Posts Tagged ‘family relationships’

Introducing “Can I?” by Jessie Nagra and Kurt Hershey

Posted on October 9th, 2020 by Carolyn Hart

Can I by Jessie Nagra

Can I? written by Jessie Nagra and illustrated by Kurt Hershey

Generously illustrated late primary/middle-grade fiction that explores individuality, independence and acceptance published by Friesen Press

I think most parents hope their children will share (at least) some of their passions. Whether introducing kids to music, sports, books or hobbies, there is often an underlying desire to have your offspring share your enthusiasm for a band, an author, a team or an activity.

My youngest son loves team sports and we have watched him play competitive soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball and hockey. For quite some time, he played soccer and hockey concurrently. We held our breath to see what he would choose when he could no longer manage the demands of both.

Johnny’s facing a slightly different challenge. His dad eats, sleeps and breathes soccer. He is excited each and every time Johnny plays and he secretly hopes to coach the team. Ready with suggestions for improvement, Dad wears a team tracksuit and whistle to each of Johnny’s games.

Johnny’s soccer coach is loud and angry. The team is on a losing streak and the lopsided score is not helping his mood. Johnny’s not having fun either but is hesitant to tell his soccer-fan father.

“Dad….I don’t like soccer. I don’t want to play it anymore.”

Generously illustrated, with engaging illustrations and text, Can I? explores themes of independence, individuality and acceptance — especially within families. Sharing with a child or children will offer up a golden opportunity for thoughtful discussion about independence and freedom to pursue one’s interests and passions.

Available in paperback, hardcover and e-reader formats.

Can I? at

Can I? at

A Celebration of Love and Families

Posted on February 18th, 2020 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares Love Makes a Family

Love Makes a Family written and illustrated by Sophie Beer

Board Book about Family Diversity published by Dial Books for Young Readers

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Maya Angelou

There are so many wonderful ways that families express their unconditional love. In Love Makes a Family, we see adults helping, cheering, consoling, entertaining, snuggling, playing, protecting, cherishing and more.

Ms. Beer shows us happy, loving and racially diverse families of all kinds. She chooses bold colors for the illustrations that will captivate young children. Whether searching for a child’s missing shoe or enjoying a fun tea party in a treehouse, the family activities and expressions of affection that she has illustrated are delightful. The author’s enthusiasm for imaginative play, being out of doors and bedtime stories is contagious and inspirational. From morning ’til night, family members are depicted expressing a beautiful rainbow of love for each other.

We reviewed a large, sturdy board book copy of Love Makes a Family that is well-suited to a group setting. Tracking the bold text and watching for the word, “LOVE” would be a great way to extend learning with preschoolers. A great choice for Valentine’s Day and/or a Circle Time about families, the book is also available for Kindle.

Love Makes a Family at

Love Makes a Family at

Storytime Standouts recommends Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

More by Sophie Beer

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, a SLJ Top 100 Novel

Posted on April 16th, 2019 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingTales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Series for middle grades published by Puffin Books

I have decided to try and read (or reread) as many of the School Library Journal Top 100 Children’s Novels as possible. I have many of them in my home library and have read quite a few but this will give me a focussed reading list over the next while.

Yesterday, I read Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. It ranks forty-fourth on the list. First published in 1972, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first in a series that features brothers Peter and Farley. Nobody calls Farley by his legal name, he is known simply as Fudge. Fudge is 2 1/2 years old and is a constant source of annoyance for Peter. He goes into Peter’s bedroom and destroys a school project, he causes trouble at mealtime, he refuses to do what he is told. Peter is regularly asked to help adults “manage” Fudge and his antics.

Adults reading the book will be sympathetic to Fudge’s mom and dad who surely must be at their wits’ end, trying to parent Fudge with patience and love.

I have a lot of empathy for Peter. I am an older sibling and I can understand Peter’s frustration with his much younger brother. I well-remember times when my younger sister annoyed me by taking over a gift or wanting to join in something that I was doing with my friends. I even remember her scrawling yellow crayon on our dining room wall, much to the frustration of our folks.

Storytime Standouts shares a quote from Judy BlumeAn easy read, and well-suited to readers at about a grade 3 or 4 level, I recommend this story of coping with a younger sibling as a fun read-aloud or a good introduction to the Fudge series for an independent reader.

A couple of notable items – in Chapter 3, when the children are headed to the park, Peter remarks, “Both my mother and my father are always warning me never to talk to strangers in the park because a lot of dope-pusher hang around there. But taking dope is even dumber than smoking, so nobody’s going to hook me!” There are no further references to smoking or dope.

Also, some of the comments and characterizations seem sexist today, for example, “As far as I know my father can’t cook anything. He doesn’t even know where my mother keeps the peanut butter, the dishes. or the pots and pans.”

