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BTP March 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | March - (Comments Off on BTP March 2019 (1))

book cover
Hest, Amy. Buster and the Baby. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. Candlewick Press, 2017. 32 pages (978–0–7636–8787–8)

Ages 2-4

Buster is a scruffy little white dog who delights in hiding from an active toddler. Thump, thump, thump goes his heart as he waits to be found under the table, behind an arm chair, behind a large teddy bear. Each time baby is equal to the task, finding Buster with squealing and whirling as the two play throughout the day. Hest’s patterned text and Dunbar’s lively illustrations capture the anticipation and excitement of waiting to be found in the classic game of hide-and-seek, one that has a playful reversal and cozy conclusion as the day draws to a close.  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP February 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | February - (Comments Off on BTP February 2019 (2))

book cover
Sidman, Joyce. Round. Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. 32 pages (978–0–544–38761–4)

Ages 3-6

“I love round things,” says the young child narrator of this picture book, who goes on to give examples of round things found in nature, from the obvious (oranges, seeds) to the harder-to-find (rings on a tree stump, small butterfly eggs). Some things that don’t start out round become round with time (a mushroom grows into its curves; once-jagged rocks smooth over many years). Round can be ephemeral (bubbles, ripples in a pond) or forever (the moon and stars). “I can be round, too,” the girl says, “in a circle of friends” or curled up alone. Intimate yet expansive, the simply stated observations are childlike even as they suggest a deep, visceral human response to roundness: the desire to touch, the feeling of being secure. Brief examples at story’s end reference both science and aesthetics in discussing why so many things in nature are round. Ample curves in the flat, naïve-style illustrations featuring bright colors with a muted, slightly retro feel complement the quiet narrative.  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP February 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | February - (Comments Off on BTP February 2019 (1))

book cover
Oikawa, Kenji, and Mayuko Takeuchi.
Circle, Triangle, Elephant! A Book of Shapes & Surprises. Translated from the Japanese. U.S. edition: Phaidon, 2017. 20 pages. (978–0–7148–7411–1)

Ages 1-3

In this delightful board book featuring three stacked objects on each page, the expectation of a simple pattern of geometric shapes (“Triangle, circle, square / Circle, rectangle, triangle”) is interrupted when an elephant makes a sudden appearance on page three (“Triangle, elephant ?!, circle”). After that all bets are off as each flip of the page throws an unexpected object into the mix. Expertly playing on the concept of humor through incongruity, this silly book would make an excellent read-aloud with a group or one-on-one. Clear illustrations also invite children to participate in a point-and-say reading experience. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP January 2019

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | January - (Comments Off on BTP January 2019)

Litle Wolf's First Howling cover
Kvasnosky, Laura McGee. Little Wolf’s First Howling. Illustrated by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee. Candlewick Press, 2017.  24 pages (978–0–7636–8971–1)

Ages 3-7

Little Wolf is eager to go out at night with his father, Big Wolf, to learn how to howl. As the moon begins to rise, Big Wolf demonstrates a howl that ends with a lengthy “ooooooooooo.” Little Wolf’s first attempt starts strong but his enthusiasm gets the better of him as he brings it to a close: “I’m hoooowling, ’oooowling, ’ooooowling!” Which isn’t, Big Wolf notes, “proper howling form.” Big Wolf demonstrates. Little Wolf tries again. This time, his howl starts strong and ends with a jazzy “dibbity dobbity skibbity skobbity skooo-wooooo-woooooooooooo.” Big Wolf praises Little Wolf for many things. “But your howling. It is not proper howling form.” So they try again. This time, Little Wolf ’s ending is even more unrestrained. And Big Wolf can’t help it: he starts tail-wagging and ear-twitching and paw-tapping along. Distinctive digitally rendered paintings reminiscent of colored block prints create an inviting backdrop for a story begging to be howled aloud. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP December 2018 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | December - (Comments Off on BTP December 2018 (2))

