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A beautiful counting book: A Pod of Orcas by Sheryl McFarlane

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

A Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book written by Sheryl McFarlane and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin Counting, Rhyming Picture book published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside Preschoolers will love counting the sailboats, harbor seals, sandcastles and magnificent orca whales. Written and illustrated by residents of British Columbia, the gentle rhymes and striking illustrations encourage […]

Professional Resources for Children’s Librarians and Teachers

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

An effective Storytime or Circle Time is carefully planned to be welcoming, inclusive, engaging and educational. It should include a variety of enjoyable activities and well-considered materials.


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When selecting books to share with a group, for example, non-fiction, as well as fiction, should be introduced. Writing style, book format and illustrations are also considerations – having some books with rhyming text is great but having every story told in rhyme would be tiresome. Big, bold illustrations will be seen more easily than those in small, lap books.


Most children’s librarians and teachers have a selection of props to enhance their Storytime and Circle Time programs. Flannelboards are often used as well as musical instruments, hand or finger puppets and other props. I also like including Cut and Tell stories, which involve cutting paper with scissors as a story is told or Fold and Tell stories. Similarly, Draw and Tell Stories are told and illustrated on the spot rather than ‘read’ aloud to a group.


Teachers and librarians who present on-going programs will want to include elements that repeat (such as welcoming and ending rituals) as well as including some unexpected activities that will make each session unique and memorable. Having extra copies of the books that you share will encourage children to borrow them and read them again at home.


The length of the sessions will depend on the age of the children, the size of the group, the collective attention span of the children attending and whether or not other adults are present. Teachers and Librarians who include movement in Circle time and Storytime will help children to manage their energy and participate successfully.

Professional Resources for Planning Library Storytime and Preschool Circle Time

In addition to these resources, be sure to explore our free printables songs, rhymes, fingerplays and chants



Professional Resources for Children's Librarians and Teachers including I'm A Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool StorytimeI’m a Little Teapot – Presenting Preschool Storytime Compiled by Jane Cobb and illustrated by Magda Lazicka
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by Black Sheep Press

Featuring more than 60 potential storytime themes, I’m a Little Teapot is a handy resource that includes booklists (fiction and non-fiction), 500+ nursery rhymes/fingerplays, songs and “more ideas.”

For example, for a frog theme, I’m a Little Teapot includes 11 suggested stories to read aloud, 5 non-fiction books and 5 fingerplays. For a clothing theme storytime, there are 29 suggested picture books to read aloud (plus 10 ‘More Stories’ and 3 ‘non-fiction’ titles, 10 nursery rhymes, 16 fingerplays and many ‘More Ideas’).

The book also includes an extensive list of recommended resources, presentation tips and suggestions for program planning, including program structure. Ms. Cobb recommends a core list of felt stories for storytime and references the use of traditional folk and fairy tales with preschoolers.

One of the strengths of this resource is that it does not assume that teachers have access to an extensive library of books or that they know fingerplays or songs. I have used the book when preparing for preschool programs and have found it to be easy-to-use and inspiring. I’m a Little Teapot includes ‘Conventional’ themes and as well as some unexpected ones like Giants and Royalty.

I’m a Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool Storytime at Amazon.com

I’m a Little Teapot!: Presenting Preschool Storytime at Amazon.ca


Professional Resources for Storytime including Step into StorytimeSTEP into Storytime written by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

STEP is an acronym for Story Time Effective Practice.

Almost one-third of this resource consists of professional development for librarians who present storytime programs to very young children.

The first section of the book includes a chapter that examines STEP and deals with implementation within a library system and also by an individual. Chapters 2,3,4 make a connection with child development including Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Intentionality and Scaffolding (adjusting the level of instruction to match the child’s readiness).

The second section of the book makes a connection between best practices and a child’s social/emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and language/literacy development.

Parent Education is a key component of STEP. The authors recommend that presenters model and speak regularly to parents about ways to support their child’s development.

The remainder of STEP into Storytime consists of plans (including scripts) for traditional and sequential storytimes.

As an example, the “Yummy in My Tummy” plan includes introductory remarks, an opening song, parent tip, Do You Know the Muffin Man?, a non fiction book, two fingerplays, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an action song, a song featuring sign language, two action rhymes, a counting book, an activity, a parent tip, a rhythm stick activity, rhyme with puppets, a song, a parent tip, a closing action rhyme and an extension activity.

