Children’s Books Review: April Library Finds

childrens books review

Every 3-4 weeks I saunter on in to the local public library with my daughter, in search of new childrens books. (Note: the apostrophe drop is intentional, so just roll with it. If you didn’t notice it, forget I said anything.)

childrens books review

Besides the books, there are also a number of other interesting things to check out there. While my toddler pushes toy trains around the tracks and investigates the toys set out in the children’s area, I browse the shelves in search of books that we might enjoy reading together over the next three weeks – the amount of time you can check books out before they’re due back. (Actually, I often run late with our books, so it’s usually closer to a month. I consider it as financial support for the library, all those late fees, so I don’t feel as bad about it as I perhaps should.)

Because I’m an ECE (Early Childhood Educator – a preschool teacher, if you’re not familiar with that term), I have a deep appreciation for children’s literature, and the power that books have to help us teach children about themselves and the world. I cannot count the amount of times myself and my colleagues have turned to picture books to help us open up dialogue in a gentle way, often with more success than simply talking to a child can have. Books give children the opportunity to explore a concept through another character. This helps to remove (at least in part) the discomfort for those who may be feeling personally attacked by a teacher or parent confronting them about their behaviour or the issues that they are going through.

So, I love children’s books. I can easily spend hours pouring over the different choices in the library, but because I have a toddler who isn’t quite on the same schedule of needs as me, I have a shorter window of time to decide what we bring home. I choose as best I can, offering my little Z a chance to choose some for herself (she rarely does at this point – too many other things to explore), and we always leave with 10 books. Z helps to check them out through the machine, and away we go, off on a 3 (or 4) week experience with our new books.

What I’ve been trying to do over the last few months is to quickly review each book we’ve enjoyed over video, with the intent to post our reviews to this blog. However, there is so much to do and so much to write and so much, much, much in our lives that it hasn’t happened yet. Sure, I’ve done a few posts where I reviewed some books, like this one on books about sounds and animals, or the post where I shared childrens books that talk about difference, but as of yet I haven’t started reviewing our library book choices here.

Until now!

childrens books

 

Below I have embedded a video I recorded to share the books we loaned in April, and what we liked or didn’t like about them. Keep in mind that my toddler is 2.5 years old, so the books that work best for us right now are geared toward this age-range. Everyone is different, so your little one, even if they’re the same age, might be at a different point in their interests and development, so what works for us might not for you.

Following the video, I will type up a very quick review of each book so that you don’t have to keep watching the video over and over to catch the name of the authors, etc, and will add links to each book on Amazon so you can check them out further on there, or purchase a copy for yourself if you feel so inclined. I’ll let you know now, too, that these links are affiliate links, so I make a commission (you don’t pay for it) off of what you purchase this way. Kapish? Okay, cool. Let’s get this show on the road… er… blog.

Childrens Books Reviewed

Childrens books we liked:

Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthall

A family of peas who eat candy for dinner, and spinach for dessert. Super simple, kinda silly, and made my toddler want spinach, so that’s cool.

What Shall We Do With the Boo Hoo Baby by Cressida Cowell

Different animals try to calm a crying baby in different ways. This would be a great book for a new big brother or sister, or a little one like mine who is enthralled with babies.

When Stella Was Very, Very Small by Marie Louise Gay

Part of the Stella series of books. Beautiful images, attention to imagination, and a positive message about growing up and teaching those younger than ourselves.

Stretch by Doreen Cronin

A book that will get your little one moving in a bunch of different ways.

Fetch by Jorey Hurley

A dog chases a ball his owner threw, and the book carries you through his journey to fetch the ball and bring it back. One-word per page, with simple, yet interesting imagery.

The Book of ZZZs by Arlene Alda

Real-life photos of different creatures sleeping, and in various stages of sleep.

 

Childrens books that weren’t quite right for us:

Community Soup by Alma Fullerton

A girl’s goats get out of their enclosure and cause trouble, so the girl uses their milk to make a soup. It wasn’t very captivating for us, and the story line seemed hard for my little to follow. There is a recipe for the soup at the end, though.

Mermaid Sister by Mary-Ann Fraser

A little girl is upset with her brother and how he annoys her, so she sends a message and a mermaid comes to be her sister. I found this book unkind and dealt with the concepts of siblings and friendship in a way that I would not.

Mossy by Jan Brett

A turtle who grows a garden on his shell is taken from his habitat into a natural museum. I honestly couldn’t tell you how it ended, as we never made it through, though not for the lack of trying. Beautiful photos, and I can get on board with the concept, but it was definitely not an age-appropriate choice for Z. Too many words, too long of story, incredibly detailed imagery. Awesome things, just not for a 2.5 year old. I’d like to try this one again in a year or two.

We’re now set up with a new stock of childrens books from the library, and I can’t wait to review them for you in a few weeks. To make sure you don’t miss it, you can sign up to my e-newsletter, in which I send out a quick notification once a week with what’s been posted to the blog, and any little bits I’d like to make sure you don’t miss out on (like giveaways or especially awesome posts). Click here to sign up for that, and don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

What childrens books have you read lately? I’d love some new suggestions! Comment below, or through any of the social channels listed above.

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