Well, it’s Mother’s Day and I just received phone calls from both of my sons, so it’s been a good day! This book, This is Sadie, is all about a child and her imagination. I loved this book for many reasons, but probably most importantly because it reminded me of my own kids when they were growing up. Just like Sadie, they had lots of toys and art supplies, but some of the most fun they had, at least in my memory, were the times when they were lucky enough to have an appliance box to play with. It would morph into so many different things from a ship to a Millennium Falcon to a castle. In the winter there were always pillows and blankets, along with the dining room table to help them hatch a new idea for another adventure. I hope your Mother’s Day was as special as mine, and your days are full of happy memories with your little ones. 💕
My last post was about new picture books and chapter books for kids. There were so many picture books that I wanted to include in that post, but the list was getting a little lengthy, so I decided to write about some more new picture books this week. I’ve included ideas about using the books, which I hope are helpful. These are books that were published recently, and I didn’t want you to miss them!
I WISH YOU MORE BY AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL AND TOM LICHTENHELD
This is a heart warming story that would be a perfect graduation or baby gift. The narrator wishes the children many things from “I wish you more ups than downs,” to “I wish you more stories than stars.” And each wish is accompanied by a darling picture which perfectly illustrates the wish. In fact, I just put it into my Amazon cart so I’ll be prepared for those graduations!
Read aloud for all ages; great baby or graduation gift
ASK ME BY BERNARD WABER
The illustrations in this book by Suzy Lee captivated me when I first saw it on the book store shelf. The golds, oranges, and reds are so alive and so happy. Ask Me is a heartwarming story about a walk that a father and daughter take through the park and woods. We learn that this is just an ordinary walk on an ordinary day, but each of them are delighted to be with one another, to be outside and to be enjoying and observing everything around them. The little girl keeps up a running narrative telling her dad to ask her lots of questions about everything from ice cream cones to lightening bugs. This continues until Daddy tucks her in with a good night kiss.
Read aloud preK – grade 2, illustrations, families.
LITTLE RED BY BETHAN WOOLLVIN
The illustrations are all black and white except for a tiny bit of red on each page, which gives a sinister feel to the story from the very beginning of this “fractured fairy tale” about Little Red Riding Hood. This Little Red isn’t at all afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. She sees through his disguises and his trickery and decides to play along, which leads to an unhappy ending for the wolf. The story requires a lot of inferences throughout the book, which will lead to many discussions whether it be one on one or in a class setting. In fact, I am using this as an example of an updated fairy tale when I am a guest teacher in some second grade classes.
K – 6; fractured fairy tale example; inferences
FINDING WINNIE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLDS MOST FAMOUS BEAR BY LINDSEY MATTICK
From the amazing end papers through the family photo album at the end of the book, the story and the illustrations in this year’s Caldecott Winner,tell the story of the little bear who inspired the Winnie the Pooh books, It was written as a true story for the author’s son about his great great grandfather and his bear who became Winnie in the A.A. Milne books. I think this is going to be my new “go-to” gift! This is one to keep!
Read aloud for all ages; baby gift
LITTLE TREE BY LOREN LONG
Little Tree loves his life in the forest and especially loves his leaves. When autumn arrives, he refuses to let his leaves fall, although all of his friends surrounding him have shed theirs. In the spring, he notices his friends have grown a bit, but he’s just the same. This continues for many years until Little Tree is by far the smallest tree in the forest, which finally convinces him to let go of his leaves and to begin to grow. This sweet story encourages us to have the strength and the bravery to face change and to welcome the future. Loren Long, the author of the Otis books, has given us another very special book to add to our libraries.
Read aloud for all ages; growing up; bravery
IDEAS ARE ALL AROUND BY PHILIP STEAD
The newest book from Caldecott Medal winning author, Philip C. Stedman, which has earned four starred reviews, is a remarkable and simple picture book with a mixture of photographs and splatter art, as well as ink and watercolor drawings. It is the story of the author and his dog’s wanderings through their neighborhood as they notice everything around them from the frog in his pond, to the line at the soup kitchen, to a train roaring by. As the author sits and talks with his friend, Barbara, and his dog, Wednesday, chases squirrels, he realizes that thoughts lead to more thoughts and that ideas are truly all around. You just need to know where to look!