STEP into Storytime does not provide alternate books (to be used if the teacher or librarian does not have access to the preferred book(s).

STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at Amazon.com

STEP Into Storytime: Using Storytime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at Amazon.ca



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7 Special Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Start baby’s first book collection with these special classic board books! Award-winners and bestsellers, these are stories that every child should hear, see, touch and enjoy. Board books make perfect gifts for baby showers and first birthdays. These are stories that mommies and daddies will read again and again.

~ Click to read our entire post ~

We began reading to our first son when he was six months old and I always recommend establishing a daily read-aloud routine while children are very young and happy to cuddle before bedtime. Don’t be shy about using silly voices or being dramatic. Make the read-aloud experience relaxed, fun and memorable.


For tips on reading aloud to infants and children, be sure to read our answers to 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Reading Aloud to Children

Goodnight Moon written by Margartet Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement HurdGoodnight Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
Classic Board Book for Babies and Toddlers published by Harper Festival a Division of Harper Collins Publishers

Ranked number 1 in School Library Journal’s poll of Top 100 Board Books, Goodnight Moon has a gentle, pleasing cadence that is soothing and relaxing.

In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of –

Young readers will watch as a young bunny tries to settle for sleep, adjusting the pillow and bedcovers, as the room darkens and eventually sleep comes.

Our first glimpse of the ‘Great Green Room’ does not reveal everything, colour illustrations alternate with black and white. New details are revealed over the course of an hour. Youngsters can watch as the clocks’ hands move and search the room for each of the details described in the text. A companion to The Runaway Bunny, children will make connections between the two books especially when they look carefully at the illustrations.

Goodnight Moon at Amazon.com

Goodnight Moon at Amazon.ca

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Classic Board Book for Babies and Toddlers published by Philomel Books

What more could you ask for? A beautiful die-cut concept book that includes rich vocabulary, counting from one to five, the days of the week, the transformation of a caterpillar to butterfly and beautiful, richly toned illustrations. This truly is a can’t miss story for babies and preschoolers.

Highly recommended as a gift for baby.

Click to visit our page about The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Amazon.com

The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Amazon.ca

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric CarleBrown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle
Classic Board Book for Babies and Toddlers

Simple but beautiful collage illustrations and repetitious, rhythmic text introduce 9 animals and colours. Also notable, the book illustrations include a racially diverse group of children. The simplicity of the story makes it ideal for very young children but also opens the doors for young writers and illustrators to tell their own stories, perhaps using a different sense – Jacob, Jacob, what do you see/hear/smell/touch/taste?

Click to visit our page about Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at Amazon.com

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at Amazon.ca

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Halloween-Theme Picture Books and Free Printables for Kids!

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

A Very Brave WitchA Very Brave Witch written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss
Halloween theme picture book published by Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books

A Very Brave Witch is the tale of a green-skinned, broomstick-flying, costume-loving witch. She thinks she knows all about humans and decides that Halloween night is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look. After a flying mishap, she meets three, costumed human trick-or-treaters including one girl who is dressed up as a witch. Together, the pair manage to shatter stereotypes as they discover friendship and celebrate Halloween together.

Young readers will enjoy investigating a recently-decorated haunted house and collection of costumes. The witches’ fear of humans is good fun.

Well-suited for a group read-aloud, the colorful watercolor illustrations nicely match the tone of the story.

Suitable for preschool and older

Scare Factor = 1

A Very Brave Witch at Amazon.com

A Very Brave Witch at Amazon.ca

A Creepy Countdown by Charlotte Huck and Jos. A. SmithA Creepy Countdown written by Charlotte Huck and Jos. A. Smith
Halloween theme picture book published by Harper Trophy

Beautifully-detailed, dark and creepy illustrations are a highlight of this Halloween-theme counting book. Rhyming text includes alliteration and guides readers as they count from one to ten and back down to one).

Five furry bats hanging upside down
Six skinny witches flying through the town

Recommended for children aged 5 and up. Illustrations are well-suited to a group setting and could be used to inspire young artists to work primarily in black.

Scare Factor = 2

A Creepy Countdown at Amazon.com

A Creepy Countdown at Amazon.ca

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for HalloweenScaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween written and illustrated Mélanie Watt
Halloween theme picture book published by Kids Can Press

Scaredy Squirrel is a fun series of picture books written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt. In Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween, Scaredy has put together eight short chapters featuring panels with maps, lists, illustrations and diagrams intended to keep trick or treaters safe and happy. Best suited to independent readers or a one-on-one read aloud, this is a fun book with rich vocabulary and detailed, engaging illustrations. Not great for a large group setting, this will be a very satisfying “chapter book” for a child in grade one or two and will produce lots of giggles when read by a parent to a child.

