2

Dec

Favorite Children’s Books About Winter

Favorite Children's Books about Winter

Since this autumnal booklist for kids ended up being quite popular, I’ve assembled another seasonal list of favorite children’s books about wintertime just in time for the snowy, blowy winter season. You’ll find handfuls of lesser known titles, a splash of new books, as well as tried and true familiar stories that I hope you and yours enjoy as much as my own kids and I do. All books listed are intended for kids ages 3-10 & up, including a list of books for babies and toddlers (ages 0-2) at the bottom. Many of the books fit into multiple categories, but I did my very best to sort appropriately for those looking for specific storytime, lesson themes, or wintertime interests. What children’s book do you enjoy reading most at this time of the year?

 

children's books about winter

ALL ABOUT THE WINTER SEASON
Books that include an introduction to the winter season and a variety of the season’s famous characteristics such as snow, animal hibernation, and winter activities.

Winter Is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Susan Gaber
In the Snow by Huy Voun Lee
It’s Winter! by Linda Glasser, illustrated by Susan Swan
Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Beth Krommes
Winter Wonderland by Jill Esbaum
Snowy, Blowy Winter by Bob Raczka

 

Winter Solstice books

WINTER SOLSTICE
Books about Winter Solstice, the official calendar start of the winter season, as well as stories with a Winter Solstice theme or setting. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and lands on December 21st or 22nd of each year. 

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Jesse Reisch
The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Mark Jones
The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ted Lewin
Dear Rebecca, Winter Is Here by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

 

nature in winter books

NATURE IN WINTER
Stories and nonfiction books covering many elements of the season such as winter tree identification and the nature of animal life during the cold winter months. (Note that snow and snowflakes has it’s own separate category below!)

The Big Snow by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
When It Starts to Snow by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Martin Matjie
First Snow in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick
Winter Trees by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Red Fox Running by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Wendell Minor
In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
Night Tree by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ted Rand Note: this title has a Christmas reference, but could be wonderful non-holiday winter tradition.
Now That Days Are Colder by Aileen Fisher
Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gerlder, illustrated by Helen K. Davie
Winter Tree Birds by Lucy Ozone and John Hawkinson
Sizing Up Winter (Math in Nature) by Lizann Flatt, illustrated by Ashley Barron
Wild Horse Winter by Tetsuya Honda
Winter’s Coming: A Story of Seasonal Change by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Josee Bisillon
A Kid’s Winter EcoJournal by Toni Albert, illustrated by Margaret Brandt

 

books about snow

SNOW & SNOWFLAKES
Stories and nonfiction books all about snow and snowflakes.

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian
The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht Note: This is an adult book, but the images are appealing for all-ages.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino, illustrated by Nora Aoyagi
Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Champan, paintings by Synthia Saint James
Snow by Uri Schlevitz
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins
White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin 
Snow Is Falling (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science) by Franklyn M. Brandley, illustrated by Holly Keller
Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee
Mama, Will it Snow Tonight? by Nancy Carlstrom, illustrated by Paul Tong
Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser
A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
It’s Snowing! by Olivier Dunrea

 

snowmen books

SNOWMEN
Stories with snowmen as the center stage characters. 

All You Need for a Snowman by Ailce Schertle, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hilenbrand
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner
Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
A Really Good Snowman by Janiel J. Mahoney
Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy (Nature) by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick

 

winter sounds

WINTER SOUNDS
A few fun titles about the sounds of winter including one about a magical winter concert.

Snow Music by Lynne Rae Perkins
A Winter Concert by Yuko Takao  Note: Listen to a favorite piano song as you read this book.
The Winter Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Charles G. Shaw  Note: This book has a Christmas reference.
Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story by David A. Johnson

 

winter clothing books

WINTER CLOTHING
When the cold weather rolls in the sweaters and mittens come out! These are a few favorite titles about winter weather clothing.

A Hat For Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel, illustrated by Nancy Windslow Parker
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin 
Clementine’s Winter Wardrobe by Kate Spohn
Froggy Gets Dressed by Johnathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Lucille’s Snowsuit by Kathryn Lasky, illustrated by Marylin Hafner
The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen, illustrated by Elaine Greenstein
One Mitten by Kristine O’Connell George, illustrated by Maggie Smith

 

winter stories for kids

WINTERTIME STORIES
Whimsical and fun stories that take place during the snowy, cold winter months.

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi
Round Robin by Jack Kent
Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Katy and the Big Snow by Virgina Lee Burton
Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward
Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara 
Red Sled
by Lita Judge 
Extra Yarn 
by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen 
Flannel Kissesby Mari Takabayashi 
Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin, illustrated by Rebekah Raye
Fox’s Garden by Camille Garoche aka Princesse Camcam
The Snow Rabbit by Camillle Garoche
The Only Child by Guojing
The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren, Viktor Rydberg, illustrated by Harald Wiberg 
The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle Von Olfers
A Perfect Day by Carin Berger
Blizzard by John Rocco
Brave Irene by William Steig 
Angelina Ice Skates by Katharine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig
Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall by Leo Yerxa
Pip & Squeak by Ian Schoenherr 

 

winter folk tales and fairy tales

WINTER FOLK TALES & FAIRY TALES
Folk tales, fairy tales, and myths about the winter season or take place during winter.

Rabbit’s Snow Dance as told by James & Joseph Bruchac
The Star Child by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Bernadette Watts
The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Rachev E. Yaroslava  Note: We also love the Jan Brett version!
Pine and the Winter Sparrow by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
The Snow Child by Freya Littledale and Barbara Lavallee
Shingebiss: An Ojibwe Legend by Nancy Van Lann, illustrated by Betsy Bowen
Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve by Caitlin Matthews
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

 

winter poetry for kids

WINTER POETRY
Winter in the inspiration behind so many beautiful and thought provoking wordplay for young minds to enjoy.

