Do you love Philip Stead as much as we do? If you adore A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE, A HOME FOR BIRD, and SAMSON IN THE SNOW, you absolutely must check out MUSIC FOR MISTER MOON, his latest and greatest!Read More
Looking for picture books about unicorns?If you have a unicorn obsessed little one at home, these great stories will give you major props in your house. So what are you waiting for? Check out these unicorn themed books, and grab a few today!Read More
What do you get when you combine an imaginative child with a mysterious night box? A book that will speak to any child who has created wondrous and imaginative scenarios in her head to explain some of our world’s most natural occurrences. Why does light turn to darkness? How does the sky change color? How does the sun know to come back out every morning? If you’ve been asked these questions, your kids are bound to fall in love with The Night Box, a fabulous, reassuring new story by Louise Greig and illustrated by Ashling Lindsay.
In The Night Box, the world gets ready for darkness. And as a young boy heads back to his home, he carries a single key in his hand. Whatever is it for? The boy heads to his room, readies himself for the evening, and sticks the key into the lock of a small box. When he opens it, Night pours out, the stars jump out and sparkle, and the world is blanketed in a sea of darkness, caring for all of its creatures until the morning. And when it’s time for sunrise? It’s time for Night to rest again.
We absolute adore this wonderful new book! From its lyrical prose to the beautiful illustrations to its gentle take on nightfall and daybreak, we fell in love with The Night Box from our very first read. If you have a child at home who gets nervous about the dark or worked up before bed, try this story. It is calming to read, adding a sense of tranquility and peace to a time that can be fraught with anxiety. Not only that- it will undoubtedly inspire wonder in your little ones, and they will be so curious about the Night Box (is it real? Can I get one? Can we buy it on Amazon?!?) that it may help distract them from them their own worries about bedtime and darkness. Two trunks up for this one- one of our new favorite bedtime books!!
Did you like this book? Let us know on our Facebook page, and make sure to like us there! if you liked this post, make sure to check out these, too. Why? Because we know you will love them! Favorite Bedtime Books, Favorite Books to Spark Your Child’s Imagination and Favorite Picture Books of 2018.
Want the book? Get it here! The Night Box, by Louise Greig and illustrated by Ashling Lindsay. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received a review copy of this book, but all opinions are expressly our own.
Children’s Books About Imagination are the best ways to help your kids’ imaginations set soar! If you want to inspire creativity in your kids, this list of funny, zany, and dreamy books is the one for you!Read More
Oh my gosh, do I have a new favorite bedtime book! So you know I like funny books as much as the next one, but my heart is always with beautifully illustrated picture books (especially when they showcase our diverse world!), lyrical writing and a plot that inspires wonder and imagination. And this is precisely why I fell madly in love with Time for Bed, Miyuki, by Roxanne Marie Galliez and illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh. The book tackles a universal problem (I mean, do any of you not struggle getting your kids down at bedtime?!) and is set against an exquisite backdrop adorned with images depicting Japanese culture on every page.
In Time for Bed, Miyuki, sweet Miyuki just doesn’t want to go to sleep, despite her grandfather’s pleas. Why? There are too many things to do, like water the vegetables, gather the snails and prepare for the arrival of the Dragonfly Queen. With gentleness and patience, her grandfather indulges Miyuki’s antics until finally, she is ready for bed and sleep overtakes her.
Time for Bed, Miyuki is utterly captivating, both visually and lyrically. Children and parents alike will be enchanted by the story within the story, by the magical, detailed illustrations, and by Miyuki’s sweet and oh-so-familiar stalling techniques that so many kids employ night after night. It doesn’t matter where you live, bedtime for children around the world is always met with resistance! The tenderness between Miyuki and her grandfather shines and is sure to inspire the sweetest of slumbers as you kiss your little ones on the forehead and tuck them in for the night. A fun, whimsical beauty — my very favorite kind of book. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Time for Bed, Miyuki by Roxanne Marie Galliez. *This is an affiliate link.
I remember the first time I saw art. I was 10 years old, and my family and I had traveled to Paris. We were at the Musee d’Orsay, where I came face to face with Edgar Degas’ exquisite Dancers in Blue painting. Oh my gosh, did it blow me away. I’d seen art before, of course, but I’d never really SEEN it before, if that makes sense. I’d never had a visceral reaction to it, never realized the transcendent power of a painting to stir your soul and really make you feel. But that day, I experienced it. And I was taken right back to this memory of 29 years ago the second I picked up the stunning new picture book Imagine, by Raul Colon.
