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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Books for Younger Kids (Birth-Kindergarten)

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. 

Although Multicultural Children's Book Day is quickly approaching I thought I would share some books that are not part of the event. These picture books are great for younger kids, but we still enjoyed them!! The first book is the perfect book to bring to a baby shower. You know the ones that ask you to bring a book for the baby's library. It is Hand in Hand by Rosemary Wells.  

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781627794343

 This sweet book is about how a mother is the child's first teacher from day one. It goes through the things a mother helps the child learn like talking, walking, and more. It is just such a sweet book that takes a mother and child from infancy to preschool or a bit older. It has simple text and fun colorful pictures. A wonderful gift for the new mom or mom-to-be.

 Our next book is for the change from being the only child to the big sister. It is Little Big Girl by Claire Keane. 
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/311897/little-big-girl-by-claire-keane/

 Matisse was a little girl in a big world. She could do what she wanted and saw big things. Then one day she met someone littler than her--her baby brother. This book explores the discovery that the big sister is no longer little and the role she will play in his life. It is a sweet book and perfect for a family expecting their second child.

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626721531
 Here is a cute book for your truck loving kids. It has a play of words throughout it, as Hazel pointed out to me. The cement mixer is going to his first day on the job and he gets a bit mixed up (as he mixes up things). The other trucks tell him to go mix up some of the white powdery cement and he makes the mistake of mixing flour and getting a cake. The mistakes go on from there until finally he gets it right and then goes to mix up soap so the trucks can get clean before they go to sleep for the night!
When we read this book Hazel and I knew exactly who would love it, so we are going to pass it on to them. Though I will admit Hazel wasn't sure she wanted to give it up because it is so funny and cute.

http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=title&mode=book&isbn=0763690805
Our next book is the classic tale of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear and illustrated by Charlotte Voake. In this beautiful version Charlotte Voake's illustrations bring the story alive. The story was originally written to cheer up a sick three-year-old girl according to Julia Donaldson's forward. It is such a fun tale and this book just tells it how it always has been.  
To go along with this classic book Julia Donaldson wrote The Further Tales of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat, which is also illustrated by Charlotte Voake.
http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=title&mode=book&isbn=0763690813

Donaldson tries to write in the same manner of Lear with her own style thrown in. There is the repeated words like the original and the rhymes. The story picks up where the original ended. The married owl and pussy-cat go to sleep with the their gold ring tied to pussy-cat's tail, but alas it is taken while they sleep. Their adventures begin as they search for their ring. It is such a fun continuation of the classic and adds in Donaldson's humor and imagination. We tend to love her books although Hazel has outgrown most of them. We love this one as well!

 Next is a tale whose theme is appropriate for Multicultural Children's Book Day, but it is about animals so it does not qualify. It is Blue Penguin by Petr Horacek.
In this tale a little penguin is born blue and the other penguins are not so sure about him. The other penguins decided to leave him since he was not like them. This story deals with being different and how some will treat someone different from them unfairly. It is also about reconnecting and finding similarities. It is a sweet story with some powerful messages. We really enjoy this one!!
 The pictures are fun and colorful for the South Pole. One can feel a bit of the vastness there. It is a simple yet powerful book.

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374300494

 Our next book is Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. This book is about a village with a big problem. They have a really terrible dragon who likes to do mean things like scribbling in books, throwing sand, taking baby's candy and more. The king tries to find someone to stop this terrible dragon, but all the knights fail and the dragon burns all the marshmallows to a crisp. Next the king opens up the challenge to all the people. All the adults fail. It takes a young boy and a story to tame the dragon and soon the reward is a new friend. It is such a sweet book about behavior and friendship. I am sure there are many parents who can relate to the terrible things the dragon does. 
Our final book for today is a book that would be perfect for Earth Day or any environmentally minded person. It is a simple book with beautiful pictures and simple large print words. It is called The Tree by Neal Layton.
http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763689521&pix=y

This story shows a tree who has many families living in it. Then the land the tree is on gets sold and the people have plans to build a big house, but imagine their surprise when the bird's nest falls out. The kind people don't want to destroy the animals' home so they come up with new plans. It is a great tale of how we need to think of our environment as well as ourselves before tearing up the nature that the animals need to survive. The inside spread provided ruins the ending a bit, but I love the picture so I have to share!!
This book takes complex ideas and makes them simple. Even though the words are so simple it is a book that Hazel really enjoyed. It is definitely a feel good kind of book. I think this one could be used with many different ages of readers!

I hope you will take the time to check out some of these beautiful picture books for younger kids. I know we enjoyed them!!