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold  by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian
It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing!: Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Yossi Abolafia
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Winter Poems selected by Barbara Rogasky, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Flower Fairies of the Winter by Cicely Mary Barker

 

winter books for baby

WINTER STORIES FOR BABIES & TODDLERS
Stories about the winter season for the littlest readers ages 0-2 (& up!). 

In the Snow by Sharon Phillips Denslow, illustrated by Nancy Tafuri
Bright Baby Touch and Feel Winter by Roger Priddy
Bunny’s First Snowflake by Monica Wellington
Snow by Manya Stoji
No Two Alike by Keith Baker
Oh! By Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
How to Build a Snowman by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Jo Moon
Winter Friends by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick
Winter Garden by Ruth Brown
Ready for Winter by Marthe Jocelyn

 

 

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23

Nov

Sonya’s Chickens + Chicken Coop Pretend Play

Sonya's Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

Learning through story is a powerful way to engage kids, especially when it comes to learning about the interconnectedness of the natural world in which we live. Life and death and are not easy topics to communicate, but Phoebe Wahl’s picture book, Sonya’s Chickens (Public Library | Local Bookstore) does a masterful job using storytelling to share with young readers the pleasure of  responsibility, joy in watching them thrive, and at times the heartbreak of raising animals.

Sonya's Chicken's 1

Sonya's Chickens 2

Sonay's Chickens 3

Sonya's chickens 5

Sonya’s father returns home one day surprising her with three little chicks.  “I’ll be your mama,” she tells them as she springs into taking ernest responsibility and pride of caring for her chicks day in and day out as they grew into adult chickens. But one cold night, Sonya is awoken to squawking and noises from outside and runs out to the coop only to find a whirl of feathers and only two hens where once there were three. After carrying the upset and heartbroken Sonya inside, Sonya’s father sits her on his lap and tells her the likely backstory behind why a predator, most likely a fox, took her dear chicken away. Shining an entirely different light on the account, her father’s story shares how we’re all doing our best to keep the children or animals in our charge safe. Just as in the the story of the natural rhythm of life, Sonya’s Chickens ends with a new beginning.

As a long time admirer of Phoebe Wahl’s illustrations,  Wahl’s delicate storytelling is equally as charming as her famous cozy and bright illustrations. An important story of the natural ebbs and flows of life, Sonya’s Chickens is a story of love and responsibility and reminds readers of the important role we all play in the world we share.

 

CHICKEN COOP PRETEND PLAY

Sonya's Chickens Activity

My girls love chickens and ducks. They love to read stories about them, we visit the Tractor Supply when the little chickies and ducklings arrive in the spring,  they thumb through hatchery catalogs, and every day on our walk to school, we say hello to our neighbor’s chickens. Until that day comes when we are able to have chickens of our very own, I’ve set up a pretend play chicken coop in our home inspired by this idea from Storytiming.

Chicken Coop pretend play 1

I cleared a couple of bookshelves in our living room for the coop. My 5yo had this snuggly white hen for awhile and I recently found the brown hen for $5 at the Antique Mall, which was my 2yo’s birthday present along with a set of wooden eggs. Using egg cartons I had saved for future crafts, as well as a couple paper bags that I scrunched into nests, and a basket, in just a few minutes the kids had their very own pretend play chicken coop.

Chicken Coop Pretend Play

Chicken coop pretend play 2

chicken activity

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Chicken Coop pretend play 4

chicken coop pretend play 6

Since I’ve been reading Sonya’s Chickens frequently with my oldest, it’s reawakened her daydreams of having her own chickens. Hopefully, our pretend coop will keep her interest alive until the time comes for her to mother her own chicks just like Sonya.

FURTHER READING RECOMMENDATIONS

Books About Chickens

If you enjoyed reading Sonya’s Chickens, be sure to check out:

A Chicken Followed Me Home!: Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page – A great introduction to chickens from their life cycle to how to care for them

Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman -This book includes a section devoted to common breeds, coop styles, and anatomy of a chicken. It’s also a fun read to explore the in’s and out’s of farm life.

 

*Review copy of this book was provided by Tundra Books

27

Oct

Storytime Anytime: Pumpkins

Storytime Anytime PUMPKINS

Storytime Anytime is a concentrated storytime experience that parents and caregivers can recreate with the youngster in your life. Each storytime focuses on a book about a specific interest, a song, rhyme, or fingerplay that complements the story, and then a few, simple extension activities. Storytime doesn’t just happen in the library, storytime can be anytime! 

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! Tis’ pumpkin season when pumpkins adorn doorsteps and windows, decorate storefronts, and everything, EVERYTHING is flavored pumpkin. With so many pumpkins all around, it’s a great time to read stories and sing songs all about pumpkins with your little one. Get into the spirit of Halloween with a pumpkin storytime of your very own.

Storytime Anytime Pumpkin Storytime

READ: Five Little Pumpkins illustrated by Ben Mantle (Public Library | Local Bookstore). There are a couple illustrated versions of this famous Halloween rhyme (like this one and this one), but this board book by Ben Mantle seems to be the version both of my girls responded to the most over the years. “Five Little Pumpkins” is an old, well-loved rhyme that is also popular to sing as a fingerplay about five pumpkins on a spooky night that young children enjoy reading and reciting during and long after the pumpkin season.

SING: “Pumpkin Chant” by Jane Willis Johnston. This delightful rhyme has been on this blog before and was created by a good friend and mentor who is now a retired youth librarian. It’s such a fun way to celebrate the season and Dana and Lindsey from Jbrary do an awesome job demonstrating “Pumpkin Chant” in the video above. You say this chant/action rhyme to the rhythm of  PAT PAT, CLAP CLAP, PAT PAT, CLAP CLAP so that it sounds like this: Pumpkin (pat pat), Pumpkin (clap clap), Pumpkin (pat pat) bread (action- hold hands flat in front)…

Pumpkin Chant
By Jane Willis Johnston

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin bread!
(Hold hands flat in front, palms up, one lying on top of the other)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin head!
(Put hands on head)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin pie!
(Hold hands in a big circle)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin eye!
(Curve hands around eyes)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin cake!
(Hold Hands flat, one palm up, one palm down five inches above the other)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin shake!
(Hold fists up close to years and shake hard)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin stew!
(Pretend to stir stew)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Pumpkin BOO!

