Perfect Book to Celebrate National Penguin Awareness Day (January 20th): PENGUIN PROBLEMS by Jory John, illustrated by Lane Smith

January 14, 2017

penguin-problemspenguinPenguin Problems by Jory John, illustrated by Lane Smith

Yes, National Penguin Awareness Day is coming up (January 20th) and what better way to celebrate than to understand what it’s like to be a penguin, straight from the penguin’s mouth?  To hear the penguin narrator tell it, it’s no picnic being a penguin.  First of all, imagine Antarctica–by the way it’s freezing cold!  Not to mention, filled with scary predators for little penguins.  And as readers can tell from the cover, penguins look pretty much alike–how hard do you think it is for mothers to find their own offspring in a big crowd?  Never thought about that, did you?  Well, this grumpy penguin narrator is here to tell it like it is to his human audience. The text is witty and fun:  “Oh, great. An orca. Oh, great. A leopard seal. Oh, great. A shark. What is it with this place?” moans our little friend. Like other books by both author and illustrator, this one is downright hilarious–and imparts some helpful knowledge that helps readers appreciate the life of a penguin. A cute and funny book that will delight young readers–and the adults who share it with them.

And for more book suggestions, check out our blog post from World Penguin Day.


April 25th – World Penguin Day

April 23, 2012

It’s World Penguin Day, and when we were brainstorming ways to celebrate with books, we easily came up with 5 amazing penguin books that we love and are in regular reading rotation around here.  Who knew penguins were so popular?  So without further ado, here are our top 5 penguins.  Who are yours?

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Before this was a movie with Jim Carey (urgh!), it was a delightful book that kids and adults alike love to read and giggle over.  Mr. Popper always wished he’d gotten to travel – especially to the Poles.  So he is thrilled when Admiral Drake sends him a gift.  A penguin (named Captain Cook).  But when one lonely penguin needs another suddenly the two become a dozen and the Poppers are kept quite busy.  It’s a lovely read aloud for the whole family.

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Tacky in Trouble by Helen Lester
Tacky is not equally beloved by kids and adults, but the amount that your little one will chortle over Tacky and his many, many exploits makes up for his slightly elevated annoying factor.  Tacky is not a normal penguin.  He’s not quiet, he’s not well behaved.  But he does always manage to save the day, just by being himself.  Which is actually a pretty good message.

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365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental
Rather like Mr. Popper’s penguins, the penguins in this book seem to multiply.  Actually they do increase by one a day for a whole year, and this book manages to teach math, ecology, art and rhymes all in one charming (oversized) package.

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Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister
This is a lovely first book of penguins from the author and illustrator of The Rainbow Fish books.  A light story, it’s really the charming pictures of fluffy Pete which draws kids to the book over and over again.

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
We discovered this book when writing up a piece on banned books.  Shockingly, this story of two parents who love their baby is THE MOST challenged book in the last 5 years.  Seriously?  People are that threatened by the true story of two (male) penguins who hatched an egg and have been raising a baby girl penguin together in a loving family?  It’s a lovely story, and important to let kids know that families can look like anything at all, as long as there is plenty of love.


Baby Love

February 14, 2014

Bay-booksBabies in our lives?  You bet!  There’s little Boden in Colorado and Annabelle Lee in New Hampshire.  But close by in LA or Portland?  Not so much.  Our toddler friends June and Vivi are clearly in the toddler range now and we find ourselves missing the chance to hold and cherish babies.  So we are honoring babyhood with a few great books that feature the littlest ones and their special attributes.  Huggy Kissy is a board book, best for baby readers and their adult side-kicks.  The rest are also great for toddlers and young readers to share with their families.

BabiesA Book of Babies by Il Sung Na

Il Sung Na is the talented illustrator of delightful books like Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit, and A Book of Sleep.  In this, her latest contribution, she brings the reader on a world-wide tour of  the first day of life for 18 different babies. An ode to the joy of new life!

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Baby-BearBaby Bear by Kadir Nelson

Baby Bear is a wonderful picture book for its compelling illustrations.  Young children delight in the animals that Baby Bear meets in his journey home.  He gets help from animal friends who bolster his self-esteem and give him courage.  And he gets help from other living things; my favorite picture is of him hugging a tree and thinking of home.  The story is slim, but sweet and you can’t go wrong with Kadir Nelson’s art work.

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Baby-penguinsBaby Penguins Everywhere by Melissa Guion

A book of penguins–and of parenting.  Who wouldn’t love an adorable baby penguin when she pops out of a hat?  And then another, and another, and so many adorable baby penguins!  Can there be too many?   New Mama loves them very much, but “we all need time to be alone.”  Lots of fun to see the good-spirited chaos the babies create.  Beautiful illustrations  that match a unique story.

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HuggyHuggy Kissy (a board book) by Patricia Patricelli

Ptricia Patricelli’s board books feature an adorable bald baby, and this one is perfect not just for Valentine’s Day.  This baby is loved by everyone, and families get to interact by encouraging baby readers to be cuddled, hugged, kissed, and tickled as they enjoy the bright (and sturdy!) pages of this board book.  Extra bonus:  your baby will also hug and kiss you, dear reader.


Banned in the USA

September 21, 2011

For those of us who love books, nothing is more infuriating (and completely perplexing) than the notion that any book could ever be banned.  The American Library Association has created an annual Banned Books Week (the last week in Sepetember) celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  One of the goals of the week is to draw attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.  This is an important topic to think about, even if it doesn’t seem to be an issue in your school or community. Kids (or even parents) may not realize how many books are challenged each year, yet are not banned – thanks to the hard work of librarians, teachers, parents and kids.   Take this opportunity to think about books, freedom, censorship and more – and then discuss it with your kids, no matter how young.

Here are some resources to help you explore this topic:

An overview of the importance of this week, from the ALA.

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Here’s a list of the most frequently challenged books, by decade.

And the books most challenged by year (through 2010).  (Yes, you’re reading that correctly – the most challenged book of the last 5 years is a children’s picture book about penguins!)

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Here’s a book jacket gallery of banned books, for the visually inclined.

