Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Harcourt, 2007
The Big Baby Book by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2011
1. What do you think you could do when you were a new baby? Could you stand? Could you run? Could you cry? Do you think you were hungry a lot?
2. Have you ever seen any animal babies? What were they like?
3. How many babies can you find on each page?
Time for a Bath by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
Time to Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
Time to Sleep by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
1. What do you do when it’s time for a bath? Time to eat? Time to sleep?
2. (Adult) Find examples from the books to discuss and compare animal habits with human behavior. For example, “Giraffes sleep two hours a day. How long do you think you sleep every day/night? More, or less?”
3. Is there one of these animals you wish you could be? Which one? Why?
Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Sally Mavor. Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
1. (Adult) Tap out the rhythm of a nursery rhyme on a table or chair while reading it aloud. Encourage children to clap the rhythm of rhymes they know well.
2. (Adult) Write nursery rhymes on small pieces of paper to hide around the house. Encourage children to find them and then share them together. (Caregivers: send them home with children and ask adults in the home to hide and then share when found.)
3. (Adult) For ELL families—Through an interpreter (if needed), encourage adult family members to share any rhymes or poems from their own childhoods/native language with their children
The Rain Train by Elena de Roo. Illustrated by Brian Lovelock. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2011
1. What does the rhythm/feel of the words as I read them make you think about? (Does it sound at all like rain? Like a train?)
2. Pretend you’re the rain: what sounds do you make? How do you move?
3. Pretend you’re a train. Now what sounds do you make? How do you move?
Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane, 2011
1. The first caterpillar in the story “crawled,” the second one “climbed,” and the third one “wriggled.” Pretend to be each one of those caterpillars. Is there a difference between crawling, climbing and wriggling?
2. Can you think of other ways a caterpillar might move?
3. Let’s count the caterpillars at the book’s end together. What numbers would come next after ten?
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press, 2012
1. Compare the colors at the end of the book to the beginning. Have they changed? If so, how and why?
2. What do you think you might hear if you put your ear to the ground in the spring? What else might you hear if you listen closely to outdoor sounds in the spring? How about summer, fall and winter?
3. (Adult) With children, plant seeds indoors in cups. Send home after plants have sprouted.
Insect Detectives by Steve Voake. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010
1. What are some things in nature we can see (any time of year) . . . Let’s choose one to look at more closely . . . Now what do you see?
2. Let’s go outside and find an insect to watch. (spring/summer). . . What you notice it?
3. If you were an insect detective, is there a bug you would want to look for?
Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Amy Córdova. Tricycle Press, 2010
1. A fiesta is a party. Let’s find at all the party things happening in the book (e.g, dancing, eating, singing)
2. Adult: Give shakers and streamers or ribbons to create a (supervised) fiesta.
3. Adult: Play upbeat dancing music and ask children to dance after reading the book together (you can read the book while they dance, too!)
Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke. Illustrated by Lauren Tobias. U.S. edition: Kane Miller, 2011
1. What are some things you like to do when you are happy?
2. What are some of the things the people in Anna’s family do when they are happy?
3. Anna lives with her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Who do you live with? Who else is in your family?
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Beth Krommes. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
1. Let’s trace some of these spirals in the book with our fingers (a pre-writing skill).
2. Let’s look for a spiral somewhere in this room/house/outside. Can we find other shapes?
3. (Adult) Have a group of children hold hands and create a spiral.
Stars by Mary Lin Ray. Illustrated by Marla Frazee. Beach Lane Books, 2011
1. Let’s look for stars in the world around us. (e.g., Are there stars on the wall or calendar in your house/classroom? Flowers with starlike shapes outside? Cut an an apple through its equator and look at the star inside.)
2. The story begins, “A star is how you know it’s almost night.” What are some other ways you can tell when it’s almost night?
3. (Adult) Make a star for each child (or have each child make a star). Ask child/children: what kinds of things their star can do (e.g., Is it magical? If so, what kind of magic can it do? Does it shine?)
Cradle Me by Debby Slier. Star Bright Books, 2012
1. What are some of the places you go to sleep? (e.g., crib, bed, couch, floor, car seat, etc.)
2. Let’s do all the things that babies in the pictures are doing (yawn, peek, etc.).
3. (Adult) Invite child to turn the pages as you read. Point to each of the words as you read it.
While You Are Sleeping: A Lift-the-Flap Book of Time Around the World by Durga Bernhard. Charlesbridge, 2011
1. Lift the flap (gently!) What is the person under the flap doing? (Ask on each page)
2. What are some things that might be happening while you are sleeping?
3. (Adult) Point to where you live on the map on the book’s endpapers.
The Twins’ Blanket by Hyewon Yum. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
1. What do you notice about the paper inside the front and back covers? (Ask after reading the book)
2. What is different about each girl? What is the same?
3. What does your blanket look and feel like? (Encourage discussion of color, pattern, texture, etc.)
Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin. Illustrated by Anne Hunter. Houghton Mifflin, 2010
1. How does Loon Baby feel when he thinks his mother isn’t coming back?
2. What does Loon Baby learn how to do?
3. Loon Baby and his mother have a “soft, warm nest.” What is soft and comfortable for you? What do you snuggle with?
Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora. Illustrated by John Parra. Translated by Adriana Dominguez. Lee & Low, 2009
1. Who are some people who make you happy?
2. What are some things that you are thankful for?
3. Draw a picture of something that makes you happy or thankful.
Job Site by Nathan Clement. Boyds Mills Press, 2011
1. What color is each machine?
2. What other colors can you find?
3. What sound do you think this machine might make? (Ask for each one)
Monday Is One Day by Arthur A. Levine. Illustrated by Julian Hector. Scholastic Press, 2011
1. Let’s recite (and/or count) the days of the week in the book. (Adult: You can also use a calendar after reading the book and find each day on it with children.)
2. Is there a special thing you/your family do on the same day every week?
3. Who are the people in your family? (or, Draw a picture of your family)
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. Schwartz & Wade, 2011
1. How can you tell when Daisy is happy? Sad? Curious?
2. What do you think is happening here? (Ask this as you go from page to page to encourage children to use their own words to tell the story as they understand it. You can also have a discussion together, sharing ideas about what is happening on each page.)
3. Daisy feels happy when she has her ball. What is something that makes you feel happy?
Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. George. Illustrated by Merel Eyckerman. U.S. edition: Albert Whitman, 2011
1. What would you do to get ready for the first day of school?
2. What do you think school will be like?
3. (Adult) Share a memory of a first day of school.