Stories your child will love.
    Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 1993). 
    This unique book uses only 34 words to show how a friendship between two boys develops. After reading this book to your child, discuss the feelings each of the boys experiences after meeting for the first time. Caldecott Honor Book, 1994. 32 pages. 
    Reading Level: K-2. PBS Bookfinder
    Books About the Joy of Reading Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Bruce Wood (Blue Sky Press, 2001).
    This alphabet book brings to life the "little letters" as they prepare to teach a child the a-b-c's. On the way to school, the dot for lower case i disappears. Throughout the story, the author cleverly weaves information about the alphabet letters — their order, their correct positions and their sounds. The lively illustrations call attention to both upper- and lowercase letters. 40 pages.
    Kindergartner Read Aloud. PBS Bookfinder
    Beatrice Doesn't Want to by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (Candlewick Press, 2004). 
    Beatrice doesn't like books, reading or the library. Forced to accompany her older brother to the library for three afternoons in a row, Beatrice discovers the magic of books after becoming entranced by a read-aloud. Children's Choices
    Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke (Arthur A. Levine, 2001). 
    The animals at the local farm head to town looking for excitement. When they see all the happy faces leaving the library, the animals realize the fun must be happening inside. Unfortunately, their many requests for a book are indecipherable to the librarian. Can the clucking hen save the day? Krisha Roach
    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Simon and Schuster, 1989). 
    When "a" tells "b" and "c", "d" and "e" to meet at the top of the coconut tree, all of the alphabet joins in the rollicking adventure. Too many vowels and consonants bring a crash that calls mamas, papas, uncles and aunts (the capital letters, of course) to the rescue. Skit Skat Skoodle Doot, Flip Flop Flee, no sooner are the little letters comforted and consoled than the rhyming tale begins anew with a moonlight challenge: "Dare double dare, you can't catch me. I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!" Dr. Jan LaBonty
    I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1978). 
    The Cat in the Hat is back to remind us that reading can be done everywhere and anywhere, upside down, on a train, or even with your eyes shut! Budding readers will appreciate Dr. Seuss' trademark humor about one of their favorite new activities. Krisha Roach
    Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick Press, 2006). 
    Like most institutions, the library in this story has rules about a number of things but not about lions. It does, however, have rules about behavior and when the lion, who has jauntily sauntered in the front door to join story hour, roars in distress when the program is over, the head librarian, Miss Merriweather, turns stern. "If you cannot be quiet, you will have to leave. Those are the rules...." An agreement is brokered by the children and Miss Merriweather concedes that "Yes, a nice quiet lion would certainly be allowed to come back for story hour tomorrow." ... This gentle story, which toys with a host of library stereotypes, succeeds by virtue of that most winning of all combinations: humor and humanity. 48 pages. © Parents' Choice
    Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004). 
    Molly McGrew the librarian mistakenly drives the bookmobile to the zoo! It's only a matter of time before she is turning the otters onto Harry Potter and satisfying the panda's request for more books in Chinese! Krisha Roach
    Books About School
    Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley, illustrated by Derek Brazell (Dragonfly Books, 1995). 
    This book makes a good read aloud for children just starting school. In his first week of school, a young boy watches other children master skills to the delight of the teachers. Young listeners will identify with the young boy as he tries to find something special he can do to show his new friends and to find a place in the group. 32 pages. PBS Bookfinder
    David Goes to School by David Shannon (Blue Sky Press, 1999). 
    Children who laughed at David's antics in Shannon's previous books will certainly enjoy the wild and disobedient David this time as he creates havoc at school. David manages to break every classroom rule and is truly every teacher's nightmare! Find out what happens to mischievous David. Will he ever stop causing trouble? Jennifer Thompson
    First Day Jitters by Julie Daneberg, illustrated by Judith Dufour Love (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2000). 
    There's a real surprise ending to this must-read for any child who is feeling those "first day jitters." Older children as well as pre-schoolers will relate to this story. The surprise ending is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any young child who is concerned about that all-important first day. Darlene Kenny
    Friends at School by Rochelle Bunnett, photography by Matt Brown (Star Bright Books, 1995). 
    This wonderful book presents a typical day at school for eight youngsters. Full of bright photographs, the children, some with disabilities, are shown as active, competent members of the classroom community. 32 pages. PBS Bookfinder
    Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard (Scholastic Press, 2007). 
    Everyone knows what it feels like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. This adorable picture book follows a grumpy blue bird as he uses a few tools — talking, exercising and playing with friends — to overcome his bad mood. Help your child face next fall's new school year with newfound confidence by reading Grumpy Bird this summer. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague (The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, 2007). 
    Large, bright-colored dinosaur characters dwarf teachers and children as the author first speculates about how rebellious the dinosaurs might be and then tells how cooperative and well-behaved they are. The simple text is accessible to young readers. 40 pages. Children's Choices
    Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis (Harcourt Children's Books, 2005). 
    Meet Dexter, a soon-to-be kindergartner! He's terrified and has thoughts of all kinds of reasons to be so. A must-read to help relieve the anxiety all of us feel when starting school. Dexter finds out it's okay to be scared. Darlene Kenny
    The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Child & Family Press, 1993). 
    The Kissing Hand is the perfect story for parents to share with a child who may need reassurance about going to school. In this story, mother raccoon shares a secret with her son Chester. The secret eases Chester's fears as he heads off to school. This tender, loving story reminds us that no matter where we are, our parents always love us and we can carry them with us. Find out how as you read this endearing story. Jennifer Thompson
    Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson (Harcourt Children's Books, 2002). 