Both of these entries provide opportunities to talk with children. On the one hand, Blume gives adults an opportunity to talk with children about safety in a park and illicit drug use. Likewise, there is an opportunity to discuss gender stereotypes and the division of labour in a family.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at

Read Jody’s post about Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice here.

Trees and Forests

Posted on September 20th, 2018 by Carolyn Hart

Tree and Forest Picture Books for Preschool, Kindergarten and Primary Grades

Picture books and free printables highlighting trees and forests

Sharing a selection of picture books about trees has led to some wonderful discoveries. The books we have included are respectful of trees and their impact on our environment, some using them metaphorically.

These picture books about trees and forests often include references to the seasons and to the cycle of life. Use these picture books about trees and forests in preschool, kindergarten and primary classrooms to share information and create environmental awareness.

Elsewhere on this site ~
– Children’s books about the environment
– Gardening Fun with Kids
– Children’s books about recycling

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about trees including A Grand Old Tree

A Grand Old Tree written and illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma
Picture book about trees and ecosystems Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic

“Once there was a grand old tree. Her roots sank deep into the earth, her arms reached high into the sky. She was home to many creatures.”

Lovingly written and illustrated, A Grand Old Tree is a wonderful tribute to an ageing fruit tree. We watch as squirrels scamper, birds chirp and bees buzz in the branches of the tree. Through the seasons, we witness her bloom and produce seeds to blow from her branches. We consider how many leaves she has produced.

One moonlit winter night, she falls. Snow covers her weary trunk and branches. When spring arrives, we can see her offspring growing nearby and we know her decaying trunk is still home to raccoons, insects and lichen. We appreciate her legacy and understand that her children and grandchildren are now growing, flowering, and sowing.

Both informative and quietly reassuring, this is an eco-friendly picture book children will enjoy again and again.

Note: there is a concrete poem (the text is printed to represent the trunk of a tree) in the book.

Teaching suggestions from the author’s website

A Grand Old Tree at

A Grand Old Tree at

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni

the 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 Hilb

Leo’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. Gentle watercolor illustrations follow Baby Leo, Toddler Leo and, eventually Big Brother Leo, playing nearby as the tree grows tall and strong. 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

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Magnificent Tree by Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King

The 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

Storytime Standouts shares a quote - The good man is the friend of all living things.
Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree by Anne Shelby and Cor Havelaar

The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree by Anne Shelby and Cor Hazelaar
Tall Tale about a man who decides to live in a tree published by Simon Says Kids

Beautifully illustrated and richly told in a storyteller’s voice, it is easy to imagine hearing this tall tale while sitting fireside on a winter evening. Harlan Burch lived in Appalachia long ago. He worked as a carpenter and spent time in the woods, choosing trees for his projects. Apart from cutting trees down, he also planted them – replacing each one that he cut with two saplings. One day, he came across a sycamore that was so large, there was room enough inside for Harlan to create a comfortable home.

Not long after moving into the sycamore, something strange happened. It was as though time had stopped and reversed. Harlan became more and more youthful. He soon married and had a family. The family thrived and grew, eventually populating all of Appalachia.

The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree at

The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree at

Storytime Standouts shares a selection of picture books about trees including Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf created by Lois Ehlert
Picture book about a Sugar Maple Tree published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Featuring dazzling collage illustrations, great for a group setting/read-aloud, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf shows readers real maple tree seeds (samaras), burlap, twine, wire, plant tags, and tree roots. Beautiful Fall colors are highlighted in the cover art and elsewhere in the book. The main text is large and tells the story of the origins of a maple tree, from the moment a seed falls in a forest through transfer to a garden center and eventual planting in a garden. In addition to showing readers the tree growing from seed to sprout to sapling, the illustrations also include unobtrusively labelled creatures that might live in and around a tree (squirrels, birds, earthworms) as well as other details that will promote learning.

A four-page appendix provides background information that will be helpful to young scientists and inquisitive researchers. An outstanding resource for kindergarten and primary-grade classrooms or for homeschool.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf at

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf at

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including Tess's Tree by Jess M. Brallier, pictures by Peter H. Reynolds

Tess’s Tree written by Jess M. Brallier and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Children’s book about coming to terms with loss published by Harper Collins Children’s Books

Tess loves the tree in her yard. She loves to sit under it and read, she swings from it and, in Fall, she plays in the leaves beneath it. On a dark, blowy night, two of the large branches are damaged and fall to the ground. There is no choice, the old tree must be taken down.

Tess’s emotions are strong. She is angry and sad. She knows that she must do something to honor the tree. She plans a funeral service to celebrate the life of her tree.

It is not long before Tess learns that the tree is not just hers. There are others for whom the tree was important.

