ages 3 – 6

Big Whoop!

by Dawn



                               

5M4B disclosure

big whoopYoung children may not be familiar with the word curmudgeon, but when they meet Mr. Fox in Maxine Lee’s new picture book Big Whoop! (POW!/powerHouse Books, July 2014), they’ll certainly understand the concept. Mr. Fox doesn’t smile, and he doesn’t laugh. He goes about his business with the same unemotional expression on his face all day long. Two of his friends, Roman and Harrison, want to do something about that.

These fun-loving pals have a plan to get Mr. Fox to laugh, starting out by donning simple costumes and acting like they’ve turned into zoo animals, but Mr. Fox responds in the same way he always does, by simply stating, “Big whoop,” and continuing on with his reading. Roman and Harrison up their game with each page turn, going from silly mustaches to elaborate stories involving outer space trips and even time travel! Will Mr. Fox crack even the smallest of smiles?

Adults reading this one to their little ones need to be prepared to play into the silly factor that is very high with this book, and the more spirited the reader, the more fun the experience. Though my kids were unfamiliar with the phrase “Big whoop!” before reading this picture book, it is now one that they find hilarious to use with each other in a joking way. Maxine Lee’s illustrations were described in the promotional material as “in the vein of Oliver Jeffers,” who I absolutely adore, and I think that comparison is well-placed. The colors are bright and bold, and the sketching style is similar, but even more so, the overall playfulness of the illustrations reminds me of some of Jeffers’ work.

Check this book out for a raucously fun read with your children this summer!



                               

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support this site. Thank you!
See our Disclosure Policy for details.

Song for Papa Crow

My kids and I can often be seen walking around our yard area trying to pinpoint a songbird up in the trees. There are some calls that are easy for all of us to identify- the American robin’s cheery trill, the blue jay’s jarring calls, and the chickadee’s confident repeating of its own name. Of course, another one most folks can immediately recognize is that of the American crow, though their raucous caws don’t usually convey the same warm feelings as the songbirds. Perhaps after reading Marit Menzin’s picture book Song for Papa Crow, however, children (and parents) may come to have a new appreciation the next time they hear a crow’s caws. In colorful cut-paper illustrations that convey texture even on the two-dimensional page, the story
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Angry Birds: Stella and the Hunt for the Jade Egg

It doesn’t matter how old you are, you know about (and probably love) Angry Birds. For the younger set, there is a cute new picture book out, Angry Birds: Stella and the Hunt for the Jade Egg. The book is perfect for reading aloud to little kids, while it is cute enough and has few enough words on the page to appeal to new readers, as well. The book opens with a detailed description of each of the birds in the book – and the pigs. It gives their name with an illustration and some information about their personality so that it’s easy to transition from birds and their expertise in the app to characters in the book. In Stella and the Hunt for the Jade Egg,
Read the full article →
 


                                       

The Baby Tree #Giveaway

It’s an inevitable rite of parenthood– answering the age-old question, “Where do babies come from?” Accomplished author/illustrator Sophie Blackall tackles this question in a beautifully rendered new picture book, The Baby Tree. My eight-year-old daughter and I had a little chat about the book, which we’ve enjoyed reading together, as well as about how she used to think babies originated. Check the video out over on 5 Minutes for Mom, and enter to win a copy of the book for yourself while you’re there! Now, let me tell you that I absolutely love this book. I’m already a huge fan of Blackall’s illustrative style, ink and watercolor pictures with a soft quality that immediately conveys tenderness. In this story, a young boy’s parents tell him that
Read the full article →
 


                                       

A Pet for Fly Guy

If you’ve never met Fly Guy and Buzz, the big-eyed friends in Tedd Arnold’s easy reader series, it might be that you have younger children who haven’t yet made the leap to that level of books. With his newest creation, picture book readers can join in the fun, too! A Pet for Fly Guy keeps all the lighthearted fun of the easy reader books in the picture book size and story format. After an opening introduction similar to those found in the other Fly Guy books, the unlikely friendship between young Buzz and his tiny buggy pal takes center stage. Like any friends, they love to hang out and play together, and in this story, they spend the day at the park doing just that. Soon they
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Frozen: The Junior Novelization

This past winter, Frozen, was the hit of the theaters. Everyone saw it, and I’m pretty sure everyone loved it. This is one of those movies you can’t see just once, and I know for a fact that we aren’t the only family who has seen it more than once – and bought the DVD the day it came out. You can’t watch movies every day, however, which is where Frozen: The Junior Novelization comes in handy. The junior novelizations are some of the wee ones’ favorite books. It takes their favorite movies and makes them into bite size version of just over 100 pages that retell the movie so they can relive it over and over even when I’ve said no to watching the actual
Read the full article →
 


                                       

How to Lose a Lemur

How to Lose a Lemur is one my new favorite picture books, for Frann Preston-Gannon has created a humorous adventure story with just the right combination of absurdity and heart. “Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a liking to you, there is not much that can be done about it.” This charming opening line accompanies a larger view of the illustration that can be seen on the cover- one of a slightly surprised young boy looking over his shoulder at a flower-wielding lemur whose cheeky grin shows off his adoration.  (The addition of lines for his teeth in the inside illustration makes the lemur even that more darling!) The boy tells the tale of the time he had a lemur fan, and how when
Read the full article →
 


                                       

5 Great Poetry Collections for Kids #NationalPoetryMonth

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. 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. 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. I Didn’t
Read the full article →
 


                                       

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
Read the full article →
 


                                       

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
Read the full article →
 


                                       

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
Read the full article →
 


                                       

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: Uh-oh. Here it comes. Here comes
Read the full article →