    Henry, a mouse, is all for "going" to kindergarten, but isn't quite sure if he really wants to stay! His apprehensions are quickly overcome when he finds a classroom full of friends and fun things to do. This book is written for younger children, pre-K as well as K. Darlene Kenny
    Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, 2000). 
    Wemberly the mouse worries about everything — especially the first day of school. Luckily she finds a friend, and soon her worries fade away. 32 pages. PBS Bookfinder
    Books with Positive Messages
    Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee (Clarion Books, 2005). 
    Bee-Bim Bop — the name means "mix-mix rice" — is a traditional Korean rice dish of many items. This rollicking romp of a book is about cooking with mom, and includes a fun recipe for parents and children to try together. 32 pages. Krisha Roach
    Keeker and the Sneaky Pony by Hadley Higginson, illustrated by Maja Anderson (Chronicle Books, 2006). 
    Parents need to know that this book, the first in the Keeker series, will draw
    in emergent readers, especially horse lovers. It includes positive messages on caring for and building trust with animals. A girl is tossed off a pony, but not injured. Families can talk about Keeker's frustration with her pony, Plum. How does she manage her frustration and overcome it to win Plum over? Parents can also gently remind their young readers that Keeker doesn't listen to her mother and goes too far on the trail, which led to trouble. For children who are challenged with this reading, parents can work with them by alternating reading of pages, paragraphs or sentences. And don't forget to remind kids to "read" the illustrations to help understand the story. 48 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Read Aloud: Age 5, Read Alone: Ages 5-7. 
    Common Sense Media
    Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale From Kenya by Mary and Richard Chamberlin, illustrated by Julia Cairns (Barefoot Books, 2006). 
    Mama Panya and her son Adika are on their way to the market to buy flour. There is just enough money for "a little bit and a little bit more." When Adika proceeds to invite the whole village over for a meal, Mama is worried, but their friends and neighbors each have something to contribute. 40 pages. Krisha Roach
    Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent (Holt, 1968). 
    Alas, Tikki Tikki Tembo-No Sa Rembo-Chari Bari Ruchi-Pip Peri Pembo may be his mother's first and most beloved son, but it is good old Chang, his monosyllabic brother, who saves the day. Stuck in the bottom of the decrepit well, Tikki's great long name just about drowns him by the time the Old Man with the Ladder comes to the rescue. Everyone learns a practical lesson in this timeless folktale. Children who can't remember where their bikes, shoes, book bags or jackets are will chant "Tikki Tikki Tembo-No Sa Rembo-Chari Bari Ruchi-Pip Peri Pembo" for years to come. Dr. Jan LaBonty
    Visiting the Art Museum by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (Puffin, 1992). 
    This lighthearted, comic-book style story takes readers on a trip through an art museum. As a family wanders through a museum, different types of art are introduced. PBS Bookfinder
    Wake Up, Sleepy Bear! by Christine Morton-Shaw and Greg Shaw, illustrated by John Butler (Viking Juvenile, 2006).
    This enchanting picture book is illustrated by John Butler (Hush, Little Ones, Whose Baby Am I and many other super-cute books). Butler continues to endear us with his cozy, cuddly baby animals. This time, baby animals are in action, making their way through the forest looking for something. After being awakened by the little brown cub who adorns the book cover, the animals gather seeds, nuts, berries and other gifts that they convey through the forest to a clearing. Light filters through the forest, and the baby animals discover a mother deer is resting. The baby animals quietly approach to find a brand-new baby — a fawn. This book is begging to be read aloud with rhymes that are fun and gentle, welcoming the newest life to the forest. 32 pages. Pauline Harris
    Classic Childhood Favorites
    A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (HarperTrophy, 1989). 
    Imagine "Kids say the darndest things" bound into a picture book. And imagine that the illustrations were done in the most charming fashion by Maurice Sendak. And voila! You have the wonderful, whimsical and purse-sized A Hole Is to Dig. Your child will giggle with delight when you read these wacky definitions together. 48 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    The Maggie B. by Irene Haas (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1975). 
    One of the sweetest, homiest and quietly comforting picture books ever published. Those who know it count it as one of their all-time favorites. If you are just about to discover it, get ready to buy multiple copies to give to every child of picture-book age. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    Marshmallow by Clare Newberry (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2008). 
    A cuddly but longer read-aloud that is perfect for bedtime. Parents need to know that this award-winner from 1943 deserves its classic status. There's a reason that this book has lasted so long in print. From the stellar illustrations to the somewhat long-winded but sweet story, it's a picture book that resonates with kids. Miss Tilly brings fluffy bunny Marshmallow home to live with her tabby cat Oliver. The book charts the small family's adjustment to one another with lots of homey details and enough subtle insight to weather repeated readings. 32 pages.
    Read Aloud: Age 4, Read Alone: Age 6. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Common Sense Media
    No Roses for Harry! by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, (HarperTrophy, 1976). 
    Harry, the loveable little dog featured in this sequel to Harry the Dirty Dog, once again mimics a child's behavior when he receives a sweater from grandma that he doesn't like. From "losing" it in a store, to hiding it in the house, Harry does everything he can to keep from wearing the rose-covered sweater. I recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for a dirty dog or who has ever received a present that ended up in the back of the closet. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton (Cartwheel Books, 2007). 
