More Transportation Books !

“Freight Train” by Donald Crews is best reviewed by my son who loves it so much he “reads” it to us. This video was taken for grand parents far away but it was perfect for this post. Clearly proof of how many times we have read it, renewed it from the library and genuinely enjoy it as a family.

“My Truck is Stuck”
by Kevin Lewis is a fun book full of great rhymes and funny illustrations from Daniel Kirk. The story is simple a truck is stuck and even though other vehicles come to help, nothing budges until a tow truck arrives. The best part is the cargo of bones in the truck are slowly stolen by hungry gophers while the others work to free the truck. It’s got a great message about helping people and the illustrations make me giggle, especially the guy in the moving van who is blowing bubbles. I have never understood that but it makes me laugh.

“Trucks Go”
by Steve Light is a new find for us. I spotted this board book from across the library during preschool story time today. There were kids everywhere and I was not sure that I would get to it before someone else did. I kept my composure , didn’t have to elbow a single person and popped it in my bag. The minute of worry was worth it , what an awesome book! The illustrations are so beautiful that I would seriously consider framing every page. The book goes through different trucks ( garbage truck, cement mixer, fire engine etc..) and the sounds they make. My son was laughing and repeating the sounds while we read this at bedtime and enjoyed the water color illustrations almost as much as I did. Grab this one like I did.

“The Truck Book”
by Harry McNaught is another favorite in our house, mostly because it has a forklift in it. There isn’t much of a story, instead it’s a collection of labeled illustrations. If your child is like mine and loves , no obsesses over things that move this is a fantastic book. I admit I get bored reading it even if my son doesn’t. To fight that boredom we play I spy and both of us are happy.

“The Mighty Street Sweeper”
by Patrick Moore is a rare book, it’s rare because it is a story about self esteem clothed in a truck book. The street sweeper isn’t the biggest, the fastest or the most powerful truck but it’s still mighty and proud. I really like this book, we read it before nap and again before bed and I liked it even more the second time. The message about being happy with who you are is really touching . I liked that the book says that you don’t have to be the best at everything to still be proud of your hard work. My son really enjoyed this book as well and it was excited to read it again at bedtime.

Books About Dad

” Daddy Hugs” by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband two years ago for his first father’s day and my son hated it. However in the years since it’s become a favorite and nothing beats a board book for when toddlers get to that destructo stage. Also like Katz’s “Mommy Hugs” book it grows with your child. Now at 2.5 my son likes to find the number on the page and read it to us before we read him the text.

” The 10 Best Things About My Dad” by Christine Loomis didn’t leave much of an impression with me until I hit #8, which says ” When I am sad he hugs me close . He never says “Don’t cry”. That page won me over, and made this book stand out for me. I love that it’s promoting sensitivity in both the dad and little boy! I think anything that shows such care is worth a look.

“Dad’s Bald Head” by Paul Many made all of us laugh when I read it during a family lunch last weekend. My husband shaves his head so , so much of this book was familiar to all of us.The story is about a dad who decides to shave his head and his son who isn’t so sure about this new development. It’s sweet, funny and realistic about how kids do and don’t transition to our changes. My favorite part was the passionate kiss the mom plants on her husband after he shaves his head. Not just because I thought it was sweet, it is nice to see parents having romantic though appropriate moments in children’s books. I want my son to see I love my husband and I show it in all different ways.

“Daddy’s Song” by Leslea Newman was a big hit with my son. The book is a lullaby that a father sings to his daughter before bed. It’s whimsical and at times down right funny. The illustrations by Karen Ritz keep up with the whimsy and make it all seem like a silly dream. Then the end of the book brings us all back to reality with the most important message, that even if all these silly things did happen and turned the little girls world topsy turvy, that her dad would be there and still love her. Big thumbs up from us for this sweet but not sappy book!