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And a thought-provoking article about those of us who are politically correct liberals who hate censorship in all forms, and how we cope when we read aloud to our kids and start self-censoring.  (This is Michael Chabon’s article in The Atlantic about reading Huck Finn aloud to his kids.)

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And some thoughts from an author who has been challenged and banned herself.  She also has a great resource on her website for parents, teachers, principals and students for how to respond to challenges. (It’s Judy Blume!!!)


Cinderella Around the World

August 1, 2010

Versions of Cinderella have been told and retold across cultures.  There are so many wonderfully illustrated picture books for these multicultural tales that it’s hard to choose ones to highlight.  We list a handful of our favorites–all kid- and family-tested!–as well as some resources for more.  What better way to spend your reading time this summer than delighting in the Cinderella story told from a range of traditions, countries, and cultures?

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Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn

This Southeast Asian version takes place in a Hmong village.  In order to help her peasant family prosper, Jouanah’s mother allows herself to be transformed into a cow.  When her father takes a new wife, the step-mother is so mean that she tricks the father into sacrificing the cow, and he soon dies of grief himself.  Cruelly treated, Jouanah’s kindness is rewarded by her mother’s spirit who is the “fairy godmother” in this tale.  Rather than a court with princes and princesses, the power of this story comes from the village life including community festivals and the farming families supporting each other.  The characters are illustrated with realistic paintings that are both expressive and captivating to young children and adults alike.

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The Rough Face Girl by Rafe Martin, illustrated by David Shannon

Rough-Face Girl is the youngest of three sisters in this Algonquin folktale set on the shores of Lake Ontario.  She is named the Rough-Face Girl because her skin and even her hair  is scarred from burns from the sparks of the fire that her older sisters make sure she tends.  Rather than a handsome prince, in this version the older sisters both want to marry the “rich, powerful, and supposedly handsome” Invisible Being.  Of course, he recognizes her true inner beauty and marries the Rough-Face Girl.  The story itself is well-told, but it is David Shannon’s illustrations that raise this book to being more than a fine picture book, but a true work of art.  The interesting play of light and dark help shield Rough-Face Girl from showing the readers the extend of her scarring, yet highlight the beauty of the land and the Invisible Being himself.  Kids really appreciate the emotions on the faces of the characters; the evil older sisters sneer and look down their noses at their younger sister.  As a side note, we also really appreciate that Rough-Face Girl depends on herself rather than intervention from a magical being; she creates her own clothes and sets out to meet the Invisible Being herself, despite taunts from her sisters and the other villagers.

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Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

John Steptoe’s retelling of an African folk-tale has many familiar Cinderella elements.  The king invites the young women of his kingdom to his palace so he can choose a worthy wife.  Mufaro is well-known for having two beautiful daughters, who go to meet the ruler. Though both daughters are beautiful, Manyara is quite mean, while Nyasha, the Cinderella character, is good-hearted, kind, and generous.  The king chooses the one who has a good soul, not someone whose beauty is only skin-deep.  The illustrations are simply magical, showing the flowers and fauna of Zimbabwe, which can spark an interest in further investigation of African cultures and countries.

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Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft

Russian children grow up hearing stories about Baba Yaga, the frightening witch who lives in a house that seems to be on stilts, but that are really chicken legs that can walk and move her home.  Both of us were drawn to this folktale as young children, though we read and heard different versions.  In this Cinderella-like folktale, Vasilisa is the mistreated step-daughter who is aided by the magical doll her mother made for her before she died.  With the help of this doll, she is able to perform the impossible tasks that Baba Yaga requires of her–and of course, ultimately marries the Tsar.  The illustrations are reminiscent of the black-laquered wood of Russian folk art paintings and definitely add to the appeal of the book.  There are many intricate details, including large illustrated capital letters, and gorgeous borders.  In this version, Baba Yaga lives in a house of human bones rather than one on chicken legs–maybe even more creepy.  She is one scary witch! But children we know are fascinated rather than terrified by this picture book. Another wonderful read-aloud–take time to absorb the pictures as you read the story.  It’s worth it!

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Cendrillon:  A Carribean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci and Brian Pinkney

This  West Indian version of Cinderella is told from the fairy godmother’s perspective. Here, a poor washerwoman is left a magic wand by her mother and is able to use it to help her dearly loved god-daughter. The lush tropical setting is captured by Brian Pinkney’s beautiful palette of seaside colors.  We love the lyricism of the language with its celebration of French Creole words and phrases.  And the helpful index at the back of the book explains the Creole words for interested readers.

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Smoky Mountain Rose:  An Appalachian Cinderella by Alan Schroeder

Set in the Appalachian Mountains around the turn of the 20th century, this retelling features a kind-hearted–and articulate –hog  “that knew some magic” rather than a fairy godmother, and instead of a fancy dress ball, Rose and Seb get together at a square dance.  Rose’s step-sisters are so mean “they’d steal flies form a blind spider.”  Like Cendrillon, a lot of the fun is in the delightful dialect.  A wonderful read-aloud for the whole family to enjoy the rhythms of the language and the down-home humor.

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Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Al-ling Louie, illustrated by Ed Young

The Chinese version has most of the “classic” elements of the folktale:  a poor, mistreated hard-working young girl, wicked step-mother and step-sister, a ruler looking for a wife, magical help, and a lost shoe. The magical help for Yeh-Shen comes in the form of a magical fish.  She earns his help through her acts of kindness.  Ed Young is a terrific illustrator, and this book is one of his best, with dreamy, misty evocative paintings.

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The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Robert Florczak

Another magical combination of words and pictures.  Robert Floczak’s paintings are so realistic, it’s easy to mistake them for photographs.  And he uses traditional motifs for border designs that really enhance the mood of the story. In this Cinderella version, Settareh is the young heroine who needs new cloth to make a dress to wear to the prince’s celebrations. Instead, she buys an old cracked jug, and in a scene reminiscent of Aladin’s lamp, discovers it is inhabited by a pari who can grant all her wishes.  Of course, she enlists his help to attend the festival in beautiful clothes, and an exquisite diamond ankle bracelet, which–alas–she leaves behind.  Due to her stepsisters’ treachery, the jug is destroyed, and Settareh herself is changed to a turtledove.  Love prevails and her prince is able to return her to her true self.  Shirley Climo, in her afterword,  explains that the story comes from The Arabian Nights and uses authentic Persian elements: setting–the No Ruz, or New Day of both ancient Persian and today’s Iran, Settarch as a popular name for this Persian Cinderella even today, and the Prince’s name which means “one who shows compassion.”

