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 […]
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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.
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 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.
The 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
Brown 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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Children’s Books About Family Diversity Quotes about Diversity for Children Argyle written by Barbara Wallace and illustrated […]
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 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 […]
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 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. […]
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
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.
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.
24 pages and suitable for children 2 to 5
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.
“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.
Picture books, chapter books and novels that explore bullying 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. Also on this page Pink Shirt Day writing paper for kids and our Antibullying Pinterest Board When presenting our Celebrating […]
Five Little Ducks – illustrated by Ivan Bates Published by Orchard Books an imprint of Scholastic Perfect for celebrating Spring, Bates’ lovely, gentle illustrations capture this traditional children’s counting song beautifully. In addition to watching the young ducklings venture into the hills, young children will enjoy spotting a friendly beaver, a curious gull, a hungry […]
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
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.