 

PLAY: These are simple pumpkin activities to expand upon the theme of the book read that you can do at home or as you go about your day.

  • I-Spy a Pumpkin: I play this game all the time with my girls. Whenever we see a pumpkin on our walks one of us say, “I spy a pumpkin!” And we all look for the pumpkin in view.
  • Pumpkin Counting: While on a walk or a visit to the farmer’s market or around town, when you spot multiple pumpkins, count how many pumpkins you see together.
  • Pumpkin Shapes & Sizes: Pumpkins come in all different shapes and colors. When you see a pumpkin or a group of pumpkins, compare and contrast! Talk about what color it is and if it is a big pumpkin or a small pumpkin, a tall pumpkin or a short pumpkin, and so on.
  • Jack-o-Lanterns: Transform a pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern and talk about the shapes that make up the eyes, nose, and mouth. This is also a good time to talk about the anatomy of a pumpkin not to mention it’s a great sensory activity to scoop out pumpkin guts and seeds!
  • Pumpkin Bake: Find an easy recipe with pumpkin as a main ingredient that you and your child would enjoy making (and eating!) together. Pumpkin butter, bread, muffins, waffles.. So many pumpkin delicacies to chose from! If you’re not feeling motivated to bake, enjoy a pumpkin treat at your local bakery.

 

EARLY LITERACY TIP: Rhymes and chants like the ones used in “Five Little Pumpkins” and “Pumpkin Chant” can be used to strengthen phonological awareness. By making connections with words that rhyme, a child is developing their recognition to sound segments which is a valuable tool when they start reading and writing.

 

MORE BOOK SUGGESTIONS:
Pumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo, illustrated by Valeria Petrone
Pumpkin Heads by Wendell Minor
Seven Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage
Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer
Mystery Vine by Cathryn Falweel
Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

15

Oct

Favorite Halloween Books

Halloween Books for Kids

My fondness of Halloween started at a very young age. Perhaps it was the glowing pumpkins lining the streets, or stories of witches riding in the night, or inky October evenings with the moon hanging low in the sky… Aaaaah Halloween!  But one thing I know for sure is my romance with this holiday was encouraged by many of the books I read or was read aloud to as a child.  This list represents a sampling of favorite books I’ve used in storytimes, books my own kids enjoy, as well as books I’ve been reading since I was a wee Hallowe’en witchy.

Have a favorite Halloween read that isn’t on this list? Please share it in the comments below!

 

halloween books

HALLOWEEN BOOKS
Picture books full of tricks and treats, pumpkins, witches, and spooks, and all kinds of Halloween fun!

The Witch Casts a Spell by Suzanne Williams, illustrated by Barbara Olsen (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Happening by Adrienne Adams (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
One Spooky Night by Kate Stone (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, illustrated by Jane Manning (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Mumbo Jumbo: The Creepy ABC by Michael Roberts (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Night by Elizabeth Hatch, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Bones of Fred McFee by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

pumpkin books

PUMPKINS & JACK-O-LANTERNS

Pumpkin Heads! by Wendell Minor (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hilenbrand (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Richard Egielski (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Littlest Pumpkin by R.A. Herman, illustrated by Betina Ogden (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Mouskin’s Golden House by Edna Miller (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

trick-or-treat books

TRICK-OR-TREATING

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Surprise by Corinne Demas, illustrated by R.W. Alley (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Hats by Elizabeth Winthrop, illustrated by Sue Trusdell (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood, illustrated by Jed Henry (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
What a Scare, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by Bruce Deagen (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

witch books

WITCHES & CATS

Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas, illustrated by Korky Paul (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
I Am a Witch’s Cat by Harriet Muncaster (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Happy Halloween Witch’s Cat! by Harriet Muncaster (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Little Witch’s Big Night by Deborah Hutzing (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low, illustrations by Karen Gundershimer (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Witches’ Supermarket by Susan Meddaugh (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Pumpkin Cat by Ann Turner, illustrated by Amy Bates (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Moonlight: The Halloween Cat by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Humbug Witch by Lorna Balian (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

ghost books

GHOSTS

No Such Thing by Ella Bailey (Public Library | Local Bookstore) – review + activity!
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline Ogburn, illustrated by Marjorie A. Priceman (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
My First Ghost by Maggie Miller, Michael Leviton, illustrated by Stephanie Buscema (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Georgie’s Halloween by Robert Bright (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Trick-or-Treat by Leo Landry (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

haunted house books

HAUNTED HOUSES

In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Susan Meddaugh (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
In the Dark, Dark Wood by David Carter (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Haunted House, Haunted Mouse by Judy Cox, illustrated by Jeffery Ebbeler (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketterman, illustrated by Nate Wragg (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

monster books

MONSTERS, VAMPIRES, SKELETONS, & ZOMBIES

The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell  (Public Library | Local Boostore)
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Dem Bones by Bob Barner (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Zombelina by Kristyn Crow, illustrated by Molly Idle (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck, illustrated by Mark Buehner (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
No More Monsters for Me! by Peggy Parish, illustrated by Marc Simont (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler, S.D. Schindler (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Frankenstein by Rick Walton, Illustrated by Nathan Hale (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Hampire! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Howard Fine (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

Nonfiction Halloween books

NONFICTION HALLOWEEN FUN

National Geographic Readers: Halloween by Laura Marsh (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
I Spy A Pumpkin by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by Walter Wick
I Spy Spooky Night: A Book of Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by Walter Wick (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Can You See What I See? On a Scary Night: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve by Walter Wick (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Book of Fun by National Geographic (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie byJill Esbaum (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices by David M. Schwartz, illustrations by Dwight Kuhn (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Halloween Is… by Gail Gibbons (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Ghosts!: Ghostly Tales from Folklore by Alvin Schwartz and Victoria Chess (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Kids’ Pumpkin Projects by Deanna F. Cook (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Trick-or-Treat: A Happy Haunter’s Halloween by Debbie Leppanen, illustrated by Tad Carpenter (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
National Geographic Readers: Bats by Elizabeth Carney (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Spiders Spin Webs by Yvonne Winer, illustrated by Karen lloyd-Jones (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

 

halloween books for babies and toddlers

HALLOWEEN BOOKS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS
Halloween books with simple text and eye-catching illustrations for your littlest monster!