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Domitila:  A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition by Jewel Reinhart Coburn, illustrated by Connie McLennan

Based on a family legend of the Rivera family of Hidalgo, Mexico, this Cinderella tale has more realistic elements than the magic of a fairy godmother, glass slippers, and pumpkin coaches.  Here, Domatila is a skilled young cook and craftsperson who is sent to the Governor’s mansion to cook his meals.  When her mother dies, Domaitla returns home, and the governor’s son misses her wonderful cooking and sets out to find her with only her leather sandal as a clue. There is of course treachery afoot with an evil almost-step-sister, but Domitila prevails.   The oil illustrations are very enticing and draw the reader into the story.  There is even a recipe for Domatila’s nopales on the last page of the book!

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Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal:  A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleishman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Award-winning author Paul Fleishman sets out to create a “new” Cinderella tale drawn from many different versions around the world.  The illustrations by Julie Paschkis are an integral part of the story’s success, since each page uses the folk art and textile patterns from the region of the world that part of the story is drawn from, and she cleverly finds different ways to label the countries as a helpful aid to the reader. Seventeen distinct cultures are represented in this story, and somehow, Flesichman manages to make the narrative work.  The simple device of a mother reading the story to her daughter helps keep the story-teller’s voice consistent.  A wonderful addition to your world-wide tour of  the Cinderella tale.

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We were surprised at the number of terrific multicultural Cinderella resources on the Web.  Here are a few favorites:

ALA Multicultural Cinderella Stories

A comprehensive list of picture book resources for Cinderella worldwide

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Cinderella Folktexts, collected by D. L. Ashliman

Eighteen Cinderella stories from around the world, with the full texts available online.

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The Cinderella Bibliography :

“A thorough and scholarly annotated bibliography of texts, analogues, criticism, modern versions, parodies — ranging from ancient folklore through recent popular culture, and modern scholarship. Organized by Russell A. Peck, University of Rochester”


Classic Books for Tweens

December 4, 2009

“Neither fish nor fowl…”  Though adults often see a tween as a child, for the kids themselves they’re in an awkward nether-land that is equal parts wanting to be a teen and wanting to remain a kid.  It’s often a confusing and frustrating time.  The books that kids read and identify with at this age can really help them explore both who they are and who they want to become- which may be why the best of them are the books that as adults we remember  so vividly and love them so deeply.

When we began to reminisce, our list grew longer and longer.   Revisiting these classic texts helped us pare the number down a bit… but of course we also had to list some of the newer classics that have won the hearts of children in the past decade! We believe the classics we’ve listed below transcend time –and are terrific reads. So here’s a start. . .and as always, we’d love to hear from you about your experiences with these books, and your suggestions for additions.

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Secret-GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary, orphaned in India and sent to live with a crotchety uncle in England, is the very picture of loneliness and misery until she discovers a garden and a cousin that have both been kept a secret and locked away. The care and wonder of the garden nourish Mary, and Mary in turn helps revive the garden, Colin (the cousin) and her uncle. This old fashioned book still connects with kids today- the need for friends and secrets and accomplishments has not lessened as the years pass. Girls especially will also like Burnett’s other timeless classic, A Little Princess.

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From-the-Mixed-upFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

This book is one of the classics that also makes a great read-aloud. It’s an excellent discussion starter for a couple of big talks with your favorite tweens- feelings and art. Why does Claudia feel so ignored and un-special? Do you ever feel that way? Have you ever thought about running away? Why does Claudia react the way she does to the Angel? Have you ever reacted to a piece of art this strongly? Claudia and Jamie’s mystery and ensuing quest may inspire you and your child(ren) to hightail it to the Met yourselves- or your own local, wonderful museum. Segue from this book to another wonderful Konigsburg book, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver.

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Roll-of-ThunderRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

A favorite with children and adults alike, the story is set in the Deep South of the 1930’s and shows the strong family values and commitment of a poor, struggling–and very loving family. It is a deep and powerful novel that portrays heart-rending social injustice and bigotry. The story unfolds through the point of view of the narrator, nine-year-old Cassie. First published 25 years ago, this book is one that stays with young readers, who often move on to reading the two award-winning sequels that continue the saga of the Logan family: Let the Circle Be Unbroken and The Road to Memphis.

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HarrietHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

There are such wonderful, strong and memorable characters in Harriet the Spy, that you may remember the book as being a funny account of that irascible Harriet who loved to spy on other people and write it down. Maybe you also remember Ole Golly, her nurse, or her friends Jane, Beth Ellen (who is also in The Long Secret) and Sport (also in Sport). You may not remember that this is also an unflinching look at coming of age, of being popular, outcast, bullied and finding a way to make amends. Harriet is often unlikeable and wrong, and it’s to Fitzhugh’s credit that this only makes us sympathize with Harriet more. (Seriously, who hasn’t taken an irrational and immediate dislike to someone? Or written something that should never be seen, only to realize we now live in a crazy digital age where our thoughts often end up finding the wrong audience?)

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WitchWitch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Salem witch trials is a subject that continues to fascinate pre-teen (and up!) girls. It could be in part because it was a major historical event that was set in motion by young girls, it could be in part because it explores the persecution of anyone different or outside the societal norm, which many young girls feel describes them. This particular book dealing with the subject is a classic (and has more romance and accessibility than say, The Crucible). Kit lands in somber Puritan Connecticut fresh from being orphaned in sunny and gay Barbados. Her differences, starting with the ability to swim, mark her as other and a perfect target for the witch hunts. Though the tone of the book (and the blossoming romance with Nathaniel Eaton) make you pretty sure that all ends well for Kit, it’s still a nailbiter of a read.

