A sweetly comical board book features a pair of chicks repeatedly searching for their mother. “Mommy! Mommy!” There she is, behind the fence. “Here I am!” Now she’s behind the shrubs, only her ruffled pink frill visible. But it turns out to be a flower. “Oops!” Is that her behind the rocks? Yikes! It’s something large and pink and frilly with gnashing teeth. How about peeking out behind the roof of the barn? No, it’s the rippled sun rising. But who’s that next to the sun? It’s mommy! Taro Gomi’s spare, repetitive text is funny, but the real charm is in the stylized illustrations featuring two big-eyed, boxy chicks with the suggestion of tail feathers, and their bigger boxy mother, not to mention the rectangular pink menace. Young children will enjoy the humor and drama both. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Find resources at TeachingBooks.net.
- Read: Mommy! Mommy!
- Talk: What do you call the grown-ups you live with?
- Sing: Sing “Where is Thumbkin?”
- Play: Play hide and seek.
Eggs of eight different animals are presented with a few carefully selected words (“Sandy ball”) paired with the question “What will hatch?” An equally spare answer (“Paddle and crawl – Sea turtle”) augments the illustration of the brand-new juvenile. A balanced array of animals goes beyond birds (goldfinch, penguin, and robin) to include a caterpillar, crocodile, platypus, sea turtle, and tadpole. Egg shapes are die-cut, with the page turn cleverly revealing the result of each hatching. A few pages of additional information at the book’s end introduce young children to the term “oviparous” and relate egg facts for each species (time in egg, parents’ incubation behavior, number of siblings). Simple gouache on wood illustrations, while not always strictly representational, are consistently lovely with a warm palette of gold, green, and brown. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Find activities and ideas for What Will Hatch at TeachingBooks.net.
- Read: Find other books about the animals in this book.
- Sing: Put some dried beans in a plastic egg and create an egg shaker. Dance and sing along to your favorite songs.
- Play: Take a plastic egg and hide something inside and have your child guess what it is. Now, have your child hide something inside the egg and you guess what is inside.
- STEM: Name animals that hatch from eggs. Count all the eggs in the book.
“If you’re down by the sea one day, you might spot a seal, lying around like a fat sunbather or flumping along the sand.” Lyrical, descriptive language and appealing mixed media illustrations highlight the characteristics and behavior of gray seals. Diving deep, catching mackerel, evading a killer whale on the hunt, and returning to the beach to sleep are some of the events in one gray seal’s day. While a large-font narrative tracks the seal’s activities, offset single sentences in a smaller italicized type add snippets of relevant factual information. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Find out more about the author and illustrator at TeachingBooks.net.
- Read: Take a look at the index at the back of the book and go back to the pages of the various topics. Visit the websites mentioned on this page.
- Talk: Name things a seal can do and name things you can do.
- Write: Seals eat fish. With your child, make a list of the things your child eats. Encourage them to draw a picture of the things they eat. Take this list with you when you go grocery shopping.
- STEM: Talk about the seals’ habitat. Test what floats and what doesn’t float in your sink or tub.
Find more early literacy activities from the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2015 Early Literacy Calendar created by Youth Services librarians across Wisconsin.