Author Showcase: Anne Rockwell

I have reviewed so many of Anne Rockwell’s books that I had to do a search to find them all, and there are too many to include in one post. I haven’t adored everything she has written but every time I go to the library ( any of the 3 nearby branches) I go straight to her section to see what’s in !  I particularly love her holiday books and my son loves the transportation ones.

Father’s Day I really liked this book, it is about a class full of students writing stories about their dads at school and ending with a party where they present the books to their fathers. What I enjoyed was the diversity of this book , it covered all different kinds of dads and children and all the things they most enjoy doing together. My son was rather attached to the dad and son playing soccer , and I had a mean craving for chocolate after reading the page with a dad and daughter making fudge! A wonderful activity after reading this book would be to write your own story!

Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my money’s worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!  Edited for 2010 – this is STILL a favorite and my son recently “read” it to his baby sister, it’s not yet clear if she will adore firetrucks as much as her brother but I am sure she’ll like this book.

Good Morning, Digger is not going to be put onto my must buy list. It just seemed flat and boring. The story follows a vacant lot and the digger that comes it to start construction on what will transform into a community center. There really weren’t any characters and the text seemed unenthusiastic, there was nothing to latch on to and make a real connection with. To make matters worse I think I have to pay a late fee at my library on this one.  Edited for 2010 – we recently read this book at the library and my son as I predicted loves it. I still stand by my review , and as much as I adore this author I am not a huge fan of this book.

Our Stars is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddlers head you can simply skip that page, until they are . The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented

Presidents’ Day is a perfect introduction to presidents, some of their major accomplishments and some major points in American history. The story follows a class putting on a play and we learn about some of the most significant presidents as the children do. Even if President’s Day is months away you can use this book while learning about money , linking the various presidents on coins and bills, or for Independence day too!  Very cute and age appropriate for older preschoolers.

Valentine’s Day by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell is a lovely book with a a cute twist. The story follows a class making special valentines for each other , some are very touching others goofy. The story doesn’t reveal who the Valentine’s are for. There are pictures of the same girl with the various students though so after a while you are clued into that they are for her we still don’t know why. I was so worried she was sick in the hospital, as it turns out the class goes to the post office to send it away to a classmate that is far far away! I like the idea of a class all writing to a friend far away, focusing on friendship and not candy! I also love any book that causes my son to say ” Let’s go see a map of where she lives mama!”

Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train was another book I had to renew over and over at the library because my son refused to return it! When we went on vacation this year my son took his very first train ride just like Allan in this book and like Allan was excited and took every moment in! I like that this book captures the excitement of a little boy who is obsessed with trains but the end leaves readers hanging and had me wondering if there was a page missing in my copy! Still the illustrations are vibrant and my son loved this book.

Books About Cats!

by Carrie Anne
It’s an on going debate. It comes out in casual conversation, at social gatherings, in line-ups, even in the playground. Are you a cat or dog person? In our house it’s cats all the way; we have four. So you can guess books about cats are a popular read in our home. Even if you’re not a cat person these books are great to read with your little ones.

Cookie’s Week

Written by Cindy Ward, Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
(age 3 – 5)
Kids will enjoy following the mischief cookie the kitten gets into during the week. From falling in the toilet on Monday to climbing the curtains on Saturday, Cookie’s Week is great at reinforcing the different days of the week.The repetitive text makes it fun for kids to anticipate what comes next. The limited text also makes it a great book for early readers.
Cats, Cats, Cats!
Written by Leslea Newman, Illustrated by Erika Oller
Published by Simon and Schuster
(age 4-8)
Mrs. Brown lives on the edge of town with a house full of cats, all sorts of shapes and sizes and colours. But Mrs. Brown doesn’t mind at all. She enjoys spending time with them, petting them, chatting with them, even doing their nails. But the real cat fun begins after Mrs. Brown goes to bed. My kids love the story of Mrs. Brown and her partying cats, as told in a lyrical rhyme. You’ll laugh at the craziness these cats get up to when Mrs. Brown is asleep. Makes me wonder what our cats do when we’re asleep.
Grumpy Cat
Written and Illustrated by Britta Techentrup
Published by Boxer Books
(age 3 – 6)
Cat ate alone, slept alone, spent time alone. The other cats thought he was grumpy but Cat was just lonely. One stormy night cat met Kitten and everything changed. Sometimes a person’s shy or introverted behaviour doesn’t mean they want to be alone. This story illustrates this well through Kitten’s act of kindness how Cat’s personality changes; this shows to kids that  a simple ‘hi’ or smile can impact those around you.
Scat, Cats! (Easy-to-Read, Puffin)
Written by Joan Holub, illustrated by Rich Davis
Published by Puffin
Easy to Read, Level 1
(age 4 – 8)
A sister and brother are inundated by loud cats, sly cats, all sorts of cats, but the kids start to miss the cats after they scare them away. This Easy-to-Read book is great for beginning to read with its fun rhyme. It reminds you also to be thankful for what you have, not to take advantage of the things you love, even if you don’t really know you love them. My son loved when I read this story to him as a child; it’s still a popular read with all my kids and now my oldest reads it to her little sister.
Bad Cat
Written and illustrated by Tracy-Lee McGuiness-Kelly
Published by Little Brown
(age 4-8)
Bad Cat lives in the city, the big stinky he calls it. No matter where he goes, trouble seems to follow. Or does it? People are annoyed or upset with Bad Cat until they realize his actions actually had positive outcomes, but by that time Bad Cat was on the run again. This is one of my favourite stories, one about innocent behaviour and making quick judgements. It’s a great story to share with kids, illustrating that something good can be found in most actions if you look. I love Bad Cat’s innocent behaviour, similar to that of a child.
Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a cat person , Managing editor of and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog  Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two