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The-GiverThe Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas is born into an “ideal” world, with no poverty, illness, or unemployment, and everyone lives in a perfectly happy family of four. Sounds pretty good, until you start to see the cracks in the facade of this strictly regimented society with real freedom, choices, passion, or even color. As designated “Keeper of the Memories,” Jonas begins to learn the secret of his society, and moves from being a complacent citizen to a bold rebel. The Giver is a skillfully crafted story which wrestles with profound issues in the midst of a suspenseful plot. This futuristic dystopian novel is a good forerunner to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and is a favorite read for many kids.

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Meet-the-austinsMeet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle

While A Wrinkle in Time may be her more famous book, it is L’Engle’s Meet the Austins (the first in the Austin family series) that finds a special place in your heart and nestles there. Vicki is the heroine that many young girls (especially those that love books and reading) identify with. The middle girl who feels she is lacking the beauty of her younger sister, the determination and brilliance of her older brother and the sweetness and happiness of her baby brother is the prickly one in her family. But it is such a loving and wonderful family that you never doubt that Vicki will blossom and find her place in the world.

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ElijahElijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

It’s 1849, in Buxton Settlement in Ontario. Eleven-year-old Elijah narrates the story, explaining about the people and their lives in his community, which is a haven for former slaves. As the first-born child in the community, Elijah has not experienced the horrors of slavery himself, but as the novel progresses, he meets escaped slaves, and some who have escaped and been recaptured. The book is in turn funny, suspenseful, and emotionally wrenching. While his situation is unique, his adventures with a wild array of characters and his courage in difficult situations connect to today’s readers and is written with an eloquence that appeals across generations. Though this is a fairly recent book, it is already being hailed as a classic by tweens, teachers, and librarians.

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KiraKira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

This story of a Japanese-American family moving to Georgia in the 1950’s is simultaneously warm, loving, funny and heartbreaking. Told by Katie, the younger daughter, it details the hopes and hard work, discrimination and poverty that the family suffers. Katie’s hope and determination is fed by her beloved older sister Lynn, who taught her to find all in life that is “kira-kira” (Japanese for glittery and shining), and she is temporarily lost when Lynn is diagnosed with lymphoma. Kids respond to the narrators realistic voice and emotions.  Parents may find the description of the Mom wearing diapers to work in a chicken factory to support her family a perfect one sentence illustration of a Mother’s love.

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EllaElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Tellings and re-tellings of Cinderella abound, all achieving varying degrees of success. This one is a winner. Ella is given the “gift” of obedience from a fairy at birth. How she deals with it and tracks down the fairy are at the core of the story, and it’s fun to see how the glass slipper, pumpkin carriage and prince are all worked in. Ella’s spunk and charm put her squarely in the realm of Pippi Longstocking and The Paperbag Princess type heroines- in short a great role model for little girls (and boys!).

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Math Picture Books for Young Readers

September 1, 2009

HOP-4-11-2K6--426Good picture books are an great way to open mathematical discussions with children.  There are quite a quite a few excellent ones that correlate with mathematical topics, such as counting, beginning division, multiplication, even the notion of “zero.” We recommend choosing those that also feature engaging stories,inviting language, and high-quality illustrations. Here are a few to introduce to your young learners as you explore all kinds of math concepts–and relish the pleasures of good books at the same time.

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One-childOne Child, One Seed: A South African Counting Book by Kathryn Cave and Gisele Wulfsohn (Photographer)

More than a counting book, One Child, One Seed is also a fascinating exploration of South African community living. The beautiful photographs are artistically arranged on the pages to help tell the story of a seed’s life, and also entice readers to intriguing counting opportunities. Details of life are also woven into the story, as we have the chance to explore the games, transportation, rituals, and home culture of the village. We are even provided with a recipe for isijingi, the pumpkin stew that is eaten at the traditional harvest feast. Simple rhyming text makes this universal story a great readaloud.

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Two-of-EverythingTwo of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong

Both humorous and wise, this folktale tells the story of a magic pot that doubles whatever is placed in it. Discovered by a poor farmer, it seems to be a great gift for him and his wife, who duplicate coin purses and enough gold to fill their hut. But their fortune changes again when they fall into the pot—and create their own doubles! How will they come to a successful resolution of their new life situation? With quick-thinking, and lots of humor thrown in. Beautiful illustrations, mostly in greens and blues, are simple and clear—very fitting for the folktale genre. And the roly poly people are just plain charming.

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A-Place-for-ZeroA Place for Zero: A Math Adventure by Angeline Sparagna Lopresti and Phyllis Hornung

It’s fun to introduce the properties of zero to early readers in a story format. Poor zero! He feels sad and left out among the other digits. In the course of the tale, he meets intriguing mathematical characters like Count Infinity, and readers are introduced to all the ways we rely on the concept of nothing—and its role in place value, infinity, and numerical operations overall. While some concepts will be beyond the youngest readers, it’s still a wonderful preview of mathematical adventurers to come. The illustrations are bright and appealing, and much enjoyed by kindergarten through grade three children.

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I-SpyI Spy Two Eyes: Numbers in Art by Lucy Micklethwait

Is this a book of art appreciation—or a counting book? Luckily for readers, it’s both! On the left-hand page are the numbers (written both as words and symbols) and an object to count, and on the right page is a fine art painting reproduction so the reader can find the object and count each one. Kids really enjoy hunting for the items in the pictures—and it’s a great way for them to closely explore the art. The pictures selected represent a range of artistic styles and are well-displayed and reproduced.

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Ten-Sly-PiranhasTen Sly Piranhas by William Wise and Victoria Chess

This counting backward book is a terrific readaloud, with its enticing rhyme and rhythm. It’s a clever and humorous story about a group of devious fish—pink piranhas—who “with a gulp and a gurgle” devour one another. . .until there is one last piranha left. He, too, meets his fate when a crocodile enters “and then there were none.” The watercolor and pen and ink illustrations are a treat, as they depict the river jungle environment and lots of critters including turtles, snakes, toucans, and frogs.

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Each-OrangeEach Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti illustrated by Donald Crews

Bright and enticing illustrations are the greatest draw of this book. But this vibrant little book is more than beautiful; it’s also a wonderful introduction to mathematical thinking. Patterning, multiplication, and creative problem-solving are all within its pages as well as counting, which makes it a wonderful book or multiage classrooms as well as families with children of different ages. There’s something mathematical for kids from kindergarten through about grade three—and the gorgeous illustrations are for all ages.

