Calling all outdoorsmen and women! Camp Rex is the perfect camping book for you and your dinosaur friends. You’ll get good advice on where to set up camp, how to make a fire, and fun games you can play in the wilderness. Just make sure you don’t run afoul of the animals already living in the forest! Molly Idle returns with an adorable sequel to the tea party hit Tea Rex. Just like its predecessor, Camp Rex features absolutely beautiful art composition and gorgeous pastel colors. Almost every page in this book could be a painting on your wall!
“Nevermore!” quoth the tiniest little raven you’ll ever see. The literature-themed board book series BabyLit gets an even more adorable addition with this Edgar Allen Poe-inspired picture book. Edgar struggles through dinner, clean-up time, bath time, and bedtime stories, until his mama finally assures him that no matter what, she will love him “evermore”. Will you ever find a cuter introduction to important American literature? I think you know the answer to that…
Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams; Gibbs Smith Publishers; 16.99; 3-6 years old.
All of Triton’s mermaid daughters have special skills and interests, except for Minnow, who just seems to get in the way. Minnow asks too many questions, like “Why don’t crabs have fins?” and “Where do bubbles go?” But when Minnow finds a mysterious object, that tireless curiosity leads her on a journey to discover what it’s for, and maybe even to discover what it is that makes Minnow unique.
I love that where most mermaid books are aimed at pre-teens or teenagers, this sweet, beautifully illustrated story is for the younger set. It’s also nicely reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, without any of more “grown-up” aspects of the original story. Its simplicity, innocence, and fairy-tale feel make The Mermaid and the Shoe really stand out from the mermaid crowd.
The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell; Kids Can Press; 16.95; 3-6 years old
RARR!! Buddy the monster has his eye on some bunnies! But how can he eat them when they’re about to make delicious cupcakes? Or go swimming? Or go to the fair? Every day Buddy promises to eat them tomorrow. But Buddy may have forgotten the rule… you don’t play with your food! Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! is fun and colorful and hilarious in the way only Bob Shea can be. The headline implies that there will be more of these books, and I for one can’t wait!
Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food! by Bob Shea; Hyperion Books; 16.99; 3-6 years old
It goes without saying that this book grabbed my attention—just look at it! Peter Carnavas’ latest is an adorable little tale of two children who, as suggested by the title, love books. Their tiny house is full of them. Their family doesn’t have much, but with so many stacks of stories, it doesn’t seem to matter!
But one day the house can hold no more. Sadly, the little family decides they must get rid of their books. When all the piles are cleared, their house is emptier and lonelier than they could have imagined.
Later, though, a book falls out of young Lucy’s backpack. The family gathers around to read together, and once again they are smitten with the power of stories. They run out to their local bookstore (indie bookseller thumbs up!) and restock. Soon their home is full of joy and love and piles and piles of beautiful books! Hooray (for books)!
Read on, readers!
First published in 1941, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, is still a charming story. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard decide to settle in Boston’s Public Garden, but find a more suitable nesting site up the Charles River. When the ducklings are old enough Mrs. Mallard and her children must find their way safely back to the pond in the Public Garden. The warm pencil illustrations make it a great book to snuggle up to before bedtime, when you’re in the mood for a longer story.
If you’re in the mood for a true story that is reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, check out Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Mama Duck and her ducklings, Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin and Little Joe take an excursion to town. When they slip into a storm grate, the local fire department and other town members come to their rescue. The beautiful illustrations alone make this picture book memorable, but Moore’s text also makes for a great read-a-loud. And how can you not love Little Joe?
In The Ugly Duckling, Rachel Isadora transplants Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story to the African continent. This ugly duckling lives in a world of howler monkeys, elephants, hot desert sun and winter ice. A kind farmer helps the duckling survive the winter, and by spring he has grown into a beautiful black swan. Isadora’s vibrant collage illustrations are stunning, and give this much-loved tale fresh energy and an exotic feel.
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