“My Daddy” by Susan Paradis . This book is a look at daddy from a little boy’s worshiping point of view. We see all the things his dad can do, and how the little boy wants to do these things too. In many of the illustrations we see the daddy doing something like mowing the lawn and the son is watching with a toy mower. This book was just ok for me, there was nothing wrong with it , it just didn’t move me the way some of the others have.

“Piglet and Papa” by Margaret Wild. I was so happy to discover that this author wrote a daddy book to compliment “Piglet and Mama” which I reviewed and loved for Mother’s Day. Papa pig and piglet are playing and piglet thinks she may have made her daddy very angry and worries about his love for her. The other farm animals help by reassuring piglet and finally she finds Papa pig and the other animals were right he does love her more than anyone in the whole world.

Beach Books !

Here are some beach books to get you geared up for summer.

“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.

“Just Grandma and Me” by Mercer Mayer is a sweet book. Little Critter and his grandma hit the beach and enjoy an afternoon together. There is something so sweet and touching about this book and the special bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. Mercer Mayer really did a great job at capturing the unique relationship between grand parents and grand children in this book. It also does a good job covering all the beach bases. They swim , play in the sand and have treats. The last page is adorable with Little Critter being carried into his house asleep on his grandma’s shoulder.


“The Sandcastle Contest” by Robert Munsch. I gave this book a really bad review last year. While it still isn’t my favorite Munsch book, I am taking back some of what I said. My son grabbed it the other day and after reading it with him ( last year it was over his head) I can honestly say I have had a change of heart. The tantrum the main character has when no one believes him about really making everything from sand was a good teaching tool for my 2.5 year old. We stopped and talked about anger, and deep breaths, and wrecking things when we are mad. I think this book could be a good way for parents to talk about anger and frustration without feeling like you are giving a lecture.

“Otto Goes To The Beach” by Todd Parr was a steal of a deal at the Goodwill last week! I got a hardcover in perfect condition for 70 cents. My bargin hunting aside, I really enjoy this book as did my son. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way! In the end after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!

Scaredy Squirrel : at the beach” by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

“What Lives in a Shell” by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is another great book in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series. This book is a little long for toddlers but really easy to break into parts. The book starts talking about snails, then moves to turtles and finally sea shells. I read it to my son in parts, and that was perfect for his 2 year old attention span. This book like the others in the series break down facts to a preschoolerslevel without loosing any substance. If you are looking for a non fiction book for your little one, you must check out this series, they are hands down my favorite non fiction for young children. 

Children’s Book Week

Favorite Books
Sent In By You
First of all thank you so much to all my readers who sent in their favorites. There were some I have never read and can’t wait to dive into. Of all the activities we can do with our children , none are more important than reading.

“In The Town All Year Round” by Rotraut Susanne Berner was sent in by Lynn @ Chronicle of and Infant Bibliophile . She said “If I had to pick one book to be stranded somewhere with him with for hours, it would be that one. It’s big and extremely detailed. The littlest readers can just stare at all of the images, slightly older can have fun finding items as you call them out (“where’s the bus?,” etc.), a little older than that can start to follow some of the story lines that weave their way through the book .”

“Goldilocks and The Three Bears” by Jan Brett was sent in by Marietta @ The Bookworms’s Booklist. She said “I picked this book as my top favorite (among many favorites) because I have many sweet memories of laying in bed reading this book to my boys when they were so young. Those are precious times and I cherish those memories.”

“But Not The Hippopotamus” by Sandra Boyton was sent in by Daniel @ Daniel The Poet , he said ” I love But Not the Hippopotamus because of the sing-songy voice my wife uses, and the very sad sound in her voice.”

“The Going To Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton was sent in by Cindy @ Aunt Cindyland she said “I love the pictures of ALL of the animals in the bath together, then as they brush their teeth standing on top of each other. The best is when they all go up on the deck of their boat to exercise as the very last thing they do before bed. It’s a book full of silliness!”