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Coin-CountingThe Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams

Coins are a tangible, hands-on, and enjoyable way to explore the concept of money—as well as mathematical ideas like grouping, counting, and creating equivalent values. The illustrations are clear and accessible photographs that children can pore over. The simple rhymes are engaging, too. The book itself is large and easy to handle, making it ideal for young children to explore.

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A-Remainder-of-OneA Remainder of One by Elinor J Pinczes illustrated by Bonnie MacKain

Twenty-five beetles are on parade in this rhyming picture book which also serves as a fine introduction to the concept of division. The blue bug queen “likes to keep things tidy,” so approves the two-by-two formation o the parade. . .except when she sees one is left over! This last bug, Joe, ends up being a “remainder,” and to solve his dilemma, he tries out various formations: by three, by fours,–and finally one that works for him—by fives. The bugs are big, blue, and friendly looking, though each is unique.

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365-penguins365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet

This lively and funny book is a French import and brings its own unique feel in both art and writing. Penguins start arriving, one a day, for a full year. How does the family deal with this penguin onslaught? Over the year, as penguins run amok in the house, the father decides to organize them—in boxes, by dozens, and even cubic formation. The art is stunning, with comical birds shown in large, bright illustrations. There’s an important ecological lesson, too, taught by the children’s scientist Uncle Victor. Besides the fascinating mathematical problem solving, the book has a fun—and funny—narrative line. Younger readers love to search for Little Chilly–with his vibrant blue feet—on each page.

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CityCity by Numbers by Stephen T. Johnson

This picture book features realistic paintings of an urban cityscape. Numbers are hidden throughout the paintings, but you have to look closely at the architecture to find them. For example, the numeral 8 is created by two trashcan rims side by side. It’s a wonderfully creative and artistic book that adults will enjoy for the fascinating architectural detail and beautifully-rendered drawing. A wonderful book to share with the whole family—or classroom.

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MathGrlz


Classic Read-to-Me Books for Early Readers

August 16, 2009

This is the golden age for reading aloud! The stories are more complex and interesting, and there are so many wonderful books to read aloud to kids at this age. You doubtlessly remember several from your own childhood. Many of these books can begin as read-alouds for the family or classroom, and become books that children read to themselves–now or later, depending on their reading abilities. We tried to pick a mix of boy heroes, girl heroes and animal heroes, but the truth is, these books will connect with all the members of your family or classroom in different ways.

Note: For this age group, we’ve split the “Classics” list into two parts, this Read-to-Me section, and “I Can Read Myself Classics.” Be sure to check out that list as well!

For more read-alouds for the Early Weeks of School, Choice Literacy has a wealth of suggestions in their free newsletter, The Big Fresh. You can access these ideas  in the newsletter “There’s Room for Me Here,” under Free for All. 

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Mr.-Popper's-PenguinsMr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

This is the 1938 classic about Mr. Popper who dreamed of being an explorer before settling down to be a husband, father and housepainter. When his letter to Admiral Drake unexpectedly results in the gift of a penguin, kindly Mr. Popper quickly acquires a second to help cheer the first lonely penguin. When the two penguins have some babies, Mr. Popper and his family have to find a way to feed all these penguins- and they come up with “Poppers’ Performing Penguins!” This charming book actually has a lot to teach kids (and parents) about following your dreams and creative problem solving.

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PippiPippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Everyone loves Pippi, and every child wants to be her. Who wouldn’t want to live in a treehouse (with no parents around!), have a suitcase full of gold, a pet monkey, be superstrong, and have fabulous red braids? The book is delightful and funny, and Lundgren very wisely provided the characters of Annika and Tommy as the people that we can imagine being while wishing we were Pippi. The (numerous) sequels never reach the heights of the original, but will delight the hardcore Pippi fans. Let Pippi be your introduction the wonderful Swedish author Astrid Lundgren, who also wrote Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter and The Brother’s Lionheart (be forewarned—this one is a 4 -hankie book!).

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Charlotte's-WebCharlotte’s Web by E. B. White

If ever there was the book that needs no introduction, it’s Charlotte’s Web. Few young readers reach the age of ten without reading –or hearing–this classic about Wilbur the pig and his friends, Charlotte, Fern, and Templeton the rat. A sweet (and sad) tale of friendship, devotion and love will appeal to everyone. (One note of caution- it’s wise to be prepared in advance with your answers about meat coming from animals like Wilbur. Younger readers who happily eat chicken, and know what a barnyard chicken is, often haven’t yet made the connection that they are the same thing. )

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RamonaRamona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Some heroines are princesses (Sleeping Beauty), some are very rich (Eloise), some are fabulously beautiful (Snow White), some are incredibly strong (Pippi) or brave (the Paperbag Princess). Ramona is a normal little girl – funny, smart, energetic, and beleaguered by all the problems every 8 year old faces. Kids love Ramona because they identify with her travails and the way she deals with them. Parents love Ramona for the same reasons. This is actually the second book in the series, which begins with Ramona and Her Father. For those who love the characters, there are several additional titles in the series.

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SuperfudgeSuperfudge by Judy Blume

Everyone, from 4-40 (and beyond) loves Judy Blume. Superfudge is the sequel to Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, but in many ways it’s an even better book. Fudge is a little older, so his antics are funnier and more pronounced, which makes this book a favorite of many kids. It’s also a great book for introducing several topics with your kids- moving, a new baby, and yes, even the existence of Santa Claus (if you don’t feel like your kids are ready to talk about Santa, SKIP THAT CHAPTER- that’s what we did in our family). For families with an age range of kids, one nice idea is to let the older child(ren) read Tales of A Fourth- Grade Nothing to themselves while reading this aloud to the whole family.

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James-and-the-Giant-PeachJames & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda – for this age group you can’t go wrong with any of these Roald Dahl classics. We recommend starting with James and the Giant Peach partly because you can follow up with the fun movie, which is appropriate for younger children and because the animal friends and creatures are fun. It may be a little grittier than you remember, which only makes it better when rereading as an adult! The Lane Smith illustrated edition is wonderful for kids who love Stinky Cheese Man, but you may prefer the classic edition with illustrations by Quentin Blake.

