ages 3 – 6


favorite kids poetry

With April being National Poetry month, we had to share some of our favorite poetry collections. Most of these books were sent to us for review in the past, but they continue to stand out in our mind. I (Jennifer) am sharing 3 of my favorites first, and then I turn the list to Dawn, who shares two of her favorites.

  1. The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry – This is the first book that always comes to my mind when I think of poetry collections. The combination of new and classic poems and great illustrations is a win-win.
  2. Kenn Nesbitt’s The Tighty Whitey Spider- I love funny poetry, as does my son. This is one of mine and my son’s favorites.
  3. I Didn’t Do It! by Patricia Maclachlan – When I was browsing my past poetry reviews, this book featuring dog poetry by an acclaimed children’s book author and beautiful illustrations gave me fond memories.
  4. Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater – With spring awakening all around us, I find myself spending more time outdoors with my children, so what better time to pull out some nature-themed poetry? This collection offers poems related to all four seasons, with appreciation of the beauty of the natural world evident in them all.
  5. Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman – With over 100 poems in this wonderful collection, there is something here for every child to enjoy, from young preschoolers to older elementary children.


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Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown #Giveaway

The name Margaret Wise Brown likely brings up images of the “great green room” in most parents’ minds, but some may not know that Brown authored over 100 books under both her own name and various pen names. In addition, at the time of her sudden death at only 42 years years old, she left behind over 70 unpublished manuscripts. Near the end of her life, Brown had become focused on writing music for children, in the same “here and now” style that she had pioneered in the world of children’s literature. The new collection Goodnight Songs features twelve of her poems (only three of which were previously published) put to beautiful, lullaby music, and brought to life in an array of inviting pictures by

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Weeds Find a Way #Giveaway

Many of my very favorite experiences with young children, as both a mom and a preschool teacher, have involved nature. Taking little ones to the outdoor environment is always an adventure… and a learning experience! Supporting experiences with literature can be as simple as filling a basket in your living space with both fiction and nonfiction library books, and as we look longingly toward spring, Weeds Find a Way introduces young readers to the hearty plants they will likely see soon.
Written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, this information book reads like a poetic piece of fiction, with beautiful language filled with imagery along with facts. Even adults will surely learn a thing or two about various types of weeds, from how they spread to their adaptations

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Dr. Seuss book apps #giveaway for Read Across America day

I am just under the wire helping to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Read Across America day. In honor of this, Oceanhouse Media is having a big sale on Dr. Seuss book apps, and letting us give away 5 copies of The Cat and the Hat app, but buy these others while they’re on sale!
5 Best-Selling Titles- 99 cents (regular prices $3.99-$4.99)

The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Dr. Seuss’s ABC
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

All other titles- $1 OFF, includes classic Dr. Seuss & The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library (check out our past review of the Dr. Seuss collection)
Win it!
We have FIVE copies of the Cat in the

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Peter Panda Melts Down

You know how your toddler can be going along with his day just fine, all happy and smiley, and suddenly a tantrum comes out of left field and tosses all that calmness out the window? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Swap your cutie pie for a fuzzy panda bear and you have the sometimes unpredictable little guy in Peter Panda Melts Down! by Artie Bennett.
Mama has her hands full with three year old Peter, who’s usually a playful fun fellow, but just like his human counterparts, when something goes wrong, Peter Panda just might lose it. As each scenario in the story is presented, even the youngest of children will know what’s coming when the familiar refrain appears:
Here it comes.
Here comes

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Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Back in elementary school, I first learned about haiku, those three lined poems that followed the 5-7-5 syllable pattern that suddenly made poetry accessible to me as a young child. I recall writing many of my own poems in that familiar haiku pattern for school assignments and as entries in my diary as well. All these years later, I’m happy to be reminded of my introduction to this form of poetry through a new picture book that I’ve enjoyed sharing with my own kids. From its play-on-words title to the always beautiful watercolors by Jon J. Muth, Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons makes for a delightful way to learn about haiku any time of the year.
Thanks to the Author’s Note in the opening

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 45th Anniversary! #Giveaway

Can you believe that Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar is celebrating 45 years? I was telling my 15 year old daughter that I remember the book from my childhood, and also remember sharing it with her and her brother. I have no doubts that one day I’ll be sharing it with my grandchildren.

Please check out my post at 5 Minutes for Mom to find out more about the success of this classic children’s book. You can also enter to win a limited edition tote and a copy of the book.
Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign.

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Octopus’s Garden by Ringo Starr

What draws you to a picture book? Is it the artwork? The verse or text? Nostalgia?
Octopus’s Garden by Ringo Starr offers up a good dose of all of these. Even though the Beatles are a bit before my time, when I was in high school my best friend was a big fan, and I caught the bug as well.
This novelty song has been recreated as a picture book with illustrations by Ben Cort. As you can see from the cover and the interior shot below, the illustrations are bright and whimsical. I could see them as a mural on a child’s bedroom wall.

There’s a little introduction from Ringo Starr, then a new version (Ringo only, sans Beatles, I suppose) that

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LEGO City Need for Speed!

With LEGO® bricks all the rage these days it’s no surprise Scholastic has LEGO® books, and my first grader is a big fan of them.  Scholastic sent me one of their new graphic novels, and it was no surprise either that he immediately dove right in.
Based on the LEGO® City sets, Need for Speed! features a race that anyone with wheels can join – cars, trucks, even a circus bear on a bicycle. But all is not on the up and up, as twins Tyler and Taylor are cheaters who have left traps and misdirecting signs all over the course.  And as we all know cheaters never win, but the actual winner — and what he does with the trophy — are a funny ending to

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Baby Penguins Love Their Mama

Baby Penguins Love their Mama is a delightful look at a very busy mama of a large family of adorable grey and white penguins. And wow, is she busy! There’s always so much to do!
Each day of the week has its own chores and lessons to be done. On Monday, it’s swimming. On Tuesday, it’s sliding (who knew you needed lessons in that?). On Wednesdays, it’s waddling–which is harder than it looks. By Sunday, Mama is so exhausted that she needs a nap.
A charming story, this book is sure to become a well-loved addition to any library, but it would be especially fun for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
Pop over to 5 Minutes for Mom and enter to win your own copy,

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Under the Same Sun

A visit from relatives sets the stage for many family-themed children’s books, but in Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson and illustrated by A.G. Ford, this visit from Auntie Sharon and Grandmother Bibi is remarkable for the great distance traveled and the deep connections shared. All in all, this is a beautiful picture book filled with love and adventure.
Auntie Sharon and Grandmother Bibi have traveled from the United States all the way to Tanzania to see the seven children and their parents, a trip in honor of Bibi’s upcoming eighty-fifth birthday. The family has a special surprise in store for her- a safari in the Serengeti National Park.
Not only does the safari provide them with incredible, up-close experiences with wild animals like

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Once Upon a Memory {#Giveaway}

I’m fascinated about how short a child’s memory can be. My son is 9 1/2. While he remembers some things from when he was young, there are others that he doesn’t. For example, he was recently telling me that we should see a particular movie. I know for certain he saw it more than once in the last several years, but that memory is gone.
Because of the peculiar nature of children’s memories, a book like Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden is a perfect way to explore memories with your child. Whether he or she remembers or not, talking about their past is such a fun way to connect.
Click through and read my full post at 5 Minutes for Mom. You can

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