Scare Factor = 1

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts looks at Halloween theme picture books including Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'ConnellTen Timid Ghosts written and illustrated by Jennifer O’Connell
Halloween theme counting book published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When a moving truck pulls up to a haunted house, the ten resident ghosts watch nervously. Before too long, a green-skinned witch is scaring the ghosts with a skeleton, a bat and various costumes. Ms. O’Connell provides fun clues for readers to notice including buttons that look like eyes, white face powder and a roll of toilet paper.

Repetitive, rhmying text adds to the fun in this counting book. Young children will love finding the ghosts in each of the illustrations.

Scare Factor = 1

One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

A delightful, cheery picture book, One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray will have tremendous appeal for toddlers, preschoolers and older children. Beautiful illustrations direct readers to notice numbers and what is to be counted in each spread. Very well-suited to a classroom or a library read aloud session, the illustrations are bold and large enough for a group setting.


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Georgie Dog picks up one of Grace’s shoes and within minutes a chase ensues. Georgie jumps over three teddy bears and races past four wooden blocks. Soon after, he rushes outside and into the garden. This is a playful pup with a winning personality. He is clearly having fun until he encounters ten upset chickens. A special delight and highly recommended.

Learning Fun with Pumpkins! Picture Books and Free Printables

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

We live very near to several pumpkin patches. At this time of year, the leaves have died away to reveal gorgeous orange fruit. If you and your family have an opportunity to trudge through muddy fields to select just the right pumpkin, be sure to extend your child’s learning with pumpkin theme picture books and printables.



The Biggest Pumpkin Ever written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Jeni BassettThe Biggest Pumpkin Ever written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Jeni Bassett
Preschool picture book about growing pumpkins published by Cartwheel Books, a Division of Scholastic

Clayton and Desmond each fall in love with the same pumpkin and are soon working night and day to water and fertilize it. Before long, it is absolutely enormous! One night, as they work to protect the pumpkin from frost, the two young mice meet and discover that they have both been working on the same pumpkin project. Before long, it is time for a pumpkin contest and, together, the new friends enlist the help of dozens of field mice to transport the pumpkin into town.

With only a brief reference to carving a smiling jack-o-lantern face, this story is primarily about caring for the growing pumpkin, discovering a new friend and working cooperatively together. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is a great opportunity to explore the life cycle of a pumpkin. It will be enjoyed by preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever at Amazon.com

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever at Amazon.ca

Pumpkin Town written by Katie McKay and illustrated by Pablo BernasconiPumpkin Town written by Katie McKay and illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi
Preschool picture book about growing pumpkins published by HMH Books for Young Readers

José’s family grows pumpkins and usually they are very careful to only grow the best. One day José and his five brothers discard some ‘lesser’ seeds carelessly. The seeds are blown into town and land on straw roofs and in soil. When spring arrives, the seeds began to grow. Soon intrusive vines push through windows and heavy pumpkins threaten to drop out of trees and off rooftops. José and his family are blissfully unaware of the problem until the brothers venture into town.

Acknowledging their mistake, the boys set about harvesting the pumpkins and returning the town to normal. Observant readers will accurately predict the impact of rewarding the brothers’ hard work by giving them watermelons to eat.

Very good fun for preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children. No reference to Halloween.

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins at Amazon.com

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins at Amazon.ca

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins written by Dianne Ochiltree and illustrated by Anne-Sophie LanquetinSixteen Runaway Pumpkins
Rhyming, counting picture book about harvesting pumpkins written by Dianne Ochiltree and illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin

Sam Raccoon is confident when she heads out to the pumpkin patch. She pulls a large blue wagon behind her and she is soon filling it with big, lumpy pumpkins. At last the wagon is stacked with sixteen bright orange pumpkins that wiggle and wobble as she pulls it down the bumpy road. Soon, the pumpkins tumble out of the wagon and roll and bounce down the hill to the farmhouse.

Sam runs after the tumbling pumpkins and is disappointed when some are cracked but Grandpa knows exactly what to do with cracked pumpkins. The family gets to work and soon enjoy a delicious dessert.

