The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book

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By Nancy Tafuri

Tired of counting books with lame art? A nicely-illustrated counting book for young readers, with a small surprise at the end and the chance to count backwards. The introduction of a thunderstorm opens the conversation to what a person sees, hears, and feels during a storm.

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Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 1-4

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Splash, Anna Hibiscus

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by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia

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A fun book about having no one to play with. When Anna sets out to play by herself, she has so much fun that the others join her, after all. And for kids who think Africa remains an undeveloped continent, this book is a great eye-opener, especially when read with the “Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus,” a fun look at what happens when Anna’s mom has twins.

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Two books which open the doors to an African family home on the coast, in the city.

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Ages 2-5

Picture book

Recommended

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

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Come Over to My House

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By Dr. Seuss

Illustrated by Katie Kath

This is a fun, easy reader that takes you to dozens of countries around the world, emphasizing different lifestyles but the universal welcome of an open door and an invitation to “Come over to my house! Come over and play.”

For kids who have been studying geography, an enjoyable challenge is to identify every country mentioned, based on the illustrations.

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Ages 2-8

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Bunny’s First Spring

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by Sally Lloyd-Jones

A little bunny watches as the seasons change, and gets worried when everything seems to disappear and die in the winter. Continue reading to witness his joy at the return of spring. Great illustrations.

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Recommended

Ages 0-5

Reviewed by Esther

Available from public libraries.

Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons

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By Margaret Wise Brown

Margaret Wise Brown. She is not your typical poet or story writer, and yet there is a gentle rhythm to her writing that makes her books good read-alouds. The world seems to think so too, as her Goodnight Moon is an enduring classic. This collection of poems—found forty years after her death— has just been recently published.

The poems in this picturebook are simple, fun, or sweet, and even if they’re not your favourites, a young child will enjoy sitting on your lap, just looking at the beautiful pictures and hearing the rhythm of your voice.

Twelve poems, twelve pictures—illustrated by twelve different award-winning picture book authors. And that makes this a neat book to talk about. What do you think the artist used to make this illustration? What do you like about it? Do you think it suits the poem? (I think they did a great job matching the illustrators’ styles to the different poems.) Which style of picture would you like to try make? Read about that illustrator in the back of the book, then get out your paper!

The book includes a CD by two music artists who have put the poems into song form in something of a cross between folksongs and country.

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Ages 0-10

Picturebook with CD

Available from: public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

Fire Engine No. 9

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By Mike Austin

A brief dramatic telling of fire engine no. 9’s call and response to a fire, with lots of smoke and one word exclamations on each page, and the rescue of a baby from a burning building. Preschoolers will thrill to the story and older kids will benefit from the “What to do during a home fire,” on the last page.

Picturebook

Ages 2-6 + older kids for the last page

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

 

Too Many Tomatoes

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Grandpa and Grandma’s garden has too many tomatoes! How will they ever use them all up? Give one to everyone and have a tomato parade, of course! This book is very well written: lyrical, rhythmic, and cheerful illustrations to boot. Wonderful to read aloud. Recommended for ages 2-7, although I think it can be enjoyed by all. A lovely book to share with a grandparent, as well–especially ones who have a garden!

 

Available from public libraries.

Reviewed by Esther

Clare Beaton’s Mother Goose Remembers

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with singalong CD

You may or may not be a huge fan of nursery rhymes, but this collection of several dozen well-known rhymes is well-done. The book is old-fashioned in appearance, with the illustrations done in felt and embroidery, but the CD is the gem in the package. I think it was the mixture of old-fashioned instruments played in a simple, sprightly manner, that drew me and the kids in–harmonica, recorder, fiddle, and did I hear an accordian? Well worth a listen 🙂

Ages 1-8

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

What in the World?

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By Nancy Raines Day

This doesn’t come across as a “math” book, but it is (kind of like disguised vegetables :). A lot of “math” picturebooks have sort of ugly pictures, very flat and uninspiring (what impression does that give you of math?!). But the pictures in here are really nice as the author draws on nature to come up with sets. We had fun on our first read-through, trying to guess what in nature the author would come up with for each number—most often we were wrong!

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Recommended

Picturebook, Nonfiction

Ages 1-10 (that is: young counters to older guessers)

Available from: public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

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