Posts Tagged ‘love’

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 Amazon.com

Love Makes a Family at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts recommends Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

More by Sophie Beer

The Kissing Hand – A Picture Book Classic for Starting School

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

The Kissing Hand -  A Picture Book Classic for Children Starting SchoolThe Kissing Hand written by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Classic picture book published by Child & Family Press


Despite the fact that my youngest son was very familiar with the preschool that he would be attending, separation was a major problem for him. He had been to his older brother’s classroom countless times. He had met the teachers and knew the playground BUT, when it came time to stay by himself, he was devastated. He simply would not let me leave. He grabbed my arm, he wanted reassurance and most of all, he wanted me to stay nearby.

Since that time, I have taught many classes for preschool-age children and have dealt with many youngsters who don’t want mommies and daddies to leave. Their eyes well up and they send a clear message that they will be heartbroken if left. Almost without exception, my experience has been that when mommies and daddies show confidence in their child’s ability to cope and when they don’t hesitate, the child manages fine. Sometimes a few tears are shed but a skillful teacher will quickly have the child happily engaged in an activity.

For some children, I offer my small brass bell. We put it outside the classroom and their parent is instructed to ring it when they arrive just before pick up time. Usually we are enjoying a quiet circle time when the bell is rung and the child’s eyes light up when she realizes that mommy or daddy is waiting outside.

For other children, I have a small stuffed ladybug – it is just the right size for small hands. I encourage children who are feeling separation anxiety to “look after” the ladybug for me. Usually, within a few minutes, the child is happily playing and the ladybug has been left behind.

The Kissing Hand shares the story of Chester Raccoon and his reluctance to leave Mommy and go to school. He claims that he would rather stay at home, play with friends, read and swing. Mother Raccoon is ready with a simple but reassuring message:

“Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do,” she told him gently. “Even if they seem strange and scary at first. But you will love school once you start.”

She shares a secret with her son.

Mrs. Raccoon took Chester’s left hand and spread open his tiny fingers into a fan. Leaning forward, she kissed Chester right in the middle of his palm.

Mrs. Raccoon is a wise mama. My best guess is that she is sad to see her youngster start school. She knows she will miss him and that he is taking a big step toward independence but she puts her own emotions aside and she equips Chester with the knowledge that his mother’s love will always be with him. She also shows confidence that he is ready to take this step away from home.

A great choice for children heading off to preschool or kindergarten. Do not be surprised if your child’s teacher shares this story during the first week of school.

The Kissing Hand at Amazon.com

The Kissing Hand at Amazon.ca

Some related picture books that young readers will enjoy

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board The Kissing Hand written by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E Harper and Nancy M. Leak on Pinterest.

Watch The Kissing Hand on YouTube

I’ll Always Love You – Helping Kids Cope With the Death of a Pet

Posted on November 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Books can be enormously helpful for both parents and children when they face difficult and emotional situations.

I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm Helps Kids Cope With the Death of a PetI’ll Always Love You written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
Picture book about the death of a pet published by Dragonfly Books, an imprint of Random House

In I’ll Always Love You we meet a young boy and his much loved dog, Elfie. Elfie and the boy share many experiences but as the boy grows up, Elfie grows old. This sweet tribute to a family pet explains the dog’s death respectfully and lovingly. In addition, the story serves as a reminder that expressing our love to those around us can be of some comfort when we must deal with loss.

32 pages, suitable for children aged four years and up

I’ll Always Love You at Amazon.com

I’ll Always Love You at Amazon.ca




A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King

Posted on March 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

You by Stephen Michael King is a picture book about friendshipYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Love is You and Me – Monica Sheehan’s Picture Book Celebration of Love

Posted on January 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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



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

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

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

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

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.com

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.ca

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




Monica Sheehan’s be happy!

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