Interactive Picture Books for Young Readers

I discovered Fly! by Xavier Deneux in the recent arrival section of our local public library branch. It is a stunning board book with movable pieces that complements the story perfectly. Bird arrives at the foot of a tree after a long journey. Time passes and a friend arrives and joins her in the tree. Together they build a nest and raise two baby chicks. Fly! is a sweet story perfect for the youngest of readers. The smallest of hands will enjoy manipulative and maneuvering the pieces from one page to the next in order to help the story develop.

 

Press Here by Herve Tullet is another delightful read. Follow the directions presented on each page to embark an adventure of fun and imagination. Begin by pressing a single yellow dot and on the next page discover two yellow dots. Press the dot again and now there are three! Press Here is a great read. Even as an adult I enjoyed reading it and seeing the cause and effect relationships that spanned the pages. Let’s Play! is the third book of the series and captures the same whimsy as the first two books with even more movement and unexpected outcomes.

Click here to purchase copies of Fly!, Press Here and Let’s Play! (affiliate links).

Easter Board Books

Holiday themed picture books are so much fun. It’s our first round of holidays with our little one and I’m still trying to figure out how we will navigate holiday books as part of our own home library collection. Leave them out throughout the year or bring them out as each holiday nears? I’d love to hear how you handle this in your school or home collections!

Somehow spring snuck up on me this year. Maybe it’s the 10-month old and having just gone back to work full time, but Easter is right around the corner. My little one is loving these two board books right now!

In Happy Easter, Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, join the pout-pout fish dressed up as a bunny and his underwater creature friends as they hide and find easter eggs in unexpected places. This is a fun, captivating read for babies and toddlers alike.

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl is a hilarious book. Peep can’t wait for Egg to hatch so that they can begin their many fun adventures today. But Egg is not having it. He’s too scared to make an appearance. Nothing Peep says will convince him to hatch. Young readers will laugh along as Peep tries to coax Egg out of his shell. Will Egg finally take a chance and hatch? Joyce Wan’s illustrations are bold, colorful and add to the comedy of each page.   

Click here to purchase a copy of Happy Easter, Pout-Pout Fish and Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching (affiliate links).

 

 

The Moon and Me

The Moon and Me is based on a song by Rush Cumming and produced into a board book by his family as a special tribute to him. The story is about adventure and companionship between a fox and the moon. The Moon and Me explores transitions and loss in a subtle yet moving way. It shows the reader that wherever he or she may go, the moon will always be there shining down on him or her.

The tone of this book is quiet and somber at times, though it ends on an optimistic and playful note.

Though the underlying message of The Moon and Me is complex and explores important life issues, this story also makes a gentle story as part of a bedtime routine. It may also be a great book to accompany a child who is preparing to spend time away from home, at a sleep over or with family.

Click here to purchase a copy of The Moon and Me (affiliate link).

*I received a complimentary copy of The Moon and Me in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

Valentine’s Day Board Books

Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar is the second board book about two hedgehog friends, Hattie and Horace. They love doing everything together from trying to catch the moon to playing hide and seek. They also spend time together, but each doing what they like independently. One day, they discover a caterpillar egg underneath a leaf.

Hattie and Horace witness a wriggly, stripy thing (also known as a caterpillar) emerge from the egg. They watch as it eats and eats and then goes to sleep. They are amazed when one day something beautiful emerges from the bed and flies away.

The friends begin to wonder, if they eat a lot and sleep in a special bed, will they also turn into something wonderful and colorful too?

 

 

Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar is a fantastic board book about friendship and embracing a playful spirit. This book would be a terrific addition to any home library along with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

This adorable board book is perfect for young readers ages 2-5. Lucy Tapper’s beautiful, colorful illustrations help get the reader thinking about spring and the changing of seasons.

Shiny Shapes: Love You Always by Roger Priddy reads either as a series of short four-line poems or as a complete story written in rhyme.

Each page is dedicated to a celebration of friendship or the love of family. The series of hearts cut out of the pages are captivating and help the reader get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.

Love You Always is the perfect book for the holiday, ideal for readers ages 2-5.

Click here to purchase a copy of Shiny Shapes: Love You Always and Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar (affiliate links). 

*I received a complimentary copy of these books in exchange for my honest review.

 

Lovely Multicultural Reads

I am such a huge fan of the Bharat Babies books. They feature diverse characters, introduce different cultures and challenge gender roles.

Padmini is Powerful* by Amy Maranville is a board book that is perfect for babies. Each page introduces a different Hindu god and highlights an attribute of the god that Padmini possesses. She is generous and kind like Lakshmi and she creates like Brahma. The comparisons are supported by the bright and colorful illustrations, making the connections easy for the reader to see. I love that Padmini’s character transcends gender stereotypes, from her appearance to her interests.

