Foreword Reviews

Fresh Lessons for Spring

17 Picture Books to Teach Young Minds

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Whether you’re trying to convince your child to eat their vegetables, or are imparting the importance of sharing, these creative new picture books all offer means of introducing classic concepts to curious minds. Here are insights into where honey comes from, and how island ecosystems work; here are rhyming thoughts on leadership and lessons on respect. Bring something wonderful to your next storytime with any of these beautiful titles.

Trainbots

Book Cover
Miranda Paul
Shane McG, illustrator
little bee books
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-1-4998-0167-5
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Trainbots are trying to make a delivery of toybots to children, but the misbehaving badbots are doing all they can to sabotage the train. With inventive rhymes and colorful, action filled illustrations, Trainbots delivers fun to young children as surely as the title characters deliver toys to girls and boys. Most appropriate for ages 4 to 8, the book is likely to expand young vocabularies while entertaining kids with a silly story and amusing artwork.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

On One Foot

Book Cover
Linda Glaser
Nuria Balaguer, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing
Softcover $17.99 (32pp)
978-1-4677-7842-8
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

On One Foot tells a story of Rabbi Hillel, an historical teacher and scholar. In this episode, a young man wants to find a very wise rabbi to teach him the Torah while standing on one foot. He searches throughout Jerusalem but cannot find anyone who can do this, until he meets Rabbi Hillel. The book is simply told and conveys the wisdom and goodness of Rabbi Hillel. The mixed media illustrations are appealing and support the story beautifully. On One Foot is written for children ages 5 to 9, but the lesson is appropriate for everyone.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

A Friend for Mole

Book Cover
Nancy Armo
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-56145-865-3
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

When Mole gets lost outside of his burrow, he is scared. When he meets a young wolf who is just as scared as him, the two decide to help one another and quickly learn that a friend can help make things better. Everybody must learn to overcome fear, and A Friend for Mole, written for children ages 2 to 6, teaches children that it is okay to ask for help. Mole and Wolf come alive in the enchanting illustrations, making for an endearing story that will be read over and over again.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Ben Says Goodbye

Book Cover
Sarah Ellis
Kim La Fave, illustrator
Pajama Press
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-927485-79-8
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

When a best friend moves away, it can be very painful. In Ben Says Goodbye, that loss is addressed with sensitivity and honesty. When Peter moves away, Ben hides under the table and imagines a world in which the two boys can still play together. His family offers gentle support and understanding. The accompanying illustrations are simple, but they do an excellent job of portraying Ben’s feelings as he watches Peter leave and then re-imagines their friendship. The book offers a wonderful tool for helping young children cope with this type of loss. Ages 3 - 8.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Sanctuary

Book Cover
Wendy Marloe
Joanna Chen
Marloe Press
Hardcover $19.94 (48pp)
978-0-9823495-3-3
Buy: Amazon

Sanctuary invites young and old alike to reflect on what makes places special for each individual. With just a few simple words on each page, and soft illustrations depicting many types of places, the book invites introspection and reflection about what a personal sanctuary might look like. Though some of the spaces depicted are full of activity, there is an overall sense of peace and quiet. In offering the reader an opportunity to think and dream, the book itself becomes a type of sanctuary.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Respect and Take Care of Things / Respetar y cuidar las cosa

Book Cover
Cheri J. Meiners
Free Spirit Publishing
Softcover $12.45 (48pp)
978-1-63198-036-7
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Respect and Take Care of Things is part of a series that teaches basic skills, and this book offers children a simple lesson about the importance of taking care of the things. The text is written in both English and Spanish and discusses the care of personal items, other people’s possessions, communal items, and even the environment. The accompanying illustrations demonstrate the ways in which young children can help to take care of a variety of things. The suggested games and activities included at the end of the book offer caregivers helpful tips for reinforcing the book’s lesson. Ages 4 - 8.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

The Jar of Happiness

Book Cover
Ailsa Burrows
Child’s Play International
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-1-84643-729-8
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

The Jar of Happiness is a sweet story about a little girl who concocts a potion for happiness and carries it around to share with the people in her life. When she loses the jar, those same people show her that happiness does not come from a jar. Soft illustrations accompany the text, adding humor and highlighting the characters’ emotions. The lesson about how to “make” happiness is highly appropriate for emotional or temperamental young children. The book is sure to be a family favorite.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Friends

Book Cover
Aiko Ikegami
Albert Whitman and Company
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-0-8075-2550-0
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Friends is the story of a little girl who comes to a new school from very far away and is unsure about how to make friends. Gradually she becomes accepted, and when another new student from even farther away joins the class, the little girl knows just how to welcome her new classmate. The book uses minimal text, relying more on soft and appealing illustrations to share the story. The book is appropriate for children ages 3 to 8.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas

A Tale of Picky Eating and Avoiding Catastropeas

Book Cover
Susan D. Sweet
Brenda S. Miles
Valeria Docampo, illustrator
Magination Press
Hardcover $14.95 (32pp)
978-1-4338-2046-5
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas is the story of a princess who cannot be convinced to try her peas, no matter what the king and queen do. The book offers parents an opportunity to encourage kids to try new foods. There is a note to parents and caregivers in the back that provides useful tips for getting children to eat a variety of foods. The accompanying illustrations are whimsical and colorful, and help turn a topic that some children may hesitate to embrace into a book that is a great deal of fun to read.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Salad Pie

Book Cover
Wendy BooydeGraaff
Bryan Langdo, illustrator
Ripple Grove Press
Hardcover $17.99 (44pp)
978-0-9913866-4-2
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Learning to share and play nicely with other children can be a challenge. In Salad Pie, Maggie finds the playground deserted when she arrives. This, she feels, is the perfect environment for making salad pie. She is not happy when Herbert shows up to help her. However, when her beautiful salad pie takes an unexpected tumble, Herbert is there to save the day, and Maggie realizes that salad pie is even better when shared. Colorful, energetic depictions of the children at play support and illustrate the story’s important lesson. Ages 1 - 8.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Too Many Carrots

Book Cover
Katy Hudson
Curious Fox
Hardcover $14.95 (32pp)
978-1-78202-415-6
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

In Too Many Carrots, a sweet story intended for children ages 2 to 7, rabbit learns the importance of sharing. When rabbit realizes that his home is so full of carrots there’s no longer room for him, he tries to find a friend to live with. His friends kindly offer him a place to stay, but each place proves too small for rabbit and his carrots. Illustrations accompanying the text are detailed and humorous, showing rabbit and his friends as they try to squeeze into space that is too small to accommodate them.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Good Trick, Walking Stick

Book Cover
Sheri M. Bestor
Jonny Lambert, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
978-1-58536-943-0
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Good Trick Walking Stick! provides a look at the life cycle of walking sticks. The book starts with a female walking stick laying her eggs, and goes through the year as the eggs stay warm through winter, hatch in the spring, find food, and stay safe until they are ready to lay their own eggs and start the cycle again. Accompanying this tale are facts about walking sticks and how they grow and protect themselves. Beautiful paper collage illustrations shows walking sticks in nature. The book is informative and fascinating and will appeal to children ages 4 to 9.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

If You Love Honey

Nature’s Connection

Book Cover
Martha Sullivan
Cathy Morrison, illustrator
Dawn Publications
Softcover $8.95 (32pp)
978-1-58469-534-9
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

As the importance of environmental stewardship becomes clearer, teaching children how they can help becomes an important task for all caregivers. If You Love Honey illustrates the connection between honey, honey bees, and all of the plant and animal life that sustain them. Lush illustrations support the text, showing the richness of the earth and at least a few of its inhabitants. Suggested lessons and further readings at the end offer children an opportunity to create something in their world to help the environment. Ages 4 - 9.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me

Book Cover
Danielle Marcotte
Josee Bisaillon, illustrator
Owlkids Books
Hardcover $16.95 (32pp)
978-1-77147-201-2
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

The many forms and ways of reading are joyously celebrated in Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me. One child observes all of the forms of reading in his world—from novels to cookbooks to sheet music to street signs—and all of the ways that reading can enrich life. Whimsical paper collage illustrations show life filled with reading, including a variety of real world landscapes with touches of the imaginary springing from books to add flavor and fun. Ages 3 - 7.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Are You the Pirate Captain?

Book Cover
Gareth P. Jones
Garry Parsons, illustrator
Anderson Press
Hardcover $15.30 (32pp)
978-1-78344-219-5
Buy: Amazon

Are You the Pirate Captain? is a humorous tale of one pirate crew’s search for the perfect captain. The story is full of clever rhymes and pirate speak, and even includes a sea shanty complete with a musical score. The color illustrations are engaging and very funny, depicting such things as a pirate who seems to be picking his nose, as well as the crew’s previous captain being eaten by a giant squid. The book is appropriate for children ages 4 to 9, but will certainly entertain children of all ages!

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Wake Up, Island

Book Cover
Mary Casanova
Nick Wroblewski, illustrator
University of Minnesota Press
Hardcover $14.95 (40pp)
978-0-8166-8935-4
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

As the sun rises on the island, animals and plants wake up. With simple statements and delicate woodcuts, Wake up, Island creates a vivid sense of an island coming to life on a beautiful morning. Each page is a unique work of art. Even the text stretches and dips along with the fauna and flora of the island. Children of all ages, but particularly those ages 4 to 9, will enjoy this simple book and the feelings of joy and wonder it imparts.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (February 29, 2016)

Catherine Reed-Thureson

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