    In this take on "The Three Little Pigs," Jim builds a house of seaweed, Tim makes a sand house, and Kim constructs a wooden ship house that saves them all. Easy, patterned language makes this book very accessible to early readers. 32 pages. Children's Choices
    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Harper Collins, 25th Anniversary edition, reprinted 1988). 
    Originally published in 1963, this is the story of Max, who puts on a wolf suit, causes mischief, gets sassy with his mother and is sent to bed without any dinner. The story is one of escaping into a child's imagination when he's on the outs with Mom. Max's room becomes a forest, he finds he has his own boat and then sails off "in and out of weeks...to the place where the wild things are." There, he is not impressed with the posturing of the wild things, and without much ado, he becomes their king. The color illustrations are some of Sendak's best (he won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for them), and the wild things are very huggable-looking. This is a bedtime classic that transcends time. 48 pages. Pauline Harris
    Fantasy Books Alice the Fairy by David Shannon (Blue Sky Press, 2004). 
    If your child is a fan of David Shannon's No David series, then this book will surely be a hit with your young reader. David Shannon has cleverly created David's counterpart in a girl named Alice, who claims to be a temporary fairy. You see, she has to earn her wings before she can truly become a real fairy. Come watch her spin her magic. You can bet there will be some trouble if she is anything like David. Like Shannon's other books, Alice the Fairy is told from a child's point of view, and its innocence makes it appealing to young readers everywhere. Jennifer Thompson
    The Bravest of the Brave by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Random House Children's Books, 2005). 
    The rhythm of this tale about a skunk — who heads home and wonders about robbers, pirates, ghosts and trappers — is very engaging. Children are captive to the tension of the tale. 32 pages. Children's Choices
    The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires, illustrated by Holly Berry (HarperCollins, 2006). 
    This variation of the classic tale is set in the western United States. The main character runs from roadrunners, javelinas and long-horned cattle until a coyote eats him. The story ends with a rancher, his wife and the coyote making more gingerbread cowboys. 32 pages.
    Good Enough to Eat by Brock Cole (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2007). 
    Good enough to become a classic fairy tale. Parents need to know that this clever fairy tale includes a maiden-eating ogre and the maiden who cuts her way out of the ogre's belly, meanwhile slashing his black heart. This bit of violence is told in prose and doesn't look gory on the page. If kids are fine with the darker moments of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, they'll be OK with this one, especially if your reading focuses on the clever and humorous elements and the very happy ending. 32 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Read Aloud: 5, Read Alone: 5-8, Common Sense Media
    Heckedy Peg by Don and Audrey Wood (Harcourt Brace, 1987). 
    Seven children, conveniently named after the days of the week, ignore their mother's warnings about strangers and fire, and a witch turns them into a seven-course meal and hauls them home for her supper. Fortunately, Heckedy Peg is no match for their determined mother who solves the witch's riddle, rescues her children and makes Heckedy Peg sorry she ever hobbled up their lane on her wooden leg announcing: "I'm Heckedy Peg; I've lost my leg. Let me in!" Be prepared to read this captivating folk tale again and again. Dr. Jan LaBonty
    A Pipkin of Pepper by Helen Cooper (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005). 
    Cat, Squirrel and Duck set out for salt. When they get separated in the city they end up with salt and pepper plus an adventure to discuss over their seasoned pumpkin soup. This is a tale with universal appeal. 32 pages. Children's Choices
    Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Keats (Simon and Schuster, 1981). 
    High-flying adventure, coupled with bold illustrations, keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Vibrant collages reflect the limitless possibilities of a child's imagination. This book is a revitalizing dose of imagination and an inspiration for kids. 40 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Read Aloud: 5, Read Alone: 6+, Common Sense Media
    Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae, illustrated by David Wojtowycz (Tiger Tales, 2001). 
    Preschoolers and kindergartners are sure to fall in love with this rhythmic read aloud. If your little one is mesmerized by animals of the jungle, then this book is a must have. Travel on a jungle adventure with a small group of ants and see what wild animals you may encounter. Could it be a lion, a zebra or an elephant, too? Look inside and a surprise is waiting for you. Jennifer Thompson
    Simeon's Gift by Julie Andrews-Edwards, illustrated by Gennady Spirin (HarperCollins, 2006). 
    Magical fairytale weaves a rich tapestry for all. It's refreshing to find such a remarkable book as Simeon's Gift, a true fairytale with its rich poetic text interwoven with such amazing illustrations. The story itself is a classical quest tale of a young man going out in search of himself. He encounters lessons along the way and ultimately finds that the secret lies within himself and in the natural world around him. 40 pages. 
    Read the complete review on Common Sense Media Web Site. 
    Read Aloud: Age 5+, Read Alone: Age 7+. Common Sense Media
    Super Sam! by Lori Ries, illustrated by Sue Ramá (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2004). 
    The crayon-drawn illustrations add to this colorful book about a little boy who pretends he is a "superpower." How he "leaps tall bunk beds" and "saves the day" for his little brother are things kids can easily imagine they could do.
    Tiffky Doofky by William Steig (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1987). 
    William Steig's detailed cartoony style once again seamlessly portrays life as it is to be lived, if not believed. 32 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Read Aloud: 2+, Read Alone: 6+. Common Sense Media
    The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza (Putnam, 1987). 
