Monster Needs Your Vote

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Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb
Grades: 1-3
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
Jake has been fascinated by presidents for the last few months, but it has been difficult to find age-appropriate books on the election process until now. Monster Needs Your Vote is a very accessible, fun, and engaging introduction to the topic. Told in verse, this well written rhyming book doesn’t shy away from more sophisticated vocabulary. While this required some explanation it also sparked several interesting conversations. We loved the illustrations and appreciated the diversity represented.

We received a free copy of this book from the publisher. We were not required to write a review. The opinions expressed are our own. 

The Thing About Jellyfish

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The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Grades: 5+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
This beautifully written chapter book brings the reader into the complex world of Suzy, a girl in middle school whose one-time best friend recently drowned. Ali Benjamin deftly weaves several story and time lines to expose Suzy’s social awkwardness,  the backstory behind Suzy and Franny’s relationship, and Suzy’s obsession with proving her theory that a jellyfish sting must have been the cause of Franny’s death. We definitely recommend this one for strong middle-grade readers.

 

Finding Winnie

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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Grades: 1-3
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
We were enthralled by this fascinating and well-told story of the real Winnie-the-Pooh. Lindsay Mattick did a wonderful job of explaining concepts and vocabulary that may be difficult for younger children and Sophie Blackall beautifully captured the feel of the WWI era in which this story is set.

A Guide to Reading Wordless Picture Books

Our journey with wordless picture books has been an interesting one. Initially, we had no idea what to do with them and exhibited the “flip and toss” behavior our friend, Ginny Lockwood, is working hard to prevent. You know the drill: flip through the pages to get a general sense of what the book is about then toss it aside and move on to a “real” book with words.

It was actually our middle guy, Cooper, who turned our attitude around and helped us to appreciate the beauty of wordless picture books. Coop is a deeply caring and thoughtful little guy who happens to have some language delays. One night a while back, Cooper pulled a wordless picture book out of the stack of library books on his shelf. Something about that book really spoke to him. He poured over the illustrations while waiting for his turn to be read to and by the time his brother’s turn was over, he had created an elaborate story to go along with the illustrations in the book. The amount of language that the book elicited for Coop was mind blowing.

After that experience, it took some time for us to understand how to engage with wordless picture books. We are continuing down our path with this genre and certainly have much still to learn, but in the meantime we have put together an infographic with our best thinking at this point.

We hope it helps!

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Download as a PDF

You may also be interested in our list of favorite wordless picture book titles. Click on the image below:

Wordless Picture Books With No Words

 

Red

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Red by Jan De Kinder
Grades: 1-5
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
This story of bullying told from the point of view of one of the bystanders sparked quite a bit of healthy conversation in our household. We would definitely recommend this as an addition to text sets on bullying.

Literary Gifts for Book-Loving Preschoolers

Looking for a gift for the book-loving preschooler in your life? You’ve come to the right place! Affiliate links are included.

Literary Gifts for Book-Loving Preschoolers

 

Madeline Puzzle Wheel

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MoMA String Along Books

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Todd Parr Feelings Flashcards

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Silly Little Animals Book and Puzzle Cubes Set

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Babar Finger Puppets

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Olivia Lacing Cards

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Eric Carle Shadow Puppets

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Madeline Magnetic Characters

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Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Matching Game

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Babar Magnetic Shapes

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Olivia Paper Doll Play Set

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Eric Carle Puzzle Wheel

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Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Lacing Cards

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Chef Olivia Cookbook and Cookie Cutter Kit

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Madeline Shadow Puppets

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Babar Learn Your ABCs Flashcards

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Literary Gifts for Book-Loving Infants

Check out these gifts for the book-loving baby in your life! Some links are affiliate links.

Literary Gifts for Book Loving Infants


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Thank You and Good Night

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Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell
Grades: PreK-1
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
We just adore this charming little book about a first sleepover. Clement, Jean, Alan Alexander, and Maggie exemplify the meaning of friendship and remind us to be grateful for the simple things in life. Patrick McDonnell’s illustrations are enchanting as always. It’s no wonder that Cooper has asked us to read him this story every night this week.

Information Graphics: Space

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Information Graphics: Space by Jennifer Daniel
Grades: 5+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
We may have a certain bias towards this book since Mike and I are fascinated by the vastness of outer space, but we both loved this visually appealing text and spent time flipping through it long after the boys were asleep. Information is presented with clear and concise text paired with colorful infographics that help explain complex concepts. Chapters are color coded and tabbed for easy reference. We are looking forward to checking out the other two books in this series.