when Bear looks under the blanket, the bed calls to him. Now Hare comes out and can’t find him!

It all ends with Hare shouting “I WANT BEAR!”

On the final page, we’ve got a cozy hug, and the words “There.”

You couldn’t ask for a cozier story to make toddlers feel clever – and get counting practice in, too.

emilygravett.com
simonandschuster.com/kids

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Follow Me! by Ellie Sandall

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Follow Me!

by Ellie Sandall

Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2016. First published in Great Britain in 2015. 32 pages.

I’m going to use this book in Toddler Storytime this week. It’s got lilting, simple language with not a lot of text on each page.

The pictures show lots of lemurs, exploring with their striped tails high in the air.

It’s time to wake up!
Come down from the tree.
Follow me,
follow me,
follow me! . . .

Things to hunt,
things to chase,
things to scare,
things to race.
Follow me,
follow me,
follow me!

When their explorations bring them face-to-face with a crocodile, all the lemurs quickly follow the leader the other direction, back to the tree.

This is a fun story with lots to look at. It ends with a cozy pile of sleeping lemurs.

simonandschuster.com/kids

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The Giant Jumperee, by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The Giant Jumperee

by Julia Donaldson
illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. 32 pages.

This extra large picture book with warm and friendly pictures would be perfect for a Toddler Storytime. There aren’t too many words on a page, and the situation is a little tiny bit scary – with a happy payoff.

The beginning page shows Rabbit standing on his two hind legs and looking at his burrow with surprise.

Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow.

“I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’m scary as can be!”

Rabbit goes to Cat for help, who promises to slink inside and pounce on the Giant Jumperee.

But the Giant Jumperee shouts, “I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’ll squash you like a flea!”

Next Bear and then Elephant are likewise frightened away by a loud voice making scary threats.

But Mama Frog is undaunted, even though all the animals warn her what the Giant Jumperee told them. Savvy readers will not be surprised that the Giant Jumperee is not so giant when he comes out.

The animals aren’t angry to be fooled. They’re all pictured laughing heartily. And Mama Frog tells the Giant Jumperee that now he’s coming home for tea.

And it looks like Rabbit, Cat, Bear, and Elephant will join them.

This is a happy book with just that little taste of a small critter trying for power. I wouldn’t be surprised if little ones would want to try acting this out themselves.

penguin.com/youngreaders

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump! by K. L. Going, illustrated by Simone Shin

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump!

by K. L. Going
illustrated by Simone Shin

Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster), 2017. 44 pages.
Starred Review

Ah! Here’s a lovely new book just right for toddler story time. The words sing, and point out the sounds a child might hear as they go about their day.

Here’s how it begins:

Wagon on gravel goes bumpety-bump.

Pebbles in the pond fall dunkety-dunk.

Toes in the grass go thumpety-thump.

Bumpety, dunkety, thumpety-thump.

The above takes up a two-page spread for each line.

Then the action continues: The children pick berries. When plopped into the bucket, they go plunkety-plunk. They take them home and make a pie with their parents, with more onomatopoeia happening.

Then there’s washing up – both dishes and children.

The final set of the day goes like this:

Nose taps nose with a bumpety-bump.

Snuggle in the blankie in a lumpety-lump.

Hearts beat close with a thumpety-thump.

Bumpety, lumpety, thumpety-thump.

Like all good bedtime books, this one ends with children asleep in bed – but there is enough action and rollicking rhyme going on, that it can be read any time of the day.

This sweet book begs to be read aloud.

klgoing.com
simoneshin.com
simonandschuster.com/kids

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of Welcome, by Mo Willems

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Welcome

A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

by Mo Willems

Disney Book Group, 2017. 28 pages.
Starred Review

Yay! I have been invited to a baby shower, so I have a reason to purchase this book! I actually read it last year when visiting my newborn niece, but I didn’t have a chance to write a review. Now I’ve been enjoying the book before I wrap it up….

What I need to do is simply urge you to read this book. It’s brilliant. You will enjoy it.