Tess’s Tree provides an opportunity to explore important themes of love and loss with children. I have read some reviews that suggest that the story ought to have ended with Tess planting another tree. My personal perspective is that might be an obvious “solution” to Tess’s grief, in some ways, this particular tree was irreplaceable. Much like the loss of a friend, family member or pet, dealing with loss is not always as simple as finding a replacement.

Tess’s appears to be part of a single-parent family.

Tess’s Tree at

Tess’s Tree at

We Planted a Tree and other picture books about trees and forests

We Planted a Tree – written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake
Picture book about trees and ecosystems published by Golden Books an imprint of Random House

Young families in Brooklyn, New York and in Africa each plant a tree. As their trees grow, We Planted a Tree takes us to visit beautiful trees budding in Toyko and gorgeous bright, pink blossoms in Paris.

“The sun kept shining.
The pink blossoms dropped off,
But soon there were green leaves,
Green, green shiny leaves,
Which had food inside for the tree.

This joyous celebration of trees and the impact of planting just one, highlights that they can be a source of food and shade, they help to clean our air and they can prevent soil erosion. As well, readers learn that trees are home to birds and animals.

We Planted a Tree at

We Planted a Tree at

Free, Printable Tree-Theme Writing Paper for Home and Classroom

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree with bluebird

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree including roots

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Books for Bedtime! Special Stories to Share with Children

Posted on May 20th, 2017 by Carolyn Hart

Great bedtime-theme children's recommended by Storytime Standouts

Finding the perfect bedtime story can make all the difference as toddlers and preschoolers settle down for the night. In this post, we have a look at some delightful bedtime-theme children’s books that will set the tone for a good night’s sleep. In the comments, we hope you’ll let us know about your favorite books for bedtime!

A picture book about going to bed, 10 Minutes to Bedtime written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann10 Minutes till Bedtime written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
Mostly wordless picture book about bedtime published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers an imprint of Penguin

In this classic, fun picture book, Dad cautions his son that it is 10 minutes till bedtime. Within a moment, a pet hamster has summoned other neighborhood hamsters to stop by for ten minutes of fun. Preschool-aged (and older) children will enjoy the detailed and engaging illustrations that tell most of the story. Of course, the joke is on Dad as he has no idea what is happening behind his back, as his son gets ready for bed. Good fun and a great opportunity for language and comprehension development. Carefully ‘reading’ the illustrations and talking about what is happening is a big part of this bedtime story.

10 Minutes till Bedtime at

10 Minutes till Bedtime at

Storytime Standouts shares picture books about going to bed including Baby Bedtime Baby Bedtime written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Emma Quay
Rhyming toddler picture book about bedtime published by Simon and Schuster

Soft tones and sparse, rhyming text are hallmarks of this gentle picture book about a baby elephant’s bedtime. Cuddling and smiling, an adult elephant takes a baby elephant through a bedtime routine (including a story!) before finally saying goodnight.

One of the really lovely aspects of this picture book is that the gender and age of the adult elephant is not specific. This could be a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle putting the youngster to bed.

Baby Bedtime at

Baby Bedtime at

Rhyming picture book about bedtime Steam Train, Dream TrainSteam Train, Dream Train written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Rhyming children’s book about bedtime published by Chronicle Books

Wonderful rich vocabulary and onomatopoeia make this a wonderful bedtime story for preschool-age and older children. Children who are interested in trains, will enjoy hearing the names of the various cars (hopper, tender, reefer, gondolas etc.) and will hear the rhythmic text that echoes the sounds we associate with steam trains.

Set in moonlight, Mr. Lichtenheld’s illustrations, created with wax oil pastel are beautifully atmospheric. We especially liked the train’s arrival and the child’s moonlit bedroom.

Steam Train, Dream Train at

Steam Train, Dream Train at

A picture book about bedtime How to Put Your Parents to BedHow to Put Your Parents to Bed written by Mylisa Larsen and illustrated by Babette Cole
Fun picture book about bedtime published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

Preschool-age and older children will enjoy the humor as a young girls tries to get her parents to go to bed. Chores, a computer, games, television and even cell phones are delaying mom and dad’s bedtime but, with determination, it is possible for her to get them settled and off to sleep.

Older children, especially those who resist shut-eye, will see themselves in this fun role-reversal tale.

How to Put Your Parents to Bed at

How to Put Your Parents to Bed at

Princess Baby Night-Night written and illustrated by Karen KatzPrincess Baby Night-Night written and illustrated by Karen Katz
Picture book about getting ready for bed published by Schwartz and Wade, an imprint of Random House

Getting ready for bed can be an exhausting proposition. Princess Baby has lots to do. She not only puts her own pajamas on, she dresses her six special friends for bed too. She also helps with washing up, brushing teeth and selecting stories.

Bright, beautiful collage illustrations make this a great story to share in a group setting. Fans of Princess Baby will want to explore Princess Baby and Princess Baby on the Go.

