Before Christmas I read a bunch of books to my grandchildren while their parents were preparing for Christmas and when we spent time together. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to review them. I think my recollections of their responses are accurate.

Fall with Olga the CloudFall With Olga the Cloud by Nicoletta Costa, 2 Stars: I have read several Olga the Cloud books and I am fully aware they are geared to babies and toddlers, but this one missed the mark. Besides telling the reader that the leaves fall, there is not much sun and it rains a lot, there was not much happening. The illustrations continue to be cute, but this one was a miss for me. My grandson wanted to know where the rest of the book was and my granddaugher seemed rather bored with this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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Mine. Yours.Mine, Yours by Marsha Diane Arnold, 3 Stars: Having young grandchildren, “Mine” is a word I hear a lot. This beautifully illustrated book uses only three words to get a message across, Mine, Yours and Ours. When Little Panda encroaches on Big Panda’s home and food, he very directly points out mine and yours to him. While playing with his new kite, Little Panda has issues controlling it and is told over and over “Mine” as he gets too close and disrupts others. As all the animals get tied up in the string, Big Panda rescues them and they realize that “Ours” will solve the many problems and make them happy together. While it is a nice book, I had to have a discussion and explain to my grandson what was happening before he understood, my granddaughter didn’t understand at all. All the animals are from Asia (I like when a book sticks to a continent with it’s characters) and they tell the name of each one at the end of the book. A nice way to further an investigation into the animals. I enjoyed this very simple 3 word book. The publisher generously provided a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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38742411Shhh! by Barroux, 4 Stars: This is a very sweet, nicely illustrated bedtime story. It is time for bed and from the moon to the stuffed animals in the room, everyone is slowing down and getting ready for bed. The text is lyrical and slow paced. I enjoyed the illustrations with the large brightly coloured animals. I would have rated this one higher, but the ending was a bit abrupt for me, but I understand why the author chose to write it that way. My granddaughter liked this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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40828079Love You Head to Toe by Ashley Barron, 4 Stars: This is a delightful picture book for parents to read to their young children that conveys the love they have for them. Children of all nationalities are included, so most families will be able to identify with at least one family. I read this to my 2 year old and 5 year old grandchildren and they both enjoyed it. They talked about when they were that small. They also have a baby brother so could identify with what is happening with him as well. Each two page spread has both animals and humans as a comparison. Normal, everyday events are shown such as a young child making a mess while eating on one page and a chipmunk on the other. The text says:

Baby, you’re just like a chipmunk,
When it’s time for lunch.
Filling chubby chipmunk cheeks,
Messy as you munch.

Overall a cute and delightful book that toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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40945571Hold Hands by Sara Varon, 3.5 Stars: This is a very cute book about holding hands. With a rhyming text and delightful illustrations, the author shows the importance of holding hands. Whether it is for safety (crossing the street) for comfort (when someone is sad), for confidence (going down steep stairs) or just for friendship, holding hands is a wonderful thing to do. My only drawback was that occasionally, the pacing and cadence changed and was a bit off for the rhyming patterns. I find that often, little ones don’t want to hold hands because they think they are getting too big and grown up, so this would also be a good story to use when you are trying to keep a little one holding on for safety. The kids both enjoyed this one and my grandson was quick to point out that he always holds hands, but his sister runs off and doesn’t listen. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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39021092Clean Up! Up! Up! by Ellen Mayer, 4 Stars: There are two versions of this book, one with English only and one with both English and Spanish. I read the dual book and as Spanish is not a language that I would be learning, I would have preferred the English only version. I found there was a lot of text and it was a bit distracting. This story features a father/child relationship cleaning up and performing other daily tasks. Each two page spread offers simple language and key words involving position and/or location. Repeated reading of this book would help the child to learn these concepts as well as the idea that cleaning up is an expectation and normal part of life (some children are never taught to clean up). I enjoyed the use of BOLDFACE text for the short words or phrases that will urge children to echo or chime in with the reading. The illustrations are wonderful. They are bright, realistic and full of detail. There is a note to parents and caregivers sharing how everyday activities offer rich opportunities to teach early spatial math concepts. As a retired teacher, I can not stress the importance of using those teachable moments enough. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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Classic Munsch 123 by Robert Munsch, 5 Stars: Our family love Robert Munsch and have almost all of his books. When I saw this one, I could not resist. This is a great book about learning how to count to twelve. Michael Marchenko’s illustrations for a variety of Munsch books are used to show each number. My grandson has so much fun telling me which story the various characters were from. My granddaughter joined in the fun as well as counting with me. This is a humorous counting book and perfect for older siblings to read to younger ones. An amazing board book that I will be buying to add to my Munsch collection once it is released. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

The interesting thing about this page was our argument of whether the animals were considered two of the friends or was it the two adults. We decided that there were actually 14 on this page.

I hope you enjoyed these mini-reviews and stay tuned, there are several more to come.

 

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