I’ll say a little bit about it. It’s written as a sort of travel guide for a new baby, telling them what to expect. The illustrations are essentially icons, as found in manuals. It’s funny and charming.

A wonderful touch is that most pages end with the words “while we read this book together.”

Here’s a nice page at the start:

PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY

Many activities are available for you to enjoy,
including, but not limited to:

SLEEPING and WAKING,
EATING and BURPING,
POOPING and MORE POOPING.
[All the capitalized words have icons on the facing page.]

Other options are available upon request
and will be updated on a regular basis.

Of our current offerings, I can personally recommend
your being right here with me . . .

while we read this book together.

And here’s a nice page at the end:

CONDITIONS MAY VARY

We will strive to make your stay
as comfortable as possible. However . . .

There will be TURBULENCE.
There will be UNEXPECTED EVENTS.
There will be HUMAN ERROR.

Fortunately, we are happy to provide you LOVE

At no extra cost.

A warm and delightful book that tells newcomer what they can expect out of life, and that they have people standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide Love.

May this book get many chances to be read child and parent together.

pigeonpresents.com
hyperionbooksforchildren.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a book I purchased via Amazon.com to give away.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Supertruck, by Stephen Savage

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

supertruck_largeSupertruck

by Stephen Savage

A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, New York, 2015. 32 pages.
2016 Geisel Honor Book
Starred Review

When I first read this book, I gave it a glance through, and wasn’t tremendously impressed. I automatically cringe from anthropomorphic trucks, so I missed it’s charm.

Then Supertruck won a Geisel Honor. Then I was scheduled to do a Mother Goose Story Time (for ages 0 to 24 months) the day before a blizzard was expected. I checked Supertruck, and it was absolutely perfect.

The text is simple, with only a sentence or so on each page. This is perfect for reading to very little ones, and also perfect for kids just learning to read.

Yes, the trucks are a little bit anthropomorphic, but it’s very simply done. Stephen Savage’s typical graphic design look adds a simple and friendly face to each truck. I love the way the garbage truck wears glasses.

The story is simple. We meet three colorful, important trucks: a bucket truck, a fire truck, and a tow truck. They do important things, while the garbage truck just collects the trash.

Then it starts snowing, and the city is caught in a terrible blizzard.

Just then, the garbage truck sneaks into a garage and becomes . . .

SUPERTRUCK!

The glasses have disappeared, and he now sports a plow blade in front. He digs out the city, makes a path for the other trucks, and saves the day.

The next morning, the trucks wonder about the mighty truck who saved them. Where could he be?

He’s just collecting the trash.

The final picture has snow falling again, and Supertruck heading into a garage with a sly smile on its face. Kids will love being in on the secret. Grown-ups will love the deft play on superhero tropes.

This book is brilliant. Wonderful reading during a storm, but I predict it will still get turned to when the weather is hot. For any kid who loves trucks, as well as any kid who dreams of secret super powers. Or any kid who enjoys a well-told, simple story.

mackids.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of 8: An Animal Alphabet, by Elisha Cooper

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

8_large8

An Animal Alphabet

by Elisha Cooper

Orchard Books, New York, 2015. 36 pages.
Starred Review

Okay, this book is wonderful. For teaching about the alphabet, about counting (to eight!), about identifying multiple animals.

You get the concept of the concepts presented here right on the first page:

Find the one animal on each page that is pictured 8 times – 8 ants, 8 badgers, 8 chickens. Find all the other animals, too. Some may be familiar, such as a cat, and some not, such as a muskrat. (For help, see the “Did you know” section in the back.) But every animal is amazing and beautiful in its own way. Especially the hippopotamus. Let the exploring begin!

*Why the number 8? Because 8 is great. Because 8 is round and adorable. Because 8 is fun to count to (move over, 10). Because 8 is not too big, and not so small, but just right. Because 8 is my favorite number.