Blocks book cover
Blocks 
by Irene Dickson. U.S. edition: Nosy Crow / Candlewick, 2016

Ages 2-4

 

Two kids. Two sets of blocks. Two separate building projects. When Benji, who is building with blue blocks, wants one of Ruby’s red blocks, he takes it. She grabs it back. In the ensuing push and pull of “Mine!” they stumble and both of their towers come crashing down. “Uh-oh.” Momentary regret becomes shared opportunity as Ruby and Benji begin building with both red and blue blocks—together. A square, slightly oversized picture book unfolds in clean-lined, uncluttered, inviting mixed-media illustrations. A handful of well-chosen words pair with images that have much to notice, like the fact that Ruby’s clothes match the red blocks and Benji’s match the blue. At volume’s end they are joined by Gus, whose shirt and blocks are green. “What will they do now?” The answer in this picture book showing three racially diverse children is suggested on the closing endpapers. Isn’t cooperation grand? © 2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP December 2018 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | December - (Comments Off on BTP December 2018 (1))

Baby goes to market book cover
Baby Goes to Market 
by Atinuke. Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2017

Ages 2-4

A busy mama at a traditional Nigerian market carries a large basket on her head and a small baby on her back. As she goes from stall to stall making her purchases, she doesn’t notice that Baby is on a shopping expedition of his own. Each place Mama stops, Baby attracts the attention of a shopkeeper who gives him something to eat—six bananas, five oranges, four chin-chin biscuits, three roasted sweet corns, and two pieces of coconut. Baby eats one of each and puts the rest into the basket on top of his mother’s head. She is completely oblivious to it all until she realizes how heavy her basket has gotten and is surprised to see it filled with things she didn’t buy. Even once the shopkeepers explain, she doesn’t realize Baby has been eating all along and is eager to get home and feed her (presumably) hungry child. The humorous patterned text is filled with specific cultural references, which are reinforced in the detailed multimedia illustrations by an artist who grew up in Ghana and Nigeria. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

 

 

BTP November 2018 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November - (Comments Off on BTP November 2018 (2))

owl bat bat owl book cover
Owl Bat Bat Owl
by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2017

Ages 2-5

 

A family of owls is sound asleep on the top of a branch when a family of bats arrives and hangs from the bottom. The startled owls all awaken, but soon doze off again. The bats do the same. All except the smallest owl and the smallest bat, who are curious about each other. The two adults awaken and admonish them. They all fall asleep. Then it begins to blow, a fierce, strong wind that knocks owls and bats off the branch and in every direction. The two frantic adults begin swooping after their youngsters and returning them to safety, quickly going from saving their own young one to saving the nearest young one they reach. Is it any wonder a beautiful family friendship is the result? The warmth of this wordless story is trumped only by its charm. The visual narrative is easy to follow and yet there is so much to notice, from the ever-changing expressions— those eyes!—of the owls and bats to the small, secondary story of a spider on the tree, to the marvelous palette, and the pattern of symmetry and its disruption. Everything is intentional and perfect in a story sure to be requested again and again. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP November 2018 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November - (Comments Off on BTP November 2018 (1))

Hooray for Birds book cover
Hooray for Birds! 
by Lucy Cousins. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2017

Ages 2-4

 

With her signature bold black outlines and flat colors, Cousins engages the picture-book set from page one, encouraging young children to imagine themselves as birds, waking up and shouting, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” Each page focuses on a sound or movement that will be easy for children to imitate or act out (“Scratch the ground with your feet / Catch a fly with your beak.”) and each one offers a picture clue showing a brightly colored bird. The uncluttered pages and large format of the book both make it easy for children to see, and they will all be flapping, hopping, and pecking along until it’s time to—“Whoo! Whoo!” —say good-bye. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP October 2018 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | October - (Comments Off on BTP October 2018 (2))

