New Books !

by Carrie Anne

Row, Row, Row Your Boat: A Teddy Bear Sing-Along Book
By David Ellwand
Silver Dolphin (Raincoast Books)
Board book
Age 0-3

Kids will love singing along to this large format board book showing stuffed teddy’s recreating the the scenes song in the famous childhood rhyme. For added fun there is a musical score that can be played along with each page, just press down on the speaker button found on the front page. I love that you can control whether you want to play the music or not versus it playing automatically on each page though I’m sure your child will want to play the song over and over (and over) again.

Hide and Seek Animals
DK Canada
Picture Book
Age 3-5

Search and find books can be a lot of fun for kids but many can be too complicated for little ones offering very intricate pictures to look at. This Hide and Seek Animals contains a collage of animals with a photo list of the animals to look for. Kids will enjoy searching for familiar animals like a dog as well as finding unique animals such as the Greenland shark. The images are photographs and although the picture contains a collection of animals to look at, they are large and not obstructed. The search and find exercise is more about animal recognition than finding something hidden. This is a great book to do together or to give your child to explore on their own for quiet time.

While You Are Sleeping
By Durga Bernhard
Picture Book
Age 3-8

If you’ve ever traveled to a different timezone or have family and friends in a different part of the world, you may have already talked about timezones with your child. While You Are Sleeping is a great way to illustrate this without getting all technical about the different times. This cute lift the flap book starts off with a mother and child reading a story one evening while on the other side of the world another child is getting dressed for the morning. Each picture has a map image worked into the illustration, showing where the activity is taking place (reading in Alaska, getting dressed in Nigeria). Lift the flap and it turns into a clock showing the time. There are very little words in this book. The concept of different times is illustrated wonderfully through images, maps and the little clock flaps. Not only does this address time, it also touches on geography and customs. The inside covers also have a map of the world with the timezones marked and a little illustration showing all the places you visited in the story. This was a fun book with beautiful illustrations that transporter us around the world.

Splish – Splash
Boxer Books/Sterling Publishing
By Nicola Smee
Picture Book
Age 3-5

Join Mr. Horse along with Cat, Dog, Pig and Duck in this fun adventure on the sea. As they row their little boat the waves get bigger — splish, splash — until everyone is knocked out of the boat. Not to worry, Mr. Horse brings everyone safely to shore only for all the friends to head back out to sea again. The large text and illustrations make this book seem bigger than life. You can almost feel the waves sloshing around on the pages. The playful use of text size as the waves get bigger adds to this feeling and the anticipation of what’s to come. This is just a fun book to read out loud with lots of repetitive words and cute characters.

I want to thank Crystal from Raincoast Books, Katie from Sterling Publishing, Donna from Charlesbridge and Chris from DK Canada for my review copies.


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

New Book Releases

by Carrie Anne

Numbers Board Book
written and illustrated by Thierry Laval
board book
Chronicle Books

Number books aren’t new, but how the content is displayed can vary. At first look, Numbers displays the numerical form of the numbers 1 to 10 on each page in large simple writing. The number is reinforced by an image illustrating that number and the sentence below which contains the number in written form: One Spider. But the book doesn’t end there. Each number is on a large flap. When your child lifts the flap they find another image related to the first one in both number and theme. One Spider and…One Witch. Now kids can count images on the initial page and inside the flap, adding additional counting fun. And who doesn’t love to see what’s behind a flap.

City Numbers

words by Joanne Schwartz, photos by Matt Beam
picture book
age 3-5
Groundwood Books

Most number concept books I’ve come across consist of child-like illustrations but our kids see numbers all around them in everyday life. City Numbers is based on photographs of numbers found in the city. I love how it shows that numbers aren’t just things in books but are used everywhere. Each spread consists of a full page photo of the actual number in a real surrounding: on a hydro pole, a store window, the sidewalk. The other side of the page has the number appear both in numeric and written form. It’s on a clean, white background to avoid confusion and add focus to the illustration. There’s no counting but kids will love pointing out the number in the photograph. In smaller type explains the photo, what it is, where it’s taken, what material the number is printed on. The numbers go up to 20 and also include other not so common counting number (but ones we see every day): 1/2, 2.5%, 2nd, even a long upc number at the end. After you’ve gone through the City Numbers book, why not explore your neighbourhood to see what numbers you can find.

American Museum of Natural History
board book
Sterling Publishing

Get kids excited about their alphabet using their love of dinosaurs with the ABCDinsosaurs board book from the American Museum of Natural History. This large format board book shares 26 dinosaur species, one for each letter of the alphabet. The dinosaurs are illustrated with a large colourful letter of the alphabet and the name appears below (first letter emphasized). Your little paleontologist might even discover a few dinosaurs they’ve never heard of before.