Imagine is a wordless wonder, a stunningly illustrated picture book showcasing the day one young boy discovers art. Though he has passed by museums in Manhattan many times prior, on this particular day he decides to walk in to the Museum of Modern Art. The boy studies painting after wondrous painting, until he stops at one. And as he ponders that one painting, and then another, the figures in these famous works come to life, jump off the canvases and into the real world, and join the boy on an adventure. The boy’s afternoon is thus filled with exploration and wonder as he and his new friends discover all of the excitement New York City has to offer. He is left transformed.
Oh, what a beauty Imagine is, and what a glorious tribute to the transcendent power of art. This exquisite book is a powerful way to introduce children to artistic expression and creativity as well as some of the world’s most prominent artists. The paintings celebrated within Imagine’s pages include Pablo Picasso’s Three Magicians, Henry Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy, and Henri Mattise’s Icarus. The book moves fluidly from page to page, leaving readers dazzled and delighted as the boy and his new friends experience New York’s many icons. Imagine is a true beauty and a powerful testament to the power of art to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. Imagine gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from our team!
Want the book? Get it here! Imagine, by Raul Colon. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are our own.
I was tremendously close with my grandparents, and so it is that I have a tremendously large soft spot for books depicting intergenerational relationships -- or the ways in which a grandparent's legacy may impact a child's life, adventures or imagination. Ocean Meets Sky, the newest book by the indomitable Fan Brothers, is the most stunning ode to the love one young boy holds for his grandfather and the manner in which the boy chooses to honor his grandfather's memory. Oh, my heart!
In Ocean Meets Sky, Finn decides to honor what would have been his beloved grandfather's 90th birthday by finding a faraway place he learned of from his grandfather's tales - the magical space where ocean meets sky. Finn builds a boat as he had planned to do with his grandfather, preparing to set off on his journey. Before he leaves though, he falls asleep in the boat. Finn awakens to find himself out at sea, and a massive golden fish discovers Finn and leads him to the precise destination described in his grandfather's tales. Finn is guided through one magical marvel after another, only to eventually be beckoned home by his mother's call. When he reaches the seashore Finn knows he's been transformed, and thanks to his grandfather, he experienced the most magical adventure.
Ocean Meets Sky is as stunning in word as it is in illustration. Sparse text allows the exquisitely detailed pictures to impart much of the magic of the story. Reading this feels akin to being in a lush dream, where library islands ignite imagination and boats can take off for the sky. I love the premise of this story- of Finn’s longing to find the magical place known only from his grandfather’s stories, and the Fan Brother’s stunning illustrations will leave children not just spellbound and curious, but totally and utterly captivated. Watch your children and students marvel over each illustration and share their own ideas of what they see on these pages. Ocean Meets Sky will invite them in and grip them with its magic.
Want the book? Get it here! Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced copy of this book, but all opinions contained herein are expressly our own.
There's this funny thing about kids today that I don't really remember from when I was younger. Everyone seems to be overscheduled. Between sports practice and tutors and language lessons and music lessons and theater lessons and voice lessons, when do we expect our children to play? Play, after all, is what childhood is all about - that's where the magic happens, where kids come into their own and learn who they are and develop cognitively, emotionally, creatively, and even physically. Perhaps that's why I so loved Moon, the new book written and illustrated by Alison Oliver, illustrator of the prominent babylit board book series.
In Moon, Moon is a young girl who leads a busy, busy life between school, homework, music lessons and other afterschool activities. One night, though, she goes astray when she happens upon a wolf. The wolf takes her deep into the forest where Moon gets a little lesson in letting loose -- how to be wild, how to be free, and how to howl. And once she learns how good it feels to live a little, Moon doesn't want to let go.
Oh, what a joyous book Moon is! At a time when our children seem to carry the world on their shoulders, this is a glorious story reminding both kids and parents alike to take a step back, breathe, and play. Today's society seems to be putting way too much pressure on children to succeed at such tender young ages, and we are forgetting a very basic but extremely important notion: let them be little! Let kids be KIDS! With its simple text and stunning illustrations, Moon is a lovely celebration of play, nature, and the revitalizing affect that embracing our inner wild can have on our well-being.
Want the book? Get it here! MOON, by Alison Oliver. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced copy of this book, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.
It's Wednesday, and I decided to join in the #wordlesswednesday fun today, because I have some new gorgeous wordless books that I can't wait to share. I know, I know. Wordless books can be intimidating, no doubt. But a good wordless book is worth its weight in gold. Why? With no words, children have to study the illustrations to pick up on story elements. They use their own language to tell the story, and they experiment with beginnings, middles and endings. Through details in the story, kids pick up on important tools such as emotions, weather, and catalysts for particular actions taken by the characters. And most importantly, kids are able to use the powers of their own imaginations in connection with the illustrations to tell their rendition of the story.