Engaging illustrations, rollicking rhymes and the chance to count along will have great appeal for preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children.

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins at Amazon.com

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins at Amazon.ca

9 Outstanding Beach Theme Picture Books (Incl Free Printables, Video)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Whether planning a day at the beach or just back from some fun in the sun, these beach-theme picture books will be a wonderful addition to your summertime fun. Suitable for toddlers, preschool age children, kindergarten and older, these stories address important themes like fear of the water and getting outside one’s comfort zone. Whenever possible, it is very valuable to have children read books that match their experiences. These stories are perfect for introducing new concepts and extending learning. Have fun!

All You Need for a Beach written by Alice Shertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

All You Need for a Beach

written by Alice Shertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Picture book about a day at the beach published by Harcourt, Inc.

A companion book to All You Need for a Snowman, this is an exuberant celebration of a group of children, playing together in sand and water. Bright, cheerful colours and a happy theme of exploration and cooperation highlight this picture book for toddlers and preschool-age children. Illustrations depict a racially diverse group of children.

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All You Need for a Beach at Amazon.com

All You Need for a Beach at Amazon.ca

Beach theme picture books including At the Beach by Anne and Harlow RockwellAt the Beach by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
Toddler book about a day at the beach published by Aladdin

Best suited to very young children, At the Beach is a lovely introduction to the joys of spending a day picnicking, playing in the sand, looking for treasures and swimming. Simple, clear text matches the colorful illustrations and creates an opportunity for learning new vocabulary.

The main characters are a Caucasian girl and her mother however the illustrations depict diverse skin tones among those playing at the shoreline.

At the Beach at Amazon.com

At the Beach at Amazon.ca

Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood – Great for Father’s Day

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Some of our favorite picture books about fathers and fatherhood together with free printables and a link to our Father’s Day board on Pinterest.

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and StepfathersDad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Paul Meisel
Picture book about fathers published by Candlewick Press



Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers is the story of the two special men in a young girl’s life. Outwardly they are very different. They wear different clothes and they have different hobbies but, there are also similarities between the two men. Both teach the girl to how to cook and both enjoy music.

Pop is bald. Dad is not.
Dad is tall. Pop is not.
Dad wears suits. Pop wears boots.
Pop takes pictures. Dad takes naps.

This breezy, happy look at a family that includes both a ‘Dad’ and a ‘Pop’ celebrates differences and commonalities. A good choice for children aged four years and up.

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers at Amazon.com

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers at Amazon.ca

Daddy Hugs 123 is included in Storytime Standouts Terrific Picture Books About Fathers and FatherhoodDaddy Hugs 123 written and illustrated by Karen Katz
Counting book about an infant and her father published by Margaret K. McElderry Books



Bright, cheery illustrations depict a baby girl and her father. As the day unfolds, they share all sorts of affectionate, happy moments.

One “I’m so glad you’re my baby!” hug. Two teeny, tiny finger hugs. Three pat and burp the baby hugs.”

A great choice for infants and toddlers, Daddy Hugs 1 2 3 is all the more special because it shows a dad who takes responsibility for all aspects of his daughter’s care.

Daddy Hugs 123 at Amazon.com

Daddy Hugs 123 at Amazon.ca

Night Light – A Picture Book That Shines, review by Storytime Standouts

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Night Light is a picture book my boys would have loved! Bright, colorful computer-generated illustrations include a zooming train, a hovering helicopter, a shiny taxi, a chugging tugboat, a hard-working loader and a gleaming firetruck. All have lights that shine in the dark. Youngsters will enjoy counting the lights, hearing clues and then speculating on what vehicle’s lights are glowing through the die cuts. As well, they will enjoy looking at the flip side of the die cuts and how Blechman incorporates the black circles they create into the left side of each spread.

7 Winning Ice Hockey-Theme Picture Books with Free Printables

Friday, November 15th, 2013

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

Back to School Fun with Super Picture Books and Free Printables

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

For many adults, books are a great source of information as well as entertainment. Whether searching for a delicious recipe, researching an upcoming family vacation or deciding if a visit to the doctor is necessary, books can be inspiring, entertaining, informative and reassuring.

Just as adults seek information from books, children gain understanding and confidence as they explore new and unfamiliar situations through books. Whether beginning preschool or heading off to school in September, there are many delightful picture books available to help you and your child make the transition with relative ease.

