Posts Tagged read alouds
We’ve mentioned Candace Fleming’s book Oh No! recently, and for those of you who enjoyed it, I highly recommend That’s Mine! I love this brand-new picture book by Michael Van Zeveren. In That’s Mine! a frog discovers a mysterious egg, which he claims as his own, despite the protests of the other animals. The snappy dialogue and animal sounds make this book perfect for read-alouds. Little ones will enjoy guessing whom the egg belongs to and what’s inside. Its bright colors and humorous twist at the end are sure to please even the youngest reader.
That’s Mine! by Michael Van Zeveren; Gecko Press; $17.95
The Insomniacs can’t quite function the same way other families do during the day. But when Mrs. Insomniac’s new job takes them all the way around the world, their jet lag turns out to be a blessing in disguise—they start to sleep during the day and stay awake during the night! After all, there are plenty of other creatures in the world who snuggle down for bedtime as the sun rises. Why shouldn’t people do the same?
Debut children’s author Karina Wolf’s story is charming and atmospheric. The Insomniacs are, understandably, different from other families, and their story has a certain appropriately unique tang that makes it especially memorable. Moonlight-infused illustrations from The Brothers Hilts (yes, they’re really brothers) elevate this book from a great read aloud to a perfect book for young readers to flip through on their own—there are oodles of cool details to pore over. Fans of Oliver Jeffers’ offbeat, heartwarming style will love this delightful new picture book!
Read on, readers!
The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf, illus. by The Brothers Hilts; Putnam (Penguin); Ages 3-7
The cover of this new picture book is eye catching all on its own: an itsy, bitsy baby mouse (as promised) stares up at the giant words of the title. This dash of whimsy is continued throughout the book with bright pastel graphics that mimic the wild race of our rodent protagonist. Hilarious rhyming text is laced seamlessly into the adventure, making this a near perfect read aloud.
Did you hear that? A near perfect read aloud!
Itsy, bitsy baby mouse is lost. He scurries across the vast wasteland of the living room (narrowly escaping the dangerous claws of a monstrous house cat!), desperately searching for his own little door. At the very last moment, when all seems to be lost, two friendly faces appear, ready to calm his frazzled nerves. Mama and Papa Mouse gently soothe their little one and put him to bed.
It’s a simple enough story, and Silver Spring-based author Michelle Meadows (Pilot Pups, Hibernation Station) doesn’t muddle things with over-embellishment. Her rhyming text propels the story forward with charm and humor. Illustrator Matthew Cordell (Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie) develops a similar aesthetic in his artwork, striking just the right balance between silliness and restraint.
I can’t imagine a child (or grownup!) who could resist this delightful little story! Stop by the store today and share it with your little one!
Itsy-Bitsy Baby Mouse by Michelle Meadows, illus. by Matthew Cordell; Simon & Schuster; 15.99; Ages 2-6
If you’ve ever walked through our front door on a Friday morning, you’ve experienced the delightful mayhem that is Wee Ones Storytime. Every week I’m amazed at the number of toddlers that manage to fit in the reading corner–and the amount of strollers in the aisles! It’s one of my favorite times of the week, and that’s saying a lot, since once upon a time, when I started doing storytimes, I was terrified of the responsibility that comes with keeping a crowd of two-and-unders entertained for a whole thirty minutes! Thankfully, though, I’ve discovered some tried and true books that little ones simply can’t resist. The following, in no particular order, are my absolute favorites to grab for an interactive storytime for infants through preschoolers.
One of our all-time bestsellers at HFB! The fantastic thing about this book is that it grows with your wee one. For the smallest children, the large, vibrant illustrations are enough to keep them engaged. As they get older, though, the various concepts (counting, colors, emotions) will begin to take hold. A central character (Little Fish) describes his various “fishy friends,” and in so doing gently introduces the idea of storyline and narration without ever becoming wordy or overly descriptive.
I was thrilled to find a version of this raucous story in print! I’ve found that stories that can be sung are usually an instant hit with the storytime crowd, and this title is no exception. Sung to the tune of “Skip to My Lou,” Cows in the Kitchen presents the conundrum of how to get a group of rowdy farm animals out of Tom Farmer’s house. This is one of my favorites to use when introducing animal sounds, since there’s a wide array here–pigs, goats, ducks, and of course the requisite cows.
These five naughty monkeys are as popular as ever! This version by Eileen Christelow gives us a brief introduction and conclusion to the chant, rounding everything out into an inclusive story. I love to pull this one out when we’ve got excess energy to burn during Wee Ones Storytime. There’s nothing like turning the reading corner into a toddler mosh pit to get all the wiggles out!
I don’t think this book is meant to be sung, but that hasn’t stopped me yet! I’ve freely adapted the text to fit the rhyme scheme of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and it’s become one that I use nearly every week. Each two-page spread is targeted at identifying a certain facial feature. Simple, colorful illustrations of children and animals aid in identifying eyes, nose, ears, chin, etc. This title is slightly larger than the typical board book, which is always an asset when trying to keep the back row engaged!
A book that gets little ones involved with vocalization and storytelling is a winner in my opinion. This is one of my newest favorites, and it’s possible that I have as much fun with it as the two-year-olds do. Our friend the dinosaur is an energetic little guy who likes to ROAR (cue the vocalization!) when he is confronted with various challenges. Dinosaur versus a pile of leaves! Dinosaur versus a big slide! Dinosaur versus a bowl of spaghetti! This prehistoric beast is sure he can conquer anything–until bedtime rolls around. This is a great title to use with wiggle worms who aren’t too thrilled with the prospect of saying goodnight.
Of course, I like to rotate my list of titles for Wee Ones Storytime, but these are the ones I simply couldn’t do without! Don’t be surprised if you consistently see books from this list making appearances on Friday mornings–sometimes I just can’t resist.
Miss Megan (G.)