This is indeed a book for exploring. You can pretty quickly see on each page which animal is pictured 8 times, but it’s not a rubber stamp. The animal is pictured in 8 different poses, or perhaps even 8 different varieties of the animal. I grant you, the 8 ants aren’t terribly varied, but the 8 chickens include roosters as well as hens, the 8 goats include some kids, and the 8 moths and 8 newts come in many different colors.

As mentioned in the introduction, not all the animals are familiar. Some notable pages include:

Aardvark, abalone, albatross, alligator, alpaca, ant, anteater, antelope, armadillo

Camel, cat, caterpillar, chameleon, cheetah, chicken, chimpanzee, chipmunk, cicada, clam, cockroach, cow, coyote, crab

Panda, parrot, pelican, penguin, pheasant, pig, pigeon, platypus, porcupine, possum, puffin

Salmon, sandpiper, seagull, sea horse, seal, sea turtle, shark, sheep, skunk, sloth, slug, snail, squid, squirrel, starfish, swallow, swan, swordfish

The format of the book is the large and small letter in a corner of the page and the names of the animals at the bottom. The animals are all mixed up on the page, not necessarily to scale. These are paintings, not photos, but they’re lovely paintings, and you definitely get the idea. But the key in the back of the book will be needed.

So this is a good book for kids who like “Where’s Waldo” or any book of detailed pictures. I suspect it will take a few times through the book before parents know which animal matches every single name. And of course, one of the animals on each page shows up 8 times. So of course you will count them!

The key at the back has the heading “Did you know?” and each of the 184 animals in the book has a small picture and some facts about it. Here are some examples:

AARDVARK
Aardvarks are sometimes known as “ant bears.”

ARMADILLO
Armadillos spend almost eighteen hours a day napping.

BUTTERFLY
Butterflies taste with their feet.

DEER
Deer can see blue, yellow, and green, but not orange or red.

DUNG BEETLE
Dung beetles are able to tell which direction they are going from the position of the sun and the stars.

FERRET
A group of ferrets is called a “business.”

GIBBON
Gibbon couples start each day by hooting at each other.

GNAT
An evening swarm of male gnats is called a “ghost.”

LEMUR
Lemurs enjoy sunbathing.

OYSTER
A single oyster filters over forty gallons of water a day, cleaning water for other animal life.

RHINOCEROS
The skin of the rhinoceros is more than an inch thick.

VULTURE
Vultures poop and pee on their legs to keep themselves cool.

XERUS
Xeruses hold their tails over their heads to shade themselves from the sun.

YABBY
A yabby’s shell will match the color of the water it grew up in.

YAPOK
Yapoks have both webbed feet and stomach pouches.

Savvy parents probably won’t get started reading all 184 animal facts the first few times through the book. Pointing and naming and counting will keep you plenty busy.

This looks like a perfect book for my toddler-soon-to-be-preschooler nieces, or for anyone interested in exploring, naming, learning, and counting.

elishacooper.com
scholastic.com

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/8.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Dinosaur Kisses, by David Ezra Stein

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Dinosaur Kisses

by David Ezra Stein

Candlewick Press, 2013. 32 pages.
Starred Review

Reading this book makes me want to immediately do a toddler storytime. It’s got so many elements to make toddlers giggle: Kisses, dinosaurs, and stomping, chomping, and whomping.

Dinah is a baby dinosaur who discovers she likes stomping (STOMP!) and chomping (CHOMP!). Then she sees a kiss and wants to try that. There’s a lovely and oh-so-frightening page as she sets off: “Who can I kiss?”

She doesn’t get it right. Cue lots of toddler giggles.

“I will kiss you!”

WHOMP!

“Whoops,” said Dinah.

Even I laughed out loud when I first read these pages:

“This time, if I’m really, really careful and I only use my lips . . .

then I can do it!

“I will kiss you!”

[page turn]

But she ate him.

“Whoops,” said Dinah. “Not good.”

It all ends with silly happiness when Dinah finds a newly hatched dinosaur like herself who has the same ideas about kisses.