Princess Baby, Night-Night at

Princess Baby, Night-Night at

Anywhere but Here – written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about #YAlit Anywhere But Here by Tanya Lloyd KyiAnywhere But Here written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Young Adult Fiction published by Simon and Schuster

I feel compelled to share some aspects of my personal life before I write about Anywhere but Here. I was attending university and living with my folks when my mom died four days prior to surgery that had been scheduled to repair a heart valve. It was shocking and devastating and, without a doubt, the most difficult experience of my life.

Weeks later, my dad began dating. When I say ‘weeks,’ I mean less than three months later. While still grieving the sudden loss of my mom and feeling as though my life had been turned upside down, I was watching as my dad began a relationship with a woman he would eventually marry. Dad’s second marriage was an enduring one. To be honest, I am not sure which of his marriages was longer: he celebrated twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries twice.

Anywhere but Here is the story of a young man, still in high school, who is coping with the loss of his mom. Cole finds life in a small town stifling. He is eager to finish high school and make a break from his acquaintances, friends and family. He has ended a two year relationship with a girlfriend and finds her behavior and that of some classmates confusing. His family life is in ruins. Cole’s dad drinks heavily and meets an exotic dancer. Before long, she is pregnant and Cole’s dad explains that she will be moving into the family home along with her young daughter.

With the encouragement of a school guidance counselor, Cole considers enrolling in a post secondary cinematography program. As part of his application, his must create a short film. It is while filming that Cole examines his community and gains perspective.

Beautifully written, Anywhere but Here accurately depicts the turmoil and confusion that occur when one parent dies and the surviving parent enters into a new relationship – especially when the surviving child(ren) are young adults. I especially liked the authenticity of Cole’s voice and the relationships between Cole and his guidance counselor, his mom’s former nurse and his classmates. This is a novel that begs for a sequel and I very much look forward to reading it.

Anywhere But Here at

Anywhere But Here at

Meet Author and Painter Claudine Gueh Yanting

Posted on June 12th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

An interview with Claudine Gueh YantingClaudine Gueh writes about children stumbling into the circus at night, rowing out into thrashing streams, and transforming into sea monsters, none of which has physically happened to her. She appreciates characters and stories with layers, written lyrically with a down-to-earth tone. Her favorite children’s literature authors include Karen Hesse and Sharon Creech.

Claudine’s works have been called “gloriously bittersweet,” “brilliantly creative,” and which show “the power of a child’s heart.” They have received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, and Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble has also been nominated for the Global Ebook Award.

Besides writing and painting, Claudine tutors Korean and Singaporean kids, and blogs about children’s books over at her small, warm house ~ CarryUsOff Books.

Twitter account – @CarryUsOffBooks
Facebook page
Author Website

Little Orchid's Sea Monster Trouble by Claudine Gueh YantingTell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?

Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble is a middle-grade story about a girl trying to prove to her Ma that she hasn’t been spouting nonsense – that the Giant Cuttlefish really exists. Yet when she finally meets the giant face-to-face, Little Orchid isn’t brave enough to save it from being killed for dinner. That night, she finds boils all over her body, and her fingers stretched into creature-like arms. With an unexpected storm approaching, and without a proper goodbye to her family, Little Orchid must now leave home and start a new life as the Giant Cuttlefish …

I think mothers should read this. I think daughters should also read it. I hope all children who secretly think they aren’t brave enough, and those who secretly wish they are, will read this, and discover surprising things about themselves.

I’m very proud of how the story has turned out, how Little Orchid’s voice has remained authentic. And I’m proud to include the three paintings (and the cover) I’ve done for this ebook.

Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble at

Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble at

Thinking back to your own childhood, is there a particular author or illustrator who was a favourite? Why do you suppose that person’s work resonated with you?

My sisters and I always had an Enid Blyton book around. It was that sense of imagination and the permission to go on grand adventures and meeting kind or nasty creatures that kept us hooked. We would talk about the stories and play-pretend ~ from fantasy stories to her boarding school series. Enid Blyton played a great part in our childhood!

How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries or bookstores?

I have a website and a blog featuring picture books, middle-grade fiction and picture-quote inspirations, so those two are my main connections with readers. Social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook have also been relatively effective for staying in touch with followers and welcoming potential readers. I recently wrapped up a children’s book giveaway hop and that was refreshing. As for book tours and classroom visits, I haven’t tried them.My Clearest Me by Claudine Gueh Yanting

What are the joys of being an author? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?

The joy ~ I get to do something I truly love, and this lifetime hasn’t been wasted. The biggest joy is in telling the stories as honestly as I can and hearing how they have stirred something in readers. My greatest pleasure has, for long, been from stories (books, films and recollections from family).

If you weren’t an author, what sort of work do you envision yourself doing? Have you had other careers or do you have another career now?