Five Little Pumpkins by Tiger Tales and Ben Mantle (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Trick or Treat? by Melanie Walsh (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Seven Pumpkins by Steven Savage (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Boo to You! by Lois Ehlert (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Peek-A-Boo! by Nina Laden (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Boo! by Leslie Patricellie (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Nighty Night, Little Green Monster by Ed Emberley (Public Library | Local Bookstore)
Pumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfonzo, illustrated by Valeria Petrone (Public Library | Local Bookstore)

13

Oct

Fable Comics Blog Tour: Q&A with John Kerschbaum

FableComics BlogTourBanner

Fables have been around for centuries and are an excellent way for kids to learn time-honored lessons. Comics haven’t been around *quite* as long, but are an exciting and fun way for kids to read. Create a mashup of the two and you’ve got Fable Comics (Public Library | Local Bookstore), the latest comic anthology from the editor of Fairy Tale Comics and Nursery Rhyme Comics, Chris Duffy!

FableComicsRGB

To commemorate this collection of talented cartoonists’ spin on some of the oldest, well-loved fables, kid lit bloggers are spending the month interviewing featured artists for the Fable Comics Blog Tour.  John Kerschbaum, comic artist for ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants‘ is today’s featured guest answering five questions about his contribution to the Fable Comics collection:

 

The old moral of the Aesop Fable ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants’ is: “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today”. What is it about this particular fable that appeals to you?

JK: It’s a great life lesson wrapped in a simple tale… plus bugs.  I love bugs.  They’re fun to draw.

 

Do you tend to be more of an impulsive grasshopper or a responsible ant?

JK: I’m an ant with acute grasshopper-like tendencies.

 

The grasshopper in your comic is both goofy and lovable. Where did the inspiration for his character come from?

JK: He’s a little cocky and that’s what gets him in trouble.  But he’s well-intentioned.  He sincerely believes that he’ll succeed.  He’s got heart and ambition.  And those are all admirable qualities. He’s also a bit clueless.

 

In many versions of the fable, the ants give the grasshopper no compassion come wintertime when he is out in the cold after spending the summer devoting himself to music. In Fable Comics, you give the ending a twist. Can you explain the motivation behind your reinvented ending?

JK: I changed the ending slightly but I think I left the moral intact.  The grasshopper thinks he’s all set for the future.  He ignores the ants’ advice and suffers for it in the end.  So the hardworking ants are still right.  They’re just not jerks about it.  They show compassion. I wanted to show that the ants weren’t dismissive of the grasshopper’s dream of being a musician.  In fact, they even appreciate the merits of his artistic pursuits.

 

You’re now a part of the telling of Aesop’s Fables, which has been going on now for 25 centuries. Why do you think Aesop’s Fables continue to be popular and relevant today?

JK: Wow, I never thought of it that way before.  That sounds like a lot of responsibility.  I hope I didn’t mess up 25 centuries of story-telling.  Regardless, I think these fables are told and told again because they have an inherent wisdom that makes them infinitely relevant.  They are timeless stories with talking animals.  Even if you’re not into wisdom, everybody loves talking animals.

 

Thanks John for spending time to discuss ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants’ on SfCT!

 

Be sure to check out the rest of the Fable Comics Blog Tour interview lineup:

9/21 Good Comics for Kids features Fable Comics editor Chris Duffy
9/22 Charlotte’s Library features James Kochalka and ‘The Fox and the Grapes
9/23 Musings of a Librarian features Tom Gauld and ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
9/24 Sharp Reads features George O’Connor and the ‘Hermes’ fables
9/25 Fly to Fiction features Sophie Goldstein an ‘Leopard Drums Up Dinner
9/26 Supernatural Snark features Charise Harper and ‘The Belly and the Body Members
9/27 It’s All Comic to Me features R. Sikoryak and ‘Lion + Mouse
9/28 Ex Libris Kate features Jennifer L. Meyer and ‘Fox and Crow
9/29 The Roarbots features Eleanor Davis and ‘The Old Man and Death
9/30 Fleen features Jaime Hernandez and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf
10/1 The Book Monsters features Simone Lia and ‘The Crow and the Pitcher
10/2 The Brain Lair features Graham Chaffee and ‘The Dog and His Reflection
10/3 Librarian in Cute Shoes features Maris Wicks and ‘The Dolphins, The Whales, and The Sprat
10/4 Women Write About Comics features Vera Brosgol and ‘The Hare and the Pig
10/5 The Busy Librarian features Kenny Widjaja and ‘The Demon, The Thief, and the Hermit
10/6 The Book Rat features Corinne Mucha and ‘The Elephant in Favor
10/7 Read. Watch. Connect features Liniers and ‘The Mouse Council
10/8 Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup features Mark Newgarten and ‘Man and Wart
10/9 Jenuine Cupcakes features Israel Sanchez and ‘The Milkmaid and Her Pail
10/10 Bumbles & Fairy Tales features Ulises Farinas and ‘The Great Weasel War
10/11 Graphic Policy features R.O. Blechman and ‘The Sun and the Wind
10/12 The Book Wars features Graham Annable and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise
10/13 Sturdy for Common Things features John Kerschbaum and ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants’
10/14 Kid Lit Frenzy features Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline and ‘The Thief and the Watchdog’
10/15 Maria’s Melange features Gregory Benton and ‘The Hen and the Mountain Turtle’
10/16 Read Write Reflect features Roger Langridge and ‘Demades and His Fable’ 

8

Oct

Poison Ivy Identification – Leaflets Three, Let It Be!