    A wolf with a discerning palate makes a charming villain in this tasty adventure of predator, prey and yummy food. Mr. Wolf decides to fatten up Mrs. Chicken for a hearty stew, so he bakes up batches of pancakes, doughnuts and a cake in his carbohydrate-laden plot. But when he drops in on a still svelte Mrs. Chicken (by poultry standards, anyway) and realizes she has 100 chicks who cover him with 100 kisses, "Uncle Wolf" becomes a vegetarian and makes the little critters, you guessed it, 100 scrumptious cookies. The predictable text with folk tale elements will become an instant favorite. Dr. Jan LaBonty
    Historical Fiction
    Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara by Elvira Woodruff, illustrated by Adam Rex (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006). 
    This small treasure explores Irish famine and emigration. Parents need to know that sad things happen here: the family members are hungry, lose their home and are forced to leave the grandparents behind when they emigrate. Families who read this book could discuss the focus on little things. Why, when so many bad things are happening, would they focus on pebbles and feathers? Why are they important? How does Darcy fulfill her grandmother's prediction? Children may also want to know more about the historical period and about their own immigrant ancestors. 34 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: 6+, Read Aloud: 5+, Read Alone: 6+. Common Sense Media
    Detective LaRue by Mark Teague (Scholastic, 2004). 
    Two neighborhood cats go missing, birds are disappearing from pet shops all over town and now nearly a whole family of pigeons is gone as well! When LaRue the dog is falsely accused of catnapping, he is determined to get to the bottom of the situation. 32 pages. Krisha Roach
    Escape of Marvin the Ape by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (Puffin, 1999). 
    Marvin the ape has escaped from the zoo and is fitting into everyday life quite nicely. Will the zoo find him before one of the other animals follows suit? 32 pages. Krisha Roach
    Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007). 
    Anyone who has ever treasured a special doll or stuffed animal will understand Trixie's feeling as she trots off to school to share "her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny." Her eyes are wide with excitement as she tugs her father behind her along the Brooklyn Streets, and she can hardly breathe as she lists the names of all the kids with whom she is going to share him. They also will understand her dismay and unhappiness when the day doesn't turn out as she expected, and why she cannot sleep at night until the case of mistaken identity is solved. Once again, Mo Willems has created a masterpiece that will engage kids and parents alike. He has set simply drawn, yet colorful and expressive, cartoon characters against real black-and-white photographs of Brooklyn. The effect is captivating! On top of that, the language is straightforward and somewhat understated, which completes this perfect package. 48 pages.
    Read Aloud: Age 4, Read Alone: Age 6. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Common Sense Media
    Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola (Aladdin, 1975). 
    In this delightful fable, we meet Strega Nona the benevolent town witch everyone turns to in their time of need. When she hires Big Anthony as an assistant, he is warned to never touch her magical pasta pot. Unfortunately his curiosity gets the better of him and soon the whole town is overrun by pasta! 32 pages. Krisha Roach
    Seasonal Stories
    Angelina Ice Skates by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig (Viking, 2007). 
    When Holabird and Craig teamed up to create the first Angelina Ballerina picture book in 1983, no one could have dreamt how long this little mouse with big dreams would endure. This lovely tale about New Year's Eve party plans gone awry doesn't disappoint. Still filled with dancing (this time on the ice) and friendship, Angelina's newest escapade is sure to fill your child with winter wonder. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    Bunny Wishes: A Winter's Tale by Michaela Morgan, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church (The Chicken House/Scholastic, 2007). 
    Bunnies Tino and Teeny leave a list of wishes in a hollow log. The list blows away in the winter wind and is found in pieces by mice, who rearrange the words into a new wish for the rabbits. 32 pages. Children's Choices
    Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern (Scholastic Trade, 2001). 
    After a stroll through the woods or a family hike, nothing feels better than a cup of hot chocolate and a good book, and what better book could there be than Fall Leaves Fall, an infectious read. Two siblings use their imagination as they explore autumn leaves. They discover some of the best things to do with leaves. Would you prefer watching, stomping, raking or jumping in a huge pile? Read more to discover the pure joy of autumn. 40 pages. Jennifer Thompson
    Flower Fairies of the Winter by Cicely Mary Barker (Warne, 2002). 
    The fairy folk of the winter season are celebrated in this beloved classic passed down from generation to generation. First published in the 1920s and now reissued in a keepsake hardcover edition, Barker's original artwork and poetry are preserved in this unique combination of naturalism and fantasy. Both a charming read-aloud and a book your young one will choose as a lifelong favorite. 80 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B. G. Hennessy and Lynne Cravath (Puffin, 2001). 
    Children will delight in this rhythmic text while counting the days that lead up to the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Both Pilgrim and Wampanoag boys and girls prepare for the feast. Students get a taste of history in an entertaining way. Though the book does not highlight the many hardships the Pilgrims and Indians faced, it does illustrate the valuable lesson of working together. 32 pages. Jennifer Thompson
    Raindrop, Plop by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illustrated by Pam Paparone (Viking, 2004). 
    A jaunty walk in the rain for a little girl and her perky dog is an opportunity to count from one to 10, and back again, with little raindrops, bare toes and finally the sun. Lively illustrations of spring, rain, earthworms and flowers adorn this refreshing counting book that has "spring" written all over it. Even her grass green rain boots are smiling! Dr. Jan LaBonty
    Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Brooke Dyer (HarperCollins, 2007). 
    That impulse to snuggle in bed on a cold winter's night isn't just a human indulgence — it's what the animals do, too. In Jane Yolen's gentle new bedtime book, we see how hibernating animals everywhere use wintertime for sweet dreams. The black bear, for example, hibernates "through winter's snow," and waits "till spring to rise and go," while the bats tuck their "legs in tight/For winter's dark extended night." Authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple will lull young children to sleep with their rhythm and rhyme, while Brooke Dyer's illustrations reflect the pleasure of curling up with a favorite blanket. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    Snow by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998). 
