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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Gardening with children – writing prompts, wordplay and picture book suggestions! Enjoying gardening with children 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, writing prompts, wordplay and free printables for teaching about gardening in homeschool, preschool and […]

Trees and Forests

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Sharing a selection of picture books about trees has led to some wonderful discoveries. The books we feel compelled to write about are ones that were respectful of trees, some using them metaphorically. Often, there are references to the seasons and to the cycle of life.

The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionnithe alphabet tree written and illustrated by Leo Lionni
Picture book about letters, words and a remarkable tree published by Dragonfly Books

A lovely tribute to the idea that there is strength in numbers. the alphabet tree opens with individual letters living happily in a large tree. When a very strong windstorm hits, some letters are blown out of the tree. The remaining letters retreat and huddle together. It is a word-bug that encourages the letters to work together to form words. Feeling stronger and more confident together, a caterpillar suggests forming phrases and, eventually, creating an important message for the president. An outstanding resource for encouraging print awareness, this picture book could also be interpreted as encouraging social or political activism.

The Alphabet Tree at

The Alphabet Tree at

Leo's Tree by Debora Pearson and Nora HilbLeo’s Tree written by Debora Pearson and illustrated by Nora Hilb
Picture book about trees, seasons and family published by Annick Press

A lovely picture book to share with preschool-age children, Leo’s Tree begins when Leo’s parents plant a tree just after Leo is born. We watch as both the tree and the baby grow, changing through the seasons. Lovely watercolor illustrations follow Baby Leo, Toddler Leo and, eventually Big Brother Leo, playing nearby as the tree grows tall and strong. Gentle rhymes, repetitive text and alliteration all contribute to a rich text that will appeal to young children.

Leo’s Tree at

Leo’s Tree at

The Magnificent Tree by Nick Bland and Stephen Michael KingThe Magnificent Tree written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about problem solving and creativity published by Scholastic

Bonny and Pop love creating things. Bonny takes a simple, straightforward approach. Pop is less conventional. they would both love to have birds stop and stay for a while but, instead, they just fly past. Bonny and Pop agree that the solution is to make a tree. In keeping with their personalities, Bonny approaches the tree problem simply. By contrast, Pop makes an elaborate plan and works day and night. Finally, Pop’s creation is ready and, on the first day of Spring, dozens of birds check it out before landing in Bonny’s project.

An exuberant tribute to finding more than one way to approach a challenge. Fun illustrations have lots of details that will have a special appeal for tinkerers.

The Magnificent Tree at

The Magnificent Tree at


Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Highlighting our best printables for kids who are learning to read together with children’s book recommendations. Welcome to Storytime Standouts! We hope you will enjoy exploring our free early childhood downloads for home and school. We also hope you will check out our book recommendations. We do our best to recommend great picture books, chapter […]


Monday, August 12th, 2013

Today we highlight ten picture books about recycling including two picture books for older readers.

Earth Day Printables For Children Promote Environmental Awareness

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Click Here to Read More and Access the Downloads

Storytime Standouts shares green picture books that encourage environmental awareness

You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, recycling and reducing our environmental footprint or our page about gardening with children. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day

Step 1 – Our early childhood printables, including our Earth Day printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the free PDF downloads.

Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page or “Like” us on Facebook.
Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free printables.

image of an Earth Day printable for children

Earth Day Recycling Domino Game and Board Game Cards

Print these game pieces onto cardstock and them cut them apart. For the board game, recycle paper scraps to create a fun game board. Playing pieces promote recycling and environmental awareness as players race to the end.
[download id=" 122, 123"]

image of an Earth Day printable for children

Earth Day Interlined Paper

– beginning writers can use our writing paper to tell stories about Earth Day
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Free Printable Riddles about the Environment for Children

Earth Day Riddles

– print the questions and the answers. Cut them apart and then challenge children to match the questions with the answers.
[download id=" 124, 125"]

Free St. Patrick’s Day Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Sharing some fun Prek and Kindergarten St. Patrick’s Day Learning Resources
Picture Book Suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day
Free printable St. Patrick’s Day Fingerplays for Preschool
Free printable Pot of Gold Writing Paper for Beginning Writers
Free printable St. Patrick’s Day Picture Dictionary for Kindergarten
Free printable St. Patrick’s Day Wordsearch for Early Primary

May Your Blessings...Irish quote from

Picture Book Suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day

Storytime Standouts looks at The Leprechauns GoldThe Leprechaun’s Gold written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Henry Cole
Picture book featuring leprechauns published by Katherine Tegen Books An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

Old Pat and Young Tom decide to compete for the title of ‘Finest Harpist in Ireland.’ They know each other well, Tom learned to play the harp from Old Pat and he is certain that his musical ability has surpassed that of his teacher.

