City Shapes

CityShapes

Image Credit: Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group), Diana Murray/Bryan Collier

I first saw this book cover online many, many months before it published and I couldn’t forget it. How could I?? Her smiling brown face is full of joy and wonder. Now I finally have my own copy of this book and it is a delight.

Summer is starting to wind down and like the little girl in this book, kids are holding onto the last bits of fun before they head back to school. City kids will really relate to City Shapes; it celebrates the beauty of city-living and also teaches shapes! In the story, a mama pigeon and an imaginative girl spend the day exploring their city. The dynamic spreads and gorgeous rhyming sentences teach children about shapes found in the city. Children will enjoy reading Murray’s rhymes and searching for shapes in the illustrations. Maybe they’ll even be inspired to search for shapes in their own home.

This book sounds beautiful read aloud. I hope families, teachers and librarians are reading it to their children. Murray’s flowing words are enhanced by Collier’s colorful and dreamy art. Collier’s signature watercolor and collage art has so many layers for children to explore; he truly brings the city to life. I especially love that the girl in the book is his daughter! In a time when we need many more excellent books staring black children, I’m so happy to have this one to love and recommend.

What a lovely book! With every read you’ll find something new to enjoy. ❤

 

P.S. Towards the end of the book, look for the tiny photograph of Collier’s daughter! 😀

 

Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Imagination, Discovery, City Life, Creativity, Shapes, Animals, Friendship, Read-Aloud, Diversity, African American, Black Girl Magic
Book Info: City Shapes by Diana Murray/Illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2016 Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group), ISBN: 9780316370929

 

 

 

 

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Orange Pear Apple Bear

OrangePearAppleBear

Image Credit: Little Simon (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), Emily Gravett

This chunky board book is smart and the illustrations are beautiful. On the surface it’s a simple word-picture association book for early vocabulary learning but then…things get funky as Gravett starts to MIX IT UP! Bear has the best expressions. Have you ever seen an Apple Bear? I sure haven’t! But he doesn’t seem to mind too much and keeps on juggling the fruit until…he gets a little hungry!

The watercolor illustrations in Orange Pear Apple Bear are vibrant and sure to attract your baby’s attention. The use of white space draws the eye to the images, making them pop. Blotchy colors and sketchy strokes bring bear and the fruits to life. Bear is a cute and curious guy, and your family will enjoy his antics!

P.S. Once again, clever use of the front and end endpapers! Shouldn’t leave tasty fruit uneaten, right?

OrangePearAppleBear2

Image Credit: Little Simon (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), Emily Gravett

 

Recommended for: Babies and Toddlers
Great for: Early Learning, Animals, Vocabulary, Word Association, Colors, Shapes, Humor, Foods, Fruit, Rhyme, Read-Aloud
Book Info: Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett, 2011 Little Simon (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), ISBN: 9781442420038

Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings

FuzzyYellowDucklings

Image Credit: Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House), Matthew Van Fleet

 

Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings was one of my go-to baby book recommendations as a bookseller because it combines so many important topics for early childhood development into one book! It teaches vocabulary (great adjectives), shapes, colors, counting, animals AND is a “touch and feel book.”

Each page introduces a new animal, shape and color. Children see the shape, can touch the shape and open the fold…to meet an animal! They can even practice counting them. The layout of this book is very smart and Matthew Van Fleet also includes a game at the back of the book. His illustrations are always very cute, bright and inviting. I enjoy the Bumpy Brown Toads the most! They have great expressions. Van Fleet is one of the best author/illustrators for novelty children’s board books. If you haven’t heard of him, be sure to check out this one and his other books like Tails, Dog, Cat, Munch! and Alphabet.

P.S. Though this book is sturdy, it’s not quite a “board book.” You’ll have to supervise little people who love to rip rip rip!

 

Recommended for: Babies and Toddlers
Great for: Vocabulary, Adjectives, Touch and Feel, Multi-Sensory, Counting, Colors, Animals, Shapes
Book Info: Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet, 1995 Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House), ISBN: 9780803717596