Dance! Dance! Underpants!

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Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea
Grades: PreK-2
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
Bob Shea has outdone himself with this second installment to the Ballet Cat series. The humor is layered and appeals to kids and adults alike. We loved Butter Bear and her stalling tactics. Be on the lookout for a cameo appearance from Sparkles the pony from Ballet Cat and the Totally Secret Secret!
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Maps Poster Book

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Maps Poster Book by Aleksandra Mizielinski and Daniel Mizielinski
Grades: PreK+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
Squeals of delight resonated throughout our household when this book arrived. Our boys are obsessed with geography and maps these days so they can’t wait to have these posters laminated to be used as placemats and decoration in their room. Each perforated page features an illustration from the beautiful and informative atlas, Maps.

We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights

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Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights by W.H. Beck
Grades: PreK+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
Ever since seeing an exhibit on animals from the deepest sea, we’ve been fascinated by bioluminescence. When this book arrived, we gave a collective squeal of excitement and were not disappointed. The photographs are stunning and the mix of narrative and more informational text kept our mixed-age crew of boys thoroughly engaged.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Who Done It?

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Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec
Grades: PreK-2
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
We love this entertaining book. Each page asks the reader to find a character who did something specific such as Who is in disguise? Our boys had so much fun examining each character and laughing at the expressions and body language that they didn’t realize all of the inferencing work they were doing.

Henry Wants More

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Henry Wants More by Linda Ashman and BrookeBoynton Hughes
Grades: PreK-1
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
We all enjoyed this rollicking rhyming tale about an energetic toddler who can’t get enough play time. Henry reminded us of own Matt and his boundless enthusiasm for life and we loved that a bi-racial family was depicted in the illustrations.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Becoming Babe Ruth

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Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares
Grades: 3-5
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
Jake, like many kids, loves the Who Was series of biographies, but he often needs many explanations along the way. Reading Becoming Babe Ruth was a nice change of pace. Filled with beautiful illustrations and text that conveys the important and interesting details from Babe Ruth’s life without going into too much depth, this biography is a great addition to any sports lover’s collection.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Mother Bruce

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Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Grades: PreK+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
I’m not sure what is more fun: reading this book or watching other people’s reactions while reading this book. It is laugh-out-loud funny but also witty and touching. Definitely don’t miss this fun read about an egg-loving bear who finds himself the accidental mother to a gaggle of goslings.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

The Red Hat

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The Red Hat by David Teague and Antoinette Portis
Grades: PreK and up
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
We loved this delightful tale about a lonely boy living at the top of a skyscraper who goes to great lengths to meet the girl living in the tower recently built next door. The story is whimsical–reminiscent of a Disney short–and beautifully illustrated by one of our favorite artists.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Books for Snowy Days

Snowy days are upon us. As you load up on provisions before upcoming storms, don’t forget to stockpile some great books! Here are a few of our winter favorites.
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Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky
Children who have loved listening to the Toys trilogy, as well as those meeting the toys for the very first time, will be thrilled to see Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic venture outdoors to play in the snow. Together the toys build a snowman, make snow angels, and, when day is done, head back inside their cozy house and wait for the return of the Little Girl.


 

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Blizzard by John Rocco
Blizzard is based on John Rocco’s childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy’s excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood’s immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy’s expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.


 

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Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen
In this outstanding picture book collection of poems by Newbery Honor-winning poet, Joyce Sidman (Song of the Water Boatman, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night)discover how animals stay alive in the wintertime and learn about their secret lives happening under the snow. Paired with stunning linoleum print illustrations by Rick Allen, that celebrate nature’s beauty and power.


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Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal
Over the snow, the world is hushed and white.

But under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals who live through the winter, safe and warm under the snow.


 

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Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston and Jim LaMarch
Day after day, a girl goes to her favorite place in the woods and quietly watches from her tree house as the chipmunks, the doe, the rabbits prepare for the winter. As the temperature drops, sunset comes earlier and a new season begins. Silently she observes the world around her as it reveals its secrets. It takes time and patience to see the changes as, slowly but surely, winter comes.