Besides being a writer, I am a private tutor in Singapore. I teach English to local and Korean kids. If I weren’t any of those, I’d like to be a detective seeking justice for children. (Yea, I’m a bit of a crime show-fan.)

Does music play a part in your writing/illustrating? If so, what sort of music do you connect with your work?

Oh yes, I love having a bit of music around when I write or paint. It’s either contemporary piano pieces or acoustic folk music.

Printables, Writing Prompts and Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood –

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts Recommends Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood

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

Picture books for Father's Day including Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers

Dad 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 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

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers at



Daddy Hugs 123 is included in Storytime Standouts Terrific Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood

Daddy 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

Daddy Hugs 123 at



Every Friday is included in Storytime Standouts Terrific Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood

Every Friday written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Picture book about a boy’s relationship with his father published by Henry Holt and Company

Such a lovely story – an excellent choice for preschool storytime or a bedtime story. Each Friday, a young boy and his dad leave their city apartment and walk through the bustling streets. They walk past shops and building sites, people rushing to work and people who are already going about their business.

Everyone is rushing, but we’re taking our time. We get friendly waves and we give them right back.”

Eventually, they arrive at a familiar diner. They sit together in a booth, enjoy breakfast, chat and watch the world go by. Their happy relationship and joy in being each other’s company is clear and very endearing.

Every Friday at

Every Friday at



Picture books for Father's Day including I’d Know You Anywhere

I’d Know You Anywhere written by Hazel Hutchins and illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Picture book about a child’s relationship with his father published by Annick Press Ltd

This story is especially suitable for a Dad’s Day at preschool or for celebrating Father’s Day. Young Jeremy attempts to hide amongst the toys in his bedroom. Daddy finds Jeremy and reassures him that he would know him anywhere and in any form. The father-son game continues as Jeremy imagines wonderful hiding places and disguises. He could disguise himself and hide near a creek or in the ocean or up in the sky…

If I became a sheep
upon a mountainside,
one of many thousand sheep,
a woolly, moving tide-
If I became a sheep,
would you know me then?

Daddy reassures his son that no matter where Jeremy might hide, he would find him.

Reminiscent of The Runaway Bunny, I’d Know You Anywhere concludes with Daddy and Jeremy disguising themselves and sneeking up on mom.

Ruth Ohi’s illustrations do a lovely job of depicting the playful relationship between father and son. The story is best suited to very young children, aged two and up.

I’d Know You Anywhere at

I’d Know You Anywhere at



Picture books for Father's Day including Little Boy written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Little Boy written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Picture book about a father and his appreciation for his son published by Simon Says Kids

A lovely picture book, Little Boy is a celebration of play and a reminder – especially for adults – that small moments can have great meaning and impact. We watch from morning until night as a young boy plays with his dog, enjoys time in the out-of-doors, has fun with a large cardboard box, helps with cooking, plays with his toys and spends time with his dad.

Little boy, so much depends on a blue mixing bowl,
a ball in the goal,
the tree that fell,
that wet-dog smell, and…
your big cardboard box.

Note,although the adult male in the illustrations is not specifically named, we assume he is the boy’s father.

Little Boy is a great gift book for expectant parents and also dads. Do take time to enjoy Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations. Each page tells a story and children will enjoy watching for the boy’s toy robot and his yellow cup as they accompany him throughout the day.

Little Boy at

Little Boy at



Picture books for Father's Day including My Father Knows the Names of Things written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

My Father Knows the Names of Things written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
Picture book about a boy’s relationship with his father published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

A happy celebration of the relationship between a boy and his father. It is clear that the pair enjoys spending time together and they have fun adventures – flying in a small airplane, snorkeling, riding bikes, painting and studying insects. All the while, the boy is learning from his father.

My father knows the names of things,
Each different sort of bell that rings,
And stones,
And knows the names of planets,
And even human bones.

Mr. Jorisch’s joyful illustrations capture emotions and the pair’s close relationship. Will be enjoyed by children aged four years and up.

My Father Knows the Names of Things at

My Father Knows the Names of Things at



Owl Moon is included in Storytime Standouts Terrific Picture Books About Fathers and Fatherhood

Owl Moon – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Picture book published by Philomel

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

Owl Moon at



Picture books for Father's Day including Some Dads... written and illustrated by Nick Bland

Some Dads… written and illustrated by Nick Bland
Picture book about fathers published by Scholastic

In his cheery tribute to fathers, Nick Bland depicts all sorts of animal parents exuberantly interacting with their offspring. We laugh at an over-protective elephant papa who fills a swimming pool with life rings and a mischievous sheep who can’t resist throwing a water balloon at his child.

Readers, both young and old, will enjoy the playful rhyming and the jubilant illustrations. Some Dads… is an excellent choice for Father’s Day or Dads’ Day at preschool, delivering a fun and affectionate message about diversity and unconditional love.

