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Baby on Board: How Animals Carry Their Young

Written by Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Cathy Morrison

“Pick me up, pick me up,” our children say. Then as they get a bit older, they begin to carry around their own stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures. This leads in well to a discussion of animals and their babies. Teachers, parents and librarians can use this beautifully illustrated book of how animal babies are carried to introduce or supplement any animal unit of study. Close-ups of each animal pair make it easy to see how the baby is transported from one place to another. Young children will enjoy this immensely.

Short rhyming lines introduce each animal pair followed by a slightly more in-depth description. A glossary gives even more detail.

Following the narration, a matching game is provided as a culmination of the story. For teachers, there are several suggestions for cross-curricular activities in language arts, math, engineering and movement. There are also web links to provide additional activities.

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  • Baby on Board.jpgTitle:  Baby on Board: How Animals Carry Their Young
  • Author:  Marianne Berkes
  • Illustrator:  Cathy Morrison
  • Publisher:  Dawn Publications, 2017
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format:  Paperback, 32 pages
  • Genre: nonfiction, science
  • Grade level: PreK to 3
  • ISBN:  978-1-58469-593-6
  • Extras: Teacher guidelines for use in language arts, math, engineering, movement and math. An extensive glossary, extended reading lists and web links. It also contains a matching game for young readers to complete after reading the book.

We Found a Hat

Written by Jon Klassen

As usual, Klassen says a little in very few words. Two turtles find a hat. They find it together. It looks great on each of them, but there’s still only one hat. One hat. Two turtles. Not right. One turtle realizes the fair thing to do is leave the hat and forget about it. They walk away. The other turtle looks back with longing. Together, they enjoy a sunset. The first turtle claims to be thinking about the sunset. The second turtle says it’s thinking about nothing, but still looks back at the hat. It’s time to go to sleep. They discuss their dreams. The first turtle has a dream where each of them has a hat. The second turtle goes to sleep and dreams the same dream.

The stark nature of Klassen’s illustration gets the point across that this is a very simple message. Kids will probably note right away that one turtle has square markings, while the other has triangular markings. Simple, but different. They will see that friends share everything, possibly even dreams.

This would make a great read aloud to stimulate discussion of friendship and sharing. Independent reading would certainly reinforce literacy skills. There is a lot to love in this book.

 Buy on Amazon

  • we-found-a-hatTitle: We Found a Hat
  • Author: Jon Klassen
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2016
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 56 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Fiction, Picture book, Sharing, Friendship
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-5600-3

 

 

Stanley the Builder

Written and illustrated by William Bee

Stanley is a golden hamster. He is drawn with large, bold black lines and colored with a smile on his face. He is asked to build a house for his friend. While it is unrealistic for the house to be built in a day, young readers will believe it. The front pages are filled with brightly colored tools used by builders and painters. Children will love spending time with these two pages to identify each piece and figure out what it is used for in the building process.

Stanley has a bulldozer, digger and crane of his own. His friend Charlie comes with a cement mixer to help. They lay the bricks together even though, “it is very tricky work.”  The book is filled with simple humor, good work and real friendship.

Kindergarten readers and first grade readers will see the correlation between color words and the objects in the pictures. Other literacy skills that can be practiced are sequencing, parts to whole, and picture clues.

At the end of his busy day, Stanley is ready for supper, a bath, and bedtime. It makes for a satisfying read and a fulfilling ending for any reader.

Buy on Amazon

  • StanleyTitle: Stanley the Builder
  • Author/Illustrator: William Bee
  • Publisher: Peachtree, 2014
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-801-1
  • Genre: Picture Book/Animal Fiction/Building
  • Lexile: 200L
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