Animal Books For Babies and Kids

by Carrie Anne
From baby animals to a secretive mouse, this months books have a distinctive animal flavour.
DK Canada
specialty board book
12 pages
Young kids are very tactile, holding, feeling, rubbing everything they come in contact with. Add to that baby animals and you have a book that will interest young readers. Baby Animals is sturdy for little hands to turn the pages and rub the fur of rabbits and calves. Touch a Feel books are a great way to explore vocabulary with young kids too, helping them to find words to describe what they are feeling. Baby Animals is just one of the books recently re-released in the Touch and Feel series.

 

Richard Scarry’s Readers (Level 2): A Smelly Story
Richard Scary’s Great Big Schoolhouse Readers – Level 2
Erica Farber, illustrated by Huck Scarry
age 5 to 6
24 pages
Sterling Publishing

The animal village created in Richard Scarry books were part of my childhood and have been popular with my own kids. A Smelly Story uses short sentences, limited vocabulary and repetition to make it an easier story for new readers to enjoy on their own. The front cover provides a few tips on sharing the book with kids and how to encourage them to read it on their own. The garbage angle might even appeal to boys who may be more reluctant to read. Who doesn’t love a good story about chasing a pile of garbage?

Wendy the Wide-Mouthed Frog

by Sam Lloyd
age 3 to 5
10 pages
Silver Dolphin Books/Raincoast Books
Like it or not, our kids will probably encounter someone who thinks they are better than anyone else (or they may go through a stage of this themselves). Wendy is a frog who thinks just that and criticises the other animals in the wild for not being as great as she is. That is, until she meets a squid. At first I thought, with Wendy poking fun of other animals, that the book was somewhat negative in nature. Although Wendy isn’t nice and does change her tune at the end (though doesn’t apologize to others for her behaviour), the book does open up an opportunity to discuss how negative comments can make our friends feel bad. Wendy herself is a hand puppet which mom can use to bring Wendy to life but the kids will love the squid page where they too can stick their hand in to be the squid’s tentacles. This moves kids from being passive listeners to interacting with the book too.

Little Mouse’s Big Secret

by Éric Battut
age 3 to 5
24 pages
Sterling Publishing
As a child it’s great to find or receive a special treat. Sometimes we’re worried we’ll have to share with others so we keep it a secret. That’s what Mouse does in Little Mouse’s Big Secret. Each page has a friend asking Mouse what he’s found but he doesn’t tell. Eventually Mouse’s secret is discovered and Mouse finds out sharing with his friends isn’t all that bad. I love the very simple look of this book, with a small line of text and just illustrations of a tree and mouse. Early readers will enjoy helping out as one line is repeated on many pages of the book. And then of course there’s the fun of actually sharing and enjoying something with your friends, as Mouse discovers near the end.

Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , and is the Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief at EverythingMom.com.

 

Books About The Zoo

Books-About-The-ZooThe zoo was a favorite as a child and now as a mom even though it’s a huge event to pack up the kids we all have a blast. We keep the fun going by reading books about eh zoo and talking about our own experiences after getting home.

Inside a Zoo in the City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along , so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle is fun counting book perfect for toddlers. Actually as I type this my toddler is reading it. There are no words, just pictures and numbers and that makes it perfect for toddlers who are just learning both numbers and animals because parents can read it slowly counting , naming the animals and making the animal sounds, or more quickly just counting!

Peek-a-Zoo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound , so it grows with them. Also the flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is simply one of my favorite books ever. I love it and love that my daughter doesn’t fuss when I read it to her because it was a special book for my son when he was little and it’s a book he will still curl up and read quietly with us, making it fun cuddle time for all three of us. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s all about a sneaky gorilla who unlocks all the animals at the zoo and they quietly follow the zoo keeper home and climb into bed with him, until his wife wakes up! I love this book cause I relate to the zoo keepers wife , when I wake up there is always a sneaky 3 year old gorilla in my bed!

The Great Escape from City Zoo  by Tohby Riddle is a really funny book, as long as the readers are old enough to get it. Even if they don’t get the tongue and cheek humor young kids will still enjoy the story. It’s a funny tale about 4 zoo animals who break free from the zoo and live life on the outside as fugitives. The fugitive animals get themselves into many pop culture scenes adults reading the book will appreciate like  crossing the street like the Abbey Road album cover, another that channels Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and more. I loved this book and really appreciate it when authors recognize that parents like to have a little something just for them in a book from time to time as well.