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Little-HouseLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The first of the Little House on the Prairie series is a wonderful introduction to the the Ingalls family. Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in this book. She and her family then traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. As an adult, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. Her books have touched millions of readers as they come to know her and her family through their years of living as pioneers. Important note: Revisiting the books as adults, you may be troubled by a few stereotypical—to the point of prejudicial—views of Native Americans. These comments are infrequent and easy to delete when reading aloud, but the pioneer view of “who owns this land” is woven through the books. For older readers, this is a great way of introducing the topic for teaching and discussion. Another idea is to pair the series with Louise Erdrich’s The Birchbark House, in which the same slice of history is seen through the eyes of the spirited, 7-year-old Ojibwa girl Omakayas, or Little Frog.  (For more information on the whole series of Little House books, check out Little House Memories.)

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Stone-FoxStone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner and Greg Hargreaves

This is a perfect family or classroom read-aloud book, a story of two compelling heroes. Willie is determined to win a dog sled race to save his grandfather’s farm, and he trains with his beloved dog Searchlight every day. Stone Fox, a Native American, has a team of five Samoyeds and has never lost a race. He races to earn prize money so that he can buy back land taken from his people. The description of the race itself is detailed, riveting, and full of suspense. With its powerful, emotional ending, youngsters begin to understand that not every story has a happy ending and you have to learn to accept the good with the bad.

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Mouse-and-motorThe Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Ralph, a mouse, and Keith, a young boy, are two unlikely friends united by their loved of adventure—and riding motorcycles. They share Keith’s bright red shiny toy motorcycle in this imaginative and comical tale. A great road-trip read. And for more adventures, you can follow up with Ralph. S. Mouse and Runaway Ralph.

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VelveteenThe Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and William Nicholson

“‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'” This sentimental tale was first published in 1922—and has been a favorite read-aloud ever since. The toy velveteen rabbit is a gift to a little boy at Christmas time, and he wants to become so loved by the boy that he becomes real. It’s hard to read without a lump in the throat.

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My-Father's-DragonMy Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett

Since the 1940’s, young readers have enjoyed hearing this book—and picking it up to read on their own. This off-beat humorous adventure story introduces us to the narrator’s father, Elmer Elevator, when he was a boy. With the aid of a very strange crew—including pink lollipops, rubber bands, and an old alley cat, he manages to rescue a baby dragon from a faraway enchanted island. What could be better than to fly triumphantly home on the back of a dragon? While there is plenty of action, mostly involving the little boy outsmarting a series of wild animals in order to reach the dragon, there’s nothing the least bit scary here. Readers eager to hear more adventures can follow up with Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland.

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Early Readers

May 29, 2007

From 5 to 9 years old

Early-Readers-Banner

As children become more comfortable with reading familiar books over and over again, alone and with the adults around them, they naturally start “cracking the code” and using their knowledge of the world to understand the words and pictures in books—and read on their own! No need to stop reading aloud books they can’t read by themselves: we have several “kid-tested” books on the lists below that are wonderful read-alouds to share together. We also include “easy reader” books that children can explore and read without adult help—books that have predictable structures and patterns without sacrificing quality of language and illustrations. Enjoy!

Book Lists

Mo Willems: LunchDoodles

RETHINKING THANKSGIVING THROUGH PICTURE BOOKS

November 13th is World Kindness Day:  Picture Books to Read and Share

A Trio of New Early Reader Chapter Books

Classics: Read-to-Me Books

Celebrating Literacy:  Three New Picture Books

Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

Feisty Girls in Early Reader Chapter Books

New Spring Picture Books for Young Readers

What We’re Reading:  Some Terrific Bilingual Picture Books

Resistance! Part I:  Learning From Our Moral Ancestors:  Recommended Picture Books for Young Readers

Mischievous Boys

Early Reader Chapter Books for Boys

Great Role Models for Boys

Classics: Read by Myself

Other Great Read by Myself Books

The Sounds of Language: Multicultural Picture Books for Young Children

Chapter Books for Beginning Readers

Math Picture Books

More Math Picture Books

The Math Adventure Continues

Picture Books:  Understanding the Middle East

Introducing Jazz for Young “Hip Cats”

Cowgirls, Cowboys, and Cowcookies. . .

Series Recommendations for Early Readers

Invitation to Imagination:  Fairy Gardens

New to School

Author! Author! Great Picture Books About Being a Writer

Picture Books for Writers

Halloween Fun

Aliens!  New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

My First Hanukkah Books

Celebrating the New Year with a Trio of Books for Young Readers

Twins in School-Online Resources

Musicians When They Were Children

Mischievous Boys

Celebrating the Silent Movies in Children’s Literature

More New Fall Picture Books

Celebrating a Love of Words

New Picture Books That Celebrate Snow

Related Posts

Let the Children March 

The Long March by Mary-Louise Fitzpatrick

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL by Mo Willems

THE EVIL PRINCESS AND THE BRAVE KNIGHT by Jennifer Holm vs Matthew Holm

HOW TO READ A BOOK by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

THE CRAYONS’ CHRISTMAS by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

CIRCLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen:  Completing the Shapes Trilogy

THE BAD GUYS:  INTERGALACTIC GAS (THE BAD GUYS #5) by Aaron Blabey

THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Jacqueline Woodson

OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by Kate Messner

THE WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK by Jon Agee

THE SOLSTICE BADGER

CINDERELLA OF THE NILE

THE WOLF, THE DUCK , AND THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

MALALA’S MAGIC PENCIL

African American Children’s Illustrated Literature:  A Recommendation by Guest Blogger Tom Romano