Leaflets Three, Let It Be It’s lurking in your yard… It’s hidden at the park… it’s dun dun DUUUUUUN… POISON IVY! This pesky plant to humans used to make me fearful and uneasy, mostly because I had absolutely no clue what it looked like, and like most fears– The unknown is scary. That is until I read Leaflets Three, Let It Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy (public library/local bookstore) by Anita Sanchez, illustrated by Robin Brickman, a fantastic picture book about the life cycle of poison ivy, how to identify it, and the many important functions this plant serves in the animal kingdom. To me, Leaflets Three, Let It Be! is like a benevolent retelling of a misunderstood villain. It’s the backstory of how poison ivy feeds a large variety of animals throughout every season and provides shelter and shade for reptiles, birds, and insects.

leaflets three, let it be 2

leaflets three let it be spring

leaflets three, let it be 3

the story of poison ivy

leaflets three let it be

leaflets three let it be 6

leaflets three let it be 7

The story incorporates simple identification rhymes such as: “Hairy vine – A warning sign!”, “Berries white, take flight!” and the famous “Leaflets three, let it be!”, but also offers gentle text depicting the good natured side of this vilified plant and how many animals rely on it. Author Anita Sanchez continually notes to look closely, there’s more there if you stop for a moment to observe. Like most things in nature, they can be easily overlooked unless you take time to look down at the ground, or up in a tree, or right in front of your nose to notice the wonders that live in your very own backyard.

And I can’t not mention the illustrations in this book… Just look at the texture in these pictures by Robin Brickman! The three dimensional effect in each mix-media collage of cut-paper and paint brings the book to life (sans allergic reaction!). This book is an excellent resource for a greater understanding about poison ivy, the season, and how one plant, even an unpopular plant, in our world can be essential in the animal world.

leaflets three, let it be robin brickman illustrations

Poison Ivy Identification

As the author points out in Leaflets Three, Let It Be!, once you learn how to spot poison ivy you will quickly become accustomed to identifying it wherever you go. At the end of the book is a guide about the plant, why it causes a rash when humans touch it, and how to identify it. Below are a couple images of poison ivy I’ve taken this summer, one on a walk in the neighborhood and one on a hike outside of town. The first image was labeled in the front yard of a residence, which I thought that was such a great idea! Instead of getting rid of the plant, they used it as an opportunity to educate passersby.

poison ivy identification

poison ivy

Poison ivy has many appearances, so I’m still learning about many of the varieties where I live. In this learning, I’m working on educating my own kids to be cautious as well. Now when I come across a vine, I don’t look at it in terror– I appreciate it’s place in the world while keeping a safe distance.

22

Sep

Favorite Children’s Books About Fall

Favorite Books About Fall for Kids

Autumn in our home is grabbing a quilt, a cup of warm apple cider, and stack of books to read on the porch during a crisp autumn morning. Inspired by the season, below is a list of favorite children’s books about fall to share with you and yours throughout this festive time of year. There are a handful of lesser known titles on this list as well as some tried and true, familiar, fall-time stories you and yours will want to read again and again and again. At the bottom of the list are books especially fun for babies and toddlers to read (although big kids will enjoy them too!). If you have a favorite title that isn’t on this list, please share in the comments below!

 

Books All About The Autumn Season

ALL ABOUT THE AUTUMN SEASON
Books that include a variety of the season’s famous characteristics from leaves falling, to harvest season, to animals preparing for winter.

A is for Autumn by Robert Maass
Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone
Autumnblings by Douglas Florian
Count Down to Fall by Fran Hawk
Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illustrated by Elly MacKay
Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Chad Cameron
Four Friends in Autumn by Tomie dePaola
How Do You Know It’s Fall? by Lisa M. Herrington
It’s Fall! by Linda Glasser, illustrated by Susan Swan
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee
Sneeze, Big Bear Sneeze! By Maureen Write, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Snowsong Whistling by Karen Elisa Lotz (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)
Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! by Anne Sibley O’Brien, illustrated by Susan Gal
Wonderfall by Michael Hall
Bella’s Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Susan Gal

 

Autumn Equinox Books

AUTUMN EQUINOX & THE HARVEST MOON
Books about the autumn equinox (the official calendar start of the autumn season), the history of harvest celebrations, and stories inspired by the full moon in September and October known as “The Harvest Moon”.

The Autumn Equinox by Ellen Jackson
We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Linda Bleck
By The Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Mark Jones
Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph J. Fletcher
Possum’s Harvest Moon by Anne Hunter

 

Autumn harvest books

HARVEST
Books all about harvesting the seasons’ bounty before the cold winter months.

Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan
Fall Harvests: Bringing in Food by Martha E. H Rustad, illustrated by Amanda Enright
Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola
Picking Apples and Pumpkins by Amy Hutchings, photographs by Richard Hutchings
Tractor Mac Harvest Time by Billy Steers
Autumn Harvest by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman, Cheryl Ryan, illustrated by Wade Zahares
Christopher’s Harvest Time by Elsa Maartman Beskow

 

Autumn Leaves Books

AUTUMN LEAVES
Watch them turn, watch them fall! The changing of the leaves is an opportunity for play, art, inquiry, and fun.

Ska-tat! by Kimberley Knutson
Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley
Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans
Johnny Maple-Leaf by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated b Roger Duvoisin
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
In the Leaves by Huy Voun Lee
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington
Why Do Leaves Change Colors? by Betsy Maestro, illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern
Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Yellow Time by Lauren Stringer

 

scarecrow books

SCARECROWS
Scarerows used to… well… scare me. But I’ve become fond of them as an adult. These picture books are a lot of the reason why I now enjoy them.

Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown
The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston, illustrated by Maggie Kneen
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen

 

Apple Books

APPLES
Apple picking, apple cider, apple pie… Mmmm. Books all about this favorite fall-time fruit.

