Book Review: Sign & Singalong: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear!

I remember this song as a jump roping song we used to sing and move to in grade school.  Sign & Singalong books are a great way to get your active baby moving and signing simple vocabulary.  Illustrated American Sign Language shows both the children and bears in this book signing words like, “Teddy Bear, sky, and light”.  Research shows that babies can understand and use sign language to communicate before they have the ability to vocalize their wants and needs.  Regardless of whether or not you are teaching your baby to sign they will love to listen to this familiar rhyme and move along with the story.

Title:  Sign & singalong:  Teddy bear, teddy bear!

Author/Illustrator:  Annie Kubler

Publisher:  Child’s Play

ISBN:  978-1-904550-40-2

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Animals, Board Books


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Book Review: Begin Smart Series, Bouncy Baby: A First Lift-the-Flap Book

Begin Smart is a series of books for “Smart Babies” from six to twelve months.  Behind the front cover is a message to parents about object permanence and how lift-the-flap books aid babies with this concept.  The message also assists parents with how to use the book to best enhance the learning and discovery for their child.  Each page has simple colorful illustrations with a movement for baby to imitate underneath each flap.  With rhyming words babies can practice clapping, dancing, splashing, eating and waving bye-bye.  We love this book even more because the last page says, “Bye-Bye, Lucy”!

Title:  Begin smart, Bouncy baby: A first lift-the-flap book

Publisher:  Begin Smart

ISBN:  978-1-934618-65-3


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Books for Babies that Like to Move!

Little Lucy is 10 months old!  It is simply amazing to watch her grow and develop. In less than a months time Lucy has become a very active baby.  She crawls, pulls herself to standing and walks around (with the help of furniture and her little push wagon).  All of this busyness means that story time had to step up a bit and become much more interactive.  Luckily, there are many great books out there just for that purpose.  Little Lucy still loves touch and feel books, but now she also  likes to turn pages, lift flaps and move along with the story.  I have four interactive board books in my library stack this week and we have read them dozens of times already!


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Book Review: Half-Pint Pete the Pirate

This is the second pirate picture book I have read this week.  What a great way to introduce fractions to young children and begin to explain the concept of one half.  Half-Pint Pete has a patch hiding half of his eyes and half his legs made out of pegs.  But what happens when he holds half of a treasure map and meets Half-Baked Belle who holds the other half?  Will Half-Pint Pete be able to share half of his treasure?  Written in rhyming verses this book, with colorful illustrations will delight all of those young pirates out there.  Get ready to read this one aloud in your best pirate voice.

Title:  Half-Pint Pete the pirate

Author:  Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Illustrator:  Geraldo Valerio

Publisher:  G. P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN:  978-0-399-25173-3

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Picture Books


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Book Review: Poggle and the Treasure

ImageWhenever I read anything pirate related I can’t help but think of my friend’s adorable 4-year-old son.  He loves pirates and books and I think he may enjoy Poggle, the cutest dragon I’ve ever seen.  Poggle and his best friend Henry spend the day playing pirates on the beach when they discover treasure!  The mysterious treasure turns out to be an egg and Poggle and Henry must find a way to keep it warm in order to find out what hatches.  An extremely cute story line about two best friends with appealing illustrations.  I hope to read more from this relatively new author/illustrator.

Title:  Poggle and the treasure

Author/Illustrator:  Michael Evans

Publisher:  Egmont

ISBN:  978-1-4052-4811-2


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Book Review: When You Reach Me

This is one of those books that go on the “I can’t wait to read it aloud to my Little Lucy” list.  A middle grade novel that tells a tale of friendship.  The genre is hard to pin down, part science fiction and part mystery.  The setting is 1979 in the Upper West Side of New York city and a sixth grade girl, Miranda lives in a small apartment with her single mother who has just found out that she will be a contestant on the “$20,000 Pyramid” game show.  Miranda’s neighborhood is filled with interesting characters:  her best friend Sal, who lives in her building but suddenly stops talking to her after getting punched walking home from school, Jimmy, the deli shop owner that allows Miranda and her friends to work during their lunch hour and has a piggy bank full of $2.00 bills, and the crazy man on the corner who shouts out weird words and sleeps with his head under the mailbox.  Miranda is trying to piece together some odd notes that appear asking her to do things and telling her about events that haven’t happened yet.  Meanwhile she makes some new friends along the way.  This is a highly engaging novel, with the opportunity for great discussion and children will love trying to solve the puzzle and fit each piece together as they read.  It is not surprising that this book has won a Newbery Medal.

Title:  When you reach me

Author:  Rebecca Stead

Publisher:  Wendy Lamb Books

ISBN:  978-0-385-90664-7


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Book Review: Breaking Stalin’s Nose

I must admit that while reading I had a hard time envisioning today’s youth actually wanting to read and able to relate to this middle grade book.  The story is set in 1950’s Moscow where a young, and very naive boy named Sasha, is set to become a young pioneer.  The quick pace keeps the reader involved in this brief story that spans only a few days.  While the story depicts aspects of what life must have been like, it is also heavily punctuated by absurd, cartoon-like events, such as a conversation with a talking, smoking, Stalin’s nose.  The author is an artist and his black and white illustrations really help bring the characters to life.  In addition, the most interesting part of the book is knowing far more than young Sasha who thinks that only if Stalin knew what was happening, then he would surely help those being wrongly accused.  I hope that young people prove me wrong and enjoy this book as much as the adults who have deemed it worthy of both a 2012 Newbery Honor book award and Horn Book’s Best Books for 2011.

Title:  Breaking Stalin’s nose

Author/Illustrator:  Eugene Yelchin

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company

ISBN:  978-0-8050-9216-5


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