Winter Children’s Books, Learning Games and Printables – Storytime Standouts http://www.storytimestandouts.com Raising Children Who Love to Read Mon, 23 Jul 2018 02:53:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Storytime Standouts Looks at a New Picture Book: The Hockey Song http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2016/10/09/picture-books-best/storytime-standouts-looks-at-a-new-picture-book-the-hockey-song/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2016/10/09/picture-books-best/storytime-standouts-looks-at-a-new-picture-book-the-hockey-song/#respond Sun, 09 Oct 2016 20:35:30 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=22916 Storytime Standouts Looks at a New Picture Book: The Hockey Song | Storytime Standouts

OH! The good ol' Hockey game, is the best game you can name.
And the best game you can name, is the good ol' Hockey game.

An outdoor game of pick up hockey is the setting for his fun, energetic tribute to Stompin' Tom Connors' widely known anthem. The well-lit rink is in a city and it glistens beneath the stars on a wintry evening. It feels as though it would be a the centerpiece of a community, drawing players from far and wide for a casual, drop in game.

Engaging illustrations show us the game from ice level and above, depicting players from various races who are young and old, petite and burly and male and female. It is fun to see more than one multi generational family group; moms and dads enjoying the game with their children.

The fun begins with just two players on the ice but soon swells and, by the end of the song, the rink is crowded with enthusiastic hockey players. Some wear familiar NHL-style jerseys while others are dressed less traditionally. Some wear hockey helmets and others have toques, headphones, pony tales and stocking caps. Young readers will have tons of fun playing eye spy and noticing all sorts of interesting details about the dozens of players who finish the game.

Very good fun for children aged four and up. This would be a great gift for a hockey-loving grandparent to share with a newcomer to the game.

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Storytime Standouts Looks at a New Picture Book: The Hockey Song | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts looks at The Hockey Song by Stompin' Tom Connors, published by Greystone BooksThe Hockey Song written by Stompin’ Tom Connors and illustrated by Gary Clement
Hockey-Theme Picture Book published by Greystone Books

OH! The good ol’ Hockey game, is the best game you can name.
And the best game you can name, is the good ol’ Hockey game.

An outdoor game of pick up hockey is the setting for this fun, energetic tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors’ widely known anthem. The well-lit rink is in a city and it glistens beneath the stars on a wintry evening. It feels as though it would be a the centerpiece of a community, drawing players from far and wide for a casual, drop in game.

Engaging illustrations show us the game from ice level and above, depicting players from various races who are young and old, petite and burly and male and female. It is fun to see more than one multi generational family group; moms and dads enjoying the game with their children.

The game begins with just two players on the ice but soon swells and, by the end of the song, the rink is crowded with enthusiastic hockey players. Some wear familiar NHL-style jerseys while others are dressed less traditionally. Some wear hockey helmets and others have toques, headphones, pony tales and stocking caps. Young readers will enjoy playing eye spy and noticing all sorts of interesting details about the dozens of players who finish the game.

Very good fun for children aged four and up. The Hockey Song would be a great gift for a hockey-loving grandparent to share with a newcomer to the game.

The Hockey Song at Amazon.com

The Hockey Song at Amazon.ca

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Celebrate the Holidays with a Christmas Picture Book http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/23/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-book/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/23/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-book/#respond Mon, 23 Dec 2013 22:44:03 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=18026 Celebrate the Holidays with a Christmas Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

Young children and their parents will recognize that any celebration can be stress-inducing for adults and children. Llama Llama Holiday Drama is a reminder to slow things down and make lots of time for snuggles.

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Celebrate the Holidays with a Christmas Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

Christmas is just a couple of days away. In this post we look at two Christmas picture books that feature characters from popular picture book series


Pete the Cat Saves Christmas picture bookPete the Cat Saves Christmas written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean
Christmas Picture Book published by Harper Collins Children’s Books

Pete the Cat website

The first Pete the Cat’s picture book was (self) published in 2008. Now, there are several best-selling picture books about Pete and more will be arriving in early 2014.

In Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Santa is sick and in bed. He doesn’t want to cancel Christmas so he calls Pete the Cat and asks him to take care of his Christmas Eve toy delivery. Pete decides that despite his small stature, he can take care of the monumental job. Pete climbs into his mini bus and heads for the North Pole. With the help of some very cat-like elves, Pete loads up his minibus, he hitches up Santa’s reindeer and takes off.

Fans of Pete the Cat will enjoy his can-do attitude, his signature song and his enthusiasm for getting an important job done right!

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas at Amazon.com

Pete The Cat Saves Christmas at Amazon.ca

Llama Llama Holiday Drama Christmas picture bookLlama Llama Holiday Drama written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
Christmas Picture Book published by Viking a Division of Penguin Young Readers Group

Llama Llama website

Poor Llama Llama. December seems to be all about waiting. The days just don’t pass quickly enough. There is shopping to do and there are choices to make. There are cookies to bake and presents to wrap. It is just too much!

To much music, too much fluff
Too much making, too much stuff!
Too much everything for Llama…”

Thankfully Mama Llama stops everything and reminds LLama that the best gift of all is spending time with someone we love.

Readers will infer that Llama Llama is excited about Christmas given the references to a December calendar and gift giving along with a tree, Santa and a Christmas stocking in the illustrations but the story itself does not refer to Christmas. In addition to Christmas references, we see a Menorah and Challah bread and Llama plays with a dreidel.

Young children and their parents will recognize that any celebration can be stress-inducing for adults and children. Llama Llama Holiday Drama is a reminder to slow things down and make lots of time for snuggles.

Llama Llama Holiday Drama at Amazon.com

Llama Llama Holiday Drama at Amazon.ca

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The Night Before Christmas by Barbara Reid http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/09/winter-picture-books/the-night-before-christmas-by-barbara-reid/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/09/winter-picture-books/the-night-before-christmas-by-barbara-reid/#respond Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:31:23 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=17892 The Night Before Christmas by Barbara Reid | Storytime Standouts

Accomplished award-winning author-illustrator Barbara Reid rethinks Clement Moore's traditional poem, imagining a large family of mice bedding down on Christmas Eve. Home is a snow-caovered hollow log, filled with small treasures including coins, buttons, wooden blocks, nails, popsicle sticks and spools. Youngsters will be captivated by the family's repurposed home furnishings and the busy family.

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The Night Before Christmas by Barbara Reid | Storytime Standouts

The Night Before Christmas by Barbara ReidThe Night Before Christmas written by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Barbara Reid
Traditional Christmas poem published by North Winds Press an imprint of Scholastic Canada


Accomplished award-winning author-illustrator Barbara Reid rethinks Clement Moore’s traditional poem, imagining a large family of mice bedding down on Christmas Eve. Home is a snow-caovered hollow log, filled with small treasures including coins, buttons, wooden blocks, nails, popsicle sticks and spools. Youngsters will be captivated by the family’s repurposed home furnishings and the busy family. Poor Mama and Papa Mouse must be exhausted. As some their many children cavort in bunk beds, one reads a book under the covers and another hopes for a glass of water before going to sleep.

We like Ms. Reid’s choice to leave the traditional poem untouched but to replace an oft-seen illustration of Santa smoking a pipe with one of him enjoying yummy candy-cane.

Barbara Reid’s inventive take on The Night Before Christmas is one that will captivate children aged three and up. It will be enjoyed in a group read aloud setting but will be most appreciated by those who have a chance to carefully examine the wonderful illustrations created using Plasticine.

The Night Before Christmas at Amazon.com

The Night Before Christmas at Amazon.ca

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A Non Smoking Twas the Night Before Christmas… http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/04/winter-picture-books/a-non-smoking-twas-the-night-before-christmas/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/12/04/winter-picture-books/a-non-smoking-twas-the-night-before-christmas/#respond Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:16:56 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=17864 A Non Smoking Twas the Night Before Christmas… | Storytime Standouts

Wow - Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century may just be one of the most controversial picture books we've written about! Readers appear sharply divided on whether the famous poem by Clement C. Moore ought to be edited to remove references to smoking and a pipe.

In this recent adaptation of the classic poem, Pamela McColl has removed these stanzas from the poem we know so well. Is this censorship or is it a case of adapting a poem for 21st century sensibilities?

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A Non Smoking Twas the Night Before Christmas… | Storytime Standouts

Non smoking Twas the Night Before ChristmasTwas the Night Before Christmas written by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Elena Almazova and Vitaly Shvarov
Traditional Christmas poem (edited) [self] published by Grafton and Scratch Publishers

Wow – Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century may just be one of the most controversial picture books we’ve written about! Readers appear sharply divided on whether the famous poem by Clement C. Moore ought to be edited to remove references to smoking and a pipe.

In this recent adaptation of the classic poem, Pamela McColl has removed these stanzas from the poem we know so well.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

Is this censorship or is it a case of adapting a poem for 21st century sensibilities?

I am ‘mom’ to two boys and I share Ms. McColl’s aversion to smoking. Unlike her, I’ve never smoked a cigarette. In fact, despite reading Twas the Night Before Christmas dozens (if not hundreds) of times, I have never been tempted to try smoking tobacco or anything else. Smoking has never appealed to me and the fact that Clement Moore’s Santa Claus smokes a pipe has not influenced my opinion favorably or unfavorably about the habit.