Wallpaper, by Thao Lam, is an absolute wonder! This is the story of a young girl who moves with her family to a new home. Outside her window, the child sees some other kids her age in a treehouse, but she is too scared to say hello. With nothing else to do, she picks at a torn piece of wallpaper in her room, and a fantastical journey suddenly ensues. What happens when she discovers a monster on her journey? She's scared, of course, until she realizes the monster simply needs a friend. And he may be just the creature to give her a hefty dose of courage to survive her new circumstances.
If you are new to wordless books, Wallpaper is DEFINITELY one to begin with -- and I don't say that lightly. The collaged illustrations, to start, are breathtaking. Wallpaper also has a clear beginning, middle and end, making it easy for kids to explain what they believe is happening. More importantly, however, the illustrations are concrete enough to give important context, but whimsical enough that kids can be creative with the story. Wallpaper is a unique, and uniquely beautiful, approach to the classic subject of making friends, and I cannot wait to share this one with my students.
Want the book? Get it here! Wallpaper, by Thao Lam. *This is an affiliate link.
If you are interested in additional wordless books, make sure to check out our reviews for these fabulous options: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell, The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee, and Pool, by JiHyeon Lee.
I always wanted a treehouse as a child -- a treehouse with a staircase to the sky, where I could watch the world like a robin, read my books, and write my stories. It never happened, though. The swaying palm trees in our backyard weren't the most conducive for such a hideaway, my parents told me, so I had to resort to reading about them instead. Oh, how I wish I had Everything You Need for a Treehouse back then! It would have been the perfect antidote for my treehouse-less backyard. Why? Because it is just as magical as I imagine the real thing to be. Magical and mysterious and, no ifs ands or buts about it, absolutely perfect.
In Everything You Need for a Treehouse, lyrically written by Carter Higgins and exquisitely illustrated by Emily Hughes, readers are given "instructions" on what they need to build a treehouse, beginning with time, a look up, and a hefty imagination. The book breathes life into each and every requirement for the house - from gnarled timber to making sure it's tall enough to see sun speckles up close, to a swing and rope and "twisted twine of spun sugar and sap." Together, the story and illustrations sing. Together, they spark magic, ignite imagination, and capture the enchantment and wonder a treehouse rouses in children and adults alike.
Everything You Need for a Treehouse is genius. It's cadence is impeccable, making it a read aloud gem for storytime. The language and vocabulary is challenging yet accessible, so it works just as well for older elementary children as it does for the younger set. The illustrations are unbelievably breathtaking, with details to pore over on every page. And the lyrical prose reads like a dream, one you want to immerse yourself in again and again. Simply put: I may not have had a treehouse as a child, but, my goodness, I certainly do now. Everything You Need for a Treehouse is pure picture book perfection. Without a doubt, this is my favorite release of 2018 to date. Don't walk, run to the bookstore to get this beauty today!
Want the book? Get it here! Everything You Need for a Treehouse, by Carter Higgins. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced copy of this book, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.
I love walking outside and feeling a gentle breeze on my neck. Even better, I love a blustery, drizzly day, when you can watch the wind whip leaves into a frenzy, all while snuggled under a blanket on the couch with a steaming cup of coffee in your hands. I never actually took the time to think about the wind though - especially how important it is to have structures or trees to break it. Not until I read Kate, Who Tamed the Wind, that is, the fabulous new book written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Lee White.
In Kate, Who Tamed the Wind, an old man lives at the tippy-top of a steep, steep hill where a strong wind blows and blows, turning his world upside down and leaving him throwing his hands up in frustration. What to do with all this wind that bangs his shutters and bends his boards and spills his tea? A young girl in an itty-bitty town at the bottom of the hill finds the man's hat that blew out of his house - and after hearing his cry of "what to do?!" carrying on the wind, she finds a solution, too.
I am so in love with the way the prose in this book almost feels like the wind is blowing through the pages. The words are lyrical, the rhythm of the text is musical, and reading it aloud is pitch perfect. This is a beautifully illustrated, breezy story to read with students interested in or learning about ecology. But that's not all -- I love the way it explores friendship, problem solving, and ingenuity, too. Kate, Who Tamed the Wind is perfect -- not just for Earth Day, but all year round. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Kate, Who Tamed the Wind, by Liz Garton Scanlon. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced copy of this book, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.