A wonderful, whomping, stomping romp!

candlewick.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of One Two That’s My Shoe! by Alison Murray

Friday, April 12th, 2013

One Two That’s My Shoe!

by Alison Murray

Disney Hyperion Books, New York, 2012. First published in Great Britain in 2011. 28 pages.

Simplicity. This book has it, in a beautiful form.

I recently had the joy of being promoted to Youth Services Manager at my library branch, so I get to do children’s programs again! Tomorrow, I’m doing a Mother Goose Time for babies from birth to eighteen months. In Mother Goose Time, we mainly do rhymes and songs in the parent’s lap. But I like to work in three books that are short and simple and that the parents can read along with me.

One Two That’s My Shoe! is perfect. The text is reminiscent of the old rhyme “One Two Buckle My Shoe,” going from one to ten with a rhyme after every second number. However, this book puts a story to the rhymes. With One Two, a dog has taken a little girl’s shoe, and is running away with it.

With each number, the pictures show that many objects that the dog is running past — toys, butterflies, flowers, trees, chicks and hens. The ten hens add a little inside joke. You’d expect Nine, Ten to rhyme with “Big Fat Hen” as in “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” but instead the girl shoos them away, recovers her shoe, and hugs the dog with the words “Friends again!”

This book is simple. The illustrations are done with printmaking, and look old-fashioned and classic. With at most three words on a page, you can read it quickly for the little one with a short attention span, but there’s plenty to talk about. Will the dog get away with the shoe? What will stop him?

As a counting book, it’s also excellent. All the objects passed are easily counted, with none tricky to find, but covering a wide scope of objects, and variety within the objects. The objects are not identical, but it’s easy to see that they belong together. Each number is both written out in the text and represented by a numeral in a corner. Next to the numeral, there are silhouettes of the object counted in the picture, so it’s nice and clear.

This is simply a lovely first counting book, and one that parents and children won’t get tired of any time soon. I’m happy to show it off at Mother Goose Time tomorrow.

disneyhyperionbooks.com
12thatsmyshoe.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I write the posts for my website and blogs entirely on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of If Rocks Could Sing, by Leslie McGuirk

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

If Rocks Could Sing

A Discovered Alphabet

by Leslie McGuirk

Tricycle Press, Berkeley, 2011. 42 pages.
Starred Review

Quite simply, this book is wonderful.

It’s an alphabet book where all the letters are made of rocks. What’s more, all the objects that the letters start for are also made of rocks.

She’s got some normal words for alphabet books with surprising rock shapes: e is for elephant. (Yes, the rock is shaped exactly like an elephant head!) i is for igloo. (Yes, an igloo-shaped rock, complete with a door.) L is for Lemon. r is for rabbit. You get the idea.

Then there are also some surprising words, with perfect rock illustrations: c is for couch potato. (A potato-shaped rock is resting on a couch.) J is for Joy. (Two happy faces smiling at one another.) O is for Ouch! (This rock looks like it’s been punched in the nose.) T is for Toast. (I would not realize that rock was not a piece of bread if it weren’t in this book.) And the book does pass the X test: X is for XOXO. The rock looks exactly like two people locked in an embrace.

At the end of the book, the author explains how her collection got started:

This is a book born from the sea. Some people walk the beach searching for shells, all the while passing by the little rocks that make up this book.

This collection began more than ten years ago, as I discovered rocks on the Florida seashore that looked like letters. It became a real passion of mine to complete the entire alphabet. For many years, I waited for the letter K to appear. There was nothing I could do to make it show up. I understood that nature has its own timing, and my job was to be aware and expectant. The natural world is rich with inspiration. Finding these letters, and rocks that looked like objects to match them, was a process of believing that anything is possible. These are beautiful sculptures, little works of art. I feel honored to share these rocks with the world. These compositions are intended to allow these rocks to speak for themselves . . . and for us to imagine what we would hear if rocks could sing.

This book will inspire the reader to start a collection of their own. Or at the very least to look at nature with fresh eyes. This is now among my favorite alphabet books.

lesliemcguirk.com
randomhouse.com/kids

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I write the posts for my website and blogs entirely on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.