    Snowflakes fall one by one, slowly covering the city in a beautiful white blanket. Your child will enjoy this story as one boy celebrates the joys of a new snowfall. Simple text and wonderful illustrations make this award-winner perfect for a young audience. Caldecott Honor Book, 1999 PBS Bookfinder
    Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner (Dial, 2002). 
    Have you ever wondered what snowmen do at night? In this hilarious tale, a town full of snowmen embarks on a night of drinking cold cocoa, skating and playing baseball. The perfect rhyming story for a snowy day. PBS Bookfinder
    Snow Music by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books, 2003). 
    In this lovely picture book, snow comes "singing a silent song" and leaves music everywhere: in the quiet whisper of snowfall, the noises of animals and the rumbling of the plow. The story is laid out almost like a concrete poem - when a squirrel scampers in circles, so do the words on the page - and Perkins's soft watercolors perfectly illustrate the snow-covered landscape. Snow Music is a great read-aloud for a snowy afternoon. 40 pages. Click here to buy the book on Powells.com. 
    Sheila Ashdown and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking, 1962). 
    Young Peter wakes up to find that snow has fallen - and he can't wait to go outside and play! Although he's disappointed when he finds that he can't save a snowball in his pocket, his sadness melts when he wakes up the next morning to yet another day of snowy fun. Keats's collage-style illustrations are wonderful - especially the sharp contrast of Peter in his red snow suit (with its little pointy hood) against the snowy landscape. Keats's classic Snowy Day beautifully captures a child's sense of wonder. 32 pages. Click here to buy the book on Powells.com. 
    Sheila Ashdown and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett (Putnam, 2007). 
    No one illustrates the cozy comforts of winter better than Jan Brett. In her newest picture book, she retells the favorite children's story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with an Arctic Inuit twist. As is Brett's practice, intricately drawn side panels convey more details of the story. This is a book to be read and discovered again and again. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    Silliness and Humor
    Art Dog by Thacher Hurd (HarperCollins, 1996). 
    Arthur is a mild, art-loving guard dog at the Dogopolis Museum of Art. He spends evenings reading quietly in his little apartment on West 17th Street ... unless the moon is full. Then he is transformed into "Art Dog," who fills the city with extravagant street art. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1949). 
    Hilarious Seussian text and zany pictures to match. A great pleasure to read aloud. Questions the wisdom of tampering with nature. May prompt discussion about weather. The merits of apologizing are pointed out through well-crafted writing. 48 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: 4-8, Read Aloud: 4+, Read Alone: 6+. Common Sense Media
    Bea & Mr. Jones by Amy Schwartz (Harcourt, 2006, originally published in 1982). 
    This reissue about a father/daughter switch (he's tired of his job in advertising; she's tired of kindergarten) is just as fresh and funny as it was 24 years ago when it was first published. A new generation of parents and children will the welcome the return of its tart humor and expressive, detailed pencil illustrations. 32 pages (New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year). © Parents' Choice
    Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? by Barney Saltzberg (Candlewick Press, 2005). 
    Cornelius P. Mud takes care of bedtime rituals in a very unusual way, by feeding cookies to his fish and putting his toys in the refrigerator. Children love the illustrations that tell what Cornelius does when he answers mother's question. 28 pages. Children's Choices
    The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann (Putnam Juvenile, 2003).
    One afternoon, during a town fair, a group of mischievous babies crawls away from their families. It is up to one little boy to save the day. Rhyming verse, accompanied by eye-catching black silhouette illustrations, draws the reader into this hilarious caper. 40 pages.
    Kindergartner Read Aloud. PBS Bookfinder
    Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems (Hyperion Press, 2003). 
    Mo Willems is such a huge name among picture-book authors that it's hard to believe his first children's book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was published only five years ago. Willems perfectly captures a small child's method of trying to get his own way, as the pigeon implores, promises, whines, begs and, in the end, throws a tantrum that both you and your child will recognize. Help your emerging reader make progress over the summer break with highly amusing and fun books like this one. 36 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, 2008). 
    Nancy is back and fancier than ever. Once again the team of O'Connor and Glasser have swirled together another elegant Nancy tale with the glamour and humor that have characterized their past Nancy endeavors. After Nancy and her friend Bree become captivated with butterflies, the two girls decide to throw a butterfly party. Everything is going well until Nancy learns that she can't go to the party because she has to attend her grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary party. Thoroughly convinced that she won't have a good time, Nancy soon learns that her grandparents are indeed just as fancy as she is. Familiar sparkly cover aside, this book is sure to please current Nancy fans. Newcomers to her world will love it too and want to go back and read the rest of her "mah-velous" tales. 32 pages. Kepler's Books
    I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Glen Rounds (Holiday House, 1990). 
    A cumulative folk song in which the solution proves worse than the predicament when an old lady swallows a fly. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes (HarperTrophy, 1995). 
    When Lily found out she was going to be a big sister, she was the best big sister in the world. But, after Julius was born, it was a different story. "Trust me. Babies are dreadful," a new Lily says candidly, and while child and adult readers laugh aloud, Kevin Henkes works his text and pictures to a more-than-reasonably happy conclusion. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood (Harcourt Children's Books, 1985). 
