Friday, November 9, 2018

Children's Book Roundup (10)

It's time for another edition of Children's Book Roundup.  As always, we have been busy reading a lot of picture books and a few chapter books. With the colder weather and darker days, it has definitely made the perfect conditions for cozying up with a good book.  

Picture Books:

I Dig Bathtime by Brooke Jorden -  This is another gorgeous board book from Familus. I have a two year old son that adores trucks, so this book was a hit! This colorful board book goes through various trucks (excavator, bulldozer, etc) and how they all haver worked hard and need to now take a bath.  It's so much fun and perfect for the nighttime routine.  Also, if you have a reluctant bather, this book will definitely inspire him or her to bring his own trucks into the tub and get sudsy.

Lit for Little Hands: Peter Pan by David Miles and Brooke Jorden - This book is adorable and I love that it has different things for my child to interact with, such as tabs to pull that reveal Peter's shadow or a tab to make Tick-Tock's jaws open and close.  I also appreciate that the authors use lines from the classic novel within the board book.  It's a very well-made sturdy book that would make for a great gift this holiday season. Since I am a classic lit fan, I can't wait to check out the other board books in this series. Thanks to Familius for sending me a copy.

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee - Both of my boys really like this book and I have to say that it's pretty neat. It's a simple story about a wall, literally, in the middle of the book, but it's portrayed very visually and cleverly.  The knight is so sure his side of the wall is the safest and best side until, well, it isn't.  Maybe the other side of the wall isn't so bad?

Want to Play Trucks? by Ann Stott - I like that this book challenges readers to think beyond common stereotypes, but it felt a little preachy and I am not sure my sons actually understood the deeper meaning. They were thinking, ok, this guy likes dolls, big deal, and sort of went about their day.  Maybe the dolls should drive the trucks? Ok, cool. Either way, I think this would be a good read aloud for a preschool and a nice reminder to children about stereotypes. But most younger children, in my experience, don't really play into stereotypes just yet.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean - My youngest loves Pete the Cat and in this book he is trying to be a good dancer. He steps on his friend's toes and does some other unfortunate things, but the owl reminds him to keep on trying and not give up. I love that the Pete books are always whimsical and encourage children to keep trying. Some critics have pointed out that Pete doesn't say he's sorry when he partakes in all these missteps; however, I don't think it's a big deal, at least with the way its presented in the story.

Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen - My oldest son was interested in this picture book as the illustrations are gorgeous, but I have to say I really did not enjoy this one. It was just weird like the Jabberwocky weird. The author uses a lot of nonsense words  in my opinion, she couldn't pull it off like Lewis Carroll.   I can't imagine a group of younger children necessarily appreciating this book. It would have to be older elementary grades for sure.

Biscuit is Thankful by Alyssa Satin Capucilli - This board book is pretty simple, but I guess that makes it perfect to share with little ones around Thanksgiving.  It's not my favorite of the Biscuit books, but it's cute. 

Pete the Cat: Robo-Pete by James Dean - Pete wants his friends to do what he wants to do, but they have other plans. So, he creates a perfect friend (that is just like him!), otherwise known as a robot. He comes to realize that this robot isn't as fun as his real-life friends. I love the message in this book!

Lifesize by Sophy Henn - I absolutely love this beautiful book. My boys have gone crazy over this one, because it brings to life the actual size of various animals. For example, one page is the size of the tiger's mouth. The other page is the size of a polar bear's paw. It's fun for kids to size up their own body parts; plus, it gives you a true respect for animals.  Animal lovers will thoroughly enjoy this book.  If you want a copy of your own, you can check out this UBAM book here.  

I am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems - You can't go wrong with Mo Willems. He is one of our favorite authors. In this book, Piggie is invited to her first party, but she doesn't know what to expect or what to wear. Elephant and Piggie come up with some hilarious costumes. This book will be sure to make your preschooler laugh.  

Chapter Books:

Beast Keeper by Lucy Coats - This is the first in a fun series all about Pan's son, Demon, and how he is in charge of taking care of the mythical beasts on Mount Olympus. If you have a child that is a fan of mythology, they will definitely appreciate this series. My son especially liked all the beasts (the hydra, griffin, etc) and how Demon had to help heal them. We also liked all the references to Hercules and his 12 Labors.  

Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale - I really enjoyed reading this aloud to my oldest son. It's a very entertaining start to the series and it was fun to see some of our favorite fairy tale characters like Cinderella, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, and others make cameos.  The Big Bad Wolf has been accused of a crime that he didn't commit, so he is on the hunt for the real culprit. It's actually a fun introduction to the mystery genre.  Some of the fairy tale characters are a bit cliche, but other than that, I enjoyed it. 

Let me know your thoughts on these books in the comments below and please share any recommendations with me. Happy Friday!


  1. Lifesize sounds awesome and perfect for all the little animal lovers in my life! And my nephews would love that interactive Peter Pan book; they like books that they can pull and open things in, even if they end up destroying the book!

    1. It really is a fun book. My boys love it! Yes, Peter Pan is definitely a favorite in my house. It's fun to move Tick-Tock! Your nephew would love it. Thanks for visiting!


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