K is for Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


K is for Kindergarten

by Erin Dealey, illustrated by Joseph Cowman
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

In this book, readers get two books.  One is an alphabet book, counting down the days before the first day of Kindergarten, and the second is an activities book, providing the anxious/excited child activities to both entertain and teach.

Author Erin Dealey weaves together poetry and kindergarten activities in the countdown.
“C is for crayons and coloring.
How creative can you be?
Glitter, scissors, paste, and yarn—
make some art for all to see!”

Each page includes a Kinder Countdown and a Kinder Challenge introducing or reviewing, depending upon your child, kindergarten basics, like the ABC Song, drawing, jump roping and music.

The illustrations are rich, colorful and right on target to capture the emotions leading up to starting school.This book is a delight to the ear and eye and includes pages of interactive things to do.

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The Fox Wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fox Wish
by Kimiko Aman, illustrated by Komako Sakai
Chronicle Books, 2017
Originally published in Japan

This favorite story originally published in Japan, delights the imagination and tickles the heart. A ‘what if’ story in a world where children and animals understand each other.

A young girl and her toddler brother forget their jump rope at the park. When they return to find it, their jump rope isn’t where they left it.  When they hear laughter, they follow it and come upon a pack of young foxes jumping with their rope.  The foxes jumped well, but their tails got in their way and they kept falling.  While the young girl knew it was not polite to laugh, the toddler giggled.  The foxes heard them and the two came out of hiding. Soon they were all jumping.  But who would take the jump rope home?  Roxie, who left it at the park, or Roxy who found it?  Enjoy the emotions shared in this imaginary encounter with a pack of playful foxes.  The soothing and almost whimsical illustrations rendered in acrylic gouache, oil pencil and ballpoint pen capture the foxes’ personified emotions.  A story and art for the heart.

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Going Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Going Places

Peter H. and Paul Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014

A book that encourages a child’s imagination to ‘go places.’

Rafael and Maya’s class receive go-cart kits to make for an upcoming race.  Rafael follows the directions perfectly. But Maya sees the world differently, as she sits on the kit’s box, absorbed in drawing a bird. She takes the kit and creates a contraption with wings.  At first Rafael hesitates, but then throws aside the instructions as the two join together to make a flying go-cart. At the starting line, everyone laughs, but the cart soars into the sky and wins the race.  When Rafael and Maya land near a pond, they see the potential for their next project! Another winner by Peter H. Reynolds!  (Other books by award winning Peter H. Reynolds: Ish, and Playing from the Heart)

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My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis
by Paul Meisel
Holiday House, 2017

Through a cleverly written journal by P. Mantis, we follow his life.  From the day he was born, May 17, to the time he leaves his short life, October 17.  We meet his 150 brothers and sisters who devour plants and are devoured by birds.  P Mantis pretends to be a stick and survives attacks by his predators.  He loves summer and shares his escapades, but then fall arrives and he beings to move more slowly.  He returns to where he was born and lays eggs, which will be born next spring.  The story gently closes, with “I’m going to lie down now and take a long nap.  Good-bye!”

Mantis’ voice is upbeat and kid-like so early readers can follow along and see P. Mantis’ life through P. Mantis’ eyes. A great way to introduce children to a single insect’s life cycle. On the inside pages, adults will find more details about P. Mantis’, including websites.

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Ice Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Boy
by David Ezra Stein
Candlewick Press, 2017

Ice Boy lives in the freezer with his family.  His parents said the best thing that could happen to an ice cube was to be chosen, but Ice Boy wanted more.  His parents said to never go outside, but he did.  His doctor said never go in the sun, but he did anyway.  He had a great time exploring the world, but soon he became….Water Boy.  A clever story introducing the water cycle, geared for the youngest readers.

Graphically, we see the world from an ice cube’s point of view where ice cream cones, fudgsicles, muffins and ice cream sandwiches decorate or are used for furniture in his home.