    Audrey Wood has created a hilarious read aloud. Children of all ages can relate to the fact that King Bidgood is having so much fun in his bathtub that he does not want to get out! Yet, who will run the kingdom? The rhythmic, repetitious writing simply begs for children to chant along, "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, and he won't get out!" Jennifer Thompson
    Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children, 2004) 
    Trixie and her inseparable Knuffle Bunny accompany Daddy to their neighborhood laundromat to do the family wash. This tale of woe begins when they return home and Mom asks, "Where's Knuffle Bunny"? Children's Choices
    Ladybug Girl by Jackie Davis, illustrated by David Soman (Dial Books, 2008). 
    Everybody's busy: Lulu's older brother won't let her tag along because she is too "little," and Mom and Dad don't have time. What's a girl to do? Enter Lulu's alter ego: Ladybug Girl. Complete with wings and a ladybug polka-dot skirt, Lulu and her faithful sidekick, the family basset hound who is never too busy, go off on their own adventures saving the yard from danger. With wonderful illustrations accompanying the hilarious text, Ladybug Girl is one of my favorite picture books. It is a riotous read. 40 pages. Kepler's Books
    Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster, 2008). 
    Books that encourage a child to interact with the text are the perfect way to foster a love of reading. In Monkey and Me, a little girl and her toy monkey love to imitate animals. The book employs a rhyming refrain and charming illustrations that encourage the reader to play along. Start by reading Monkey and Me together and be amazed when you see your child reading it alone again and again. 32 pages. 
    Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com
    Naughty Little Monkeys by Jim Ayelsworth, illustrated by Henry Cole (Dutton Juvenile, 2003). 
    Are you looking for a hilarious alphabet book chock full of the antics of 26 monkeys? Find out what happens when a family of monkeys is left home alone. If you think they act like typical siblings, you are right. It's all "monkey business" in this house. Will Mom and Dad come home to their chimps, tucked away in bed, or will the mischievous monkeys make a mess instead? Jennifer Thompson
    One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Andrea U'Ren (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). 
    Starting with page one and steaming right on through the entire tale to the last delicious delightful sentence, DeFelice has the structure and rhythm of folkloric language down pat. "Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady were so poor they dug one potato from their little garden every day, called it breakfast, lunch and supper, and considered themselves lucky to have it." ... U'Ren's droll drawings - the matchstick-thin mister and missus balanced by the plump black pot - are the perfect accompaniment to this tale that begs to be read aloud, shared and shared again. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    The Opposite by Tom MacRae, illustrated by Elena Odriozola (Peachtree Publishers, 2006). 
    Sometimes no matter how hard you try, things just turn out the opposite of what you intended: milk gets spilled, paint projects get messy and teachers get angry. This is the kind of day that Nate is having. But all is not what it seems. Nate's sudden clumsiness really isn't his doing, but the work of an ornery, wild-eyed figure called The Opposite. ... Children will relate to Nate and those moments when everything seems to go wrong, but furthermore they will see how Nate becomes resourceful and uses his own problem-solving skills to tackle the situation. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    Pete's a Pizza by William Steig (Joanna Cotler, 1998).
    Pete has nothing to do on a dreary, rainy day until his father turns him into a pizza. In this hilarious story, Pete's father kneads and stretches him, covers him with toppings and tosses him into the oven. 32 pages.
    Book Type: Kindergartner Read Aloud. PBS Bookfinder
    The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008). 
    First-time picture book author Diesen's splashy, colorful Pout-Pout Fish is an empathetic swim through the currents of those "dreary-wearies" that make the Pout-Pout Fish pout! With a seemingly permanent grouchy countenance, Mr. Fish encounters numerous friends, like Mr. Jelly, Mr. Eight (the octopus) and Mrs. Squid, who ask him with playful rhymes why he can't turn his frown upside-down. The answer from Mr. Fish is delightful, and a sure crowd-pleaser: "I'm a pout-pout fish/With a pout-poutface/So I spread the dreary-wearies/All over the place!/BLUB/BLUUUB/ BLUUUUUB." Luckily, Mr. Fish has lots of undersea friends to reassure him that he shouldn't be so grumpy, but it takes a kissy-kissy fish to rid Mr. Fish of his dreary-wearies for good. Delightful, vibrant, colorful illustrations, with smart, fun rhymes and a refrain that kids will recite over and over. A great book for audience participation or one-on-one to help cheer up little pouters. 32 pages. Pauline Harris
    The Queen's Feet by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (Red Deer Press, 2006). 
    Queen Daisy has a problem that many wiggly children will be able to identify with: Her feet just can't behave themselves. They want to wear wild and colorful boots and fuzzy slippers — or nothing at all! They want to wade in pond water, tap dance and discover puddles. Unfortunately, Queen Daisy's court and subjects do not approve. Sarah Ellis's new picture book The Queen's Feet is a silly but totally relatable story about finding a middle ground — something most children need to find for themselves as well. It can be tricky learning when certain behavior is appropriate and when it's not, but Queen Daisy's situation and solution teach the concept well without any preaching. Dusan Petricic's watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations are upbeat and comical, and in most cases take a "foot's eye" point of view of the action. A fun book for young children at that age where sitting still is a real effort. 32 pages. © Parents' Choice
    The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrated by Dan Santat (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007). 
    Have you ever wondered what goes on in your cat's mind? I don't think that this book quite answers the question, but it does start you thinking. This is an amusing take on the inner life of one Walter Kitty (aka "Fang"), loosely styled after the famous short story by James Thurber. Great, active illustrations help support the funny narrative. One of my favorite parts is when Walter talks about how much he helps out around the house when he is actually making a big mess and frustrating his owners. Kids don't have to be cat owners or feline devotees to appreciate this book, as they will easily identify with the rich, inner world of Walter's make-believe exploits. 40 pages. Kepler's Books
    The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith (Penguin Putnam Inc. 1996). 