Biscuit Goes to School Biscuit Goes to School written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by Pat Schories
Beginning Reader about school published by Harper Trophy

Biscuit is a truly outstanding series for beginning readers. Beautifully illustrated with engaging pictures that will help a new reader to determine meaning. Classroom depicted is racially diverse.

Resources, including printables here.
Biscuit Goes to School at Amazon.com

Biscuit Goes to School at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including Ready Set Preschool
Ready, Set, Preschool! – written by Anna Jane Hays, illustrated by True Kelley
Picture book about preschool published by Knopf Books for Young Readers an Imprint of Random House Children’s Books



Ready, Set, Preschool! features stories, poetry and detailed illustrations that will enable youngsters to explore a typical preschool classroom, experience a field trip, observe playground activities and more. As well, the illustrations and text offer opportunities to practice counting, identifying colors and shapes, recognize rhyming words, the alphabet and letter sounds.

Working with a Speech Delayed Child by Storytime Standouts

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Since late winter, I have been working with a speech delayed child.

She is five years old and she will start kindergarten in September. Initially, I worked with her for one hour each week. After a month or so, her parents were delighted with her progress and they asked me to double the frequency of our sessions. Currently we meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for one hour.

Individuality and Respecting Others

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Storytime Standouts recommends children’s books about individuality, self confidence and finding one’s voice You will also be interested in our pages featuring ~ Children’s Books About Autism and Asperger Syndrome Children’s Books About Bullying Children’s Books about Diversity and Acceptance Children’s Books About Family Diversity Quotes about Diversity for Children “The things that make me […]

Billy Bully Learns Consequences of Bullying

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

When Billy Bully arrives at the school playground, his animal friends are already there. Cow is enjoying a swing, horse is on the teeter totter and duck is on the slide. Within moments, Billy Bully has taken charge. He chases the others off the slide, grabs toys and he won’t wait his turn. One by one, he upsets each of his classmates and loses friends.

Family Literacy Program Development Part 2

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Family Literacy Program format Each session of our family literacy program began with a thirty minute “storytime” presented by a librarian. The storytime theme matched the weekly program theme. This ensured a good match between the librarian’s “storytime” and the program presented by the program facilitator. Following the “storytime,” the group learned a new rhyme […]

Teaching Kids About Gardening – Flowers, Vegetables, Seeds and More!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Teaching children about gardening is a wonderful way to get them outdoors, breathing fresh air, learning and excited about our natural world. In this article, we share picture book suggestions and free printables for teaching about gardening in homeschool, preschool and kindergarten Please also visit our posts celebrating trees and highlighting Earth Day and the […]

Weeding and Organizing My Personal Library Isn’t Easy

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

This year I am determined to find the best way to organize my personal library. At the same time, I hope to “weed out” a few titles. After all, there is only so much space I can devote to picture books.

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi offers countless treats for children

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi A counting picture book that examines themes of self esteem and self worth published by KO Kids Books Kathryn Otoshi’s picture book, One, was a delight from cover to cover and won many awards. Her latest picture book is titled, Zero and it will certainly be a strong contender as well. […]

Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Picture Books and Printables for Kids

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Summer, Camping Theme Picture Books including A Camping Spree with Mr. MageeA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee – written and Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Camping theme picture book published by Chronicle Books

An absolutely irresistible adventure story for young children. A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is one of my all-time favorite picture books. When Mr. Magee and his small dog begin their camping trip, they have no inkling that a near-sighted, marshmallow-fancying bear will soon have them staring down a fifty foot waterfall.

They were snoring and snoozing, enjoying a dream, When splash went the camper right into the stream! The splash shook the camper. They jumped out of bed. “Now what in the world was that?” Magee said.

Both adults and children will thoroughly enjoy the rich and dramatic illustrations as well as the delightful rhyming prose. Don’t miss it!

36 pages, Ages 4 to 7

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee at Amazon.com

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at Amazon.ca

Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books including Heat WaveHeat Wave – written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Summer weather picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What a sizzling combo! Eileen Spinelli and Betsy Lewin have teamed up to create the perfect bedtime story for a stifling hot summer day. Set in an era before air conditioning was commonplace, everyone in Lumberville is seeking relief from the oppressive heat:

Butchy Bezwick and Charley Pappas squirted each other with garden hoses and lay on the cool linoleum listening to the radio.

