Tag Archives: classic

My Very First Book of Colors

first colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Very First Book of Colors
by Eric Carle
Philomel Books, 1974

Another interactive gem from Eric Carle who really understands the youngest.

In a small size to fit toddlers hands, and as a board book to tolerate children’s mouths,s My Very First Book of Colors shows a color on the top half the page and is asked to find that color in a series of pictures on the bottom half of the page.  The first color shown is ‘blue’.  To find the blue picture, the child turns the bottom-page-half and finds a blue bird to match the blue above!  They get an instant win to reinforce the goal of the game.  Then the child is asked for find ‘white’, and must turn many pages to find a ‘snowman’.  Carle even includes a top page with 8 colors, inviting the reader to find the colorful butterfly.

Perfect for the 1-2 year olds who are learning colors.  Carle’s bright colors and simple illustrations draw the reader in.  A great gift for their first birthday; something they can grow into, depending upon the development of the specific child.

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Who Took the Farmer’s Hat?

farmers hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Took the Farmer’s Hat?
by Joan L Nodset, illustrated by Fritz Siebel
HarperCollins, 1963
Classic

In a humorous way, Who Took the Farmer’s Hat? introduces children to ‘perspectives’ and gives the reader an opportunity to laugh and ‘correct’ all the mistakes!

In brief, the farmer loses his hat and every animal he asks says he hasn’t seen a hat, but he or she did see a: fat, round flying bird in the sky, or big round brown mousehole in the grass, or a silly round brown boat.  Each one described from their perspective how they saw the brown hat.  Who Took the Farmer’s Hat is a brilliant book where illustrations work with the words to tell the story.

Originally published in 1963, this book is still available in paperback and worth an investment.

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Stephanie’s Ponytail


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Stephanie’s Ponytail
by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Matchenke
Annick Press, 1996

Stephanie decides to wear her hair in a ponytail to school and everyone makes fun of her; but the next day, everyone shows up wearing a ponytail.  She wears a ponytail off to the side the next day and, again, everyone makes fun of her; but the next day they show up wearing ponytails off to the side.  Stephanie wears one on top if her head and in front of her face.  When they continue to copy her, she yells they are a bunch of brainless copycats and vows that tomorrow she will return with a shaved head.  If you’re familiar with Robert Munsch’s humorous books (such as The Paperbag Princess), you’ll guess what happens next.  A classic, funny Munsch book.

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Andy, That’s My Name

Andy, That’s My Name
by Tomie DePaola
Prentice-Hall Books for Young Readers, 1973

This small book about a small boy making his way through life has lasted the years for it speaks to one of the common coming-of-age experiences, standing up for yourself.

Andy, a young toddler, pulls a wagon containing the letters of his name.  Older kids, a bit bored at that moment, spot the letters and, ignoring Andy, begin removing the letters from his wagon to make new words with their letters.  Andy asks for his name back, but the group refuses and they begin to make new, longer words.  Andy watches nearby, and tries to capture his letters as the others toss them aside.  The kids rudely take his ‘y’.  Andy tries to pull his letter back as the older kids crawl on top of the new words they made.  Finally Andy has had it and announces he is going home.  “I may be little,” he says, “but… I’m very important!”  And he returns home to enjoy his name letters.  So simply told.  So powerful for the very youngest.

Andy is written and illustrated by award-winning artist Tomie DePaola,

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Frederick

Frederick
by Leo Lionni
Alfred A. Knopf, 1967
Caldecott Honor Book

This book is about the quiet person who studies the environment around him/her and shares it when the time is right. It’s my personal favorite of Leo Lionni’s books.

The story is about a family of five mice who work hard all year to survive the long winter. Frederick seemingly does nothing to help, and when asked, he says he is gathering sun rays, colors, and words to share during the cold winter months. Winter comes and when food runs out, the mice ask Frederick for help and Frederick reminds them of the warm, colorful days and entertains his fellow mice. His fellow mice accept and benefit from his efforts. This is his contribution to their survival during the bleakest of winter.

This story speaks to the quiet part of a child, a part often overlooked by our American culture.

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Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
HarperCollins, 1962

A classic story of a young girl who wants to get the perfect gift for her mother, but doesn’t know what to get her.

She meets Mr. Rabbit and they quietly walk through the woods discussing what would make a perfect gift. They discuss colors and items that are those colors and how they would appeal to her mother. A quiet, lovely story that addresses a small child’s major concern. I sometimes read this book when I need a soothing read, it’s so gentle and loving.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
Philomel Books, 1969

I now understand why this book continues to be a very big seller year after year—it has everything to fascinate a child.

First, on the cover, appears a very large green caterpillar, with a clashing red head. On the fourth page in, the largest, warmest, friendliest sun glows. Then—so cool—an actual hole is punched in an apple. And holes are punched in pears, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and all of a child’s favorite foods, until the eating caterpillar gets a tummy ache. Then the reader learns how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. The art looks like kid art. Simple, kid friendly, engaging with cool holes-—a ‘must have’ for the earliest of readers. I’m sure some can count the holes, count the fruits and practice math, too. A brilliant book for pre-readers.

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Otis

Otis
by Loren Long
Philomel Books 2009

This heartfelt story of an old tractor who is the only one who can save a calf became a classic when it hit the stores.

Otis, an old farm tractor, befriends a calf. They leap-frog hay bales, play ring-around-the-rosy with ducks, and sit together under the apple tree. Then one day the farmer brings in a new, bigger, yellow tractor and Otis is sent behind the barn. Forgotten, weeds begin to cover Otis’ tires. The calf tries to get Otis to play, like in the old days, but Otis is too sad. One day the calf gets stuck in the mud! Farm hands try to pull him out, the yellow tractor tries to pull him out, even firemen try to pull him out, but the calf only gets more and more scared and sinks further in the mud. Then the calf hears a familiar puttering purr! Happy to see his best friend, the calf follows his friend as Otis circles the pond. Soon the calf gets himself out. Otis is a heart-warming story of best friends.

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