Baby Monkey:  Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

LA LA LA:  A STORY OF HOPE by Kate DiCamillo

SNOW AND ROSE: A FAIRYTALE REIMAGINED

Recipes from THE BLISS FAMILY Cookbook

Dory Fantasmagory:  Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon

LITTLE RED:  by Bethan Woolvin:  A New Retelling for Early Readers

THE WORLD IS NOT A RECTANGLE

LEXIE THE WORD WRANGLER

RUDAS: NINO’S HORRENDOUS HERMANITAS

TALES OF BUNJITSU BUNNY by John Himmelman

TRIANGLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

A TOWER OF GIRAFFES

Get Ready to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day, January 27th

THE BAD GUYS

COYOTE MOON by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Bagram Ibatouline

Perfect Book to Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day:  PENGUIN PROBLEMS

THUNDER BOY JR.  by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

THE LATKE WHO COULDN’T STOP SCREAMING:  A CHRISTMAS STORY by Lemony Snicket

Celebrating the New Year with a Trio of Book for Young Readers

British Children’s Literature for Children: Two Treats to Share

WE FOUND A HAT  by Jon Klassen:  Book 3 in the hat series

FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland: A Review and Recommendation

THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA: Mo Willems’ Latest

Beverly Cleary’s Birthday is April 12th-Happy 100th!

Appreciate a Dragon Day: January 16th

February is Grapefruit Month

Max the Brave

Appreciate a Dragon Day

October 29th is National Hermit Day!

Recommendations for Young Musicians

New Classics for Young Readers

New Books Celebrating the Moon for Young Readers

Pirate Update!

Sloths: A Trio of Books to Delight Young Readers

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: THE THIEF AND THE SWORD: A Review

Ninjas Revisted: Three More for Young Readers

July! Time for More Ice Cream and Hot Dogs

And the Winner is. . .VIVA FRIDA!

EL DEAFO:  An Enthusaistic Review!

Downton Abbey for Children’s Literature Fans

April Fool’s Surprise

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: Recommended Graphic Novel for Young Readers

Mustache Fever–in Picture Books

The Princess in Black

February is Library Lovers Month

Winter is Coming

Enzo Races in the Rain!

More Young People Who Make a Difference:  Malala and Iqbal

For Your Growing Alphabet Bookshelf:  Once Upon an Alphabet

Wings and Co.:  Perfect Readalouds for Young Readers

The Latest Nate the Great:  NATE THE GREAT WHERE ARE YOU?

Have a Party With Your Bear Day is November 16th

October is National Pizza Month

Super Ninjas!

Revisiting Fairy Gardens

The Pigeon Needs a Bath

Fresh Veggie Day, June 16th

National Museum Day:  May 18th

Artists’ Lives Through Picture Books

What Happened to PETE THE CAT books?

More Mo!:  Behind the Scenes with MO Willems (Plus I’M A FROG!)

Early reader Series:  New Additions for Your Book shelf

New Books Make Great Holiday Gifts:  Picture Book Edition

CARNIVORES:  A Review

Fairy Gardens II:  Backyard Adventures

Invitations to Write Your Own Version

Pete the Cat at the Beach

Little Red Riding Hood Around the World

Back to School Books

May 19th is Circus Day!

Hans Christian Anderson’s Birthday

Frogs:  Great Early Reader Non-fiction Recommendations

Celebrating Creativity in New Picture Books

Library Mouse:  A Museum Adventure

The Perfect Flower Girl:  A Review

The Sky of Afghanistan:  A Review

This is Not My Hat!:  Review

A Trio of New Picture Books Celebrating Winter

New Winter Holiday Books! We Recommend. . .

My Hands Sing the Blues

I Wonder Why Zippers Have Teeth

Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken:  A Passover Picture Book

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes:  An Easter Picture Book

April 1st-April Fools Day!

April 6th-Discovery of the North Pole

Wow!  Ocean! Recommended

Who are we reading now? Roald Dahl

Book Review:  Isabella:  Girl on the Go

How Many Donkeys:  A New Arabic Counting Book

Cool Cats Head to School

Children Around the World

Books:  Eat or Be Eaten

National Fairy Tale Day

Free Comic Book Day!

ABC Update

Countdown to Halloween

National Train Day

A Non-traditional Passover

Here Comes Horrid Henry

Little House Memories

On Flamingos and Other Obsessions

Book Review:  The 13 Days of Halloween

Ministry of Funny Voices

Book Pairings: One for You and One for Me

Holiday Shopping for Book Lovers

Eat, Read, and Be Merry!

Family Traditions:  Don’t Forget the Books

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Kids Books 2009

Celebrating Spoken Soul in Picture Books

New Poetry Book Review!  The Tighty Whitey Spider

August 21st is Poet’s Day

A Taste of Home


Nursery & Preschoolers

May 29, 2007

From 3 to 6 years old

preschool-banner

Children who are still toddlers often begin being active readers. When a 3-year-old picks up a familiar book and retells a story in an expressive voice, she is reading. When a 4-year old talks through a brand-new book creating a new story, complete with literary terms like, “Once upon a time,” or “The end,” he is reading. They are both accomplishing what more experienced readers and writers do: they are living into the story, and using some of the general mechanics that go along with reading, such as turning pages, holding the book right side up, and using the terms that go along with a book experience. You’ll see quite a bit of overlap in the lists in this category, so feel free to keep browsing the book recommendations for older –or younger—readers.

Book Lists

Building Your Classic Library

Alphabet Books

Many Languages, Many Alphabets

Counting Books

More Math Picture Books

Going to Kindergarten

Picture Books about Museums

Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

My First Hanukkah Books

Ballet Books for Tiny Dancers

Sweet Monsters

Library Love

Trucks, Trucks, Trucks

Introducing Map Books

Books for Caped Crusaders

Precocious Princesses

Pirate Books for Little Mateys

Baby Love

Hello!

Multicultural Picture Books

Introducing Jazz for Young “Hip Cats”

Cowgirls, Cowboys, and Cowcookies. . .