“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown was sent in by Melanie @ Life in Progress she said “It is the first book my 2-year-old requested by name. It’s a comforting, familiar book in our house now. And it’s especially sweet when the kids put their fingers to their lips and join in with the old lady whispering, “hush.”

“The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown was sent in by Jennifer @ ZRecommends .I love this book as well, it’s another simple but brilliant must have by this author!

“The Secret World Of Og” by Pierre Burton is one of my favorites but it was Carrie Anne @ Another day , another thought …or two that sent it in. “I still have my original copy that my parents bought me when I was, I think 12. I know read it to my kids, though my 4 year old is a little freaked out by the thought of a hand reaching up through the floor.” She said. When she emailed me I immediately emailed her back because I was so excited to see this book on my list. It is an amazing book and I have such fond memories of it as well.

“We Are All Alike… We Are All Different” by Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergarten was sent in by Annalee @ Out On A Whim and I am so glad she did. This is a great book that got a lot of use in my classrooms. Here is what she said ” It is a beautiful simple story of how everyone of us are alike in some ways and different in other ways. I love the illustrations and the reminder of this lesson on each page. I also love the great extension activities you can do after reading it. My favorite is to pair kids together (could easily adjust it to pairing siblings together or a parent and child), draw two circles on a paper and hand them mirrors to look at themselves and draw a picture of their own face in the first circle, then look at their partner and draw a picture of their face in the other circle. Afterwards, I ask each child a way they are like their partner and a way they are different (encouraging them to look deeper than just physical traits) and write these sentences on the paper.”

“I Will Never Eat A Tomato” by Lauren Child was sent in by Amy @ Let’s Explore She said ” My girls love to make up their own silly names for foods after reading this book.”

“Beezus and Ramona” by Beverly Cleary was sent in by Jeremiah @Punnybop and immediately I got excited about when my son will be old enough to read this. I loved Beverly Cleary as a child and hope I get to share her wonderful books with my son too.

“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman was sent in by Jennifer @ Twinhappy but I liked something else she wrote in her email to me, how her girls like to write and illustrate their own. I like that too!

“How to Heal a Broken Wing” by Bob Graham was sent in by Susan @ The Book Chook This is what she said about the book” ..the reason it’s my current favourite is because it is the perfect marriage of illustrations with text. It is a gentle, heart-warming story, and one that kids will remember

“A Bargin For Frances”by Lillian Hoban was sent in by Jeremiah @ Punnybop I have always liked this story, about how to deal with a friend who isn’t being very friendly!

“Danny And The Dinosaur” by Syd Hoff was sent in my @Be A Good Dad what he said about the book was short but very sweet ” I love listening to my kids read it and it is such a cool way to show an impossible thing in a normal world.”

“Positively Mother Goose” by Diana Loomans was sent in by Sam @ it’s filled with centuries old nursery rhymes reworked to spin a positive message instead of the traditional negative one. I can’t count how many times I have wondered how we ever thought that the rhymes in traditional versions were okay to share with young kids! This takes care of that.

“The Alphabet from A-Y with bonus letter Z” by Steve Martin was sent in by Rebecca @ A little bit of Momsence she says her son ” wants this book every night before bed – awesome to teach letters and very interesting words. ” This is another book I have never seen, and have added it to my list!

“You’re All My Favorites” by Sam McBratney was suggested by Nancy @ My Parenting Source This book is about how parents can love their different children equally is so valuable. Nancy wrote “Siblings need to often be reminded that we love them all the same.” I agree!

“I Love You Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt was sent in by April,and I couldn’t agree more with what she said about it ” This book is so much fun. It was a great way to bond with my children. It explains that a mother’s love is pure and unconditional. I will love my kids no matter what! “

“Hug Time “ by Patrick McDonell was sent in by Heather @ All The Way To Pluto And Back she said it’s ” The sweetest little children’s book in the wide world”. I think it looks adorable and can’t wait to read it!