Sarla in the Sky* by Anjali Joshi is an inspirational early readers about Sarla Thakral, the first Indian woman to earn her piloting license in 1936. Sarla dreams of flying from an early age. She imagines herself as a bird, a kite and even a butterfly in hopes of one day sailing in the wind. The odds are stacked against her, and many people told her that flying planes was not for women.

The illustrations by Lisa Kurt have a dream-like quality to them with simple backgrounds of clouds and landscapes which places the focus on the characters themselves.

Sarla remains focused on her goal of flying and overcomes a series of obstacles in order to achieve her dream. Sarla in the Sky teaches the importance of not giving up in a beautiful way. Like Padmini is Powerful, it tackles gender stereotypes in a way that empowers girls to pursue interests and careers that have been traditionally identified as being for boys. 

Click here to purchase a copy of Padmini is Powerful and Sarla in the Sky (affiliate links).

*I received a complimentary copy of Padmini is Powerful and Sarla in the Sky in exchange for my honest review.

 

Books for Babies

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We were a little late to the black and white board book game, but Lucy enjoys looking at these stunning books. She tries to hold the book herself and practices turning the pages back and forth. When she starts understanding following directions and speaking words, it’ll be great to ask her to point to certain objects or ask her to name them herself.

  1. Look Look! by Peter Linenthal is a visually striking board book that features intricate black-and-white cut-paper art. The red text is large and stands out. Different nouns paired with actions, for example the fish swim and the flower blooms. Lucy loves looking at the images across the pages of this book. Click here to purchase a copy of Look Look! (affiliate link).
  2. Spots and Dots by Chez Picthall is perfect for babies from 0-6 months. It features high-contrast images beginning with black and white shapes, then adding in primary colors and eventually pink. These images are bold and captivating and Lucy loves looking at each page for long stretches of time. Click here to purchase a copy of Spots and Dots (affiliate link).
  3. Baby Animal by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes includes 8 adorable close-ups of baby animals. From baby panda to baby zebra, the skillful use of black and white and the sense of space make this a lovely book to look at. Click here to purchase a copy of Baby Animal (affiliate link).img_0242These Lamaze books are the best! Though they are recommended for kids age 12 months and older, Lucy “reads” them with supervision. First and probably most importantly, they are machine washable. The covers are plush and the pages are brightly colored and engaging.
  4. In Captain Calimari’s Treasure Hunt, join the pirate calamari as he searches for a treasure in the ocean. He sees a Sparkly Fishy and Sunny Starfish, but none of these creatures are the treasure he seeks. The sweet end rhymes move the story along and at the end we discover a small circular mirror and learn that the treasure we’re seeking is you! Click here to purchase a copy of Captain Calmari’s Treasure Hunt (affiliate link).
  5. Peek-a-Boo Forest is a lift-the-flap soft book that allows readers to explore different animals hiding in the forest.  Each set of pages begins with a question, for example “Who is hiding behind the spruce?” and the rhyming answer, “Peek-a-boo! It’s the moose!” Not to mention, the flaps crinkle, possibly one of the most engaging features for little Lucy. Click here to purchase a copy of Peek-a-Boo Forest  (affiliate link).

Picture Books for Dads

Pardon my hiatus from my blog. On top of an amazing and busy school year, my husband and I just welcomed our little girl Lucy in early June. Lucy’s library of board books and picture books is off to an incredible start. In large part due to the generous gifts of friends and family. Not to mention on my last day of school, prior to my maternity leave, my class parents and students coordinated the most thoughtful gift, each student brought in their favorite book with a dedication to Lucy!

I’ve enjoyed reading all of these books to our little one, but then I started to wonder, are there any books out there for dads to read to their babies? Good news! I found some great ones and am excited to share them in this post.

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon is a hilarious book about different members of the animal kingdom on a quest to have their respective child’s first word be “dada.” The look on the father rabbit’s face (below) reveals the struggle they face in the process, but rest assured… there is a happy ending!

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Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz is an adorable counting to ten board book that highlights the simple yet meaningful interactions between a father and his baby. This book can be read as a going to bed story. It can also be an interactive read aloud where dad and baby act out what is happening on each page, for example “Two teeny, tiny finger hugs.”

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For an slightly older child and dad, I recommend My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein. This is a great story about a goofy dad who’s actions, though he may make his son (and the reader) roll his eyes, are filled with love. The child, though he may roll his eyes, loves and admires his father!

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