Wiggle

Image Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), Doreen Cronin/Scott Menchin

Image Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), Doreen Cronin/Scott Menchin

I have to admit, I wiggled while reading this book. It makes you wiggle. Honest! It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a cute story time book! I think your kids will enjoy this one a lot; especially the toddlers.

Puppy dog has the wiggles all day long from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed! He even wiggles while making breakfast…and that’s a little messy. This book encourages children to wiggle along; it gets them up and moving along with the story. Doreen Cronin always knows how to write great rhymes for speaking aloud.

Wiggle also has great art! I love the colorful ink illustrations and the puppy is so cute! The book’s cover is very striking. Menchin includes photographs in the illustrations in a collage style; puppy has a real pancake on his head and a cute little yarn outfit for his trip to visit the polar bears. Children will like this story time book and you’ll probably get a few giggles as well as wiggles! If this book is a hit, check out the accompanying books Bounce and Stretch.

Recommended for: Toddlers and young children
Great for: Storytime, Rhyme, Movement, Colors, Animals, Dogs
Book Info: Wiggle by Doreen Cronin/Illustrated by Scott Menchin, 2005 Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), ISBN: 9780689863752

Billy and Goat at the State Fair

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), Dan Yaccarino

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), Dan Yaccarino

An outgoing goat and a timid young boy go on an adventure at a State Fair. Ah, this is a good one. Honestly, I’m a little biased because I really enjoy Dan Yaccarino’s stories and art style. So when I saw this book on the shelves, I made “grabby hands” and made it my staff pick, naturally.

This story is so very sweet. Billy is a very introverted boy but his goat friend is quite the opposite; he’s a little dude who loves adventures! Goat is excited to go to the big State Fair but Billy is afraid…yet he goes to support his friend in the Best Goat Competition. Goat gets a little distracted though, and explores the fair while Billy scrambles to find him. Goat gets Billy out of his comfort zone and before he knows it, they’re both enjoying all the State Fair has to offer. When friends support each other (and give a little nudge of encouragement), great things happen.

Oh let’s talk about the art! Something about Yaccarino’s style sings to me. I’m also a big fan of the Doug Unplugged books and Every Friday (so sweet). I love his use of color, shape and line and the retro feel of his art. I often place him in my mind with Bob Staake and Stephen Savage. I love the little details in his art for the State Fair; a simple white outline for a glass bottle with a black ring, yellow teacup rides with black shadowed figures. It’s about the little things and Yaccarino excels at them. I can’t recommend this story of friendship enough. 🙂

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Friendship, Colors, Discussion, Animals
Book Info: Billy and Goat at the State Fair by Dan Yaccarino, 2015 Alfred A. Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780385753258

Specs for Rex

Image Credit: Bloomsbury, Yasmeen Ismail

Image Credit: Bloomsbury, Yasmeen Ismail

I remember when I started wearing glasses in the 8th grade. I wasn’t too thrilled about having a pair of weird things on my face all the time. Most of us have gone through a stage in our life when we didn’t like something about our appearance. In the cute picture book, Specs for Rex, Rex is SUPER DETERMINED to get rid of his bright red glasses.

Rex tries every way possible to hide his new glasses. He even puts them in his jelly sandwich at lunchtime! During Art time, he makes a mess painting his glasses in order to turn them into sunglasses. Thanks to his teacher, he gets a boost of confidence when he realizes just how helpful brand new glasses can be. Ismail’s vivid watercolor illustrations are great; they’re perfect for portraying Rex’s messiness while he romps through his classroom. This is a great book for children who are feeling a little self conscious. It reminds them that it’ll all work out in the end!

Recommended for: Kindergarten and up
Great for: Colors, Friendship, Confidence, Classroom, Community, Discussion, New Glasses
Book Info: Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail, 2014 Bloomsbury, ISBN: 9781619637108

Where’s Walrus? and Penguin?

Image Credit: Scholastic, Stephen Savage

Image Credit: Scholastic, Stephen Savage

I picked this book up to review and then I looked at the author and these were my thoughts “Oh I like this one a lot, let’s review it…OMG it’s Stephen Savage. No wonder I like it!” I previously reviewed his book Supertruck which is about a garbage truck with a secret identity. His most recent book however is about adventurous zoo animals. I love the endpaper. I’ve mentioned before how much I love endpapers… 🙂

Look at the beauty

Look at the beauty

On a rainy day at the zoo, Walrus and Penguin make a break for it. Mr. Zookeeper searches for them throughout the city but they’re just too clever at blending in. This is a silly book that’ll provide lots of chuckles for you and your child. You’ll enjoy searching for Walrus and Penguin on each page. There’s room for discussion and storytelling because the story is wordless. Savage’s signature simplistic, bold digital illustrations are great. If you love this one, be sure to check out the original book, Where’s Walrus? because it’s just as awesome!

Recommended for: Toddlers and young readers
Great for: Storytelling, Colors, Animals, Humor
Book Info: Where’s Walrus? and Penguin? by Stephen Savage, 2015 Scholastic Press, ISBN: 9780545402958

Hooray for Fish!

Image Credit: Candlewick Press, Lucy Cousins

Image Credit: Candlewick Press, Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins is great. She really understands what kids like. Hooray for Fish! has a little bit of everything and her illustrations are so vibrant and fun! If her name isn’t ringing a bell, she is most famous for her Maisy book series (the little white mouse). I discovered this book in one of my elementary school classrooms in Korea. My Kindergarteners loved it very much; they especially loved the page where you have to count the fish. The students in front always got up and touched the page to count them out loud.

Though this is mostly a concept book, little fish swims through the ocean to find the fish he loves the most and along the way, he meets all types of fish. He even meets an Ele-fish (yes…an elephant-fish)!! After meeting many new friends, he finally finds his mama fish and they share a fishy-kiss. I recommend the large, hardcover edition of this book but it’s also nice as a board book. Teachers, this book has great lesson potential. Your students can create their own fantasy fish or you can assign opposite words to pairs and they work together to make two fish. Your classroom will be full of colorful fish. Hooray!

Recommended for: Toddlers and Kindergarteners
Great for: Colors, Counting, Vocabulary, Opposites, Rhyme
Book Info: Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins, 2005 Candlewick Press, ISBN: 9780763627416

Supertruck

Image Credit: Roaring Brook Press, Stephen Savage

Image Credit: Roaring Brook Press, Stephen Savage

I really love a clean line and an image that “pops.” Maybe that’s why I love illustrators like Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino. Well, now I’m adding Stephen Savage to my exclusive “list” because I love his book Supertruck. I already loved this book and then I read it for story time and let me tell you, the kids (boys especially) stopped playing with their toy cars and gravitated towards me in Zombie Mode. ^__^  They were totally enthralled by this book, and for good reason. It is awesome.

Garbage truck has (duh duh duh) a secret identity and during a massive snow storm, he takes off his glasses and becomes…Supertruck! This book is clever and simple and is great for young readers because it is short, as I mentioned earlier the illustrations are clean and vibrant and the beginning of the book talks about different kinds of trucks! I know some of you parents out there have three year olds who know already know what front loaders are and love a whirring fire truck. They’ll really love this one. How can you resist a good super hero/truck combo book? Check it out.

Recommended for: Toddlers
Great for: Storytime, Super Heroes, Trucks, Read-Aloud, Colors
Book Info: Supertruck by Stephen Savage, 2015 Roaring Brook Press, ISBN: 9781596438217