Some dads like strolling.
And some dads rock ‘n rolling.
And some dads just love the outdoors.

Well suited to children aged two and up.

Some Dads… at

Some Dads… at



Picture books for Father's Day including The Very Best Daddy of All written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Leslie Wu

The Very Best Daddy of All written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Leslie Wu
Picture book about fathers published by Aladdin Paperbacks, Simon & Schuster

Beautiful pastel illustrations are the highlight of this tribute to animal fathers and their offspring. Children will enjoy looking at a variety of male mammals, amphibians and birds as they feed, groom, house, protect and play with their offspring.

Some tuck you in, safe and warm, when the sun’s about to go.
And my daddy… haven’t you guessed? From all of the daddies, tall or small, mine is the best, the very best, the very best daddy of all.

Great for children aged two years and up.

The Very Best Daddy of All (Classic Board Books) at

The Very Best Daddy of All at



Picture books for Father's Day including What Does Daddy Do? written and illustrated by Rachel Bright

What Does Daddy Do? written and illustrated by Rachel Bright
Picture book about a girl’s questions about her father published by Puffin

An energetic, colorful and imaginative look at what Daisy’s dad does when he is at work and she is at school and playing with her friends.

“My daddy is an explorer!” said Daisy.
“Is he?” said Evie.
“Yes, he is!” said Daisy. “He climbs to highest of high-up places because he has mountains of paperwork to get on top of.”

Best suited to children aged four and up, older children will have fun with the author/illustrator’s treatment of Daisy’s interpretation of Daddy’s job description.

Note, onomatopoeia (Nee Nar, Nee Nar, Nee Nar / Boom Boom) is featured.

What Does Daddy Do? at

What Does Daddy Do? at



Quick Father’s Day writing and language arts activities for kindergarten and early primary grades

Father’s Day Wordplay

How many words you can spell with the letters in “Father” ? – at, fat, hat, hate, he, hear, her, rat, rate, the

How many synonyms you can discover for Father?
Dad, daddy, pa, papa, pop

Make a list of words that rhyme
with dad
bad, fad, glad, had, lad, mad, pad, sad

with pop
Bop, cop, crop, drop, flop, hop, mop, pop. stop, top

Try one of these Father’s Day writing prompts
We were so surprised when my dad….
We decided to surprise my dad with…
My favourite thing about Dad is…
The best thing my dad taught me was…
When I was four years old my dad…



Free printable Father's Day Writing Paper for Kids

Free Father’s Day Printables for Children

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Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Father’s Day printables.

image of PDF icon  Father's Day Word Search

Free printable Father's Day-theme wordsearch for children

image of PDF icon  Father's Day Interlined Paper

Father's Day-theme interlined writing paper for penmanship practise and story writing.

image of PDF icon  Father's Day Golf Interlined Paper

Golf-theme interlined writing paper for penmanship practise and story writing. Perfect for Father's Day.

image of PDF icon  Father's Day #1 Dad Interlined Paper

Father's Day Number One Dad writing paper

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Outstanding Picture Books About Moms and Motherhood

Posted on May 10th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts Looks at Picture Books About Moms and Motherhood

So many ways to explore the special bond between a mother and child. Just like My Mum is playful, Mama, Do You Love Me? is informative, The Best Gifts is supportive, The Runaway Bunny is reassuring and Mom and Me is revealing…

Storytime Standouts looks at Picture Books About Moms including The Best Gifts

The Best Gifts written by Marsha Furchuk Skrypuch and illustrated by Elly MacKay
Picture book about family life including breastfeeding published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside

This circular story begins with a joyous celebration. Family and friends visit a couple and their newborn baby, bringing gifts and celebrating the baby’s arrival. Once the guests leave,

Sara’s mother opened her nightgown and drew her daughter near. Sara was wrapped in love and a light scent of sandalwood as the warmth of her mother’s milk swirled in her mouth and filled her tiny stomach. She fell into a happy sleep.

In the years that follow, there are many celebrations – Sara’s fifth birthday, her graduation and her wedding day. On each occasion, the reader is reminded that the best gifts are (like breastfeeding) those than cannot be bought and that quiet moments with family create very special bonds.

The Best Gifts is appropriate for children aged four years and up. Although it clearly shares a pro-breastfeeding message, Ms Mackay’s illustrations also show us fathers who are very involved with child-rearing and supportive of breastfeeding.

Afternotes include breastfeeding resources for families

The Best Gifts at

The Best Gifts at

Storytime Standouts features Picture Books About Moms including Just Like My Mum David Melling

Just Like My Mum written and illustrated by David Melling
Picture book about a lion cub and his mum published by Hodder Children’s Books

An engaging, fun picture book about the similarities between a lion cub and his mum. Young children will relate to the cub and his experiences from morning until nighttime. Adults will appreciate mum’s occasional impatience and her preference for dry games.