Read aloud for all ages; imagination; creativity
Octopuppy by Martin McKenna
Edgar wanted a dog for his birthday, but somehow he ended up with an octopus named Jarvis. Edgar does his best to make Jarvis into a puppy, but Jarvis just doesn’t fit in. After disappointing Edgar many times, Jarvis leaves. This book teaches a great lesson that we need to appreciate our friends for their talents and not expect them to change into someone we want them to be. Be sure and check out the amazing end papers!
PreK – grade 2; friendship
last stop on market street by matt de la pena
This book won almost more awards than you can count. In addition to the 2016 Newbery Medal, it also won a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book Award, a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book Award, a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book Award of 2015 and a Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015. It tells the story of a boy and his grandma’s bus ride through the city on a Sunday after church. Grandma’s appreciation of everyone and everything they encounter helps CJ to find the beauty in the world that he never thought about before.
Read aloud PreK – grade 5; appreciation of beauty; optimism
please mr. panda by steve antony
I learned about this book through an Instagram post by Appyreading.com. By following Appy Reading, I have learned about many wonderful books, including this one. Mr. Panda has an entire box of donuts he wants to share with his friends. He asks each friend, and they always have an answer, but it’s never the right one until one friend knows the perfect way to ask for a treat! Your little one will be willing each animal to ask the “right way”. The story provides a great opportunity for a conversation about the polite way to ask for something, whether it’s at home or when they’re at the library or a restaurant!
Read aloud preK – grade 2; manners; sharing
this is Sadie by sara O’Leary
The charming illustrations of this book pulled me in and then the story captivated me. As you can tell, I love this book! It describes all of the places and all of the things a child can do with imagination. It’s tells about the childhood that we dream about, and wish for all of our children. It’s definitely on my baby gift list!
Read Aloud; PreK – grade 2; imagination, illustrations, baby gift.
who done it? by Olivier tallec
I learned about this through an online friend, who writes amazing book reviews on her blog and on Instagram, averyandaugustine.com. This book provides lots of opportunities for conversation with your preschooler, which in turn gives them practice in conversing, and helps teach inferential and early reasoning skills. It’s going to be a favorite for both of you, because you’ll love hearing your child’s different answers every time you read, Who Done It?
Read aloud; PreK – grade 2; inference, questioning, early reasoning skills.
the dark by Lemony snicket
I was first attracted to this book because of the author, Lemony Snicket. He was a favorite in my library for many years, because of his chapter book series, A Series of Unusual Events. I was curious about what his picture book might be about. As it turns out, it is just what the title suggests! It tells the story of Laszlo who is afraid of the dark (as I sometimes am during the dark winter days in northern Michigan!). It would be a great read aloud with your child who might be feeling the same way. It brings up lots of thoughts and ideas about the dark and why we need it. A wonderful bonus for this book, are the illustrations by Jon Klassen. You may recognize his style from another very popular book during the last year, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.
Read aloud preK – grade 3. Fear of the dark.
raindrop rolls by april pulley sayre
I first learned about this book, through a review on A Storybook Year blog. This is an ambitious family project where they read aloud a new storybook every day and then share a review on their blog. I’m sure you’d find some new books, if you browse through the posts.
The cover photograph of Raindrops Roll gives you an idea of the delight you will feel as you turn the pages of this photo illustrated nonfiction book. Raindrops Roll tells the story of what happens to all of nature in a forest, both during a rain shower and after the rain stops. It includes a brief science section at the end of the book that explains what is happening to the water on each page.
When I was with a three year old this past week, who was fascinated with taking pictures of his aunt to be as she tried on her wedding gown, I had an idea about this book. This would be a great introduction to your children about photography and science, and perhaps they could make their own photographic science book!
Read aloud all ages; science of water cycle; nonfiction; photography
Are there some new picture books you’d like us to know about? Please let me know in the comments!