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern
Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington
The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson
Big Red Apple by Tony Johston, illustrated by Judith Corwin
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro, illustrated by Giulio Maestro
The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G.Brian Karas
Apple Picking Time by Michele B. Slawson
One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert
From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Julia Patton
One Green Apple by Eve Buting, illustrated by Ted Lewin
The Crooked Apple Tree by Eric Houghton, illustrated by Caroline Gold
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Apples by Gail Gibbons
Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum

 

pumpkin books

PUMPKINS 
Pumpkin books that focus on the life cycle of a pumpkin and pumpkins in autumn. A few mention Halloween, but halloween pumpkins books warrant a whole other list in my opinion. Here are a few pumpkin (and one squash) themed autumnal books.

Mystery Vine: A Pumpkin Surprise by Cathryn Falwell
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, photographs by Shmuel Thaler
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum
It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern
Pumpkins by Ken Robbins
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer
Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices by David M. Schwartz, photographed by Dwight Kuhn
The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Eileen Christelow
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd

 

Animals in Autumn books

ANIMALS IN AUTUMN
Autumn is also a time of transition for the animal kingdom. Does your favorite animal hibernate, migrate, or adapt in winter? From busy squirrels to sleepy bears, these books will reveal the nature of animals in autumn.

In November by Cynthia Rylant
Nuts by Paula Gerritsen
Now That Days Are Colder by Aileen Fisher, illustrated by Gordon Laite
Animals in Fall: Preparing for Winter by Martha E. H. Rustad, illustrated by Amanda
Enright
Bear has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Acorns Everywhere! by Kevin Sherry
Busy Animals: Learning about Animals in Autumn by Lisa Bullard
Animals in the Fall by Gail Saunders-Simth
George Flies South by Simon James
Round Robin by Jack Kent
Migration by Robin Nelson
Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Winter’s Coming: A Story of Seasonal Change by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Josee Bisallion

 

fall books for babies and toddlers

AUTUMN BOOKS FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS
Books about all the autumn themes mentioned above in a format that the itty bittys will enjoy. These fall selections are great for ages 0-2.

Ready for Autumn by Marthe Jocelyn
Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan
That Pup! by Lindsay Barrett George
Autumn by Gerda Muller
Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes
Fresh Fall Leaves by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Shari Halpern
Rokko by Paola Opal
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
Apple by Nikki McClure
Bunny’s First Snowflake by Monica Wellington
Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

18

Sep

Storytime Anytime: The Moon

Storytime Anytime The Moon

Storytime Anytime is a concentrated storytime experience that parents and caregivers can recreate with the youngster in your life. Each storytime focuses on a book about a specific interest, a song, rhyme, or fingerplay that complements the story, and then a few, simple extension activities. Storytime doesn’t just happen in the library, storytime can be anytime! 

The moon has been a recent topic of conversation with my 22-month old. Several weeks ago we were walking home and the moon was an enormous, illuminated balloon hovering in the sky. I pointed to it and said, look at the moon! Ever since that night, Mira has been pointing to the moon every chance she’s able to spot it. “Mama, Moon! Mama, Moon!” Around that same time, we checked out this lovely new picture book The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle.

The Moon is Going to Addy's House

READ: The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)

This book. This book! Such a pretty book. The story makes for a great read-a-loud for children as young as 2-years old, and the illustrations are vibrant, gorgeous full-spread frames. It’s time for Addy to go home from her playdate in the city. As her family leaves the city, Addy and her sister spot the moon which turns into a game of moon sighting the whole way home. Where is the moon going? It’s going to Addy’s house! When they arrive home the moon is overhead. The girls bathe and Addy dances under the moon before bedtime, all the while the moon is a luminous showstopper.

The Moon is Going to Addy's House 1

The Moon is Going to Addy's House 2

The Moon is Going to Addy's House 3

The Moon is Going to Addy's House 4

As I read this book, I point out where the moon in each picture and the girls love when I replace Addy’s name with one of their names. If this book happens to be checked out from the library (which is likely, as it is spectacular), use any book you find or have on hand that features the moon. I’ve listed favorite moon picture book suggestions below. The whole intention behind Storytime Anytime is for it to be a no-stress opportunity to share a reading experience with the child in your life. Who needs additional anxiety over finding a book? Not I! No siree! There are lots of great books to go around.

SING: “I See The Moon and The Moon Sees Me” from What’ll I Do with the Baby-o?: Nursery Rhymes, Songs, and Stories by Jane Cobb (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)

“I See The Moon and the Moon Sees Me” is a lullaby I learned from Jbrary that is now a regular bedtime lullaby in my house. You can hear Dana and Lindsey sing it at the 2:10 minute mark. There are two other moon songs/rhymes in this video that are easy and fun to learn too!

PLAY: These are simple moon activities to expand upon the theme of the book read that you can do at home or as you go about your day.

  • Moon Drive: As the children did in The Moon is Going to Addy’s House, point out the moon during a nighttime drive (or bus ride or subway ride). Can you find it? When you turn directions, where did it go?
  • Moon Shapes: What shape is the moon in the sky tonight? Is it a round circle or a crescent? For older children, talk about the phases of the moon and discover today’s moon shape here.
  • Full Moon Countdown: Mark on your calendar when the next full moon will be. Countdown the days with your child before bed each night by taking a minute to look at the moon and then count how many days until the moon will be full. Celebrate the full moon by reading stories under the stars. Full moon dates can be found here.
  • Moon Dance: Dance under the moon like Addy! Turn up “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake (I mean… Could there be a more perfect soundtrack for this book?!) and make up your own moon dance.

EARLY LITERACY TIP: Talking and singing with children aids in developing your child’s language. Regardless of age, by talking about and pointing out what you see whether you’re at home, on a walk, or driving on a full moon night helps build your child’s vocabulary.