“When I’m bored my mum doesn’t like it. She says, ‘Why don’t you do something?’ But when I do something… she says, ‘Just sit still for five minutes!”

Delightful illustrations make this good fun for children aged three and up.

Just Like My Mum at

Just Like My Mum at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including Mama, Do You Love Me?

Mama, Do You Love Me? written by Barbara M. Joosse and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Picture book about a mother’s unconditional love published by Chronicle Books

In this best-selling, award-winning picture book, a young girl asks ‘Mama, do you love me?’ Her mother promptly replies, ‘yes‘ but the girl is not satisfied. She wants to know ‘how much?’, ‘how long?’ and ‘what if?’ Gorgeous, rich illustrations of Arctic animals and features of Inuit culture contribute to this exceptional story of a mother’s love.

A detailed glossary provides additional background information that will be of interest to older children

ABC Choices for Children
American Bookseller, “Pick of the Lists”
Children’s Book of the Month Club, Main Selection
Golden Kite Award, Society of Writers and Illustrators
Parents, “Best Books of the Year”

Mama, Do You Love Me? at

Mama, Do You Love Me? at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including Mom and Me

Mom and Me by Marla Stewart Konrad
Picture book about moms, part of World Vision Early Readers series published by Tundra Books

The World Vision Early Readers series features minimal text and striking photographs from Romania, Uganda, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam. Mom and Me depicts young children being cared for by their mothers including mealtimes, bathing, going to school, doing chores and homework and sharing affectionate quiet time.

The simple text is intended for beginning readers but I imagine this used to inspire discussions about diversity and universality in a (preschool or kindergarten) classroom setting.

Mom and Me at

Mom and Me at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including The Runaway Bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

A classic picture book for very young children, The Runaway Bunny is the story of a little bunny who decides that he wants to run away from home. We don’t know what it is that has upset him but clearly he is seeking reassurance from his parent. His loving and steadfast Mother assures him that no matter where he might run and hide, she will follow and find him.

“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”

If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.”

Featuring colorful painterly as well as pen and ink illustrations, this is a story that every young child should know.

The Runaway Bunny at

The Runaway Bunny at

We think you’ll also enjoy
Storytime Standouts looks at Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms
Storytime Standouts Recommends Mother's Day Picture Books
Storytime Standouts Looks at I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids
Storytime Standouts Looks at Mama's Little Book of Tricks

Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms Celebrates a Special Bond

Posted on May 6th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Never Let You Go by Patricia StormsNever Let You Go written and illustrated by Patricia Storms
Picture book celebrating love between an adult and a child published by Scholastic Canada

I’ll be honest, I completely underestimated Never Let You Go when I first viewed the cover art. I assumed (wrongly) that it would be a treacly story about a mother’s love for her child. When I took time to carefully read the story and appreciate the playful illustrations, I discovered that this is indeed a special picture book that will be treasured by children and their adult caregivers.

Readers may assume that Never Let You Go is about a mother’s love for her child but one could argue that it could also be interpreted as a portrayal of a father’s love or a grandparent’s love. The beauty of the author’s words is that the affection shared by the adult penguin and the young penguin makes no reference to gender or relationship. The story will ‘work’ for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It will work for single parent families or families where the primary caregiver is not a parent.

Spread from Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms

Initially the adult penguin reassures the youngster, I will care for you, and treasure you always. And I will never let you go. But soon we discover, there will be times when the adult will give the child space to safely explore the world and gain independence. The adult won’t be there when nature calls or if the child is quietly working on a project. With humor, we discover that the adult prefers to grant space when the child has a tantrum and that the adult will visit with other adults while the boisterous young friends play together nearby.

Recommended for children aged three years and up, bright, bold illustrations and breezy, affirming text make this a great read aloud for small groups.

Never Let You Go at

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Emma’s Story – a picture book about families, international adoption

Posted on April 4th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts reviews Emma's Story - a picture book about families, international adoptionEmma’s Story written by Deborah Hodge and illustrated by Song Nan Zhang
Picture book about families and international adoption published by Tundra Books

Emma and her brother are baking cookies at Grandma’s house. They use cookie cutters to make a sweet cookie family and then decorate the tasty treats with candies and dried fruit. When Grandma lifts the cookie tray out of the oven, she admires the cookie family but Emma is surprised to see the cookie that Sam has decorated.

Sam had used raisins and strings of licorice to decorate the Emma cookie. Big tears rolled down Emma’s cheeks. “I want to look like everyone else,” she said.

Emma’s sadness prompts Grandma to cuddle with her in a comfortable chair. She opens a photo album and tells her granddaughter’s story.