For those who feel that Mr. Moore’s classic poem could sway an impressionable child, Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century may provide a solution. We suspect most children will not miss the lines from the poem, nor will they miss the pipe or the smoke – instead they will dream of sugar plums and a bounty of gifts delivered by an elf.

Disney-like illustrations will appeal to some children however others may ask why dozens of candles and a roaring fireplace are left burning while the family sleeps and a table lamp sits nearby. Those who look carefully will notice that some of the Christmas stockings change color.

This is a picture book that will appeal to some book buyers – simply because of the stance taken on smoking. Unfortunately, the illustrations are disappointing and lack artistry.

Visit the book’s website

Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century at Amazon.com

Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century at Amazon.ca

Gold Medal Winner 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Best Holiday Book (the best children’s books published each year for the North American market)

Benjamin Franklin Award – Independent Book Publishers Association

Santa quits smoking in edited version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ – transcript of The Current radio interview with Pamela McColl

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Score a Winning Hockey Picture Book! http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/11/15/picture-books-best/score-a-winning-hockey-picture-book/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/11/15/picture-books-best/score-a-winning-hockey-picture-book/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:59:36 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=17646 Score a Winning Hockey Picture Book! | Storytime Standouts

My youngest son has played hockey since he was five years old. For years, bedtime stories included books about playing hockey. Many of these stories include great messages about friendship, teamwork, bullying and working together toward a common goal.


hockey picture book Clancy with the Puck
Clancy With the Puck written and illustrated by Chris Mizzoni
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a traditional story) published by Raincoast Books

Just as Casey could hit a baseball, Clancy is a star when it comes to hockey. When Clancy Cooke joins the Hogtown Maple Buds, hopes are raised for a Stanley Cup win. Alas, in the final moments of a playoff game, when Clancy takes a penalty shot, “The puck deflected off the post, like a comet to the sky. The Buds had lost the Stanley Cup – and the fans went home to cry.” A sure winner, especially for hockey fans and those familiar with the classic story of Casey at the Bat.

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.com

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey CardThe Hockey Card Written by Jack Siemiatycki & Avi Slodovnick and illustrated by Doris Barrette
Hockey picture book published by Lobster Press

When Uncle Jack shares the story of the best hockey card he ever had, we take pleasure in a glimpse of the great Maurice Richard and a schoolyard duel against a tough hockey card shark. This is a book that made a lasting impression in our household - my youngest son is now a 13 year old bantam hockey player and just noticed me working on this post. He remarked, "Now that was a good book."

The Hockey Card at Amazon.com

The Hockey Card at Amazon.ca

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Score a Winning Hockey Picture Book! | Storytime Standouts

Hockey Picture book

My youngest son has played hockey since he was five years old. For years, bedtime stories included books about playing hockey. Many of these stories include great messages about friendship, teamwork, bullying and working together toward a common goal.


hockey picture book Clancy with the Puck
Clancy With the Puck written and illustrated by Chris Mizzoni
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a traditional story) published by Raincoast Books

Just as Casey could hit a baseball, Clancy is a star when it comes to hockey. When Clancy Cooke joins the Hogtown Maple Buds, hopes are raised for a Stanley Cup win. Alas, in the final moments of a playoff game, when Clancy takes a penalty shot, “The puck deflected off the post, like a comet to the sky. The Buds had lost the Stanley Cup – and the fans went home to cry.” A sure winner, especially for hockey fans and those familiar with the classic story of Casey at the Bat.

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.com

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey CardThe Hockey Card Written by Jack Siemiatycki & Avi Slodovnick and illustrated by Doris Barrette
Hockey picture book published by Lobster Press

When Uncle Jack shares the story of the best hockey card he ever had, we take pleasure in a glimpse of the great Maurice Richard and a schoolyard duel against a tough hockey card shark. This is a book that made a lasting impression in our household – my youngest son is now a 13 year old bantam hockey player and just noticed me working on this post. He remarked, “Now that was a good book.”

The Hockey Card at Amazon.com

The Hockey Card at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey TreeThe Hockey Tree written by David Ward and illustrated by Brian Deines
Hockey picture book published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

This is a favourite wintertime picture book that beautifully captures a Canadian winter day. Set in Saskatchewan, Owen and Holly are excited because Humboldt Lake has finally frozen over and it is a perfect morning for a spirited game of pond hockey. The two children are excited to drive to the lake with their dad and before long their skates are laced and the three are laughing and playing together. Unfortunately, just as the family starts to talk about taking a break and enjoying a mug of steaming hot chocolate, Holly smacks at the puck and it flies across the frozen lake and disappears into an ice fishing hole.

The children are terribly disappointed that they’ve lost their puck and assume that the game will have to end. Dad is not quite so willing to concede. He helps Owen and Holly to find a fallen poplar tree near the lake. Once a suitable tree is found, dad saws a piece from the trunk to create a wooden puck and the hockey game resumes.

Brian Deines’ luminous illustrations include icy cold winter scenes that are made warm by his depiction of the joy of playing a favourite sport with friends and family.

A lovely book to share with young children, this is one of my favourite wintertime picture books.

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.com

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Moccasin GoalieThe Moccasin Goalie written and illustrated by William Roy Brownridge
Hockey picture book published by Orca Book Publishers

Danny, Petou, Anita and Marcel live in a small, prairie town and they love to play hockey. They play road hockey when the weather is warm and ice hockey when the temperature cools and their outdoor rink is flooded. Everything changes when a new team is organized for their town. The four friends can’t wait to be part of the fun. They are devastated when only Marcel is selected to play for the Wolves. Anita is refused a spot because she is a girl, Petou is considered too small for the team and Danny is refused a place on the team because his disability means that he cannot wear skates.

All three children are terribly disappointed to be left out but, as the end of the hockey season approaches, the Wolves’ goalie is injured and the coach asks Danny to play.

The Moccasin Goalie is the first of a three book series. The Final Game is the second book. Victory at Paradise Hill is the third. Gorgeous illustrations – many using a pointillist technique – beautifully depict the joy of outdoor wintertime play. The story itself invites discussion of fairness, friendship and overcoming challenges.

Highly recommended for children five years and older.

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.com

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book  Over at the RinkOver at the Rink – A Hockey Counting Book written by Stella Parthenhiou Grasso and illustrated by Scot Ritchie
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a familiar song) published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Exuberant fun awaits in this hockey-theme adaption of Over in the Meadow. Young hockey fans will enjoy discovering all the elements of a great game – anthem singing, on ice- officials, a close score, players defending and scoring, earnest coaching, an enthusiastic mascot and excited fans. The wintry outdoor rink setting adds to the festive atmosphere.

Good fun for children four years and older.

Over at the Rink: A Hockey Counting Book at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book SplintersSplinters – written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Hockey Picture Book published by Tundra Books

Cindy loves to play hockey but it is an expensive sport to play and her family is poor.   Showing great determination and resourcefulness, Cindy is excited to finally earn enough money to join a neighbourhood team.  Unfortunately, at the rink, Cindy encounters three nasty Blister Sisters who make playing hockey very unpleasant. 

At her very first practice, she met the Blister Sisters. They could tell she was one good hockey player, and they were jealous.

They insulted her old equipment… Then they made her look bad on the ice… They could do this because their mom was the coach

Thank goodness Cindy has a fairy goaltender watching out for her. The fairy’s magic provides Cindy with a dazzling new uniform, gleaming skates and a Zamboni – to transport her to the all-star team tryouts. Cindy rushes to the rink and does not disappoint – she is a star.

Knowing that the magic spell will end once the final buzzer has sounded, Cindy rushes away from the rink, leaving a shiny skate behind.

Coach Prince is determined to match the shiny skate to the player who wore it during the tryouts.

Coach Prince went from locker room to locker room, trying the skate on every girl she could find. Finally she arrived at Cindy’s rink ensuring a happy ending for Cindy and her new team.

Splinters will have greatest appeal for children who are familiar with Cinderella. We love the idea of taking a familiar story, like Cinderella and retelling it with new characters and a contemporary setting. In a primary classroom, we suggest using Splinters as a jumping off point, inspiring young writers to imagine other situations for Cinderella to encounter.

Splinters at Amazon.com

Splinters at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book Z is For ZamboniZ is for Zamboni – A Hockey Alphabet Written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose
Hockey theme alphabet book published by Sleeping Bear Press

If hockey plays a part in your household, this enticing hockey alphabet book will appeal to the entire family. Young children will enjoy the simple rhymes while older children and adults will appreciate the more detailed information bordering the charming illustrations.

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.com

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Free Hockey Theme Printables for Kids

Hockey Theme Writing PaperNote: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.


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Crouching Tiger highlights Tai Chi, Chinese New Year and Family http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/22/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/crouching-tiger-highlights-tai-chi-chinese-new-year-and-family/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/22/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/crouching-tiger-highlights-tai-chi-chinese-new-year-and-family/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:39:41 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=15529 Crouching Tiger highlights Tai Chi, Chinese New Year and Family | Storytime Standouts

When Vinson's grandfather leaves China and arrives in America for a visit, Vinson is excited. But, from the moment his grandfather arrives, Vinson is surprised and confused. His grandfather persists in calling him "Ming Da" and he dances in the garden slowly and quietly. Vinson is familiar with kung fu and, curious about the new moves, he asks his grandfather to teach him tai chi.