    The wolf's delightfully outrageous story is a surefire attention-grabber, while the silly yet radiant artwork adds to the book's appeal. 32 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Read Aloud: 4+, Read Alone: 6+. Common Sense Media
    Where Is The Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek (Harcourt Brace, 2004) 
    Readers will chuckle over the thin sheep, the wide sheep, the swing sheep and the slide sheep; the car sheep, the train sheep, the sun sheep and the rain sheep as they search for the elusive green sheep. Simple illustrations and perfect predictable text combine to make an ideal bedtime story with the requisite snuggly ending. Dr. Jan LaBonty
    Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin, 2004). 
    There are many books about animals for children, but none that provide information about their relative sizes in such a meaningful way. Caldecott-winning author Jenkins uses his unique cut- and torn-paper illustrations to show readers the "actual size" of a collection of animals. Smaller creatures like the atlas moth fit comfortably on the page, but the head of the saltwater crocodile requires a fold-out, and the head of the Siberian tiger extends off of two large pages! Text is minimal, usually restricted to statistics about the size of each of the creatures illustrated, but there are additional notes about each of the animals at the end of the book. 34 pages. 
    Interest grade level: K-5. Ellen Phillips
    One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Candlewick, 2004). 
    The story of the life cycle of the Loggerhead turtle is told in poetic language and illustrated with beautiful paintings. This mysterious creature swims the ocean for 30 years, wandering thousands of miles in her search for food, until one summer night she returns to the very same beach where she was born to lay her own eggs. Along with the narrative about the turtle's journey, there are also a few informational notes on some pages, in addition to an index to topics. 32 pages. 
    Reading grade level: 4 (or Read Aloud for Kindergartners), Interest grade level: K-3. Ellen Phillips
    A Pair of Polar Bears: Twin Cubs Find a Home at the San Diego Zoo by Joanne Ryder (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006). 
    This photo essay tells the true story of Tatqiq and Kalluk, a pair of 3-month-old orphaned polar bears, who were found in Alaska and brought to the San Diego Zoo to be raised. Engaging photos follow the cubs from their initial quarantine to their eventual introduction to their outdoor habitat and delighted zoo visitors. The author provides two sets of text, one consisting of simple sentences in large type for beginning readers and another in smaller type for older readers providing more extensive technical information. 32 pages. 
    Interest grade level: Preschool - 3. Ellen Phillips
    Art No One Saw: Ordinary Things Through the Eyes of an Artist by Bob Raczka (Millbrook Press, 2002). 
    A simple rhyming, repetitive text accompanies this collection of reproductions of 16 works by famous painters. ("No one saw hay like Claude Monet. No one saw fish like Paul Klee.") In addition to serving as an introduction to some of the world's greatest artists, this book also communicates the point that people see the world in many different ways. This book would be a great read before a first trip to the art museum. 32 pages. 
    Interest grade level: K-4. Ellen Phillips
    Eleanor Roosevelt by Lisa Trumbauer (Capstone Press, 2005). 
    This is part of a series, Pebble Books Biographies, written for beginning to early readers, which includes books on Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and John F. Kennedy. The combination of colorful photographs and concise yet simple language makes it easy for younger children to grasp. Krisha Roach
    If You Grew Up With George Washington by Ruth Gross, illustrated by Emily McCully (Scholastic, 1982). 
    The illustrations will help children familiarize themselves with new words. The question-and-answer format breaks history up into fascinating bite-size chunks. 64 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Read Aloud: 5-6, Read Alone: 7-12, Common Sense Media
    Look What Came From The United States by Kevin Davis (Franklin Watts Books, 2000). 
    A great photo dictionary of everyday things that come from the United States, including inventions, food, sports, toys and holidays. Instrumental in helping younger children gain perspective on the things that shape their daily lives and how those things came to be. Krisha Roach
    Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Jump at the Sun, 2006). 
    Award-winning picture-book treatment of Tubman. Parents need to know that the topic of slavery is, and should be, disturbing, and young children will need help understanding. Harriet is in danger through much of the book. There is also a strong spiritual element to the book in Tubman's many conversations with God. Awards: Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Medal, ALA Notable Children's Book. 41 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: Ages 5-8, Read Aloud: 5+, Read Alone: 7+. Common Sense Media
    Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by James Ransome (Schwartz & Wade, 2006). 
    An inspiring tale of the construction of a landmark. Parents need to know that there is not much to be concerned about here, but some things may need explanation and context. The subject may be the building of the Empire State Building, but it takes place during the Great Depression, and your kids may want to know why children are scavenging for firewood in the streets of New York. Families who read this book could discuss skyscrapers. Why do people want to build something so big and difficult to construct? Why do they inspire us? Why would people want such a dangerous job? 44 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: 4-9, Read Aloud: 5+, Read Alone: 7+. Common Sense Media
    Science and Nature
    Corn Is Maize: The Gift of the Indians by Aliki (HarperTrophy, 1986). 
    Did you know that one tiny kernel of corn can produce up to 1,000 plants? Students learn about the contributions of Native American cultures in this simple, scientific explanation of how corn came to be. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in America, the Indians were harvesting corn and they used it in many ways. Children will learn how corn grows, as well as why it is known as "The Gift of the Indians." 40 pages. Jennifer Thompson
    A Handful of Dirt by Raymond Bial (Walker Books for Young Readers, 2000). 
