I'm noticing some trends. Bears, lions, and cats are popular animals for children's books. Ninjas and dragons are pretty trendy as well. Rhyming stanzas make up a lot of books, although thankfully less than half. Many nominated books deal with true subjects in fictionalized ways, and these realistic books are usually my favorites.
Vroom! Kevin's Big Book of Vehicles by Liesbet Slegers (ages 3-6)
This book moves beyond a simple vocabulary book and asks more questions about the vehicles on the road. Where are the quick responders going? What are the parts of a car? It's full of a lot of great information, and it's interactive. But it's a lot of text for the age range. The content is best for ages 3-5, but the text is really long. Perhaps some 6-7 year olds would still be interested in sitting and listening to it all if they really love vehicles.
Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch (ages 4-6)
When a nest of raven's eggs hatches, one of them is a little girl - Rosie. As she grows up, she realizes that she's different, but she decides not to care. Sure she can't fly, but she can do other things. Let people stare, her parents don't care. It's a cute story.
Can I Eat That? by Joshua David Stein (ages 3-6)
This book asks questions about whether or not things can be eaten, and then it goes on to explain why or why not and where those foods are consumed. It's very interesting and educational. It seems more like nonfiction, but I really liked it anyway. It's a good read for kids curious about the world or perhaps for picky eaters to see what other people eat.
Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith (ages 4-8)
A little penguin complains a lot. After pages of his issues, he encounters a walrus who gives him some advice. He tells him to appreciate the good things in his life instead of focusing so much on the negative. He tries it, and he finds that the walrus does have a good point. But then he's right back to complaining. It's humorous and may help kids put their own problems in perspective.
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley (ages 3-6)
This book tries to break down the stereotype that boys/men should be tough and try to hide/suppress their feelings. It's pretty simplistic. It shows various tough guys and talks about how they have feelings too - they feel sad and cry and love. It's cute, but I would be wary of reading it to young boys that may not even have been exposed to that stereotype yet because it could plant the idea in their heads.
Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley (ages 4-8)
On a beautiful day, two sisters are sent outside by their mother. The older sister wants to sit under a tree and read her book, but the younger sister imagines a secret tree fort that becomes more and more amazing as she starts describing it. Finally in the end she goes too far and says it's made entirely of candy, so the older sister knows it isn't true. But instead of giving her a hard time about lying, she says they should build the tree fort together.
Tinyville Town Gets to Work! by Brian Biggs (ages 5-8)
Tinyville Town has a problem. Traffic backs up in the morning because the bridge over the river is too small, not enough cars can drive over at once. They need a new bridge. The town works together to build one. This book is so interesting. It's about city planning and teamwork. It's about community and coming together to solve a problem. It's a great read.
Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis (ages 4-8)
Alan the alligator has a secret. His big, scary teeth, the ones he polishes everyday and uses to scare all of the animals in the jungle, are fake. When Barry the beaver discovers the teeth, Alan tries scaring without them. It doesn't work. The animals give his teeth back if he promises to put them to good use. He does. It's cute and funny. A very fun book.
Swap! by Steve Light (ages 3-6)
This book is so creative. Two pirates have an old ship that needs to be fixed up, but they don't have any money. They trade (swap) their way from a button to all the supplies they need for the ship. It's pretty clever and lots of fun. It's sort of mathematical, and the black and white with some color illustrations add to the appeal.
Hannah is afraid of dogs. Everyday after school her classmate Violet's dog Sugar is waiting for her at the bus stop. Violet's mother asks Hannah if she wants to pet Sugar, and she always refuses. Then one day Sugar is missing. All of the families help look for her, but no one can find her. That night Hannah hears whimpering in the bushes in front of her house. She faces her fear and helps Sugar. And they become friends. It's sweet.
A Well-Mannered Young Wolf by Jean Leroy (ages 5-8)
The young wolf is this story has been taught to always honor his prey's last wish. But after being lied to 2 times, he's getting angry. Then he meets a well-mannered little boy who keeps his promise to stay put while the wolf runs home to draw something for the boy. The boy is rewarded for his honesty, and the previous offenders are eaten. The humor is subtle, but I think older children will get it and find it funny.
Tito the Magician by Guido Van Genechten (ages 4-6)
Tito the clown watches Manu the magician's show over and over again, and he dreams of being able to do magic. When he tries it on his own, it doesn't work. Finally he asks Manu for help, and Manu shows him the steps to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Tito joins Manu on stage during the next performance, and with a little help from Manu and a lot of believing in himself, he performs magic. It's a cute story.
Which of these books would you kids like the most?
On the blog last year...
Month in Review: November 2015