ages 6 – 9



                               

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Dawn wrote a fantastic post at 5 Minutes for Mom explaining what factors she uses when finding books for her own children and make recommendations to other people who ask. Please click through and read the post.



                               

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Looking for some good books for preschoolers to teens? Check out the #Cybils

Dawn and I were pleased to have the opportunity to serve as Cybils judges once again, Dawn for the Fiction Picture book category, and me in Middle-Grade Fiction. The results are in! The winners have been announced in categories from graphic novel, to app, to YA, fiction and non-fiction. Check them out for a good read with the perfect blend of literary merit and kid-appeal. I always look at the finalist lists as a special bonus. There are no losers, so be sure to check out the complete list of finalists for even more books to love.
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Unique Picture Books from Little Gestalten {Review & #Giveaway}

Last fall, Gestalten, a German publisher best known for art, architecture, photography, and design books, launched a U.S. imprint for children’s books. The selection available so far from Little Gestalten leaves me confident that they will be an incredible resource for interesting and appealing children’s literature, with a unique aesthetic. I received five of their new offerings for review, and all are up for grabs in today’s super giveaway. The Zoo’s Grand Opening: An ABC and Counting Book by Judith Drews (ages 3-8) A zookeeper and his assistant await the arrival of twenty-six animals for their newly built zoo at the beginning of this picture book. In rhyming verse, each animal is described with some subtle humor in the text and the illustrations. With each page turn, a new animal
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The Super Chef Contest, Geronimo Stilton

The wee ones have always been huge fans of Geronimo Stilton, the mouse who is the editor-in-chief at The Rodent’s Gazette, the most popular newspaper on Mouse Island, and a complete pushover when it comes to anyone in his family. The Super Chef Contest is the 58th book in the series, pseudonymously by Geronimo Stilton, and I’m constantly surprised by how each book explores a whole new avenue that exploits poor Geronimo while still coming up with a happy ending. The books are easy to read, and every one of them is great for early readers. They make reading fun, especially with the varying fonts and colors that help display emotion throughout the book. There are illustrations throughout the book, as well, that help break is
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Paddington in the Pages

Are your kids excited about the new Paddington movie? Judging from the previews, it veers from the book significantly, but I think it opens up the door to share some of the classic — or new — stories with them. Harper Collins sent me some new books with an obvious tie-in with the movie, some reprints and others all new, that are specially targeted to toddlers, preschoolers, and independent readers: Paddington Bear All Day Board Book and Paddington Bear Goes to Market Board Book are classic stories by Michael Bond reprinted for the first time as board books. They are slim books and a great 6 x 6 size, which would be perfect to slip into your purse or diaper bag. The stories are sweet
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Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

When nonfiction reads like a story, children can get lost in the story. In the case of Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls, I found I even needed to remind myself that this lyrically told, incredible story was in fact a true one. Children and adults alike, prepare to be amazed. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born with a significant physical deformity in his right leg. In his community in Ghana, there was little, if any, respect for people with disabilities. Though his father left, his mother had faith in his ability to overcome his disability and live a “normal” life. He learned to adapt- crawling and hopping to get around, shining shoes for money, and
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When Otis Courted Mama

Cardell is a young coyote quite content with his life. His “perfectly good” mama and daddy may not live together, but he’s happy with the time he gets to spend alone with his mother or with his father, stepmother, and younger stepbrother. As the title and cover illustration indicate, things get a little tricky for him when his mother has a new suitor. Kathi Appelt’s When Otis Courted Mama presents a child’s perspective on blended families and watching a parent date again. Cardell appreciates the special qualities of both of his parents, and as the text states, he’s “mostly used to” his living arrangements, split between his parents in different parts of the desert. His time with his mama isn’t shared with anyone, though, and the few coyotes
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Another Collection of Oxford Children’s Classics

As I type this, it’s late in the evening of December 14th, and my husband and I just said to each other, “We really should start Christmas shopping.” This is par for the course for us. What about you? Do you comfortably do some shopping in the week before Christmas, or do you start in July and finish by November? Regardless of when you begin shopping, books are always great gifts for the people in your life. I personally think all families should have their own copies of the classics, and most do, but often they are old tattered copies from the parents’ childhoods (true confession: our family tends to be like this). Oxford is continuing to republish children’s classics in fun, bright new editions,
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The Biggest Burp Ever, poems for kids by Kenn Nesbitt

I love funny poems, and my 10 year old son and I have been a big fan of Kenn Nesbitt’s for a long time (see below for our thoughts on his other books). Since he’s moved into self-publishing, the covers have changed, but the poems haven’t. They are still funny and relatable. The line drawings inside are from the same illustrator who did the cover I assume, but in black and white, they look much less juvenile and are great accompaniments to the poems. When my son began reading The Biggest Burp Ever: Funny Poems for Kids, he laughed (as always), and then called me over when he was reading “I Didn’t Go Camping.” This poem tells the story of all the things a child
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Smithsonian Discover and Young Explorers Series #Giveaway

If you’re still on the hunt for educational holiday gift ideas for the elementary school aged children in your life, the Smithsonian Discover and Young Explorers series give glimpses into themes of their world famous museums in book and puzzle form. Smithsonian Discover: Flight and Smithsonian Discover: Space are fabulous gifts for enthusiastic learners from about age 8 and up. Mixing historical information about the history of flight and scientific explanations for how various flight machines work, along with models for paper airplanes and even a large poster celebrating the concept of flight, Flight is a wonderful hands-on resource perfect for the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Space follows the same format with the inclusion of fact cards and a poster, as well, with the focus on aspects
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50 Years of Rudolph #Rudolph50 #Giveaway

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. The books
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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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