Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Picture Books! Picture Books! Picture Books!

I am so excited to share some great pictures books I have had the privilege of reviewing.

Which is Round? Which is Bigger?
by Mineko Mamada

This is a great concept book to encourage children to think outside the box and to spark conversation between a parent (or other caregiver / reader) and the child. Each two page spread provides two animals to compare, asking a question similar to the title ~ Which is round? When the child looks at the initial two animals they have to make a choice, however, things are not always what they seem. When the page is turned the animals have changed just enough the child's response is no longer accurate. This title reminds me of another book I reviewed a few years back, Same Same by Marthe Jocelyn. I love when the simplicity of the illustrations (the cover is the most colorful because of  the yellow, but the colored illustrations and playful) and the text allow the reader to grasp the concept quickly and easily, but then they are forced to use logical thinking to make an educated decision.  Based on the price of the book ($16.95) I am guessing this is a hardcover book. I feel it would be a great board book, and possibly could be if it were in the larger format. This book would be great for toddlers up to kindergarten, but could also be used in elementary grades in order to help further develop high order thinking skills. I highly recommend this title for parents of young children and libraries serving young children.

by Elizabeth Verdick
Cuddle up with this endearing book filled with soft black and white photos of babies and their cuddle partners. Large bright eyes, joyful expressions, and loving kisses are displayed throughout in this board book. It will be a perfect addition to any baby's library. Simply, somewhat repetitive text easily flows with the photographs. The inclusion of "Cuddle Tips for Parents and Care Providers" is perfect for the first time parent or care giver. The tips are logical for those of us who have been around children a great deal and seem common sense, however for someone who has never been around a baby this is vital information for building a loving relationship. I highly recommend this book for new parents. It could also be placed in a library with a board book collection, but know this book will make it into the mouths of the babies because they are going to want to smooch the babies in the pictures.

Where Do the Animals Go When it Rains?
by Janet S. Crown, et al.
Where Do the Animals Go When it Rains? is the product of a conversation between a mother and her children. In my personal opinion, something that should occur with a great deal more frequency that it does currently in our world. A child asks a simple question and the mother (or any caregiver to be honest) runs with the opportunity to create a dialogue. What animals should we look at (research)? Where do you think they go when it rains? What do you think they do there? All wonderful questions you can ask your own child when reading this great book. At first I was a bit perplexed by the various colored text, but on closer inspection I discovered this is a great manner in which to spotlight the main objective on each page. By simply reading the colored text, you can quickly learn the main idea of each page. Now, this is not something the children will necessarily pick up on. However it is a great way for a parent to skim the page and ask a question prior to reading all of the text aloud. Spotlighted animals include the following: bears, squirrels, rabbits, deer, horses, birds, frogs, fish, and mice. The illustrations are colorful and represent each of the animals in a realistic manner (for the most part ~ I don't recall ever seeing a pink fish before, but it will appeal to young children). I would recommend this book for parents of children up to kindergarten and for libraries who have children's collections.

100 Animals on Parade!
by Masayuki Sebe
When it comes to counting to 100 with a child it can be a daunting task, until you read 100 Animals on Parade! by Masayuki Sebe. Not only do you have the opportunity to count to 100, but you get to do it ~ five times, with the bears, pigs, carpenter beetles, rabbits, and birds included in this charmingly fun counting book. The text is not rhyming, or even really good literature, but it starts a conversation. Questions are asked and details must be observed in order to provide the answers. There is an abundance of activity going on in the pages of this book. In fact, at the end of the book you find a picture list of tiny items to go back through the book to discover. A great deal of the text does not occur in the paragraph in the middle of the page, but around the "animals on parade". This is an excellent addition to any early childhood library collection and will be a well loved book in any home with young children (or children of all ages because of the hidden pictures!). I highly recommend this fun math centered picture book.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Kids Can Press, Free Spirit Publishing, Janet Crown (self-published), and Kids Can Press have provided a complimentary electronic copy of each of these books through

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