“Open the Barn Door” by Chris Santoro was sent in by Rebecca @ A little bit of Momsence
and I love what she said in her email ” We had to buy my daughter her own copy because my son’s was very well loved!! ” That is a true recommendation !

“In The Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak was sent in my Jennifer @ ZRecommends This classic was my favorite Sendak book growing up and the illustrations always made me giggle!

“No, David!” by David Shannon is beloved at our house but Sandra @ Celebrate Every Day said “Our favorite books are the David books by David Shannon. We love the child-like illustrations, the simplicity of the stories, and of course, that my son’s name is David!”

“Tummy Girl” by Rosanne Thong was sent in by by Amanda @ Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie. She found this book at the library but loved it so much she bought a copy for her daughter. Here is what she said about it ” I love the rhyming scheme of the story and the little girl is just adorable and reminds me of myself when I was younger.”

So there it is all of em… well almost. You’ll have to wait for my favorite along with a special Sunday Spotlight tomorrow!

Whoa Mama, Books About Moms

Happy Mother’s Day !

I hope that this list will bring something special into your home. Whether this is your first Mother’s Dy or your 50th I hope your day is filled with love and joy. Thank you to my readers who suggested some of these wonderful books. Don’t forget to click on these links they will take you to both my book review on and our complete mommy book list.

“Mama Outside, Mama Inside” by Dianna Hutts Aston was a delightful read. This is a story about a mama bird and a human mama as they prepare for and care for their new babies. Each page shows how the birdy mama does something then how the human mom does. My son loved it and when I flipped the page that talked about feeding babies, my son saw our favorite part before I did. The human mama was nursing and my little man said ” Look mama, baby has boo boo! ( his word for nursing) like me!” I melted and was so happy to see a mom nursing and it being treated as simply the way babies eat. As a nursing mom I appreciated that. Great book for toddlers.

“My Mom” by Anthony Browne made me giggle. It’s a cute book narrated by a child who is listing off all the wonderful things about his or her mom. With every turn of the page a new fantastic skill or talent is revealed my favorite was the exclamation that she is “The strongest woman in the world” which was paired with a great illustration of her carrying bags and bags of groceries. The narrator tells us that his/her mom could do anything but instead she is his mom. Which no matter what we moms do is exactly how our kids will and should see us.

“Mama Do You Love Me?” by Barbara M. Joosse is a well loved book. I have read it many times but never reviewed it. There are a lot of books about children testing their mom’s unconditional love but this one stands out for me. In it the little girl seems to go out of her way to aggravate her mom and really test her love. The mother is fantastic because she isn’t gushy or sickeningly sweet, she says she would get angry , worried, sad depending on what her daughter tests her with. However after each honest answer she follows it up with how she will always love her. Kids need to know even if they make us sad or angry it doesn’t change the depth of our love for them.

“Where Is Baby’s Mommy” by Karen Katz is the perfect book for your tinest book lover. It is bright, cheery and will grow with your child from the first few months through toddlerhood. The story is simple, a baby and mom are playing hide and seek, you play along with them by lifting the flaps to reveal where mommy is !

“Someday” by Alison McGhee was suggested by a reader and I can see why. It’s a sweet story probably a little more for grown daughters and mother’s than children but they will like it too. The book opens with a mom and a baby, the baby grows into a child and then continues on with the mother’s hopes for what her daughter will experience someday. Some are good, some are sad but all are things that we all must face as we grow older. This would be a great gift for your mom!

“A Chair For My Mother” by Vera B. Williams is another classic mom book and it deserves to be called that. A sweet story that includes 3 generations of women who are all working hard to save money to replace furniture lost in a fire. The comfy chair they are planning to buy really represents the comfort and safety they are trying to rebuild in their new home after such tragedy. I love the sense of collective good in this family, in our “Me me me !” world I like seeing books like this.

“Mama Always Comes Home” by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through.