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Dinosaurs can be awfully fascinating to some children, and books and toys featuring the ancient creatures range from straightforwardly informational to outright silly. A new (sort-of) book by Dustin Harbin, Behold! The Dinosaurs!, presents over 100 dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures from the Devonian to the Cretaceous periods in eye-popping drawings.

Did you catch how I called it a “sort-of” book? Well, I have to admit that I learned something new when I received this publication in the mail and I saw it referred to as both a leporello and concertina, and I was compelled to look up the terms before I opened the book. All I would have had to do was open the cover and see the fold-out pages, which measure more than six feet on each side!

Above each prehistoric creature an informational box is printed with its name, approximate size, description, geologic period, and area of the world in which it lived. Land, sea, and flying creatures are included in illustrations with awesome details.

Perused as an informational book, or hung on a wall for display, Behold! The Dinosaurs! is perfect for young dinosaur enthusiasts or would look fabulous in a classroom setting.

 



                               

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Today I’m Going to Wear…

Asking a toddler what he or she wants to wear can be the beginning of a seemingly endless process. I remember my own kids having their favorite articles of clothing and sometimes switching allegiances at the drop of a hat (pun fully intended). A new brightly colored board book by Dan Stiles, Today I’m Going to Wear…, depicts the experience of one very enthusiastic young girl choosing her clothing and accessories, and you can imagine that she shows her creativity in the process. Though it starts out simply enough with one little yellow bow, soon the girl is mixing and matching and accessorizing with glee and complete disregard for complementary colors or styles. Yes, she is a toddler, so this will come as no surprise to parents
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Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds

Mr. Tweed is a smartly dressed dog who is heading out for his daily walk. With his dapper suit jacket, striped trousers, walking stick, and extremely tall stovepipe hat, he looks like quite the character. Soon, he reveals himself as a kind friend as he bumps into neighbor after neighbor in need of assistance. Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds by Jim Stoten tells the story of this helpful dog, in a picture book that is part narrative, part counting book, and part ‘look-and-find’ activity book. Each friend that Mr. Tweed assists is looking for an increasing number of items or creatures- one kite, two kittens, three mice, in that type of pattern. After the missing object is declared, readers are invited to search for them on the
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Bad Dog Flash

A puppy and mischief go hand in hand, and in Ruth Paul’s new picture book Bad Dog Flash, the mischief couldn’t get any cuter. Flash has energy, and he just wants to play. When chasing the cat leads to him getting chastised, Flash tries to avert his attention to other playful things. But trying to carry a stick inside results in a broken window, and sniffing at the shoes all lined up in a row ends in a mess of chewed leather. After a series of indoor and outdoor adventures gone awry, poor Flash is mucky and sent out to his dog house away from everyone else. Thank goodness that his little girl knows when he needs some love. As a picture book, this makes
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Little Humans #Giveaway

Fans of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York have likely heard about his newest book focusing on young subjects from his NYC photography project. Little Humans, which is already receiving tons of publicity and positive reviews, made me smile, too. A celebration of childhood through simple, encouraging text and gorgeous photographs of young kids, this book is a delight to look at whether you’re little or not. To hear more of my thoughts on this book, please read my full review over on 5 Minutes for Mom, where you can enter to win a copy of both this beautiful picture book and a Little Humans poster.
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Crooked River

Just weeks after burying their mother and days after moving into a teepee in a meadow to live with their long-absent father, 15 year old Sam and her 10 year old sister Ollie find the dead body of a young woman in the river. As Ollie had stopped talking when her mother died (just as she previously did after the death of a relative), the responsibility of reporting what they’ve seen lies with Sam. Not saying anything about it to the authorities or to her father, Bear, becomes a decision that weighs on her conscience in coming days when their already loosely tethered new life begins to unravel. The opening of Valerie Geary’s debut novel Crooked River doesn’t hold back. Readers first meet Sam and Ollie in the moment they
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Children’s Activity Atlas #Giveaway

Combining information and entertainment in an interactive format, the new Children’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater and illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders becomes the rare resource that a child will want to look at just for fun. The interactivity comes into play with over 250 stickers to place in correct places throughout the book, as well as in the mini-passport book included in the inside cover in which children can record information that they’ve learned from the atlas by answering quiz questions. The presentation of this book brings countries to life in attractive illustrations and interesting information that will give children a beginning insight to the areas of the world they’ve likely never seen. Please see my complete review over on 5 Minutes for Mom, where
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The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine: Friendship Over

Julie Sternberg, author of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and its two sequels (linked to my reviews), writes books for the younger middle grade readers, with shorter chapters and expressive characters who represent the 8-10 year old age extremely well. My own third grade daughter was thrilled when I told her that Sternberg has started a new series. The first book, The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine: Friendship Over introduces another lovable young girl trying to work through a highly-relatable experience. Friendship in childhood can be filled with ups and downs, and ten-year-old Celie is currently low down because her (former) best friend Lula suddenly stopped speaking to her. No explanation, no reason that Celie can think of. Having to see her every day at
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If You Were a Dog #Giveaway

In the new picture book If You Were a Dog by Jamie A. Swenson, young children are asked to imagine how they might act if they were animals instead of little kids. As kids are usually among the most imaginative people I’ve ever encountered, I am a big fan of this unique format for a story book. I’m even more impressed with the fabulously fun and rich language that make up the descriptions of the animals, and those paired with Chris Raschka’s vibrant illustrations make for an engaging reading experience. Please see my complete review over on 5 Minutes for Mom, where you can enter to win a copy of the book for a child in your life!
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Frank!

With a seemingly realistic backdrop and a human-like bear as the main character, Frank! by Connah Brecon weaves an imaginatively wild story filled with bizarre happenings. Notorious for always being late, Frank’s trouble really starts when he begins school. It’s not because he’s careless, or even because he takes his time getting moving. No, Frank is never on time because he always seems to stumble into situations while he’s on his way somewhere, and because of his kind nature, he is compelled to offer assistance. Does he come upon elderly people who need help crossing the street, or children at play whose ball rolls into the street? Well, not exactly. While one scenario does involve a cat stuck in a tree, the other reasons Frank gives for
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Duck in the Fridge

Kids know silly when they see it, and from the first glance at Jeff Mack’s new picture book, Duck in the Fridge, they’ll likely be prepared to giggle. The title alone made a four-year-old friend of mine crack up! What in the world should they expect with a title like that? As they open the book, they’ll see an exuberant boy bouncing on his bed, clad in pajamas, but clearly not all that sleepy. When his dad settles in to read him a bedtime story, the boy asks him why he always reads from Mother Goose tales at night. Thus begins the dad’s tale of the time he found- yup, you guessed it- a duck in the fridge. Dad, as a little boy himself, becomes the main
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The Underground Girls of Kabul, a 5-Star Read

“In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.” Sure, I know it’s a little like cheating to start a review with the publisher’s blurb, but this one
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