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Book Reviews

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Evie’s Field Day by Claire Annette Noland. Illustrated by Alicia Teba.

    In this post, we look at a couple books by librarian and reading specialist, Claire Annette Noland.

    Join Evie as she learns there’s more than one way to win. This is a story about friends, big emotions, and sportsmanship. Is winning all that matters? Evie’s Field Day is beautifully illustrated in shades of grey with bright pops of color. It’s a particularly good read if you have a little competitor at home who is struggling with being a gracious winner or loser in games and events. After the story there are suggestions for helping children deal with their feelings.

    Bonus mention:

    If you have little ones who will be getting used to swimming this year, you may want to read another of Claire Annette Noland’s books, George Makes a SPLASH – a book on water safety for young children. This is a dual language book; each page is in both English and Spanish.

    Find these books at https://claireannettenoland.com/

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Kristyna Litten.

    I have to admit I’m a sucker for great illustrations, wondrous contraptions, and delightful characters. The latest book from reading specialist Kathleen Doherty, The Thingity-Jig, has all three. It’s a perfect bedtime story…or just a fun time story, if you like a rolly-rumpity fun time (and who doesn’t). Bear is endearing and children will love his stick-to-itiveness and inventiveness. The details in the illustrations are ingenious. This really is a little gem. 

    It will be available for purchase April 2021! Here's her website https://kathleendohertyauthor.com/


  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Sunday Rain by Rosie J Pova, illustrated by Amariah Rauscher.

    Sunday Rain is a captivating picture book. The illustrations are inviting and adventurous…and the story is about a lot more than the rain (although I love a good rain book). In Sunday Rain, Pova captures the importance of stories, imagination, and friends. I won’t say anymore, because I don’t want to put out any spoilers. This gentle story will serve as a favorite bedtime book, but can also work in the preschool classroom with its sounds, movements, and social themes.

    I reviewed this book before it’s launches on March 2. I rarely post about a book you can't buy right away. I decided to in this case, as it will be out very soon and spring is the right time for a book about playing in the rain!

    You can preorder from the link below, if you’re interested. I receive nothing for the review. I just like the book.

    https://www.interabangbooks.com/get-signed-copy-sunday-rain-rosie-j-pova-here


  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: The King Cake Baby by Keila Dawson, illustrated by Vernon Smith

    Perfect for Mardi Gras, this new twist on the Gingerbread man is a fun romp through the French Quarter of New Orleans and beyond. There’s no fox, so does the baby get away? Or who will be clever enough to catch the King Cake Baby?

    “No, mon ami!” You can’t catch me! I’m the King Cake Baby!”

    A fun read for any age the book comes complete with an easy King Cake recipe. Start a new family tradition. King Cakes are made for Epiphany (January 6) but also for Mardi Gras which is coming up in February.

    Here’s the classroom activity guide for Pre-K-3rd grades.

    · THE KING CAKE BABY study guide http://www.keiladawson.com/the_king_cake_baby_activities/study-guide/

    How to host a King Cake Party and bake an Easy Peasy King Cake!

    · EASY PEASY KING CAKE RECIPE and PARTY http://www.keiladawson.com/easy-peasy-king-cake-party/

    Free music, math, and movement activity; sing it to the tune of 5 Little Monkeys.

    · 5 LITTLE KING CAKE BABIES Action song http://www.keiladawson.com/the_king_cake_baby_activities/5-little-king-cake-babies/

    Amazon link:

    https://www.amazon.com/King-Cake-Baby-Keila-Dawson/dp/1455620130


  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: The Great Holiday Cookie Swap by Melanie Kyer, Illustrated by Joe Kulka

    Enjoy traveling the world through cookies with this new holiday book. It's a little seasonal fun no matter what holidays you celebrate…or even if you just enjoy the treats. It’s a battle to be top cookie. Is there such a thing? Find out. The recipes are included in the book so you can pick you favorites to make with your child. The Great Holiday Cookie Swap shares baking traditions of many cultures and festivals around the world.

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Winter Is Coming By Tony Johnson, illustrated by Jim La Marche

    This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the change in the seasons though quiet observation of the natural world. As we travel through the fall season, a young girl with binoculars and a sketchbook watches the world around her. We see chipmunks, deer, a lynx, bears, foxes, through her eyes and her sketches. Winter Is Coming is a gentle celebration of the great outdoors.

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

    Finally, the book preschool teachers and parents have been waiting for. Each year as fall rolls around, so do the questions: What is hibernation? Where do the ladybugs go in the fall?

    I’m used to answering the questions, but this book does a beautiful job of explaining dormancy in nature with clear simple language and captivating photographs.

    Author Marcie Flinchum Atkins knows her subject and her audience. This children’s author has a background as a school librarian and teacher. Check out more of her books at http://www.marcieatkins.com/


  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Pokko And the Drum, by Matthew Forsythe

    Pokko's parents make mistakes from time to time, like giving her a drum. The drum is loud and disrupts the household...but was it a mistake? When Pokko takes the drum outside she finds friends, musicians, and learns that music has the power to create change! Pokko and the Drum is a fun read and the illustrations are glorious:)

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review:  Jabari Jumps, By Gaia Cornwall

    A great book for anytime of year, but if you've just spent some time at the pool, lake, or ocean it's a perfect read. Remember your first jump or dive into water - that's a big moment. Jabari Jumps brings that moment to life for one boy, but this story is so much more for children. 

    Children face new challenges everyday and it can be scary even when you feel prepared. Jabari Jumps is a fun read, but also a great way to open up conversations about what it takes to try something new! 

  • The Preschool Parent Book Review: Busy-Eyed Day, by Anne Marie Pace, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

    A fun fresh look at a day outside. As a preschool teacher I found this book was especially good to read outside with the children. Then we used our busy eyes to find interesting things all around us.

    The illustrations kept the children's attention and provided nuanced detail without being overly busy, so children could clearly follow the characters - not true for many preschool books. As much as I love the current trend of multi-level books (which please children and adults), this book is right on target for the preschool audience and an excellent way to start exploring the great outdoors including your local park.



  • Preschool Parent Book Review: How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk 
    by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

    Reviewer: Preschool parent, Ellie Thomas


    This parenting book is packed full of wisdom that helps parents engage their children in a positive process of behavior change. Among the many skills discussed, parents are given specific strategies and language for teaching their children about their own feelings and needs as well as communicating the  parents' expectations.  Increasing children's awareness in these concrete ways can minimize strife and the need for punishment. Children gain autonomy and empowerment so that parents can have a more positive and trusting relationship with their children.

    I highly recommend this book and think that the key to its lasting results is practicing the skills in a chapter before you move on to the next.

  • Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

    The Mother Bruce series books are witty, and just plain fun to read. The books are written with humor for children of any age and adults. I’m always careful about children’s books that spend too much time on making the parents laugh, but I think Ryan Higgins does a nice job of providing humor for everyone without taking away from the stories. To be honest these books are really about the wonderful art, which is whimsical and detailed. They are also about family. 

    In the series a crabby old bear named Bruce becomes the unexpected caretaker of four goslings. He learns the messy, wonderful truths of caring for others. Bruce stays true to his grumpy character through the series: Mother Bruce, Hotel Bruce, and Bruce’s Big Move.  If you’re a lover of Calvin and Hobbs' “Calvin Ball” you are sure to enjoy “Frying Pan Ball” You can find detailed (?) directions for the game at the end of Bruce’s Big Move. Read and enjoy!