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Crouching Tiger highlights Tai Chi, Chinese New Year and Family | Storytime Standouts

image of cover art for Crouching TigerCrouching Tiger written by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Yan Nascimbene
Picture book about Tai Chi, Chinese New Year and a child’s relationship with his grandfather published by Candlewick Press

Link to Chinese New Year writing paper for kids

When Vinson’s grandfather leaves China and arrives in America for a visit, Vinson is excited. But, from the moment his grandfather arrives, Vinson is surprised and confused. His grandfather persists in calling him “Ming Da” and he dances in the garden slowly and quietly. Vinson is familiar with kung fu and, curious about the new moves, he asks his grandfather to teach him tai chi.

Vinson and his grandfather meet in the yard after school and Grandpa teaches Vinson. The young boy is impatient, he prefers kung fu’s kicks and punches. Tai chi leaves his knees tired and his arms heavy. Vinson wonders why his grandfather insists on speaking Chinese with him despite the fact that he knows how to speak English well.

When Vinson’s mom says that Grandpa is going to accompany Vinson to school, he is embarrassed. He chooses to read while on the bus. He and his grandfather sit together, each stealing glances at the other. Similarly, Vinson chooses to wear his headphones rather than talk with his grandpa. It is only when Grandpa’s surprising and athletic intervention prevents a serious accident that Vinson pauses to reevaluate his perceptions.

As time passes, Vinson becomes more adept at tai chi and soon Grandpa adds a new twist to their work. Vinson carries a long bamboo pole and learns the cat walk.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, Vinson’s hair is cut, the family cleans the house and enjoys a traditional meal. When Grandpa gives Vinson an embroidered red silk jacket, he asks him to wear it for the upcoming parade. Vinson is embarrassed. He worries that his friends will see him and he feels self conscious about the new jacket.

As Vinson and his grandfather approach the parade route, Vinson gains appreciation for how his grandfather is regarded in the community and the tremendous pride he has for his grandson. When the two of them arrive at the start of the parade, Vinson discovers that he will be responsible for carrying a long bamboo pole, teasing the parade lions by waving a dangling cabbage.

An Author’s Note at the conclusion of Crouching Tiger includes notes about tai chi and Chinese New Year as well as a small glossary.

Beautifully illustrated with pen and ink as well as watercolors, readers will notice small details such as Vinson’s untied shoelace and his body language when his father cuts his hair.

Crouching Tiger invites discussion about family relationships and respect for one’s heritage. In a classroom, it could be used as a Chinese New Year resource and will be particularly interesting to children who are learning about martial arts. On each two page spread there is a small illustration of a tai chi stance.

Best suited to children aged five years and up.

The Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book of 2011 and Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List for 2012

Crouching Tiger at Amazon.com

Crouching Tiger at Amazon.ca


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A New Year’s Reunion, An Award Winning Chinese New Year Picture Book http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/18/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/chinese-new-year-picture-book/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/18/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/chinese-new-year-picture-book/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 20:04:36 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=15012 A New Year’s Reunion, An Award Winning Chinese New Year Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

Beautiful illustrations lovingly depict Maoman's family, her home and community. References to sticky rice balls, firecrackers, a fortune coin, house repairs, a red envelope and a dragon dance provide all sorts of information about traditions associated with Chinese New Year.

A New Year's Reunion was awarded a Best Illustrated Children's Book Award by The New York Times Book Review in 2011 and it won the Feng ZiKai Chinese Children's Picture Book Award.

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A New Year’s Reunion, An Award Winning Chinese New Year Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

image of cover art for A New Year's ReunionA New Year’s Reunion written by Yu Li-Qion and illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang
Chinese New Year picture book published by Candlewick Press

Link to Chinese New Year writing paper for kids

Maoman’s papa is a housebuilder. He works far from home and only returns to his family once each year. On the day he arrives home, Maoman is hesitant at first. He looks different to her. Once Papa gets his hair cut, the family makes sticky rice balls and it is time for Maoman to snuggle into bed with her parents.

As firecrackers explode nearby, Maoman drifts off to sleep, The following day, the family enjoys eating their rice balls together. They leave their home and go to visit friends. Maoman discovers that her friends are also outside and visiting.image from A New Year's Reunion

As Chinese New Year unfolds, Maoman sees a dragon dance and she plays outside in the snow with her friends. When she discovers her fortune coin is missing, she is devastated. Fortunately, the coin is not lost in the snow. Maoman finds it in her jacket and uses it to establish a lovely, heartwarming family tradition.

Beautiful illustrations lovingly depict Maoman’s family, her home and community. References to sticky rice balls, hair cuts, new clothes, firecrackers, a fortune coin, house repairs, a red envelope and a dragon dance provide all sorts of information about traditions associated with Chinese New Year.

A New Year’s Reunion was awarded a Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award by The New York Times Book Review in 2011 and it won the Feng ZiKai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award.

A New Year’s Reunion at Amazon.com

New Year’s Reunion at Amazon.ca

This year (2013) New Year’s Day falls on Sunday, February 10

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Lilly’s Chocolate Heart – A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/13/winter-picture-books/valentines-day-printables-books-children/lillys-chocolate-heart-a-sweet-treat-for-valentines-day/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/01/13/winter-picture-books/valentines-day-printables-books-children/lillys-chocolate-heart-a-sweet-treat-for-valentines-day/#comments Sun, 13 Jan 2013 15:00:30 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=9772 Lilly’s Chocolate Heart – A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts looks at Lilly’s Chocolate Heart, a sweet story about Lilly (of Purple Plastic Purse fame) and her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day chocolate heart. Lilly’s Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes Lilly is a beloved picturebook character. Best known for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse , she also appears in Lilly’s Big […]

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Lilly’s Chocolate Heart – A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts looks at Lilly’s Chocolate Heart, a sweet story about Lilly (of Purple Plastic Purse fame) and her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day chocolate heart.

image of cover art for Lilly's Chocolate HeartLilly’s Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Lilly is a beloved picturebook character. Best known for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse , she also appears in Lilly’s Big Day, Chester’s Day, Wemberly Worried and Julius The Baby of the World.

Before going to bed on Valentine’s Day, Lilly must decide what to do with her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day chocolate.

image of foil wrapped chocolate hearts“Lilly wanted to find the perfect place to keep the heart. She looked under her bed, but it was too dusty. She looked inside her dresser, but it was too messy.

Those who know Lilly, will agree that she is exhuberant and sometimes just a little bit impulsive so finding the perfect place for the precious chocolate is quite a challenge.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart will be a delicious treat for Lilly fans who will no doubt notice her purple plastic purse hanging from a dresser drawer handle and a painting of the purse that hangs on a wall.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.com

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.ca

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board



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Christmas Picture Books – Carolyn’s List of Favourites http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/23/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-books-carolyns-list-of-favourites/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/23/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-books-carolyns-list-of-favourites/#respond Sat, 24 Dec 2011 07:21:23 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=9513 Christmas Picture Books – Carolyn’s List of Favourites | Storytime Standouts

Jody and I both love The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham and read it on Christmas Eve. I decided to write about a different version of the poem and mention that reading the same text with different illustrations is great for youngsters. It encourages taking a thoughtful look at the illustrations and making comparisons.

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Christmas Picture Books – Carolyn’s List of Favourites | Storytime Standouts

I can’t imagine the Christmas holidays without our special collection of Christmas picture books. Earlier this month, Jody shared her favourites. I have finally put together my own post. Jody and I both love The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham and read it on Christmas Eve. I decided to write about a different version of the poem and mention that reading the same text with different illustrations is great for youngsters. It encourages taking a thoughtful look at the illustrations and making comparisons.

Storytime Standouts has many free Christmas early learning printables – You will find all of our Christmas and Winter-themed printables grouped together here. You will find more posts about Christmas picture books here.

cover art for Jan Brett's The Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett
Christmas picture book published by Putnam Juvenile

This version of the classic Christmas poem is filled to the brim with wonderful extras. Each beautiful two-page spread is framed with details that might otherwise never be seen. As reindeer are prancing and pawing on the roof, we get a glimpse of some special tree ornaments, Santa Claus appears in the fireplace and anxious Pa quickly descends the stairs.

Fans of Jan Brett’s work will want to visit her website and discover an abundance of printables including coloring sheets and cards.

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett at Amazon.com

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett at Amazon.ca


cover art for The Polar ExpressThe Polar Express written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
Christmas picture book published by Houghton Mifflin

Long before The Polar Express was made into a movie, it was a Caldecott Award winning Christmas picture book. When a friend says, “There is no Santa,” a young boy hopes desperately that his friend is incorrect. On Christmas Eve, he goes to bed and listens intently for the sound of sleigh bells. He does not hear sleigh bells but rather hissing and clanging. He looks out his bedroom window and is amazed to see an enormous train, waiting outside his house.

A magical story, The Polar Express will encourage children and adults to believe in the magic of Christmas.