Dolphin’s Discovery (Jumbo Jigsaw Storybooks)

Imagine Publishing
age 3-5
A storybook. A lift-the-flap book. A puzzle. Dolphin’s Discovery from Imagine Publishing is all of these. Kids will enjoying going on a simple adventure under the sea with Dophin and her friends. As Dophin encounters a problem, one of her ocean friends has a solution: Dophin can’t see inside a dark ship; Electric Eel offers some light. Each spread offers two small flaps with a question about the story on the top and the answer underneath. This is a nice way to make the story interactive, asking them questions about elements in the story, some requiring them find or count images on a page. My 4-year old loved these. For added fun, there are six 15-piece puzzles embedded within the story. Each puzzle is of the ocean friends. The image underneath is an exact duplicate of the puzzle, making it easier for younger kids to match where the pieces go. Also, should a piece go missing (and they will) the printed image helps detract from the story like a blank space would. All size animal puzzles interconnect to make a giant floor puzzle too. A perfect companion for the cottage.

Rocket Town
written and illustrated by Bob Logan
Raincoast Books
board book
Who doesn’t love rockets? I’m an adult and I still think they’re pretty cool. The story within Rocket Town is simple, about a man and his dog heading to Rocket Town to find the perfect rocket just for them. While driving trough town they see all sorts of different rockets — big and small, ones that go up and down — which are illustrated in the text as well as the imagery. I love the illustrations in this book; very retro in design and colour. My 4 and 6 year old loved looking for the various rockets found on the pages, some more obvious than others. The big payout, and the pages your child will want to read over and over again, is countdown and blast off when the man and his dog eventually find the perfect rocket just for them. The book is simple and fun for kids but the design makes it something that even adults won’t mind reading over and over again.

I want to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books, Trish at Groundwood Books, Katie at Sterling Publishing, and Donna at Charlesbridge publishing.


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

New Books

A love of books is important even before your kids can read. I hope to bring to you each month some new releases for the smallest ones in your family to enjoy.

eebees adventures: clean-up time. a play and put things away adventure

Sterling Publishing

board book (6 months – 4 years)

This sturdy lift the flap book is full of colourful photographs of babies and toddlers at play with things they would use at home: pots and pans from the kitchen, towels from the clean clothes basket, shoes of different sizes). After looking at the kids playing, lift the flap and eebee reminds kids to tidy up what they were playing and even shoes an photo of the items all put away or the kids tidying up. This is a great when talking to kids about play and then tidying up together; it’s just part of the play. Let’s not forget to thank everyone for all their help keeping things tidy, which eebee does on the last page of the book. The flaps themselves are part of the page versus a piece of paper glued on to the page; I find this makes the pages sturdier for little hands to turn.

The Night Night Book

Raincoast Books

board book (1 – 4 years)

Most bedtime routines include a night time story (I still read bedtime stories to all my kids, including my 9-year old). The Night Night Book is a great story to help kids wind down from a busy day into a quiet night. The book starts with the child in bed, remembering and saying good night to all the things the child encountered during the day: nigh night sandbox and shiny slide. Night night wagon and bumpy ride! Reading the book is also a great way to talk about your child’s day and things they would like to say night night to also. The paper mosaic images used throughout the book also have a child like quality to them versus realistic illustrations, like art a child might do to illustrate their special moments in a day. I found the rhythm to this story very calming too, just what you want for a bedtime book.

Can You Count?

Sterling Publishing

board book (1 – 4 years)

This simple counting concept book is lovely to look at. Each page consists of a large, colourful numeric number, along with the number simply written out too. That is the only text that appears on each page, making the focus quite clear. Along with the numbers there are whimsical illustrations of animals, depicting the number on the page. An alligator in a colourful shirt and a turtle in a scarf adorn the page for number two. The background colours for each page varies too, adding to the fun. Kids will love counting the numbers as they appear on each page. Counting the animals, the numerical and written form of each number all work to help reinforce counting skills from one to ten.

Flaptastic Farm

DK Publishing

board book (1-4 years)

Take your kids on a walk through a farm with this fun animal board book. Each spread consists of a farm animal photo placed into a fun farm illustration with the opposite page asking what animal it is (in the form of a animal sound question: Who goes oink, oink?) Kids lift the flap to find the answer (or confirm their suspicions). Also included in part of the flap is a second animal sound question surrounded by 4 different farm images with words. The correct answer is bolded. Kids will love revealing the answer to the animal question. And the inner animal questions are treated like games, for kids to pick which of the four images makes the sound. Great for encouraging animal recognition and associated animal noises (plus everyone, mom included, will have fun recreating the animal noises). Having the words of the various items visible also helps with expanding vocabulary within the farm theme.

Astonishing Animal ABC

picture book (3-5 years)

If you like Dr Suess’ ABC book, then you’ll enjoy this. Each page calls out the letter and then offers an animal type starting with the same letter. I love the use of alliteration, giving descriptions of the animals using the same letter the animals starts with: C, cosy cobra curled up in a comfy chair. Use of descriptive words not only provides other examples of words starting with that letter but also increases a child’s vocabulary by providing other words beyond the basics to help describe something (adjectives and adverbs galore). Unlike Dr. Suess, all the animals in this story are real, except for Z (but I’ll leave that to you to discover). A fun read for kids to help reinforce the letters of the alphabet as well as letter sounds (repeating words that make the same sound).


I want to thank Chris at DK Canada, Katie at Sterling Kids and Crystal at Raincoast books for my review copies.


Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , Managing editor of and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog  Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two