Picture Book Review: 1,2,3, Animals!

1,2,3, Animals! A First Counting Book for Toddlers by Bethany Lake
1,2,3, Animals! A First Counting Book for Toddlers
by Bethany Lake

4 out of 5 stars


The circus animals are getting ready to perform in the big top! The lion is the ringmaster. The dogs are clowns. Elephants play the drums while the toucans play trumpets. Kangaroos sell snacks and treats. The bears dance ballet. Eight tigers balance on unicycles.

This book has such cute illustrations! The animals are colorful and fun! I liked the crazy costumes and the energy on every page. The text has nice pacing and some good rhymes that fit the story.

I really like that the book counts from 1 to 10 as the animals prepare for the show, and then while they are performing in the show we count backwards from 10 back to 1. This is a wonderful technique of teaching children to count both ways! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: We Love Babies!

We Love Babies! by Jill Esbaum
We Love Babies!
by Jill Esbaum,  National Geographic Society 

5 out of 5 stars

This adorable picture book features dozens of baby animals from familiar species like the Elephant and Rabbit, to strange species like the Long-Eared Jerboa and the Serval. The photographs of these cute little babies are colorful and sweet! There are tiny cartoon characters drawn into the corners of the pages who cheer for the babies.

The text describes all the things we love about animal babies, their soft fur, their stripes, and fins. Their hooves, and paws. Their snuffles and snorts, their squawks and peeps. “Big or tiny, fast or slow” we definitely love animal babies!

Photographs of the animal babies are placed in a colorful background design that is sure to capture the attention of little readers.

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Picture Book Review: Neil Armswan

Wild Bios by Courtney Acampora
Wild Bios: Neil Armswan 
by Courtney AcamporaMaggie Fischer,  Zoe Persico 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

“One small step for swan, one giant leap for birdkind.”
This colorful board book tells the story of Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon, but with a cast of animal characters, and hilarious animal puns.

This book follows his life story and legacy, starting from when Neil “Armswan” grew up as the oldest of his “flock” with two siblings. Neil learns to fly, becomes an Eagle Scout, and serves in the Korean War where he receives three air medals as a naval aviator. He becomes a test pilot, and falls in love, starting his own “flock” with his lovebird “Gannet”. They “migrate” to Houston with their “cygnets”, where Neil launches into orbit in the Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 missions, leaving “webbed” footprints on the Moon.

I loved the silly puns and adorable animal characters! The whole book is so bright and funny, and the legacy and accomplishments are truly inspiring. The writing is perfect to read aloud with young children, and the illustrations are engaging with interesting details in the background to capture the attention of little readers.

This book is also well-timed with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, when so many people are celebrating that national accomplishment, and little ones might be wondering what it’s all about. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Lost Kitties #ADORBS

Hasbro Lost Kitties Level 3 Squad Goals by Maggie Fischer
Hasbro Lost Kitties Level 3 Squad Goals: #ADORBS 
by Maggie Fischer

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


These cute little kitties are into all sorts of hijinks, pranks, and kerfuffle…
Nap-kin can’t find a decent place to nap.
Bon-bon keeps baking and baking, but the kitties tummies are never full.
Francis gets a crick in his tail that only some relaxing yoga can undo.
Prankster Pants mixes sugar into the soap and it attracts a garden full of butterflies.
Memez is practicing for a music contest, but his dance moves are uninspiring until the dancing kitties tell him that the “best dance moves are the ones that make you feel like yourself.”

I love the cute storylines and funny little dramas! The illustrations are full of bright colors and hearts and rainbows. The writing is perfect for this reading level, and the fun comedy and short chapters keep it interesting.
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Picture Book Review: The Big Book Adventures

The Big Book Adventure by Emily Ford
The Big Book Adventure 
by Emily FordTim Warnes

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Foxy and Piggy love to read. They share their reading adventures with each other, and describe all the wonderful characters they have met. They encounter mermaids and dragons. They fly on a magic carpet, and find buried treasure. Foxy goes to outer space on a rocket, and Piggy has tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland. The two friends decide to start a book club, so that they can go on even more reading adventures together!

I loved the sweet characters of Piggy and Foxy. They are so cute!! They bounce from story to story enjoying each adventure and happy to share the experience of reading with a friend. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Big Cat

Big Cat by Emma Lazell
Big Cat 
by Emma Lazell

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Isobel’s Grandma has lost her glasses, and when a stray cat wanders into the garden, Isobel and her Grandma adopt the very big cat. Without her glasses, Grandma can’t see that the new cat is really a tiger! Food goes missing, and all the little cats are jealous. How will Isobel take care of such a big cat, and when will Grandma realize her mistake?

This is the cutest, most adorable picture book I’ve ever seen! The story is so funny and whimsical. The characters are a delight, and I love how Isobel just takes things in stride when a massive tiger moves into the house. Meanwhile, Grandma is utterly oblivious, and can’t understand why they keep running out of cat food.

The illustrations are bright with wild splashes of color and movement. I especially love all the little details in the background of each page. We can look for Grandma’s glasses hidden behind a flower pot. We see a newspaper advertising “Missing Tiger!”, and Isobel reads a book about tigers while the tiger reads a book about Humans. So many sweet details like that, which make this book truly special and a joy to read.
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Picture Book Review: Rabbit and Bear

Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough
Rabbit’s Bad Habits 
by Julian Gough (Author), Jim Field (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Bear is peacefully sleeping through the winter when she is awakened by a thief stealing her stockpile of food. She stumbles out of her cave into the snow, and decides that as long as she’s awake, she might as well build a snowman. The cranky Rabbit is determined to build a bigger, better snowman on the neighboring hill, but when the ravenous Wolf shows up, Rabbit’s plans take a dangerous turn when he can’t get back to his safe burrow.
Who stole all of Bear’s food? How will Rabbit get to safety? Who will win the snowman-building competition? And the most important question of all, can a Bear and Rabbit really become friends? Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Have I Ever Told You?

Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King
Have I Ever Told You? 
by Shani King, Anna Horvath (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This picture book reminds each child that they are loved, that it’s okay to ask questions, that it’s important to do the right thing, and that they should always be respectful and kind.

I loved the text of this book, with its insightful statements about being inclusive and kind, about honest communication, and especially about love and family. It reminds the reader that it’s important to talk about the important things, and make sure that every child feels safe and loved and heard. I think this book will open good dialogue between children and adults, and provide opportunities for “teaching moments”, or maybe just provide a chance to listen to a child and hear what they want to say.

However, I did not always love the artwork.

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Picture Book Review: Miss Pinkeltink’s Purse

Miss Pinkeltink's Purse by Patty Brozo
Miss Pinkeltink’s Purse 
by Patty BrozoAna Ochoa (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miss Pinkeltink is homeless, and she carries around a massive purse full of random stuff. Sometimes she knocks things over with her enormous purse, and the townspeople complain that she has run over their roses with her purse, or knocked down their fence, or bumped children off their bikes.

But Miss Pinketink has a good heart, and she shares the stuff from her purse with the townspeople. She gives out a roll of tape to fix a flat bike tire, or a comb to a bald man, a bone to a cat, and a plunger to a car mechanic with hilarious results!

A little girl named Zoey recognizes that Miss Pinkeltink’s heart is in the right place, even if her gifts are not always the most useful things. Zoey organizes the townspeople to provide a home for Miss Pinkeltink, and show their appreciation for all her gifts to them!
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