Oh how I love books about strong, geeky, girl inventors! Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe will now sit on our shelves alongside books like Rosie Revere, Engineer, Ada Twist, Scientist and The Most Magnificent Thing for its quirky, spunky protagonist. Magnolia Mudd is a girl who would prefer to tinker with gizmos and gadgets in an effort to launch a wedding bouquet high into the air rather than walk that same bunch of flowers down an aisle in a girly dress. What a romp this adorable story is!
In Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe, written by Katey Howes and fabulously illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti, Magnolia Mudd is devastated when she learns her favorite inventor, Uncle Jamie, is marrying Miss Emily. Miss Emily, simply put, ruins everything. When Magnolia is asked to be in their wedding, her uncle promises that being a flower girl isn't the only important job in a wedding. With help from none other than Miss Emily, Magnolia designs the best ever bouquet launcher that utilizes a heck of a lot of Mudd power. Maybe just a little too much...
Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe is an adorably fun read that subverts traditional gender roles and lets girls be the star of the STEM show. From her laboratory to her sketches to the fractions and space posters hanging in her room, Magnolia stands out as a plucky character who will not be held back by frilly dresses or fancy ribbons when there are nuts and bolts to be tightened. This is a must for your library collections, and especially for those girls who prefer bolts to barbies and blasters to bouquets. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe, by Katey Howes. HEE received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.
This book blew me away on the first read through, with its striking illustrations, its fabulous pacing, and its breathtakingly phenomenal voice. Wow. Crown, An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon James, was a window book like none other, a story about a young African-American boy who goes to the barbershop to get a haircut and walks out feeling like a million dollars. I remember being a young kid and sitting down in the hairstylist's chair vividly, but my experiences were wholly different then the one described in this vibrant story. As a child, I cried every time I looked into the mirror at the end of my cut when I was struck with a horrible realization: my hair was not long, not blonde and certainly not straight like Rapunzel's. Instead, it was mousy brown and more akin to Medusa than any Disney princess, with thin ringlets bouncing like a halo all around my little head. But this book, to think of how amazing this child felt every time he went to the barber - it was so poignant and immediately brought tears to my eyes.
In Crown, a boy walks into the barbershop. He saunters in "as a lump of clay, a blank canvas." But when the man has finished the cut, the boy looks so fly, "they'll want to post [him] up in a museum." The story moves seamlessly through the child's experience as the man drapes him like a king with a cape and then single handedly transforms him -- and his confidence -- with a new hairdo.
Crown is an absolute force. It firmly grounds the reader in the setting, right in the center of all that magic, where children become royalty alongside the other men visiting the shop that day. From the very first page, the very first sentence, Barnes transports the reader right into that barbershop culture through vivid details that come to life with brilliant authenticity. It is a celebration of self-confidence and self-worth, a beautiful window into a snippet of a boy's day that transforms him and makes him feel recognized and powerful. The voice, the word choice, the rhythm - it's all astonishingly perfect. Crown is a powerful read that should be in every classroom and every library around the country -- and in your homes too. An eye opener, a winner, a joy. Two trunks up!
Want a copy? Get it here: Crown, by Derrick Barnes. HEE received a review copy from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.
Another fabulous story about the power of words! You know these types of books are my absolute favorite, and this year's release, Lexie the Word Wrangler written by Rebecca Van Slyke with illustrations by Jessie Hartland, is absolutely darling - a fun, fresh cowgirl spin on the alphabet and the meaning of words.
In Lexie the Word Wrangler, Lexie is the best Word Wrangler West of the Mississippi. She watches over baby letters as they develop into words, she ties short words together to create long ones, she ties words together to form sentences and then she throws sentences together to create paragraphs-- and stories! But what happens when letters and words go missing? Lexie realizes she has a word rustler to contend with-- and she must track him down before he creates a ruckus!
Lexie the Word Wrangler is creative wordplay at its best, and it will undoubtedly have kids mesmerized by the manner in which a word's definition can change so drastically by the addition (or removal) of a single letter. It is action packed, with engaging childlike illustrations begging to be pored over due to the unique details highlighting the words used on every page. Add to this Van Slyke's usage of compound words and anagrams, and it makes for a fabulous complement to any lesson on the component parts of words, vocabulary, and creative writing. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Lexie the Word Wrangler, by Rebecca Van Slyke. *This is an affiliate link.
Everyone's favorite pesky chicken and aggravated alligator are back! If your kids roared with laughter over Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to be in This Book), then I have absolutely no doubt they will adore the sequel, Snappsy the Alligator and his Best Friend Forever! (Probably), by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Tim Miller, even more. In this sequel, Snappsy is grumpier than ever and the chicken is as bothersome as ever. The result? Your kids will be in stitches. I promise.