Series Recommendations for Early Readers

New to School

Author! Author! Great Picture Books About Being a Writer

Halloween Fun

Twice as Nice or Double the Trouble?  Early Childhood Books for Twins

Musicians When They Were Children

Feisty Girls in Early Reader Chapter Books

Mischievous Boys

Invitation to Imagination:  Fairy Gardens

Celebrating the Silent Movies in Children’s Literature

More New Fall Picture Books

New Winners for the Preschool Set

A Children’s Literature Love Song for Knitting Nerds

New Spring Picture Books for Young Readers

A Trio of Summer Board Books

A Trio of Books to Celebrate Sloths

New Books Celebrating the Moon for Young Children

New Classics for Young Readers

New Picture Books That Celebrate Snow

RETHINKING THANKSGIVING THROUGH PICTURE BOOKS

November 13th is World Kindness Day:  Picture Books to Read and Share

Get Interactive

Mo Willems: LunchDoodles

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL by Mo Willems

THE CRAYONS’ CHRISTMAS by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Get Ready to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day, January 27th

THIS MOOSE BELONGS TO ME by Oliver Jeffers

GROOVY JOE:  ICE CREAM AND DINOSAURS  by Eric Litwin, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

And the Winner is. . .VIVA FRIDA!

Have a Party With Your Bear Day is November 16th

Downton Abbey for Children’s Literature Fans

Fairy Gardens II:  Backyard Adventures

Put Me in the Story:  My Name is Not. . .

Picture Books for Writers

Back to School Books

May 19th is Circus Day

Everyday Math

Otto the Book Bear:  A Review

What We’re Reading:  Some Terrific Bilingual Picture Books

April 4th-Tater Day

Beautiful Yetta, The Yiddish Chicken:  A Passover Picture Book

Creativity in Action

National Fairy Tale Day

I Spy. . .Literacy!

Creative Fun – Images and Designs, Cookie Cutters and Coloring Pages

A New Love and Lens for the Zoo

Being in the Book:  THE SNOWY DAY

Countdown to Halloween

Related Posts

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

HOW TO READ A BOOK by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

GOODNIGHT EVERYONE by Chris Haughton

HOW TO PUT YOUR PARENTS TO BED by Mylisa Larsen, illustrated by Babette Cole

APPLE by Nikki McClure:  Wonderful New Board Book for Toddlers

IMAGINE A CITY by Elise Hurst

CIRCLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen:  Completing the Shapes Trilogy

GIRAFFE PROBLEMS by Jory John and Lane Smith

WINDOWS by Julia Denos

A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR by Grace Lin

CINDERELLA OF THE NILE

THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Jacqueline Woodson

HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT by Katherine Roy

LA LA LA:  A STORY OF HOPE by Kate DiCamillo

Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri

THEY SAY BLUE by Jillian Tamake

LEXIE THE WORD WRANGLER

THE WOLF, THE DUCK , AND THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

SNOW AND ROSE: A FAIRYTALE REIMAGINED

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY by Ntozake Change

I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein

TALES OF BUNJITSU BUNNY by John Himmelman

Dory Fantasmagory:  Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon

RUDAS: NINO’S HORRENDOUS HERMANITA’S

TRIANGLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

SQUARE by Mac Barnett and John Klassen

Love by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Loren Long

Baby Monkey:  Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

After the Fall:  How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat

A TOWER OF GIRAFFES

BABY LOVES QUARKS! New Board Book for the Littlest Scientist

THE BAD GUYS

COYOTE MOON by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Bagram Ibatouline

Perfect Book to Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day:  PENGUIN PROBLEMS

British Children’s Literature for Children: Two Treats to Share

SHHH! WE HAVE A PLAN

WE FOUND A HAT  by Jon Klassen:  Book 3 in the hat series

Poetry for the Whole Family:  SAIL AWAY by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Ashley Bryan

FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland:  A Review and Recommendation

IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING A PIANO TO THE BEACH, DON’T!

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

April 30th is Save the Frogs Day

Max the Brave

Who Done it?

Sloths:  A Trio of Books to Delight Young Readers

July! Time for More Ice Cream and Hot Dogs

New Interactive Books for Young Readers

Mustache Fever–in Picture Books

The Princess in Black

Winter is Coming

Enzo Races in the Rain!

For Your Growing Alphabet Bookshelf:  Once Upon an Alphabet

National Hat Day

The Pigeon Needs a Bath

Nino Wrestles the World:  A Review

What Happened to PETE THE CAT books?

Edgar Gets Ready for Bed

Aliens!  New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

New Books Make Great Holiday Gifts:  Picture Book Edition

More Mo!:  Behind the Scenes with Mo Willems (Plus:  I’m a Frog!)

Aliens! New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

CARNIVORES:  A Review

Pete the Cat at the Beach

Library Mouse:  A Museum Adventure

Celebrating Creativity in New Picture Books

The Perfect Flower Girl:  A Review

The Sky of Afghanistan:  A Review

This is Not My Hat!:  Review

A Trio of New Picture Books Celebrating Winter

New Winter Holiday Nooks! We Recommend. . .

My Hands Sing the Blues

Mo Willems:  My Hero!

Revisiting the Night Sky:  Featuring Picture Books!

One Good Book About Golf

Internaltional Children’s Book Day, April 2nd

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes:  An Easter Book!

Twins in School-Online Resources

Who are we reading now?  Roald Dahl

Book Review:  Isabella:  Girl on the Go

How Many Donkeys:  A New Arabic Counting Tale

Cool Cats Head to School

Children Around the World

The Return of Favorite Characters

Speaking Some Dead Languages

My Name is Not Alexander

Books:  Eat or Be Eaten

Book Review:  ASTRO THE STELLAR SEA LION

What’s in a Name?

My Name is Not Isabella:  Book Review

More Ken Nesbitt with MORE BEARS

A Taste of Home

National Train Day!

For the Easter Basket. . .

A Non-traditional Passover

Dump and Stir

Two New Books for Spring

Inscribe It

Supercapes for Superheroes

Counting on Kids

Two New Books by Rachel Isadora

I Hate TV. . .But YouTube is Another Story

A Special Reading Place

First the Egg

On Flamingos and Other Obsessions

Ministry of Funny Voices

Book Pairings:  One for You and One for Me

Holiday Shopping for Book Lovers

Eat, Read, and Be Merry!

Family Traditions:  Don’t Forget the Books!

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Kids Books 2009

Celebrating The Snowy Day

Celebrating Spoken Soul in Picture Books

A Pipkin of Pepper (What We’re Reading Right Now)

ABC Update