The Polar Express at Amazon.com

The Polar Express at Amazon.ca

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Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/13/winter-picture-books/christmas-printables-for-preschool-kindergarten-primary-grades/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/13/winter-picture-books/christmas-printables-for-preschool-kindergarten-primary-grades/#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2011 05:52:48 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=9433 Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten | Storytime Standouts

We offer all sorts of preschool and kindergarten early learning printables on Storytime Standouts. Today I thought I would put together a post that groups all of the Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten together. All of our early learning printables, including these Christmas theme printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already […]

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Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten | Storytime Standouts

Free Christmas Printables for Young Readers and Writers from Storytime Standouts

We offer all sorts of preschool and kindergarten early learning printables on Storytime Standouts. Today I thought I would put together a post that groups all of the Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten together.





All of our early learning printables, including these Christmas theme printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the files.

Many of our free preschool and kindergarten printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website, please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.



You will find our entire selection of printable alphabets here, our writing paper for kids here and all of our preschool, kindergarten and teacher printables here. You will find our posts about special Christmas books here.


Christmas theme printables for preschool and kindergarten

Enjoy these Christmas songs, rhymes and chants in your preschool or kindergarten classroom
Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file. Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

If you appreciate our free preschool and kindergarten early learning printables, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.comlink to Amazon or Amazon.ca.link to Amazon


Twas the Night Before Christmas Crossword Puzzle

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Winter Word Search Puzzle

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Christmas Printables- Writing Paper for Kids

Young writers love our interlined paper
Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file. Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Christmas Picture Dictionary


Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file. Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.


Printable Alphabets

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file. Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.


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Christmas Picture Books – Jody’s List of Holiday Favourites http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/08/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-books-jodys-list-of-holiday-favourites/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/08/winter-picture-books/christmas-picture-books-jodys-list-of-holiday-favourites/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 17:51:22 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=9336 Christmas Picture Books – Jody’s List of Holiday Favourites | Storytime Standouts

At home, we always keep our Christmas picture books separate from the rest of the piles. We pull them out in late November and tuck them away at the end of the season with all of the other decorations. Just like when we unwrap each ornament that has been packed away for a year, pulling out each story is equally exciting. We forget which ones we have over the year or which new ones we may have purchased at the end of the season and stored away. Over the years, we've read many different Christmas tales, but some stay with you throughout the season and beyond.

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Christmas Picture Books – Jody’s List of Holiday Favourites | Storytime Standouts

Christmas picture books are in a class of their own.
At home, we always keep our Christmas picture books separate from the rest of the piles. We pull them out in late November and tuck them away at the end of the season with all of the other decorations. Just like when we unwrap each ornament that has been packed away for a year, pulling out each story is equally exciting. We forget which ones we have over the year or which new ones we may have purchased at the end of the season and stored away. Over the years, we’ve read many different Christmas tales, but some stay with you throughout the season and beyond.



The Night Before Christmas illustration by Christian Birmingham





Storytime Standouts has many free Christmas printables – You will find all of our Christmas and Winter-themed printables grouped together here .






Here are some of my favourite Christmas picture books…

image of cover art for The Night Before Christmas The Night Before Christmas written by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham
Christmas picture book published by Running Press Kids

The classic tale that we all know; I love reading this every Christmas Eve. It makes me think of my mom, who recites the words along with me as I read because she knows it by heart. I love that the wonderment of Christmas is displayed through an adult’s eyes.

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Christian Birmingham at Amazon.com

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Christian Birmingham at Amazon.ca


image of cover art for Are You Grumpy Santa!Are you Grumpy Santa? by Gregg & Evan Spiridellis
Christmas Picture Book published by Disney-Hyperion

This is, hands down, one of the cutest Christmas books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Just like anyone else, Santa can only take so much and finally becomes grumpy when nothing goes his way. The rhyme and the pictures are great. It never fails to amuse me, regardless of how many times I read it.

Are You Grumpy Santa? at Amazon.com

Are Your Grumpy Santa? At Amazon.ca




image of cover art for Queen of ChristmasQueen of Christmas by Mary Engelbreit
Christmas picture book published by HarperCollins

I have always enjoyed Mary Engelbreit’s illustrations. I often buy calendars with her pictures because they are sweet and have nice phrases on them. I purchased this book a few years ago and the illustrations are beautiful. It’s the story of a young girl who is working hard to finish her incredibly long Christmas list before Christmas Eve. Of course, in the end, she learns it’s not what’s on the list that counts. When I purchased this book, it came with a paper doll and clothes, which my children love as much as the book.

Queen of Christmas at Amazon.com

Queen of Christmas at Amazon.ca


image of cover art for Christmas Around the WorldChristmas Around the World by Chuck Fischer
Christmas Pop Up Book published by Little, Brown and Company

My mom gave me this book a couple years ago. You are never too old for a good pop up book. Just this morning, my youngest opened one of the pages and said, “Wow! Mommy, look at this Christmassy page!” Featuring a number of different countries, it includes pull outs, interesting facts, and beautiful images.

Christmas Around the World: A Pop Up Book at Amazon.com

Christmas Around the World: A Pop Up Book at Amazon.ca






image of cover art for Snowmen at NightSnowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Snowman Picture Book published by Harcourt

The illustrations in this story are very fun. It’s a favourite with my classroom kids, who like to imagine what a snowman could possibly do when no one is looking!

Snowmen at Night at Amazon.com

Snowmen at Night at Amazon.ca



image of cover art for Olivia Helps with ChristmasOlivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
Christmas Picture Book published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

I can’t help but love every Olivia book and pairing her with my favourite holiday is just a bonus. As they wait for Santa to finally arrive, Olivia finds many ways to help her mom. My favourite part is when she makes a special mini Christmas tree “centre piece”.

Olivia Helps with Christmas at Amazon.com

Olivia Helps with Christmas at Amazon.ca



image of cover art for How the Grinch Stole ChristmasHow the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Christmas Picture Book published by Random House Books for Young Readers

I love the rhyme, the characters, and I absolutely love when the Grinch’s heart grows! It’s such a cute and fun story. I’m very glad that my kids are no longer scared of it!

Grinch Printables from Seussville.com

How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Amazon.com

How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Amazon.ca

Aside from reading to my own children, I love the joy my students get from these picture books. Though we teach differently in the intermediate grades, there is no age, or grade, limit for enjoying these stories.


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Spectacular Christmas Treat: The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition: A Pop-up Celebration http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/20/winter-picture-books/a-spectacular-christmas-treat/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/20/winter-picture-books/a-spectacular-christmas-treat/#respond Sun, 20 Nov 2011 13:48:14 +0000 /?p=14 Spectacular Christmas Treat: The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition: A Pop-up Celebration | Storytime Standouts

Last evening my nine year old son and I snuggled up and shared an incredible Christmas pop-up book, The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda. I was somewhat familiar with Mr. Sabuda's artistry but this book is truly extraordinary. My son was enthralled and first called, "Daddy, Daddy, You've got to see this!" and then, "I have to take this to 'share' at school!"

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Spectacular Christmas Treat: The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition: A Pop-up Celebration | Storytime Standouts

image of Christmas pop-up book The 12 Days of ChristmasLast evening my nine year old son and I snuggled up and shared an incredible Christmas pop-up book, The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda. I was somewhat familiar with Mr. Sabuda’s artistry but this book is truly extraordinary. My son was enthralled and first called, “Daddy, Daddy, You’ve got to see this!” and then, “I have to take this to ‘share’ at school!”

The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition created by Robert Sabuda
Christmas pop-up book published by Little Simon



Truly a spectactular pop up book, The 12 Days of Christmas is a visual delight from beginning to end. Gorgeous, mainly white, paper cut outs of a partridge, turtle doves, french hens, include a music box, scissors and a snow globe. The final spread, which includes a lit Christmas tree, is fabulous.

Mr. Sabuda’s website is well worth a visit as he provides detailed instructions for ‘simple’ pops ups you can make.

The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition: A Pop-up Celebration at Amazon.com

The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition: A Pop-up Celebration at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts has many free Christmas early learning printables – You will find all of our Christmas and Winter-themed printables grouped together here. You will find more posts about Christmas picture books here.



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Christmas Baking with Kids – Remember to Add a Pinch of “Love” http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/06/winter-picture-books/remember-to-add-a-pinch-of-love/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/06/winter-picture-books/remember-to-add-a-pinch-of-love/#respond Sun, 06 Nov 2011 12:47:37 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=1927 Christmas Baking with Kids – Remember to Add a Pinch of “Love” | Storytime Standouts

Cooking and baking with kids is worth the mess Kids in the Holiday Kitchen written by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman-Johnson with photographs by James Baigrie Cookbook highlighting Baking with Kids published by Chronicle Books This is a wonderful time of year to engage young children in baking and cooking. Although messy at times, baking […]

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Christmas Baking with Kids – Remember to Add a Pinch of “Love” | Storytime Standouts

Cooking and baking with kids is worth the mess

cover art for Kids in the Holiday KitchenKids in the Holiday Kitchen written by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman-Johnson with photographs by James Baigrie
Cookbook highlighting Baking with Kids published by Chronicle Books



This is a wonderful time of year to engage young children in baking and cooking. Although messy at times, baking with kids and preparing yummy treats to share with others will create memories to last a lifetime – for you and your children. I remember creating sticky and lopsided gingerbread houses with my young boys. I think they ate more of the “decorations” than they actually managed to attach to the houses! Another year, we helped Grandma bake cookies because she was recovering from a stroke and couldn’t manage by herself. The kitchen was a disaster afterwards but the laughter, memories and delicious goodies more than compensated.

