Always

Image Credit: Templar Books (Candlewick Press)

Image Credit: Templar Books (Candlewick Press), Emma Dodd

Okay, I might get some flack for this but here goes; I think Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is overrated and slightly creepy. Even though I personally feel this way, it’s one of the top selling books for baby showers and because it has been around for a long time, many people have an emotional connection to it. That’s fair, but I always try to introduce Emma Dodd’s books in place of Love You Forever because I believe they are better books.

Always is my favorite. Just look at that precious cover! The story is told by a momma elephant to her mischievous little elephant. She tells her child about all the things she observes about his or her personality and all the silly things he or she does! She lets her child know that no matter what, she will always love them. Well, I absolutely love Emma Dodd’s art style. She really knows how to do cute, and bold and sweet. The digital illustrations in this book also include silver foil which adds an extra level of shiny beauty.

This is a nice gift book not only because of the story and art, but also because the gender of the baby elephant is not specified and cute baby animals are great fill-ins if you’re looking for and can’t find characters that match the ethnicity of the child (it can be hard finding quality baby books that feature children of color but a really good one is Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang).

Be sure to check out the rest of  Emma Dodd’s “Love You” book series: Forever, Everything, When You Were Born, More and More, When I Grow Up, Happy and Wish.

Recommended for: Babies, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers
Great for: Animals, Opposites, Bedtime, Baby Shower, Gift, Colors, Family
Book Info: Always by Emma Dodd2014 Templar Books (Candlewick Press), ISBN: 9780763675448

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