In the end, Ice Boy meets back with his parents and Ice Boy takes them on an adventure!

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Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
By Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
Charlesbridge, 2016

When a child is curious, they just have to explore, and that’s exactly what Lonnie Johnson did as a child.  Living in a small house with five brothers and sisters, he had challenges storing his rocket kits, bamboo shooters, rubber-band guns, erector set, go-kart engine, and all the other spare parts he used to make things.  He was an inventor.

From scratch he taught himself how to make a rocket and launched it for his classmates.  When an ‘exam’ told him he would not make a good engineer, he pushed through those claims because he knew he had Linux, a robot he had created from spare parts.  In 1968 he and Linux won a science fair at the University of Alabama, where only five years earlier, African American students hadn’t even been allowed.  In time he invents the Super-Soaker and, with perseverance, his dreams come true.  An inspiring story with encouragement to push through setbacks.

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Chee-Kee, A Panda in Bearland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chee-Kee, A Panda in Bearland
by Sujean Rim
Little, Brown and Company

Chee-Kee is fresh, clear and true.  In simple words and drawings, we follow the Loo family of Pandas who arrive at Bearland, looking and living very differently from the bears of Bearland.  Chee-Kee, the young son, notices the differences and feels uncomfortable.  He tries to change to be less noticeable, but that doesn’t work.  He stays alone, until one day a soccer ball gets stuck in a tree.  Immediately Chee-Kee begins fashioning a bamboo pole, vaulting up to knock down the ball.  Everyone cheers and from then on, the Loo family members fit in just fine and the bears take on new activities brought over by the Loo family.

While this story could be ‘cheesy’, it isn’t. The drawings and story support each other to make it work.  The pole vaulting gives a nod to the author’s father who played in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.  There is a richness to the story that seems to come from living through this kind of experience.  Cheers to author/illustrator Sujean Rim for crafting this wonderful story.

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Everyone is Yawning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone is Yawning
by Anita Bijsterbosch
Clavis, 2016
Originally published in Belgium/ the Netherlands.

A perfect bedtime story for the youngest readers, this book makes everyone yawn!

On each page is an animal who is tired.  On the first page, a large kitten smiles at the reader.  When the words say, “Look, the kitten is yawning,” the reader lifts the flap on the kitten’s face and sees the kitten yawn.  And so it goes with a raccoon, hippo, crocodile and more. The story ends with a pile of sleeping animals, including the child. Featuring scary animals, like a snake, and introducing new animals, like an artic fox, Everyone is Yawning and its yawning flaps, will entertain young ones for hours—or at least until they fall asleep.

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The Village that Vanished


The Village that Vanished

by Ann Grifalconi,
illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2002

This original story reads like an African folk tale and stirs the imagination of how it could be true.

During the time when slavers stole families from African villages, young Abikanile watched her mother pray for magic to protect their village. When they were warned that slavers were coming, Abikanile’s mother decides they must disappear and leave the village behind. In fear they discuss, burning the village, but Aabikanile’s mother says they must dismantle their straw hutches and scatter the materials in the woods. They do so, and disappear to hide in the forest.  Unable to find anyone, the slavers leave, sure someone had been there.  And that is how the village of Yao vanished and all survived.

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One Happy Tiger

One Happy Tiger
by Catherine Rayner
Tiger Tales, 2017

A hard-bound, toddler-proof, beautifully illustrated counting book featuring a happy-to-be-alive tiger.  It’s so perfect, your toddler will want to carry it around and read it again and again.

The book begins with “One sad tiger sitting alone.”  Then the tiger meets two friends, “One thoughtful tiger and two bright bugs.”  As the tiger meets new friends or explores new items, we explore his feelings as we count to ten.  Award-winning artist Catherine Rayner’s illustrations capture the heart.  They are simple, relaxing on the eyes, and somehow exquisite. The tiger is friendly-looking and happy to meet and greet the world.  The book gently introduces insects, birds, feelings, and numbers.

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