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen is a fun holiday book that is sure to inspire you and your children. Offering recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts as well as craft ideas, the photographs will have you reaching for cookie cutters, rolling pins and icing sugar.

Meet the authors and hear about the book on YouTube

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving at Amazon.com

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts has many free Christmas printables – You will find our Christmas songs, rhymes and fingerplays here, Christmas interlined paper here and Christmas words with pictures here.



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Ruby’s Wish is a Gem With an Important Message for Girls http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/03/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/ruby-is-a-gem/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/11/03/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/ruby-is-a-gem/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2011 11:47:29 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=1876 Ruby’s Wish is a Gem With an Important Message for Girls | Storytime Standouts

Ruby’s Wish written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sockie Blackall Picture book published by Chronicle Books Many years ago, Ruby lived with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in a huge house in a city in China. At that time, girls did not typically have a chance to go to school but Ruby […]

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Ruby’s Wish is a Gem With an Important Message for Girls | Storytime Standouts

Ruby's Wish is a Gem With an Important Message for GirlsRuby’s Wish written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sockie Blackall
Picture book published by Chronicle Books



Many years ago, Ruby lived with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in a huge house in a city in China. At that time, girls did not typically have a chance to go to school but Ruby was fortunate. In her household, because there were many children, a teacher came and taught all the boys. Unlike her girl cousins, Ruby did not want to be married; she wanted to go to university. Each day, Ruby worked hard to study with the boys in addition to learning all of the household skills expected of girls.

Ruby’s Wish is beautifully illustrated and lovingly told. Based on a true story, Ruby’s Wish will be enjoyed by children five years and up.

Ruby’s Wish at Amazon.com

Ruby’s Wish at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.



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A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/30/winter-picture-books/two-gems-for-newly-independent-readers/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/30/winter-picture-books/two-gems-for-newly-independent-readers/#respond Sun, 30 Oct 2011 23:47:14 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=4 A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time | Storytime Standouts

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has […]

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A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time | Storytime Standouts

A Special Gem for Newly Independent Readers Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet TimeHoundsley and Catina and the Quiet Time written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press





When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games, baking cookies and writing poetry. In the evening, they join their friends for a snowy outdoor concert. The musicians

began to play so softly that the notes fell on the listening ears like snowflakes on waiting tongues, gently, softly, there for a flicker before melting away.

Beautiful language and equally special illustrations are terrific for newly independent readers, the Houndsley and Catina books are also a very good choice for younger children who are ready to enjoy a longer read-aloud book.

Highly recommended.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time at Amazon.com

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time on Amazon.ca


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Rebus Chants http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/26/parent-teacher-printables-games-activities-for-reading/rebus-chants/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/26/parent-teacher-printables-games-activities-for-reading/rebus-chants/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2011 11:47:10 +0000 /?p=29 Rebus Chants | Storytime Standouts

Learning to Read Fun with Rebus Chants! Have you tried rebus chants in your early literacy programs? I present programs for 4, 5 and 6-year-old children. I use a variety of materials and have had considerable success with rebus chants. I print off multiple copies of the chants, I handcolor them using pencil crayons, mount […]

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Rebus Chants | Storytime Standouts

Rebus chants for children who are beginning to read

Learning to Read Fun with Rebus Chants!


Have you tried rebus chants in your early literacy programs? I present programs for 4, 5 and 6-year-old children. I use a variety of materials and have had considerable success with rebus chants. I print off multiple copies of the chants, I handcolor them using pencil crayons, mount them on card stock and then laminate them.

The rebus chants are usually poems where several words are replaced with hand-drawn pictures. They are great for emergent readers because they usually include frequently repeated, predictable text AND rhyming words. The young child does not have to decode all the words – the rebus pictures fill-in-the-blanks.

In addition to giving children the satisfaction of “reading” (both text and illustrations), the poems will also support the development of phonemic awareness.

Storytime Standouts shares a snowman rebus poem for beginning readersThere are many sources of rebus chants. This is one that I created for you to download for free Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file. My favourites are created by Vera Trembach and published by Rainbow Horizons Publishing. Ms. Trembach offers seasonal and theme-related chants – there is truly something for everyone!

Whether you checkout the Canadian Rainbow Horizons Publishing website or the American website, you’ll find free teaching units and detailed information including previews of the chant books.


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A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/03/07/picture-books-best/saluting-friendship-and-love-you-by-stephen-michael-king/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/03/07/picture-books-best/saluting-friendship-and-love-you-by-stephen-michael-king/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:13:06 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=4196 A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King | Storytime Standouts

You written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend. In this picture book about friendship, Happy and engaging […]

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A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King | Storytime Standouts

image of cover art for You by Stephen Michael KingYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend.

In this picture book about friendship, Happy and engaging illustrations invite us to watch as a friends work together to transform a drab birdhouse into a bright and inviting home. When the work is done, they joyfully play music together and manage to endure the highs and lows that life brings.

The world is an exciting place, with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far-far-aways. But the most exciting place in my world is with… you.

Well-suited to very young children, You is a picture book about friendship and love. It would be a a great story to share before a parent or friend leaves on a trip.

Be sure to visit the author’s website (link above) and read about Stephen Michael King’s experience as a hearing impaired child and his path to becoming an author-illustrator.

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.com

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.ca



You may also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board

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Zero Kisses for Me – Not Even a Tiny Bit Bleah http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/03/06/picture-books-best/zero-kisses-for-me-not-even-a-tin-bit-bleah/ Sun, 06 Mar 2011 17:16:36 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=4178 Zero Kisses for Me – Not Even a Tiny Bit Bleah | Storytime Standouts

Zero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac Picture book published by Tundra Books I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that […]

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Zero Kisses for Me – Not Even a Tiny Bit Bleah | Storytime Standouts

image of cover art for Zero Kisses for MeZero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac
Picture book published by Tundra Books

I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that doesn’t just hook the kids – some books have children talking about the story a week later and begging for a reread. Zero Kisses for Me is one of those delightful books that children love to see, listen to and cheer about.

Life is tough when you’re always being kissed.” When you’re kissed before you go out in the rain and when you’re kissed and called, “Honeybunch” or “Flower Bud.” By the end of the day, you can be “tired of being everybody’s tootsy-wootsy… huggy-bear… kissy-snooks.” You might even demand, “No more mush!” And, you might exclaim, “BLEAH” – the perfect word to make a story memorable and a great word for young children to hear and relish.

Fun illustrations add to the atmosphere in Zero Kisses for Me and convey the little bear’s determination and frustration beautifully. A great read aloud for boys and girls, aged four to six, especially those who enjoy many, many kisses each and every day. Although not a Valentine’s Day book, this would be a terrific choice to reach for on February 14th.

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.com

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.ca

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board


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Our Free Valentine’s Day Printables for Kids and The Day It Rained Hearts http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/02/06/picture-books-best/valentines-day-hearts/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/02/06/picture-books-best/valentines-day-hearts/#respond Sun, 06 Feb 2011 21:31:29 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=2883 Our Free Valentine’s Day Printables for Kids and The Day It Rained Hearts | Storytime Standouts

We think this picture book is a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, enjoy it with our free Valentine’s Day printables for kids ~ The Day it Rained Hearts written and illustrated by Felicia Bond You are no doubt familiar with Felicia Bond’s lively illustrations in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here she tells […]

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Our Free Valentine’s Day Printables for Kids and The Day It Rained Hearts | Storytime Standouts

We think this picture book is a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, enjoy it with our free Valentine’s Day printables for kids ~

Storytime Standouts writes about The Day it Rained HeartsThe Day it Rained Hearts written and illustrated by Felicia Bond

You are no doubt familiar with Felicia Bond’s lively illustrations in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here she tells the story of Cornelia Augusta, a girl who is caught in a rather unusual rainstorm.

On The Day It Rained Hearts Cornelia collected hearts of all different shapes and sizes and then set to work making Valentines for her special friends. Before setting to work, she thinks carefully about each individual and she creates cards and gifts that suit each perfectly.

She found seven that were more or less alike and strung them together with a needle and thread.”I know just the right person for this one,” she thought.

The Day it Rained Hearts encourages thoughtfulness and creativity. A lovely choice for your young Valentine or for sharing at a February storytime.

Extension activities could include a search for hidden hearts, comparing and categorizing hearts and creating Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. Be sure to check out all of our free Valentine’s Day printables (below).

32 pages, Ages 3 to 5

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.com

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts offers a free, printable  Valentine's Day picture dictionary

StorytimeStandouts’ free Valentine’s Day printables for Kids

Our free Valentine’s Day printables for kids are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Some of our early learning printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early learning printables here.



Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board ~

image of Storytime Standouts' Valentine's Day Pinterest Board





Valentine’s Day Picture Dictionary and Writing Paper for Kids
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Valentine’s Day Circle Time for Preschool
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If you appreciate our free Valentine’s Day printables for Kids, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


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Yong Chen’s A Gift, A Special Chinese New Year Picture Book http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/02/01/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/picture-book-chinese-new-year-with-a-special-gift/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/02/01/celebrating-diversity-books-for-children/picture-book-chinese-new-year-with-a-special-gift/#respond Tue, 01 Feb 2011 20:57:09 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=2457 Yong Chen’s A Gift, A Special Chinese New Year Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

A Gift written and illustrated by Yong Chen Chinese New Year picture book published by Boyds Mills Press Beautiful, warm illustrations accompany a gentle, heart-warming story in A Gift. Chinese New Year is usually spent with friends and family but, for Amy’s mom it is a time to feel homesick. Her brothers and sister live […]

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Yong Chen’s A Gift, A Special Chinese New Year Picture Book | Storytime Standouts

image of the cover art for A GiftA Gift written and illustrated by Yong Chen
Chinese New Year picture book published by Boyds Mills Press



image from the Chinese New Year picture book, A GiftBeautiful, warm illustrations accompany a gentle, heart-warming story in A Gift.

Chinese New Year is usually spent with friends and family but, for Amy’s mom it is a time to feel homesick. Her brothers and sister live in far away China. When a package arrives from China for Amy, she and her mom are excited to open it and read the accompanying letter. The letter explains that, while working in a field, Amy’s uncle found a beautiful stone. Amy’s Uncle Zhong subsequently took the stone to his brother, her Uncle Ming, who spent many days carving and polishing the stone until his work revealed a lovely dragon. The carved dragon, a symbol of China, will be worn by Amy on a red string necklace, symbolizing luck.

Readers will note the contrast between Amy’s western-style family home and her uncles’ rural, Chinese experience. Many important details including an orange tree and a rice cooker in the kitchen, a Buddha statue in the garden, Chinese characters on a wall, sampans in a river, a water buffalo pulling a plow and Amy’s traditional costume will be observed by children and could be explored further.

Best for children aged four to eight.

A Gift at Amazon.com

A Gift at Amazon.ca

image of Chinese New Year Writing Paper for Kids

Storytime Standouts offers all sorts of writing paper for kids. You might be especially interested in our free Chinese New Year early learning printables:
Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.




Please visit Storytime Standouts’ Chinese New Year Pinterest Board

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Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/19/fingerplays-rhymes-and-songs/snow-and-snowmen-for-preschool-kindergarten-and-grade-school/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/19/fingerplays-rhymes-and-songs/snow-and-snowmen-for-preschool-kindergarten-and-grade-school/#respond Wed, 19 Jan 2011 23:25:29 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=2219 Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School | Storytime Standouts

Our free "Building a Snowman" printable for kids has been enormously popular this month so I thought I would pull together some more snow-related materials that would be great for a preschool or kindergarten snow theme. I have added more Snow and Snowmen materials today. I would love to hear about your favourite resources and suggestions.






Board Books

cover art for Welcome Winter picture bookWelcome Winter written by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Nancy Davis
Winter theme board book published by Scholastic

This sturdy, fun board book caught my eye and will have great appeal for toddlers. The illustrations and text are simple and yet very engaging. I especially liked the description of “snow crunching under boots” and a matching slippery, noisy surface that begs to be touched. Very young children will thoroughly enjoy checking out a variety of textures as they learn about the season of swirling snowflakes, cold temperatures and wind.

Welcome Winter at Amazon.com

Welcome Winter at Amazon.ca

Winter and Snowman theme Picture Books


All You Need for a Snowman book cover imageAll You Need for a Snowman written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Snow theme picture book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

All You Need for a Snowman is a book that I have used with 4, 5 and 6 year olds many times. Bright, energetic illustrations and lyrical rhyming text tells the story of a group of children who build two enormous snowmen. This is a book that preschoolers gravitate towards - they enjoy watching the process of building a snowman and celebrate the end product, a giant, happy snowman.

All You Need for a Snowman at Amazon.com

All You Need For a Snowman at Amazon.ca


In the Snow book cover imageIn the Snow written and illustrated by Peggy Collins
Snow theme picture book published by Applesauce Press

In the Snow tells the story of a young boy who is excited when he awakens to snow. Eager to have fun, he dresses in warm clothes goes outside with his father. They fill the bird feeder and notice some animal tracks in the fresh snow. The father and son have a happy, playful relationship and soon get to work and build a huge snowman. Also vividly illustrated, In the Snow will be enjoyed best by preschoolers.

Note: the brief mention of animal prints in the snow as well as the action of filling a birdfeeder, provide opportunities for a discussion about urban wildlife and further extension activities.
In the Snow at Amazon.com

In the Snow at Amazon.ca

Owl Moon - written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Winter theme picture book published by Philomel Books a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

In 1988 the Caldecott Medal was awarded to Owl Moon. A special 20th anniversary edition is now available and provides an opportunity to discover the picture book’s wonderful, timeless magic.

It is very late at night when a father and his young daughter venture into the cold. They are seeking a glimpse of a great horned owl. The companions walk together silently and eagerly under an Owl Moon.

Beautifully illustrated, this is a remarkable book that will be enjoyed by the entire family. The depiction of the young girl’s excitement will no doubt inspire parents to bend their bedtime rules and enjoy a moonlit, late night walk.

Owl Moon at Amazon.com

Owl Moon at Amazon.ca

cover art for Perfect SnowPerfect Snow written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Snow theme picture book published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Great for school-aged children, Perfect Snow features a combination of Plasticine artwork complimented by ink and watercolour illustrations. It tells the story of the excitement of a snowy day at school and the students' decision to work together and build "The World's Greatest Totally Massive Snowman Fort"

Perfect Snow at Amazon.com

Perfect Snow at Amazon.ca

cover art for SnowSnow written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Snow theme picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What could be more wonderful for a young child than waking up to freshly fallen snow? Ms Rylant’s evocative writing and Ms Stringer’s lovely paintings beautifully capture the wonder and delight of a snowy day in Snow. An exuberant young girl shares the special day with a friend and her grandmother. This beautiful book will surely leave you wishing for a magical snowy day to share with your youngster.

Snow at Amazon.com

Snow at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School | Storytime Standouts


Storytime Standouts Snow and Snowman Theme

Our free “Building a Snowman” printable for kids has been enormously popular this month so I thought I would pull together some more snow-related materials that would be great for a preschool or kindergarten snow theme. I have added more Snow and Snowmen materials today. I would love to hear about your favourite resources and suggestions.






Board Books

cover art for Welcome Winter picture bookWelcome Winter written by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Nancy Davis
Winter theme board book published by Scholastic

This sturdy, fun board book caught my eye and will have great appeal for toddlers. The illustrations and text are simple and yet very engaging. I especially liked the description of “snow crunching under boots” and a matching slippery, noisy surface that begs to be touched. Very young children will thoroughly enjoy checking out a variety of textures as they learn about the season of swirling snowflakes, cold temperatures and wind.

Welcome Winter at Amazon.com

Welcome Winter at Amazon.ca

Winter and Snowman theme Picture Books


All You Need for a Snowman book cover imageAll You Need for a Snowman written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Snow theme picture book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

All You Need for a Snowman is a book that I have used with 4, 5 and 6 year olds many times. Bright, energetic illustrations and lyrical rhyming text tells the story of a group of children who build two enormous snowmen. This is a book that preschoolers gravitate towards – they enjoy watching the process of building a snowman and celebrate the end product, a giant, happy snowman.

All You Need for a Snowman at Amazon.com

All You Need For a Snowman at Amazon.ca


In the Snow book cover imageIn the Snow written and illustrated by Peggy Collins
Snow theme picture book published by Applesauce Press

In the Snow tells the story of a young boy who is excited when he awakens to snow. Eager to have fun, he dresses in warm clothes goes outside with his father. They fill the bird feeder and notice some animal tracks in the fresh snow. The father and son have a happy, playful relationship and soon get to work and build a huge snowman. Also vividly illustrated, In the Snow will be enjoyed best by preschoolers.

Note: the brief mention of animal prints in the snow as well as the action of filling a birdfeeder, provide opportunities for a discussion about urban wildlife and further extension activities.
In the Snow at Amazon.com

In the Snow at Amazon.ca

Owl Moon – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Winter theme picture book published by Philomel Books a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

In 1988 the Caldecott Medal was awarded to Owl Moon. A special 20th anniversary edition is now available and provides an opportunity to discover the picture book’s wonderful, timeless magic.

It is very late at night when a father and his young daughter venture into the cold. They are seeking a glimpse of a great horned owl. The companions walk together silently and eagerly under an Owl Moon.

Beautifully illustrated, this is a remarkable book that will be enjoyed by the entire family. The depiction of the young girl’s excitement will no doubt inspire parents to bend their bedtime rules and enjoy a moonlit, late night walk.

Owl Moon at Amazon.com

Owl Moon at Amazon.ca

cover art for Perfect SnowPerfect Snow written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Snow theme picture book published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Great for school-aged children, Perfect Snow features a combination of Plasticine artwork complimented by ink and watercolour illustrations. It tells the story of the excitement of a snowy day at school and the students’ decision to work together and build “The World’s Greatest Totally Massive Snowman Fort”

Perfect Snow at Amazon.com

Perfect Snow at Amazon.ca

cover art for SnowSnow written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Snow theme picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What could be more wonderful for a young child than waking up to freshly fallen snow? Ms Rylant’s evocative writing and Ms Stringer’s lovely paintings beautifully capture the wonder and delight of a snowy day in Snow. An exuberant young girl shares the special day with a friend and her grandmother. This beautiful book will surely leave you wishing for a magical snowy day to share with your youngster.