He was much given to boasting and bragging and charging the villagers great amounts of silver for his skills. Old Pat was humble and willing to play his music for free for those who he knew had not the means to pay.’

As the teacher and protege journey from their small town toward the Royal Palace, it occurs to Tom that Old Pat could indeed win the contest so Tom decides to sabotage Old Pat’s harp. Not long after, while camped for the night, the two musicians hear a cry for help. Young Tom is not willing to investigate the problem but Old Pat cannot ignore the plea. Cautiously, he walks through the dark forest to see how he can be of assistance.

In a clearing, he saw a tiny many with his foot down a rabbit hole. Old Pat’s nighttime encounter with a leprechaun leads to all sorts of wonderful magic and an opportunity for Young Tom to learn.

Luminous illustrations enhance this engaging look at two characters and how, when challenged, their decisions impact outcomes. Highly recommended for youngsters aged four years and up, boys and girls will enjoy looking for the sixteen four-leaf clovers hidden throughout the book.

The Leprechaun’s Gold at

The Leprechaun’s Gold at

Storytime Standouts Looks at Too Many LeprechaunsToo Many Leprechauns Or How the Pot o’ Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow Written by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Dan Andreasen
Picture book featuring leprechauns published by Simon and Schuster Kids

Finn O’Finnegan looked like a rogue and walked like a rascal, so it was widely thought that he was at least one of the other. And his shadow, which followed him closely and knew all of his secrets, might have said he was both.

Finn returns to his hometown only to discover that leprechauns have taken over! They are making shoes day and night in order to earn gold and the tap, tap, tapping is keeping everyone in the town awake. Finn comes up with a clever plan. He angers the leprechauns by finding fault with their creations until they feel they must show him their enormouse pile of gold. Once he knows where they keep their gold, Finn finds the perfect place to hide a pot o‘ gold and eventually restores peace to Dingle.

Delightful illustrations are done with oils and compliment a very enjoyable folklore tale.

Primary School resource – using Too Many Leprechauns to teach making predictions

Too Many Leprechauns at

Too Many Leprechauns st
More – including our Free St. Patrick’s Day printables for preschool and kindergarten

Picture Dictionaries

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

25 Free Printable Picture Dictionaries for Kids Free printable picture dictionaries for children who are learning to read and write. Inspire young writers with our downloads, organized by theme. Great resources for homeschool, kindergarten, early primary and English Language Learners. Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please […]

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

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at

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

Heat Wave at Amazon.calink to Heat Wave from

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

A Pod of Orcas at

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

In the Tree House at

Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Kites – it must be May

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

We’ve just added three new downloads to the site to help youngsters celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and kite flying. Storytime Standouts offers writing paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our writing paper for kids page. You will also be interested in our new page about gardening with […]

Spring Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Easter and Spring theme free printables for children that you can download and use at home or in a classroom right away.

Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please click on the ‘Get Adobe Reader’ button to install it for free.image for Adobe Reader

Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page, “Like” us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.

Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free printable Easter and Spring theme printables for kids.

Elsewhere on this page

Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Writing Paper
Some of our Most Popular Spring and Easter Theme Posts
Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Rhymes, Chants and Fingerplays
Free Printable Spring Picture Dictionary

Woolly Foursome Finds Friends: The Baabaasheep Quartet

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The Baabaasheep Quartet – written and illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts Picture book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside; When four sheep retire and move to the city, they adopt a rather cosmopolitan life style – decorating a high rise apartment, attending the opera and dining out. But, they can’t seem to find a way to […]

Lucy’s Secret by Mireille Levert – Planting Beautiful Ideas

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Lucy’s Secret – written and illustrated by Mireille Levert Picture Book published by Groundwood Books When Lucy visits Anna Zinnia’s garden, she is enchanted by all she sees; beautiful flowers and busy insects. When Anna Zinnia reveals a box of seeds, she tells Lucy, ‘In each seed lies a hidden, baby flower.’ Lucy plants the […]

Earth Day, Environment

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A wonderful selection of Earth Day teaching resources including picture books that promote environmental awareness Green-theme picture books deliver important messages about caring for our environment to children. These books belong in classrooms and home libraries. We hope these Earth Day teaching resources will help children to become environmentally aware. Also, be sure to visit […]

The Imaginary Garden – Poppa and Theo Create a Beautiful Garden

Monday, June 8th, 2009

The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher Picture book published by Kids Can Press Theo is blessed to have a very special relationship with her grandfather, Poppa. When Poppa moves into an apartment, they decide to create an imaginary garden on his balcony. The first Saturday of spring is marked by the […]

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