This is a story that Emma has heard before. In fact, she helps Grandma to tell the story properly. It seems that Mommy, Daddy, Sam and their dog Marley were very happy but they longed for a baby girl. They waited and waited for a little girl to arrive. Finally, they heard about a baby girl in China who needed a family.

Emma’s Story tells of the family’s excited preparations folowed by Mommy and Daddy’s long trip to meet Emma. We witness the new family’s first night and day together and their trip home to Canada. A large crowd meets the threesome at the airport and joyfully celebrate’s Emma’s arrival.

Emma has heard her story “a million times” and she is reassured by Grandma’s words,

It’s not how we look that makes us a family, Emma. It’s how we love each other,” said Grandma.
“And we love each other a lot!” said Emma.

While perhaps not meant for every bookshelf, Emma’s Story offers a very reassuring message and one that bears repeating. Just as Emma likes to hear her story and be comforted by it, children who share the international adoption experience will be similarly reassured by this book.

Detailed illustrations enhance Emma’s Story, especially when showing facial expressions.

Emma’s Story at

Emma’s Story at

My Brother is Autistic, A Picture book about Autism

Posted on December 13th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

My Brother is Autistic, A Picture book about Autism reviewd by Storytime StandoutsMy Brother is Autistic written by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos and illustrated by Marta Fabrega

Picture book about autism

part of the Let’s Talk About It! series published by Barron’s

You will also be interested in our page featuring picture books about Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Written from the perspective of an older sibling, My Brother is Autistic looks at the realities and challenges of being the brother or sister of a child with autism. Usually Billy and his brother get along reasonably well but, when a classmate frustrates Billy and makes him angry, his older brother is embarrassed by Billy’s reaction. He runs away from the scene in the school cafeteria. Help is not far away as he encounters his teacher in a hallway. She listens to him explain what happened and she has empathy for the frustration he feels.

I told my teacher that I wished more kids understood autism, because if they did, then maybe they’d give kids like Billy a chance!

With a consderable amount of text, this picture book is best suited to children kindergarten age and up. A Note to Parents provides general information about autism, characteristics typical of people who are autistic and suggestions for helping siblings of children with autism.

My Brother is Autistic at

My Brother is Autistic at

My Brother Charlie, an Autism Picture Book, informs and Inspires

Posted on October 29th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

My Brother Charlie, an Autism Picture Book, informs and Inspires, recommended by Storytime StandoutsMy Brother Charlie written by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete with Denene Millner, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Autism picture book published by Scholastic Press

You will also be interested in our page featuring picture books about Autism and Asperger Syndrome

“Charlie has autism. But autism doesn’t have Charlie.”

My Brother Charlie is written from the perspective of Charlie’s twin sister. She explains that she and her brother share many things. She also explains that there are some ways they are different.

“Charlie is skinnier and goofier than me.
He hates math.
When he looks at the sky, he finds jets and helicopters.
And sometimes my brother gets very quiet.”

Charlie’s sister explains how he was different as a baby and that the differences between the two twins caused his parents to be concerned. She explains, “It’s harder for Charlie to make friends. Or show his feelings. Or stay safe. One doctor even told Mommy that Charlie would never say I love you.” We learn that it can be difficult to be Charlie’s sister and that she would love to be able to change him.

The story of My Brother Charlie is told candidly, respectfully and lovingly. It is an excellent book to share with children aged four and up. My Brother Charlie could be used to introduce a discussion about Autism or to encourage tolerance for those who may appear or behave differently.

My Brother Charlie at

My Brother Charlie at

The Imaginary Garden – Poppa and Theo Create a Beautiful Garden

Posted on June 8th, 2009 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at The Imaginary GardenThe 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 arrival of a giant, blank canvas. Before long, Poppa and Theo have created a long stone wall and beautiful blue sky. Soon they have added beautiful spring flowers to their masterpiece. When Poppa leaves for a holiday, Theo worries about tending their special garden by herself. With gentleness and love, Poppa assures her that she will know how to nurture their imaginary garden. This lovely picture book would be a great gift for a special Grandpa.

The Imaginary Garden at

The Imaginary Garden at

The First Rule of Little Brothers – help older children cope with siblings

Posted on December 5th, 2008 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book The First Rule of Younger BrothersThe First Rule of Little Brothers written by Jill Davis, illustrated by Sarah McMenemy
Picture book published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Oh dear, life can be awfully complicated when a younger brother or sister arrives on the scene. Before long, favourite toys are grabbed, tall towers are destroyed and ‘me too’ is an oft-heard phrase. For older children who are learning to get along with a little brother or sister, this picture book will ring true and inject some humor and insight into the experience.

One day I built the Empire State Building with blocks. It was huge! Taller than me! Then Bro-zilla walked into the room. CRASH!

Bright, colorful illustrations depict the two boys as they grow up. Good fun!

The First Rule of Little Brothers at

The First Rule of Little Brothers at

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