I Want to be i n a Scary Story book cover
I Want to Be in a Scary Story
 
by Sean Taylor. Illustrated by Jean Jullien. Candlewick Press, 2017

Ages 3-7

Little Monster is ready to be in a scary story. The narrator begins with a dark and scary forest. “Oh my golly gosh!” says Little Monster, not ready for something quite that scary. The scene changes to a spooky house. “Oh my goodness me! … Oh yikes and crikes!” Finally Little Monster admits it would be better to do the scaring. Anticipation builds as Little Monster walks toward a room to scare whoever is inside … “can we maybe change this book so it’s a FUNNY story?” The back-and-forth dialogue between Little Monster, who is small and wide-eyed, his purple-inked dialogue matching his color, and the unseen narrator, whose words are shown in black, is always easy to follow. So, too, are Little Monster’s emotions. The gentle tension shifts to the comically absurd and then back again in this begs-to-be-read-aloud picture book when Little Monster suddenly disappears and the narrator becomes increasingly worried. “Boo!” Digitally colored ink illustrations show Little Monster against white pages when talking with the narrator, and in full-color, bold, slightly comical (and maybe a teensy bit scary) scenes when part of the various stories being told. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP October 2018 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | October - (Comments Off on BTP October 2018 (1))

Herbert's First Halloween
Herbert’s First Halloween
by Cynthia Rylant.  Illustrated by Steven Henry. Chronicle, 2017

Ages 3-6

 

Herbert is a little pig who “was not so sure about Halloween.” Herbert’s dad loves Halloween, however. When Herbert decides he wants to be a tiger his dad measures Herbert and sews ears, tail, and paws with claws while Herbert practices his roar. Herbert’s dad carves a smiling-faced pumpkin they name Jack, and tells Herbert about the candy. “You will need a bucket. … A big one.” Herbert’s dad is gently reassuring, helping Herbert navigate his uncertainty throughout a warm, sparely told yet perfectly paced story that follows Herbert through his first night of trick-or-treating. “Herbert roared many tiger thank-yous.” Muted illustrations echo the narrative’s understated charm. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP September 2018 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September - (Comments Off on BTP September 2018 (2))

My Autumn Book book cover
My Autumn Book
by Wong Herbert Yee. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt, 2015

Ages 3-5

 

“The air turns crisp. / The sky turns gray. / Is autumn really on the way?” In the fourth lovely, season-related picture book about the same small Asian girl, autumn is indeed arriving. It comes with swirling and twirling leaves, busy squirrels, flying geese, cocooning caterpillars, and more. As in past books featuring this girl and her father, author/illustrator Wong Herbert Yee’s rhyming text is paired with soft color illustrations full of warmth and appealing details. The book’s trim size makes it perfect for small hands to hold.  © 2016 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP September 2018 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September - (Comments Off on BTP September 2018 (1))

Baby's First Words book cover


Baby’s First Words
by Stella Blackstone and Sunny Scribbens. Illustrated by Christiane Engel. Barefoot Books, 2017

Ages 6 months – 3 years

A toddler’s day provides the story arc of a board book that offers engagement, affirmation, and delight, showing a mixed-race, gay-parented family. “Good morning!” reads the primary text on the opening page spread. The colorful scene includes word labels for “baby” (the girl), “bed,” “blocks,” “clock,” “laugh” (she’s all smiles as she greets one of her dads), “woolly mammoth” (a stuffed animal), and more. Objects, actions, and feelings are labeled as the little girl gets dressed, plays outside, eats lunch, plays inside, and, over the course of the day, experiences a range of emotions, engages with a variety of vehicles, and encounters an array of animal toys before being given a bath and going to bed. The pleasing illustrations are punctuated by humor (e.g., the woolly mammoth is often shown doing something funny for a woolly mammoth—coloring with a crayon, brushing its teeth) and full of warmth. One dad, home with her throughout the day, is Black, the other is light-skinned, like the little girl. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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