MORE BOOK SUGGESTIONS:
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)
Moongame by Frank Asch (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)
And If the Moon Could Talk by Kate Banks (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser (Public Library/Local Bookstore/Amazon)

14

Sep

Best Books to Give at a Baby Shower: The Librarians’ List

Best Books to Give at a Baby Shower

When you’re invited to a baby shower, the prospect of giving a gift can be daunting ($$$$), but it doesn’t have to be! You see, you can give the perfect gift ever without having to spend a ton of money — GIVE BOOKS! Reading to baby from the moment they’re born has outstanding benefits not only for their developing brains, but it’s also a great excuse for some parent-child bonding time.

I asked a few librarian friends and the community of youth librarians on Storytime Underground to share their favorite book/books they give at a baby shower and this post is a compilation of their responses.  So, whether you’re looking for a book for a baby shower or are starting a library for a wee little one, this list is full of books for babies recommended by the people that live and breathe storytime, preach early literacy, and make it their business to know kids’ books. The majority of the books listed are available in a board book format (sturdy, no-rip pages, perfect for baby chewing), which also happens to be less expensive too. If a favorite of yours isn’t on this list, please leave the title in the comments below!

favorite picture books for baby shower

THE POPULAR CROWD
The most librarian-recommended children’s books for baby:

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Meme Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rahmann
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Peek-A-Who? by Nina Laden
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli
Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
Black and White by Tana Hoban
Little You by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett
The Napping House by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek
Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Alberg, illustrated by Janet Ahlberg
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Schustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
Time for Bed by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
Indestructibles collection by Amy Pixton and Kate Merritt including Mama and Baby!, Old McDonald Had a FarmBaby Faces, Baby Babble, Jungle Rumble

 

favorite authors baby books

FAVORITE AUTHORS & ILLUSTRATORS
Favorite baby book authors and illustrators:

Sandra Boyton
Eric Carle
Caroline Jayne Church
Debbie Dewdney
Meme Fox
Emily Gravett
Tana Hoban
Petr Horacek
Alison Jay
Karen Katz
Annie Kubler
Leslie Patricelli
Paola Opal
Margaret Miller
Richard Scarry
Dr. Seuss
Audrey and Dan Wood

 

baby books with baby faces

BABY FACES
Babies love to look at photographs of other baby faces. Here are a few great books featuring baby faces:

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Peek-A-Boo! by Roberta Grobel Intrater
What’s On My Head? By Margaret Miller
Motown Baby Love Series by Charles R. Smith: My Girl Sugar Pie Honey BunchHow Sweet It is to Be Loved by YouAin’t No Mountain High Enough
Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces by Jane Wattenberg

 

touch and feel baby books

TOUCH & FEEL  BOOKS
Sensory experiences are stimulating and fun for babies:

Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells: That’s Not My Dinosaur…That’s Not My Train…That’s Not My Lion…
Heads by Matthew Van Fleet
Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
Bright Baby Touch and Feel by Roger Priddy: Colors, Shapes, Numbers
Animals by DK Publishing

 

animal board books

ANIMALS
Favorite books featuring animals:

Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman
Piggies by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Dan Wood
Peek-a- Zoo! by Nina Laden
Do Cows Meow by Salina Yoon
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond
I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
The Babies and Doggies Book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward
My Big Animal Board Book by Roger Priddy
I Went Walking by Sue Williams

 

funny baby books

FUNNY
Silly books for baby and parent:

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordonez
Five Stinky Socks by Jim Benton
Where’s My Fnurgle by Jim Benton
Toot by Leslie Patricelli
Baby Mix Me a Drink (Baby Be of Use) by Lisa Brown
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

 

art books for baby

ARTSY
Books featuring art and creativity:

Beautiful Oops by Sarney Saltzberg
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
Little Blue, Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Mini Masters series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober: In the Garden with Van GoghA Magical Day with MatisseQuiet Time with Cassatt
Andy Warhol’s Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin

 

baby books to sing to

BOOKS TO SING-A-LONG TO
These books prompt song! So many benefits of singing to baby:

What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler
You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis, Caroline Jayne Church
Five Little Ducks by Annie Kubler and Penny Ives
The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
Down by the Bay by Raffi, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Sign and Sing Along: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Annie Kubler

 

interactive books for baby

INTERACTIVE
Whimsical books that have an interactive component:

Press Here by Herve Tullet
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Game of Finger Worms By Herve Tullet
Game of Light by Herve Tullet
Wiggle! By Taro Gomi
Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi

 

unique books for baby

UNIQUE
Not your typical board book. These are visually appealing, unique favorites that make you rethink your average baby book:

DC SUPER HEROES: My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg
A White Butterfly by Laurie Cohen and Barbara Ortelli
My Lucky Little Dragon by Joyce Wan
Are You My Mommy? By Joyce Wann
It’s a Little Book by Lane Smith
Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope by Jack Wang and Homan Wang
Vadar’s Little Princess by Jeffery Brown
Board books by Michelle Sinclair Colman, illustrated by Nathalie Dion: Eco Babies Wear Green, Foodie Babies Wear Bibs, Urban Babies Wear Black, Rocker Babies Wear Jeans
Baby Lit Books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver: Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the BaskervillesPride & Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick
Cozy Classics by Jack Wang and Holman Wang: Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, War and Peace

 

best books to give a baby

AWESOME KID-APPROVED BOOKS NO ONE ELSE WILL THINK TO GIVE
Books that are a hit with babies & toddlers and are different than most books people typically give (e.g. books by Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle):

Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells
Dinosaur Roar! by Henrietta Stickland and Paul Stickland
10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Llama Hoppity Hop by Anna Dewdney
More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
Good Night!: A Peek-a-Boo Book by Benoit Marchon
Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses by Jen Areana, illustrated by Bianca Gomez

 

sentimental baby books

SENTIMENTAL
Books that make you go, “Awwwwwwwwwww”:

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Always by Emma Dodd
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

 

 

board book gift sets

FAVORITE BOX SETS
The Eric Carle Gift Set
Helen Oxenbury Baby Love Set
Boynton’s Greatest Hits
Big Box of Boynton

 

books I give at a baby shower

WHAT I GIVE
My go-to baby shower gift is:  a touch & feel sensory book, a book featuring baby faces, and a book that my own kids enjoyed as babies. These were a few of my girls’ favorite board books:

Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson and Julie Morstad
The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
I Like It When.. by Mary Murphy
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

 

A big thank you to all the librarians that provided suggestions for this list. I hope this baby shower gift guide helps you find the the perfect book for the little one in your life. Happy bookgiving!

