Author Archive

March 25, 2014


Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts

Cold, Crunchy, Colorful

Using Our Senses

Brocket’s newest nonfiction treasure explores the five senses with your preschooler.  The vibrant and tantalizing pictures really stand out and help each sense truly come to life.

The book gives a simple definition of each sense, along with several vividly engaging examples. I can almost feel the cactus spikes,  smell the delicate yellow daffodils, and hear taxi cabs honking.

This is a fabulous book to explore with your child. Check it out– you’ll be glad you did!


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Daisy Gets Lost

February 4, 2014

Daisy Gets Lost

by Chris Raschka

This is a follow up book to Chris Raschka’s Caldecott Medal winner A Ball for Daisy. The nearly wordless picture book begins with Daisy and her friend enjoying a game of fetch with Daisy’s blue ball. Unfortunately, Daisy becomes distracted by a squirrel in the woods and ends up lost.  Not to worry, though -the story ends happily with hugs as Daisy and her friend are reunited.

You and your child will have great fun following along as the story unfolds through the illustrations. I love picture books without words- they give young readers the opportunity to tell the story as they follow the pictures.  In this case, the emotions of Daisy and her friend are easy to see as the story unfolds, and make for great storytelling opportunities. Both Raschka’s color choices and the adorable characters make these watercolor illustrations absolutely enchanting. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.  Happy reading!

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How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?

January 17, 2014

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?

By Jane Yolen

In the newest addition to her ‘How Do Dinosaurs’ collection, Yolen’s delightful read asks (and demonstrates) how dinosaurs behave when they are angry. Not to worry, though, the dinosaurs then show examples of how to handle anger in more appropriate ways. The book ends sweetly, with Dinosaur not mad any more, sharing a hug with Mom.

The engaging illustrations are big, bold and beautiful as always. Illustrator Mark Teague does a fantastic job of depicting dinosaur temper tantrums.

This and Yolen’s other Dinosaur books are not only great fun, but also help children understand appropriate ways for handling their emotions. This easy picture book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids will want to read it again and again.  Happy reading!

If you enjoy How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? be sure to check out these  great books and more!

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?


How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?


How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?


How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends?


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No Dogs Allowed!

December 20, 2013

Ready, Set, Dogs! #1

No Dogs Allowed!

By Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole

Kate and Lucie are very different; Kate is neat, Lucie is messy. Kate gets up early, Lucie likes to sleep late.  But the girls are best friends, and they both LOVE dogs.  Since they live in an apartment, owning a dog isn’t an option.  Then one day when the girls try on some new bone necklaces, something magical happens.  They find themselves turned into dogs! They soon learn how to switch back and forth, and the fun begins.

As dogs, Kate and Lucie have lots of fabulous adventures and make new friends.  They even manage to help the dogs at the local shelter find homes!

This beginning chapter book is fun, sweet and simple, and a perfect read for ages 6 to 8. Happy reading!

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Don’t Push The Button!

November 20, 2013

Don’t Push the Button!

by Bill Cotter


Meet Larry, a friendly little monster who has only 1 rule in his book:  DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON! We shouldn’t even think about it! But the button looks very inviting. Larry decides that perhaps it couldn’t hurt to push it just once, and hilarity ensues.

This fabulous book is so much fun! It will have you and your kids in giggles as you push Larry’s button and see what happens. This delightful read makes for lots of laughs and is great entertainment for all!  Happy reading.

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October 18, 2013


By Jeff Mack

Follow frog’s adventures in this nearly wordless picture book.  Frog’s day begins with a relaxing dip in the pool, with a relaxing ‘aahh’. This quickly changes to ‘ah ha’ as frog is captured by a boy and his dog. Mack uses only two letters in the book to change the story’s tone page by page, which beautifully demonstrates use of inflection in reading.

If you like this clever book, try some of Jeff Mack’s other great reads, including Good News, Bad News and Frog and Fly (both of which are on the Texas 2×2 suggested reading list.)  I find all of Mack’s books to be cleverly written and fantastically illustrated. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Happy Reading!

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Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy

August 20, 2013

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the  Brave Cowboy

by Jan Thomas

In author/illustrator Thomas’s latest book, the ‘brave’ cowboy sings a bedtime lullaby to two of his cows, but becomes frightened when he mistakes  innocent objects for scary things in the dark. Luckily his cows are able to reassure him. (For a while, anyway…)

I love reading this book aloud at bedtime, and especially enjoy hamming it up when singing the cowboy’s lullaby. What a great way to end the day!

This clever read has a twist at the end and is fabulously fun, as are Thomas’s other books.  It is also on the 2013 Texas 2 x 2 reading list, which is a list of picture books recommended for children from age 2 to grade 2.

If you are looking for a picture book with fun-tastic illustrations and humor, give this one a try.  Happy reading!

If you want more fun, try these Jan Thomas books:

A Birthday for Cow

     Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Can You Make a Scary Face?

Is Everyone Ready for Fun?

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How To Be A Cat

July 24, 2013


By Nikki McClure


In this beautifully illustrated and nearly wordless picture book, Big Cat demonstrates various cat skills to Small Kitten.

The simplicity of this charming book makes it perfect for the very young, and the stunning black and white cut paper artwork make this a great book to explore with your aspiring artists.

I am amazed and so impressed with the charmingly whimsical cut paper illustrations, and especially adore the expressiveness of Small Kitten.  The periwinkle blue words and charming butterflies add the perfect pop of color. I hope you all enjoy this lovely book as much as I did.  Happy reading!


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Noisy Bug Sing-Along

June 25, 2013

Noisy Bug Sing-Along

By John Himmelman


Sing along with these insects as they make their own special songs through chirps, buzzes, clicks and more fun sounds!  These noisy bugs want you to join them in performing their fun (and loud) songs. What could be more entertaining than making noisy-bug noises together as a family?

Himmelman’s bold illustrations will captivate children and adults alike, and make this a great option for preschool classes and group reads, too.  If you are looking for a super fun book to enjoy with your children, this one most definitely fits the bill.  Happy reading!

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What’s Up, Cupcake?

May 15, 2013

What’s Up, Cupcake?:

Creating Amazing Cupcakes

By Dana Meachen Rau

Want to create some super fabulous cupcakes?  This imaginative new book will teach you and your child how to make such fantastic treats as berry baskets (yum!) and fluffy bunny cupcakes.

Author Rau gives detailed instructions for you, and the pictures of these yummilicious sweets are so vivid that my mouth waters when I look at them! I especially appreciate the Decorator’s Toolbox pages that list all the tools you will need, and the Ingredients Glossary that gives a clear picture of each item you will need to make these absolutely adorable cupcakes.

These treats would be perfect to make at parties, or on a rainy day, but you really don’t need a reason… cupcake designing is loads of fun any time!

If this book sparks the creativity in your kiddos, be sure to check out these other cool and imaginative books:

Eye Candy:

Crafting Cool Candy Creations



Smart Cookie:

Designing Creative Cookies




Enjoy, and happy eating reading!



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