Book Review: Camp Rex by Molly Idle

51PPTDnsRiL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_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!

Camp Rex by Molly Idle; Walker & Company; 16.99; 3-6 years old

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Book Review: Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams

9781423635284_p0_v1_s260x420“Edgar, finish your vegetables!”

“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.

Book Review: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell

The Mermaid and the ShoeAll 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

Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson

TiptoeJoeHaving hosted our Friday morning Wee Ones Storytime for the better part of five years, I can attest to the fact that toddlers don’t like to sit still. They really, really don’t. Really. Any time they can get on their feet and moving, they’re happy campers! And this book provides the perfect opportunity.

Tiptoe Joe greets his animal friends and urges them to follow him on tiptoe to see a fantastic surprise. Each animal has a signature sound (which can easily be accompanied by a simple movement of your choice) that is repeated through the story. All this action is punctuated by the refrain, “Tiptoe, tiptoe, quiet please. Tiptoe underneath the trees.” It’s an awesome way to get kids moving in a controlled (read: not flailing!) way.

Repetitive stories are so helpful for getting little children involved, and author Ginger Foglesong Gibson is clearly clued in to that!

Read on, readers!
Miss Megan

Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson, illus. by Laura Rankin; Greenwillow (HarperCollins); 17.99; Ages 2-6

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck Book CoverLaura Murray does a fantastic job with reinventing “The Gingerbread Man” tale in her picture book The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truckillustrated by Mike Lowery.

The gingerbread man is joining a class on a field trip to the firehouse. Upon arrival the gingerbread man falls out of the safety of the backpack and right on the snout of the firehouse dalmatian. The gingerbread man will have to run as fast as he can to keep from becoming a tasty treat for this pup.

What makes this picture book stand out from other re-tellings of The Gingerbread Man tale is its educational aspect. Readers get to see all aspects of the firehouse as the gingerbread man hides in the firetruck cab, shimmies up the fire pole, and bounces over the beds where the firemen sleep. The gingerbread man gets an extra adventure when he winds up going along with the firefighters as they are called to put out a barn fire.

Mike Lowery’s illustrations are comic-panel style with clean lines and simple details. Murray’s text is a joy. Familiar Gingerbread Man rhymes that have been updated to suit the purpose of the book: “I’ll ride to the rescue as fast as I can. I want to help, too! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Great for any fire truck lover or those who enjoy classic/modernized folktales. As an added bonus, the book comes with a fire safety poster.

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Firetruck by Laura Murray, illustrated by Mike Lowery; Ages 3-6; G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin)

Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus

9780062198716_p0_v2_s260x420That rocking, blue, shoe-wearing kitty has something new to sing about in his latest book, Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus. Rock along with Pete as the doors open and shut; the wipers go swish, swish, swish; and the kitties on the bus say “Pete the Cat” all day long. Be sure to read to the end for the particularly Pete payoff with the lyrics.

Though this book does not come with a downloadable song (because who doesn’t know “Wheels on the Bus”?), you can find a Pete-fied version of it on YouTube. 

Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus; by James Dean; Harper Collins; Ages 3-6; $9.99

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger

9780547818542We all learn the song “Yankee Doodle”, but what do all those words actually mean?  Macaroni?  Who came up with that?!  Well, you’re not the only one with questions.  In Tom Angleberger’s Crankee Doodle, Mr. Doodle grumps about everything – the feather, the hat, the pasta references.  Can his pony friend convince him to go to town anyway?  This fun, silly book is a great way to learn a little something about an American classic.  Good luck getting the song out of your head after reading it!

– Emily

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; Clarion Books, $16.99