“Take me to the drugstore for an ice-cream soda, please,” Abigail Blue begged her father. “Please!”‘

Whether you and your child are experiencing hot, humid summertime weather or just wishing for one more blast, Heat Wave is a delightful summer-theme picture book that will evoke long-past lazy summer days and much simpler times. Ms. Spinelli’s prose and Ms. Lewin’s illustrations are a perfect match, evoking a strong sense of community and family.

Good fun for youngsters aged four and up, the is a picture book that adults will thoroughly enjoy sharing with children.

Note – Heat Wave begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. If desired, extension activities could include learning about the days of the week.

Heat Wave at Amazon.comlink to purchase from Amazon.com

Heat Wave at Amazon.calink to Heat Wave from Amazon.ca

Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Picture Books including A Pod of OrcasA Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book written by Sheryl McFarlane and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Ocean and beach-theme concept book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Preschoolers will love the sailboats, harbour seals, sandcastles and magnificent orcas. Written and illustrated by residents of British Columbia, the gentle rhymes and striking illustrations encourage closer examination of a beautiful day at the seaside.

Highly recommended

24 pages and suitable for children 2 to 5

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.com

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.ca

In the Tree HouseIn the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Picture Book published by Kids Can Press

One of my favorite parenting memories involves snuggling with my sons and watching the Perseid Meteor Showers. When they were young, we scheduled an annual camping trip with friends so that we would be away from city lights and able to watch for shooting stars. I will never forget the experience of sitting beachside in a folding chair with one of my sons on my lap. We would wrap a blanket around us and wait. Most years there were eight of us searching for the dramatic streaks of light across the night sky. Each time a meteor appeared, there would be squeals of delight, “Oh, did you see THAT one?”

Andrew Larsen’s In the Tree House tells of a young boy who is feeling the changes that time brings. He and his family move into a new house and, instead of sharing with an older brother, he has his own room. He misses having his brother in his room and he has trouble falling asleep. He uses his wakefulness to plan treehouses. He’s excited when his brother starts drawing treehouses and he’s thrilled when his dad agrees to make his dream a reality. It is not long before Dad and sons are perched up high, gazing at the night sky.Storytime Standouts looks at In the Tree House

“Why aren’t there any stars?” I asked between gulps of lemonade.

“They’re up there,” Dad said. “We just can’t see them,”

He explained how the lights from the city make the sky too bright for us to see the stars shine.

They boys love spending their summer in the tree house. They play cards and read comics and watch their neighborhood.

The following year, circumstances have changed. The older brother has new friends and they keep him busy. The tree house that was once magical now seems empty until a chance power outage transforms the neighborhood. In the darkness, the older brother returns to the tree house and the boys’ special relationship is revealed once again – just as the utter darkness reveals a sparkling night sky.

In the Tree House is a shining tribute to the special relationship between siblings and the small, meaningful moments that make a world of difference.

Nominated for a (Ontario Library Association) 2014 Blue Spruce Forest of Reading Award

In the Tree House has also been nominated for a 2013 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award.

In the Tree House at Amazon.com

In the Tree House at Amazon.ca

Anti-Bullying

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Picture books that explore bullying behaviors and conflct resolution themes. Whether a child is being bullied or is bullying another child, these books and the guidance of a caring adult will help. When presenting our Celebrating Diversity with Picture Books workshop at conferences, we always include a selection of picture books that effectively convey an […]

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Learn to Read Printables, Games and Activities for Parents and Teachers

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth!

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth!

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth! written and illustrated ...

Fireflies A Writer’s Notebook by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Fireflies A Writer's Notebook by Coleen Murtagh Paratore Journal for writers ...

Loving books can be contagious – Reading Power by Adrienne Gear

It's no secret that we are impacted by the thoughts ...

Phonemic Awareness

Bolstering Phonemic Awareness, Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Bolstering Phonemic Awareness, Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Some of the keys to learning to read are noticing ...

Developing Phonemic Awareness: How’s Your Nose, Rose?

You won't regret using wordplay to support your child's phonemic ...

5 Ways to Assess Your Child’s Phonemic Awareness (Series)

The focus of our last few posts has been phonemic ...

Terrific Chapter Books for Middle Grades and Teens

Wrapping up the year… best books for middle grades

Wrapping up the year… best books for middle grades

I always say this but I can't believe it's the ...

A Middle Grade Teacher’s To Be Read List – Let it inspire you!

It's been a while since I did a top ten ...

Good Things Come In Threes; The Ascendance Trilogy

This isn't a scientific fact but it is a completely ...

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