 

11

Sep

Look Up! Books About Monarch Butterflies

Look Up! Books About Monarch Butterflies

At this very moment, millions and millions of monarch butterflies are migrating 20,000 miles south for the winter. Maybe you live in the northern part of the country and have already seen them, or perhaps you’re still awaiting the arrival of the impending large orange cloud overhead if you live further south (here’s how to check when they’ll be in your area). These past several days we’ve welcomed them to our city and they’re everywhere!

I knew very little about these fascinating butterflies and their magnificent migration until we moved to the area, but now it is an ongoing interest in our home – especially around the time of the year when, if you are outside for a few minutes, you’ll spot at least one flittering about. Monarch Watch, a nonprofit devoted to the conservation, education, and research of monarch butterflies was established here in Lawrence, Kansas out of the University of Kansas, so we like to make a big deal about monarchs around here.

In honor of the monarch migration this fall, I assembled a book list all about monarchs for all ages:

FOR KIDS:

books about monarch butterflies 0

Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost, illustrated by Leonid Gore
Ages 3 & up
This is such a great books for a variety of ages about the relationship between the monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant.

Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope and Sue Riddle
Ages 3 & up
Simple text makes this book about one bug that’s “Gotta Go! Gotta Go!” a fun way to learn about the monarch migration.

Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Ages 4 & up
Poor Velma is always in the wake of two older sisters, but after a trip to the Butterfly Conservatory finds a way to make herself unforgettable.

Hurry and the Monarch by Antoine O Flatharta, illustrated by Meilo So
Ages 4 & up
Meilo So’s illustrations in this picture book are stunning. Hands-down beautiful. The storyline is sweet and an enjoyable read-aloud.

books about monarch butterflies 1

Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way by Elizabeth Ring, illustrated by Katie Lee
Ages 4 & up
I love the Smithsonian Backyard Books series. And this specific one focuses on monarch butterflies. Perfect!

 A Monarch Butterfly’s Life by John Himmelman
Ages 4  & up
A straightforward account of a monarch butterfly’s life cycle for preschool-age children.

The Migration of a Butterfly by Tanya Kant, illustrated by Carolyn Franklin
Ages 5 & up
We first came across this one at our local library. Large text and bold, graphic illustrations about the migration of the monarch butterfly.

Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons
Ages 5 & up
Gail Gibbons. Need I say more? She always does a great job crating informative text paired with her trademark illustrations. My daughter enjoys the audiobook.

books about monarch butterflies 4

Fly, Monarch! Fly! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Ages 5 & up
The Rabbit family learns about the monarch life cycle and the miracles transformations and journeys of monarch butterflies.

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids by Carol Pasternak
Ages 6 & up
For any child who has ever dreamed of a pet caterpillar. Or two. Or three…

Flight of the Butterflies by Roberta Edwards
Ages 6 & up
This beginning reader book full of illustrations and photographs follows the flight of the monarch butterflies from southern Canada to central Mexico.

National Geographic Readers: Great Migrations Butterflies by Laura F. Marsh
Ages 7 & up
Kids can’t get enough of these National Geographic books for beginning readers and there’s one that focuses solely on the monarch migration!

Butterfly Tree by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Leaslie Wu
Ages 7 & up
Jilly spots something unfamiliar in the sky, so she and her mother go investigate. What they find is spectacular.

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The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings by Avis Harley
Ages 7 & up
A terrific collection of poems all about the monarch butterfly.

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns, photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz
Ages 8 & up
Okay, so this book isn’t only about monarchs, but the monarch section is phenomenal and provides an in-depth account of the work being done by Monarch Watch.

Monarch Magic! Butterfly Activities & Nature Discoveries by Lynn Rosenblatt
Ages 8 & up
40 butterfly activities and crafts for kids to explores as well as an informational guide about monarchs.

An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly by Laurence Prigle and Bob Marstall
Ages 9 & up
Picture book for an older reader following one butterfly’s entire life span.

 

FOR TEENS & ADULTS:

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The Enlarged and Updated Second Edition of Milkweed Monarchs and More: A Field Guide to the Invertebrate Community in the Milkweed Patch by Ba Rea, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, and Michael A. Quinn
Anything and everything you wanted to know about the life of the monarch butterflies and the plants that provide sustenance for all stages of it’s life cycle.

The Amazing Monarch: The Secret Wintering Grounds of an Endangered Butterfly by Windle Turley
Beautiful photographs that will amaze all ages.

Four Wings and a Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly by Sue Halpern
A memoir loaded with lots of facts about the monarch migration, Sue Halpern goes on a quest across the country in search of information about how and why behind the mysterious migration habits of the monarch butterfly.

The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
A mesmerizing story about Luz Avila and her journey south along the same migration path of the monarch butterflies, and the women she meets along the way. This novel is classified as an adult book and is best suited for older teens and adults.

 

If you have a favorite book about the Monarchs that I missed, please leave in the comments below!

Also, if you’re interested in raising monarch butterflies or starting your own Monarch Waystation, all of that information can be found on the Monarch Watch website. Schools and nonprofits are eligible for free milkweed.

Many cities across the country organize events and festivals to welcome the migrating butterflies– Be sure to check your city’s events calendar. If you live in the Lawrence area, there’s a Monarch Watch Open House every September at Foley Hall in the west campus of University of Kansas.

Don’t forget to look up! The monarchs are soaring through!

 

 

 

 

Image source for title image is a photograph of Melio So’s illustration in Hurry and the Monarch.