Snow at Amazon.com

Snow at Amazon.ca


image of The Snow Day book cover artThe Snow Day written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
Snow theme picture book published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When an overnight snowfall grounds flights and forces the cancellation of kindergarten, a young rabbit spends a quiet day at home in The Snow Day. Mommy and her child play cards together and enjoy a day together at home. Late in the evening, when the snowfall stops, the two go outside for some quiet play in the cold, snowy darkness. Gentle, evocative illustrations beautifully depict the peace of a snowy day. A great choice for kindergarten.

The Snow Day at Amazon.com

The Snow Day at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for The Three Snow Bears
The Three Snow Bears written and illustrated by Jan Brett
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

When Baby Bear’s soup is too hot and burns his mouth, he and his snow bear family leave their igloo and go for a stroll. Meanwhile, Aloo-ki is searching for her sled dogs. She happens upon the bear family’s igloo and is soon inside, tasting soup, trying on boots and sleeping in Baby Bear’s “just right” bed. Beautifully illustrated, this is a truly inspired adaption of Goldilocks’ story.

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.com

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.ca

For New Readers

image of cover art for Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time, an early reader set on a snowy dayHoundsley and Catina and the Quiet Time – Written by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games, baking cookies and writing poetry. In the evening, they join their friends for a snowy outdoor concert. The musicians “began to play so softly that the notes fell on the listening ears like snowflakes on waiting tongues, gently, softly, there for a flicker before melting away.”

Terrific for newly independent readers, the Houndsley and Catina books are also a very good choice for children who are ready to enjoy a longer read-aloud book.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time at Amazon.com

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time on Amazon.ca

Snow and Snowmen Theme Printables for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School

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Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Snow and Snowman theme printables.



Storytime Standouts #free #printable sequencing activity 'Making a Snowman' for #prek #kindergarten

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Storytime Standouts #free #printable Snowman writing paper for kids #kindergarten #prekWinter and Snow Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

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Winter Preschool or Kindergarten Circle Time
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We invite you to check out Storytime Standouts’ Snow and Snowmen Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Snow, Snowmen and Ice for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

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A Picture Book Celebration of Love – Love is You and Me http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/18/picture-books-best/a-picture-book-celebration-of-love2212/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/18/picture-books-best/a-picture-book-celebration-of-love2212/#respond Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:49:36 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=2212 A Picture Book Celebration of Love – Love is You and Me | Storytime Standouts

Fun, breezy illustrations introduce a handsome mouse and his dashing canine friend. They adore spending time together; driving in a convertable, sharing a milkshake, holding hands. riding a roller coaster. Whether doing something exciting or nothing at all, true friends know,

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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A Picture Book Celebration of Love – Love is You and Me | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts looks at picturebook Love is You & MeLove is You & Me written and illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Picture book published by Simon and Schuster



Just in time for February 14th, Monica Sheehan’s celebration of love arrives on bookshelves.

Intended for very young children, my copy of Love is You and Me is in a boardbook format. Fun, breezy illustrations introduce a handsome mouse and his dashing canine friend. They adore spending time together; driving in a convertable, sharing a milkshake, holding hands. riding a roller coaster. Whether doing something exciting or nothing at all, true friends know,

Whever we go love will always be…because…love is you and me.

A perfect book to share for Valentine’s Day, Love is You & Me (Monica Sheehan’s warmhearted follow-up to be happy!) delivers a reassuring message that will be enjoyed equally by young children and all those who care deeply for them.

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.com

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.ca

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board




Monica Sheehan’s be happy!

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Valentine’s Day Printables Have Arrived http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/17/fingerplays-rhymes-and-songs/valentines-day-printables-have-arrived/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/17/fingerplays-rhymes-and-songs/valentines-day-printables-have-arrived/#respond Mon, 17 Jan 2011 20:55:51 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=2203 Valentine’s Day Printables Have Arrived | Storytime Standouts

Five Fun Picture Books for Valentine's Day

The Day it Rained Hearts written and illustrated by Felicia Bond
Valentine's Day picture book published by Harper Collins

You are no doubt familiar with Felicia Bond’s lively illustrations in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here she tells the story of Cornelia Augusta, a girl who is caught in a rather unusual rainstorm.

On The Day It Rained Hearts Cornelia collected hearts of all different shapes and sizes and then set to work making Valentines for her special friends. Before setting to work, she thinks carefully about each individual and she creates cards and gifts that suit each perfectly.

She found seven that were more or less alike and strung them together with a needle and thread."I know just the right person for this one," she thought.

The Day it Rained Hearts encourages thoughtfulness and creativity. A lovely choice for your young Valentine or for sharing at a February storytime.

Extension activities could include a search for hidden hearts, comparing and categorizing hearts and creating Valentine's Day cards and gifts.

32 pages, Ages 3 to 5

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.com

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.ca

cover art for Lilly's Chocolate HeartLilly's Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Valentine's Day picture book published by Harper Collins

Lilly is a beloved picturebook character. Best known for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse , she also appears in Lilly's Big Day, Chester's Day, Wemberly Worried and Julius The Baby of the World.

Before going to bed on Valentine's Day, Lilly must decide what to do with her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine's Day chocolate.

"Lilly wanted to find the perfect place to keep the heart. She looked under her bed, but it was too dusty. She looked inside her dresser, but it was too messy."

Those who know Lilly, will agree that she is exhuberant and sometimes just a little bit impulsive so finding the perfect place for the precious chocolate is quite a challenge.

Lilly's Chocolate Heart will be a delicious treat for Lilly fans who will no doubt notice her purple plastic purse hanging from a dresser drawer handle and a painting of the purse that hangs on a wall.

Lilly's Chocolate Heart at Amazon.com

Lilly's Chocolate Heart at Amazon.ca

More

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Valentine’s Day Printables Have Arrived | Storytime Standouts

We’ve just added new, free Valentine’s Day printables to our selection of early learning resources for children, their teachers and parents. Today we’ll highlight the printables alongside some great picture books for Valentine’s Day

Storytime Standouts selection of Valentine's Day theme picture books and free printables for kids


Young children, their parents and teachers are sure to enjoy these free Valentine’s Day theme printables.

* Two kinds of free printable Valentine’s Day writing paper for kids
* A Valentine’s Day picture dictionary for children who are beginning to read and write
* Five Little Valentines – a rhyme that could be perfect for your Valentine’s Day preschool circle time , adapt it as a felt board story
* Counting Valentines – a Valentine’s Day song, sung to a familiar tune, also great for Valentine’s Day circle time
* Making a Valentine – a Valentine’s Day sequencing activity. This could also be used as a matching game.
* Make New Friends – a song sheet





Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Valentine’s Day for Kids on Pinterest.

Five Fun Picture Books for Valentine’s Day

The Day it Rained Hearts written and illustrated by Felicia Bond
Valentine’s Day picture book published by Harper Collins

You are no doubt familiar with Felicia Bond’s lively illustrations in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here she tells the story of Cornelia Augusta, a girl who is caught in a rather unusual rainstorm.

On The Day It Rained Hearts Cornelia collected hearts of all different shapes and sizes and then set to work making Valentines for her special friends. Before setting to work, she thinks carefully about each individual and she creates cards and gifts that suit each perfectly.

She found seven that were more or less alike and strung them together with a needle and thread.”I know just the right person for this one,” she thought.

The Day it Rained Hearts encourages thoughtfulness and creativity. A lovely choice for your young Valentine or for sharing at a February storytime.

Extension activities could include a search for hidden hearts, comparing and categorizing hearts and creating Valentine’s Day cards and gifts.

32 pages, Ages 3 to 5

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.com

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.ca

cover art for Lilly's Chocolate HeartLilly’s Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Valentine’s Day picture book published by Harper Collins

Lilly is a beloved picturebook character. Best known for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse , she also appears in Lilly’s Big Day, Chester’s Day, Wemberly Worried and Julius The Baby of the World.

Before going to bed on Valentine’s Day, Lilly must decide what to do with her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day chocolate.

“Lilly wanted to find the perfect place to keep the heart. She looked under her bed, but it was too dusty. She looked inside her dresser, but it was too messy.

Those who know Lilly, will agree that she is exhuberant and sometimes just a little bit impulsive so finding the perfect place for the precious chocolate is quite a challenge.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart will be a delicious treat for Lilly fans who will no doubt notice her purple plastic purse hanging from a dresser drawer handle and a painting of the purse that hangs on a wall.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.com

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.ca

Love is You & Me written and illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Picture book published by Simon and Schuster

Just in time for February 14th, Monica Sheehan’s celebration of love arrives on bookshelves. Intended for very young children, my copy is in a boardbook format. Fun, breezy illustrations introduce a handsome mouse and his dashing canine friend. They adore spending time together; driving in a convertable, sharing a milkshake, holding hands. riding a roller coaster. Whether doing something exciting or nothing at all, true friends know, “Whever we go love will always be…because…love is you and me.