    Kids will never see dirt the same way again after award-winning photo-essayist Raymond Bial takes you on this eye-opening, fun and "dirty" tour of one of the planet's most precious resources. As Bial says, "Without soil, there would be no life on earth." Understanding this concept is vital to teaching little ones about the fundamentals of environmentalism. 32 pages. Danielle Marshall
    My Bag and Me! by Karen Farmer, illustrated by Gary Currant (Penton Kids, 2008). 
    In this straightforward and clever book, a little boy shops with his mom and learns that what he buys and how he takes it home can have a big impact on the environment. By including a reusable shopping bag, this book gives even the youngest readers a tool for reducing their carbon footprint. 12 pages. Danielle Marshall
    On Earth by G. Brian Karas. (Putnam, 2005). 
    Karas takes readers on "a giant ride in space/spinning like a merry-go-round" With minimal text, the book explains in words and colorful pictures the Earth's daily and yearly cycles. Although the concepts are complex, children will get a rudimentary explanation of the orbit, rotation and tilt of planet Earth, gravity, why we have seasons, and what happens as day turns into night. Vocabulary is simple for early readers, but because the scientific concepts are complex, some adult explanation will be welcome. 32 pages. 
    Reading grade level: 3 (or Read Aloud for Kindergartners), Interest grade level: K-3. Ellen Phillips
    Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Ann Jonas (Greenwillow Books, 2005). 
    Who knew that something that surrounds us every day could be so fascinating? Using watercolor artwork and poetic free verse, the author explains what dust is, the different kinds of dust, its many sources (pollen, house dust, dust storms, fires, volcanic ash), and how dust colors the sunsets that we see. There is a two-page section at the end of the book with additional information that will require adult explanation. 32 pages. Reading grade level: 2 (Read Aloud for Kindergartners), Interest grade level: K-3. Ellen Phillips
    Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green, illustrated by Mike Gordon (Barron's Educational Series, 2005). 
    Mr. Jones is a teacher who sets a good example for kids by sorting his trash to learn the value of recycling. From Barron's informative and entertaining "Why Should I?" series, Recycle introduces the topic with amusing color illustrations on every page. The series also features a helpful section at the back of each book for parents and teachers, suggesting ways to teach the concepts more effectively. 32 pages. Danielle Marshall
    Sports and Health
    Dinosaurs Alive and Well: A Guide to Good Health by Marc Tolon Brown and Laurene Krasny Brown (Little, Brown, 1992). 
    A delightful cast of dinosaur characters helps children learn about healthy habits. They send important messages about exercising your mind and body, and taking care of yourself and your friends. PBS Bookfinder
    Karate Boy by Ann Morris (Dutton Juvenile, 1996). 
    Join David and his friend Georgie as they learn karate. Photographs take you through each part of their class, from warm-up to sparring. In the end, they finally pass the test and earn their green belts. PBS Bookfinder
    Safety at the Swimming Pool by Lucia Raatma (Bridgestone Books, 1999). Simple text and photographs inform young readers about the safest way to enjoy themselves at the swimming pool. The series on safety issues also includes Safety on the Internet and Safety on Your Bicycle. PBS Bookfinder
    The World Around Us
    Be My Neighbor by Maya Ajmera, John D. Ivanko, Global Fund for Children and Fred Rogers (Charlesbridge, 2006). 
    Inspired by the philosophy of Fred Rogers — host of the classic TV show Mr. Roger's Neighborhood — about the importance of neighborhood and community, this lovely book reminds us that wherever you are around the world, there are schools, places of worship and shared responsibilities. 32 pages. Krisha Roach
    Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone (Henry Holt & Company, Inc., 2006). 
    Learn the tricks up every mathematician's sleeve. Parents need to know this book offers positive, common sense lessons that build math awareness and quantity recognition. Younger kids will enjoy looking at the pictures and doing the simpler lessons; older kids and adults will appreciate the harder challenges. 32 pages. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Publisher's Recommended Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Read Aloud: 4+, Read Alone: 7+. Common Sense Media
    I'm Dirty! by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Jim McMullan (HarperCollins, 2006). 
    Young readers who love dirty, noisy construction equipment will enjoy this backhoe loader's story of a dirty work day. Along with entertaining information about backhoe work comes onomatopoeia, alliteration and even some counting. 36 pages. 
    Children's Choices
    Lightship by Brian Floca (Atheneum, 2007). 
    This book, an award-winner about life on a floating lighthouse, focuses on daily life on a lightboat where sailors are portrayed as simply dedicated to their job of keeping other boats safe. Parents whose kids love planes and trains and things that go will welcome this excellent factual picture book. Kids will especially love the tiny details about daily life. From the wave-warped hallways to the claustrophobic living quarters, the book manages to accurately convey how these dedicated sailors at sea for months at a time experienced their jobs without ever being boring. The prose is simple, clear and understated, supported by detailed illustrations that let kids peek at details on the boat including its machinery, the wheel, and even their laundry hung out to dry on deck. A dramatic picture of the tiny, shining boat warning an awesome ocean liner is sure to give kids a satisfactory thrill. 48 pages. 
    Read Aloud: Age 4. Read Alone: Age 8. 
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site. 
    Common Sense Media
    Picture Pops: Machines by Roger Priddy (Priddy Books, 2005). 
    This is an amazingly elaborate pop-up book that includes fun and simple factoids as well as basic definitions of machines and their jobs. Krisha Roach