In Snappsy the Alligator and his Best Friend Forever! (Probably), a pesky chicken is determined to convince Snappsy that the two animals are - you guessed it - best friends forever. The chicken, who we come to learn is named Bert, has a slight tendency to exaggerate -- both about Snappsy's stellar achievements and the status of the animals' relationship. When Bert decides its high time to plan for their Best Friends Sleepover, it takes some pretty heavy convincing to get Snappsy to cooperate. Why? Snappsy, of course, much prefers quiet evenings by himself. But once he finally gets Bert to leave him alone, Snappsy decides that maybe, just maybe, his solitude isn't so much fun after all.
Talk about determination! I love that pesky Bert. I love his wild imagination, his devotion to Snappsy, and how he recognizes that Snappsy needs a friend before Snappsy even realizes it himself. But most of all, I love Bert's staunch commitment to his goal. He will befriend that cantankerous alligator! Both Snappsy books, with their vibrant cartoon art and word bubbles, make for rollicking read alouds. Whether it's one adult reading, or two kids acting out these hilarious and expressive characters, Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever! (Probably) is sure to be as big a hit as the first book, if not even bigger. One thing is for sure -- while Snappsy and Bert may struggle to find their rhythm, Falatko and Miller have their dynamic down pat. What a duo this team is! We can't wait to see what they have in store for us next. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever! (Probably), by Julie Falatko. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced review copy of this book, however all opinions contained herein are expressly our own.
All of us in education know that a big part of the first several weeks of school involves establishing classroom rules and expectations for the year. So let's be honest here: This is hardly the most enjoyable topic for adults to address, and it is certainly a snoozer for kids and students. But it's not just important -- it's a must -- so why not kick this discussion off with an adorable book? Enter If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Dont!, by Elise Parsley.
Magnolia is back, starring in her third book! In If You Ever Want to Bring A Circus to the Library, Don't!, Magnolia advises her librarian that she will definitely abide by appropriate library behavior while there on a visit. But then Magnolia begins tight-rope walking, twirling and engaging in other circus antics around the library, and though she elicits great cheers from the other library patrons, the librarian is totally dismayed. When Magnolia's grand finale cannon-ball across the stacks is a total disaster, she discovers that the only other way to win back her fans is-- you guessed it -- by reading a magical book.
Whether you want to talk about expectations for the classroom, for the library, or even your own home, If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! is a fantastic book to get that conversation started with your young children. It's a light, fun read, one that will undoubtedly make your kids laugh while simultaneously reinforcing some important rules. There's nothing kids love more than recognizing they know something valuable that a character in a story is totally missing-- and nothing gives them a greater sense of joy than yelling to characters in a book when they are doing something wrong!
Want the book? Get it here! If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't!, by Elise Parsley. *This is an affiliate link.
Ahoy! If you've got tween readers at home who love pirates, sword fighting and rip-roaring escapades with the most courageous adventurers and swashbucklers, look no further than Stephen Bramucci's debut novel, The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo, illustrated by the great Arree Chung. Let's be honest- you all know I'm a lover of literary fiction and character driven stories, even when it comes to middle grade works. But since I now have a school full of pirate, adventure loving students on my hands, I know it's time for me to branch out. I picked up Steve's new book with bated breath-- and I absolutely loved it. I was hooked from the very first paragraph.
In The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo, young Ronald Zupan touts himself as a master adventurer. There's only one problem-- he hasn't actually been on any grand or daring journeys. When his world traveling parents are kidnapped, Ronald knows he is the only one to save them. So he slaps on his fake mustache, grabs his pet cobra, and teams up with both his butler, Jeeves, and his fencing nemesis, Julianne Sato. Off they go to the the jungles of Borneo, where his parents were last spotted. Will their adventure end in success, or will they be outwitted by Zeetan Z, the worlds most ruthless pirate? There's only one way to find out!
If your tweens love fast-paced adventure stories complete with pirates, orangutans with wicked aim, snow leopards, giants, secret caves and sword fights, look no further than The Danger Gang. But don't be fooled by the swashbuckling escapades alone. Ronald Zupan also learns quite a bit about himself on his daring journey- starting with the fact that impressing others and pulling out all the stops isn't always the way to win the battle. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race-- even if it means your most sophisticated and spectacular talents won't steal the show. Ronald's loyalty to his team and steadfast devotion to his parents shines throughout the book, making this one of our summer favorites and a winner for young adventurers everywhere.
Want the book? Get it now, matey! The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo, by Stephen Bramucci. And guess what? There’s a sequel! If you loved the first book, make sure to check out the second one too, Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts. *These are affiliate links. HEE received review copies of this book from the publisher, but all opinions contained herein are our own.