A perfect book to share for Valentine’s Day, Love is You & Me (Monica Sheehan’s warmhearted follow-up to be happy!) delivers a reassuring message that will be enjoyed equally by young children and all those who care deeply for them.

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.com

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for You by Stephen Michael KingYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend.

In this picture book about friendship, happy and engaging illustrations invite us to watch as a friends work together to transform a drab birdhouse into a bright and inviting home. When the work is done, they joyfully play music together and manage to endure the highs and lows that life brings.

The world is an exciting place, with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far-far-aways. But the most exciting place in my world is with… you.

Well-suited to very young children, You is a picture book about friendship and love. It would be a a great story to share before a parent or friend leaves on a trip.

Be sure to visit the author’s website (link above) and read about Stephen Michael King’s experience as a hearing impaired child and his path to becoming an author-illustrator.

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.com

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Zero Kisses for MeZero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac
Picture book about affection and independence published by Tundra Books

I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that doesn’t just hook the kids – some books have children talking about the story a week later and begging for a reread. Zero Kisses for Me is one of those delightful books that children love to see, listen to and cheer about.

Life is tough when you’re always being kissed.” When you’re kissed before you go out in the rain and when you’re kissed and called, “Honeybunch” or “Flower Bud.” By the end of the day, you can be “tired of being everybody’s tootsy-wootsy… huggy-bear… kissy-snooks.” You might even demand, “No more mush!” And, you might exclaim, “BLEAH” – the perfect word to make a story memorable and a great word for young children to hear and relish.

Fun illustrations add to the atmosphere in Zero Kisses for Me and convey the little bear’s determination and frustration beautifully. A great read aloud for boys and girls, aged four to six, especially those who enjoy many, many kisses each and every day. Although not a Valentine’s Day book, this would be a terrific choice to reach for on February 14th.

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.com

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts Has Free Valentines Day Printables for Kindergarten and Preschool

Storytime Standouts Has Free Valentines Day Printables for Kindergarten and Preschool

Our early learning printables, including our Valentine’s Day theme printables for preschool and kindergarten are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.

Valentine’s Day Circle Time Rhymes and Chants for Preschool or Kindergarten ~

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Five Little Valentines chant for preschool

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Valentine’s Day Printables for Young Readers and Writers ~

Valentine's Day printables picture dictionary for children

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Free printable Valentine's Day Writing Paper for kids

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Making a Valentine Sequencing Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Valentine’s Day Sequencing Activity
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Valentine’s Day Printables for Older Children ~
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Squirrel Theme Circle Time For Preschool and Kindergarten http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/05/picture-books-best/squirrel-appreciation-damake-it-a-squirrel-circle-time/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/01/05/picture-books-best/squirrel-appreciation-damake-it-a-squirrel-circle-time/#respond Wed, 05 Jan 2011 19:36:25 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=1996 Squirrel Theme Circle Time For Preschool and Kindergarten | Storytime Standouts

Use these squirrel theme circle time materials to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day January 21st! A number of years ago, my father-in-law was frustrated by some pesky critters in his beautiful garden. Stellar jays were not the only visitors who liked the peanuts he offered, not surprisingly the neighbourhood squirrels were also attracted by the treats. […]

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Squirrel Theme Circle Time For Preschool and Kindergarten | Storytime Standouts

Squirrel Theme Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Use these squirrel theme circle time materials to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day January 21st!




A number of years ago, my father-in-law was frustrated by some pesky critters in his beautiful garden. Stellar jays were not the only visitors who liked the peanuts he offered, not surprisingly the neighbourhood squirrels were also attracted by the treats. Unfortunately, the squirrels were much less appreciated as guests than the jays – the squirrels dared to dig up his daffodil bulbs! We were sympathetic about the destruction of his flower beds, but we couldn’t resist celebrating Squirrel Appreciation Day with him once we heard about it.

Since January 21st is fast-approaching, I put together some squirrel theme preschool materials for anyone who’d like to join in the fun. These resources will be useful when planning a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten.

Let’s begin with some squirrel theme picture books for preschool and kindergarten:

image of cover art for Will and SquillWill and Squill written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

Will and Squillis the story of two very unlikely friends. Will and Squill meet as infants and, although discouraged by their parents, they persist in playing, swimming and swinging together. All is well until Will’s family aquires a kitten and Squill reacts badly to the intrusion into their friendship. Thankfully, it is not long before, Will discovers that a kitten is not nearly as good a companion as Squill and the two mismatched friends are reunited. Well-suited for read aloud, will be enjoyed by children aged four and up.


Will And Squill at Amazon.com

Will And Squill at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Matthew and the Midnight HospitalMatthew and the Midnight Hospital written by Allen Morgan and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

The Flying Flingallees are the stars of the show in Matthew and the Midnight Hospital. When Matthew decides to put together a circus act, he hopes to enlist the help of some neighbourhood creatures. At the end of a performance for his mom, he scrapes his knee and needs some first aid. Just as the bandaid is applied to his knee, a young squirrel in a tree above misses his branch and falls to the ground. Matthew and his mom are both concerned for the animal. They make the injured squirrel comfortable for the night. Matthew worries about the squirrel’s well-being and is thinking about him as he drifts off to sleep. Shortly after midnight, he discovers that the injured squirrel is to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. Unlike any hospital I’ve ever visited, the midnight hospital offers the perfect antidote and soon Danny and Matthew are flying high. Also well-suited for read aloud, this is part of Matthew’s Midnight Adventure Series and will be enjoyed by boys and girls aged five and up.

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.com

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Scaredy Squirrel at the BeachScaredy Squirrel at the Beach written and illustrated by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Orville Squirrel whose initials are S.O.S. is an immensely popular character in an equally popular series of picture books. In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Scaredy the worrywart is very careful to avoid any sort of real or imagined danger. Rather than encounter pirates, jellyfish, seagulls and sea monsters, he decides to create his very own private backyard beach paradise. After carefully constructing his safe haven, Scaredy realizes that, although his beach “look” is great – his backyard just doesn’t sound like the real thing. The only solution is “Operation Seashell” – a carefully planned and executed mission in search of a seashell that will provide crystal clear ocean sound. Featuring detailed descriptions of Scaredy’s beachware and plans for his mission, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach will be enjoyed best independently or in a small group or one-on-one read-aloud setting. Best-suited to children five and up.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.ca

image of squirrel writing paper for kids

To enhance a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten, we hope you will enjoy our free early learning printables

All of our early learning printables, including these Squirrel theme printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the files.

image of Adobe Reader


Brown Squirrel Chant for Preschool and Kindergarten

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Five Little Squirrels Flannel Board Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

If you appreciate our free early childhood printables, including these Squirrel theme circle time materials for preschool and kindergarten, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


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A Favourite Wintertime Picture Book – The Hockey Tree http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2010/12/14/winter-picture-books/a-favourite-wintertime-picture-book-the-hockey-tree/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2010/12/14/winter-picture-books/a-favourite-wintertime-picture-book-the-hockey-tree/#respond Tue, 14 Dec 2010 21:57:45 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=1974 A Favourite Wintertime Picture Book – The Hockey Tree | Storytime Standouts

These days we are racing to meet all of my youngest son’s sports commitments. He is playing on the high school basketball team and he also plays “rep” hockey. This year the regular season and his hockey team’s Christmas tournament “collide.” He has ten different hockey commitments between now and next Tuesday – and has […]

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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A Favourite Wintertime Picture Book – The Hockey Tree | Storytime Standouts

These days we are racing to meet all of my youngest son’s sports commitments. He is playing on the high school basketball team and he also plays “rep” hockey. This year the regular season and his hockey team’s Christmas tournament “collide.” He has ten different hockey commitments between now and next Tuesday – and has turned down the opportunity to ref this week (thank goodness).

Storytime Standouts looks at a favourite wintertime picture book about ice hockey, The Hockey Tree by David Ward and Brian DeinesHockey is definitely his first love and, over the years, we have enjoyed several picture books about hockey together. He’s well past picture books now but I’m not.

The Hockey Tree written by David Ward and illustrated by Brian Deines



In light of the busy week ahead, I thought I would take a moment to write about David Ward’s The Hockey Tree. This is a favourite wintertime picture book that beautifully captures a Canadian winter day. Set in Saskatchewan, Owen and Holly are excited because Humboldt Lake has finally frozen over and it is a perfect morning for a spirited game of pond hockey. The two children are excited to drive to the lake with their dad and before long their skates are laced and the three are laughing and playing together. Unfortunately, just as the family starts to talk about taking a break and enjoying a mug of steaming hot chocolate, Holly smacks at the puck and it flies across the frozen lake and into an ice fishing hole.

The children are terribly disappointed that they’ve lost their puck and assume that the game will have to end. Dad is not quite so willing to concede. He helps Owen and Holly to find a fallen poplar tree near the lake. Once a suitable tree is found, dad saws a piece from the trunk to create a wooden puck and the hockey game resumes.

Brian Deines’ luminous illustrations include icy cold winter scenes that are made warm by his depiction of the joy of playing a favourite sport with friends and family.

A lovely book to share with young children, this is one of my favourite wintertime picture books.

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.com

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.ca

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