ages 3 – 6



                               

5M4B disclosure

When I sat down to write the post on 5 Minutes for Mom celebrating 50 years of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the longest running special in television history, I wasn’t sure what to say. Sure, I grew up watching Rudolph, but could I get nostalgic about it?  It turned out I could, and the more I wrote, the more I realized what a big part that brave reindeer has had in my Christmases over the years.

While we own the DVD of the Rankin/Bass special and have several Christmas decorations, we don’t have any Rudolph books, which is kind of amazing. So I was thrilled to receive a box of Rudolph books as part of the review and giveaway, featured over on 5 Minutes for Mom.

RudolphBooks

The books range from board books intended for toddlers, to an easy reader for beginning readers, to a graphic novel for older kids, and my favorite, a deluxe 50th anniversary hard-covered storybook that tells the classic story of Rudolph.  The Classic Story is geared toward ages 4-8 but I think it will be loved by all ages.

While my boys, ages 7 and 11, are too old for most of these, they still liked the Lift-the-Tab board book, where the dialog is hidden under numbered tabs that end at 25, and the Slide and Find that’s more of a learning activity book.  Both of those are for ages 2-4.

Also included is a paperback picture book, Rudolph Saves the Day, which includes stickers and is for ages 3-7, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: My Reader, a Level 2 Paperback Reader for ages 5-7.

The boys’ favorite was The Island of Misfit Toys Middle-Grade Graphic Novel for ages 7-12.  They both immediately blew through this graphic novel that tells of what happened to the toys during that same storm that hit the North Pole on Christmas. We also learn how Cowboy ended up with an ostrich instead of a horse, and why Dolly was on the island.

For more on my memories of Rudolph and how my own family has enjoyed the classic, as well as a chance to win this collection of books, click over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

It’s also Christmas Giveaway season! Go ahead and browse all the Christmas Giveaways going on this month.

2014 Christmas Giveaway



                               

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Animal Teachers

In the nonfiction picture book Animal Teachers, author Janet Halfmann introduces young readers to twelve different groups of animal parents and children. Beginning by pointing out to readers that parents and caregivers are their first teachers, parallels are then made to the ways in which animal parents teach their little ones skills or habits that are essential to each particular type of creature. The animals chosen for inclusion in this nonfiction book are widely varied, including some exotically wild ones like emperor penguins and cheetahs, and more domestic or familiar animals such as chickens and beavers. Each animal is depicted in attractive and realistic watercolor illustrations by Katy Hudson that portray their natural habitats well. What really appealed to me as a parent and early childhood educator was
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Snowman’s Story

A tall black top hat falls from an owl’s talons just as some woodland creatures are building a snowman. After a fluffy red scarf is put in place to accompany the hat, the now-animated snowman is handed a book, and the bear, bird, fox, and rabbit wait for the story to begin. Snowman’s Story by Will Hillenbrand presents a wordless adventure showing just how far some creatures will go for a good book. The rabbit perched inside the hat atop the snowman’s head is attentively listening to the story on that beautifully snowy cover illustration. But then sleepiness overcomes everyone, and as the creatures begin to settle in for the night, the rabbit gets a sneaky-eyed look on its face… and snatches the book right out
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Hank Has a Dream #Giveaway

Looking for a new bedtime story for your little ones? Hank Has a Dream by Rebecca Dudley brings back the delightfully adorable Hank, a stuffed woodland creature who showed his compassionate side in Hank Finds an Egg (linked to my brief review). This time around, Hank is telling a friend about his magical dream, and the meticulously detailed dioramas that provide the images in the book add greatly to the magic factor. You’ll want to hear more about this picture book, so head over to read my full review on 5 Minutes for Mom today. Be sure to view the video trailer for this imaginative book, and enter to win a copy, too.  
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Bright Board Books for Kids

I have a thing for board books, and I like that it’s more common to see a large-format board book (not just the chunky toddler ones). Board books are great for durable reading — especially for independent play and reading time — for kids up through school age. This is a 26th anniversary board book edition of Elmer. I vaguely remembered the story of the patchwork elephant, but he was never one of my kids’ favorites, because it wasn’t a book we owned. However, the story holds up so nicely. It’s a little bit silly, because of course he’s a completely imaginative and different-looking elephant, but the theme of fitting in and being yourself is so current. I love how when Elmer tries to fit
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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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Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times

When my kids were younger, I was always on the look-out for good collections of Bible stories. I had the ones I liked, and there were some gifted to us that gradually found their way to a thrift store. I’m fussy–I like the stories to be accurate and the pictures to be good. (No blondes, for example. I have nothing against blondes; I am one myself and I am mum to 2 of them as well. But the ancient Middle East wasn’t overly populated with them.) Magnificent Tales’ Treasury of Bible Stories is a worthy new addition for those of you wanting to add some Bible knowledge to your kids’ lives. Author Kelly Pulley has taken many of most beloved tales from both Old and
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What’s New from Pete the Cat

I remember when I first came across Pete the Cat. I liked the bold colors and simple repetitive story lines, but I’m not sure that I get the phenomenal success he’s achieved. I volunteer in my son’s library, and these books are hugely popular from Kindergarten on up to 2nd or 3rd graders. These books are all simple and colorful. They don’t really need much more of an explanation. If you haven’t looked at them before, you can check out some of my more detailed reviews of the other titles in the related items below. Pete the Cat: A Pet for Pete (My First I Can Read) Pete the Cat’s Super Cool Reading Collection Pete the Cat: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Pete the Cat and
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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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