This meme was started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. As I am a grandmother, who loves to read to her grandchildren, a mother who loved to read to and with her children, and a retired teacher librarian, this meme really attracted me.

My youngest grandson comes over and spends one day a week with grandma. We play, laugh and of course read and look at books. Here are a few that I read to him over the last few weeks.

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Animal 123 by Nikolas Ilic

Published August 17th 2021 by Happy Yak

4.5 Stars:

This is a cute and engaging animal counting board book that my grandson loved. The numbers 1 through 12 are included with animals on each page enjoying themselves in silly and fun ways. We really enjoyed the illustrations that were large bright and drawn in a cartoonish way. We read through this one several times counting the animals and laughing. When the older ones came over, the 5 year old joined in reading for another rendition. She enjoyed saying over and over “11 Pesky Pigeons.” My only negative, is that there are no additional facts that the blurb mentions, but not knowing they were supposed to be there, the kids didn’t miss them. Overall this is fun and vibrant book that my grandkids enjoyed. I definitely recommend this one to families with toddlers, as well as pre-school classrooms.

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Thank You, Farm: A Board Book by Storey Publishing

Published October 26th 2021 by Storey Publishing, LLC

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

With my husband having been raised on a farm, I have a deep appreciation for farmers. I wanted to share this with my grandchildren and this book was perfect to read with my youngest grandchild. It shows how a simple meal or snack all comes from the farm such as milk, carrots, peas, grapes, grain to make bread and more. Each of the items mentioned is brought up with gratitude, as in “Thank you, BEES, for sweet honey.” The book ends showing a table set with all the foodstuffs mentioned and big “thank you farms, thank you farmers!” The illustrations are large, colourful and simple with a rustic country look. I love the appreciation for farms and nature’s bounty as well as showing children that food does not come from a store, but a farm. My grandson enjoyed this book and when we read it the third time, he “read it to me”. A wonderful book for families and preschools.

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Thank You, Tree: A Board Book by Storey Publishing

Published October 26th 2021 by Storey Publishing, LLC

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank You, Tree is another book that teaches children gratitude. Trees give us a lot and are not appreciated for all those things. In this book, using cute illustrations of children, we see that trees provide shade, nuts, hiding places, shelter for animals, fruit and more. I liked that at the end they show all the trees, label them and challenge the reader to find them in the book, so we had to read it again. The illustrations are large, colourful and simple with soft colours and happy children. My grandson enjoyed this one, especially when he got to find all the trees. Another that I recommend to families and preschools.

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The Happy Owls by Celestino Piatti

Expected publication: February 1st 2022 by NorthSouth Books

4.5 Stars:

My grandson picked this book for me to read to him because he liked the owls. He is almost 3, so even though he enjoyed the illustrations and what happened during the different seasons, it was the older ones who understood the story. This is a folktale about two happy owls and the bickering fowl who lived on the farm. When they asked the owls about their secret to happiness they could not understand the message, nor believe it was as simple as enjoying the world around you. I truly believe looking for all the positive things in your life will make you happier, like these owls. I absolutely loved the illustrations in this book, they were a perfect fit for a folktale. The colours and emotions added to the understanding of the story. When we finished reading, we listed all the good things in life that make us happy and what we could do to appreciate it all. A wonderful result after reading this one. This copy is a reprint of the book originally published in 1963.

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This Farm Is a Family by Dan McKernan, Denise Hughes (Illustrator)

Expected publication: April 5th 2022 by Zonderkidz

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Farm is a Family is based upon animals living at Barn Sanctuary in Michigan. The back of the book tells about the Sanctuary and gives the website if you want to support them. In this book we meet some of the animals that have been rescued and where they live. It shows them doing things together and living like a family. When Buttercup arrives, she stirs things up. She is not happy and feels abandoned since her previous owner died. She even tries to run away, but gets stuck in the fence. All the other animals come to her aid, and she realizes that she can belong and that she can have friends even though she has not been very pleasant or friendly. Of course messages of kindness, understanding, problem solving and found family are all there along with the ideas of rescuing animals and supporting them. I read this book to my almost 3 year old grandson and although he enjoyed it, the message did not come across to him. He did enjoy seeing all the animals and making animal noises. I reread it to his 5 year old sister, and she loved that the other animals made Buttercup feel happy and welcome. We then went to the website to “meet the animals” and learn more about them. The oldest sauntered over to check that out, then read the book himself. I definitely recommend this one to families interested in animal rescue and farm animals.