The Book Bag, Books for Ages 0 to 4, November/December 2007

This year, we have spent lots of time culling through our kids toys checking for recall notices. So for the coming holidays, why not pick a gift that isn’t likely to be sent back to the manufacturer?

Farmyard Jamboree by Margaret Read MacDonald. This book is inspired by a Chilean folktale. A young boy sings and dances his way from one family member to another, receiving new pets from each family member he meets. This is a cumulative story, in the vein of The House that Jack Built. “Kids have fun learning the names of adult and baby animals; the repetition through the song helps reinforce the learning. The Music CD is a real plus.” (Barefoot Books, 2006)

The Little Elephant with the Big Earache by Charlotte Cowan, MD. Eddie’s birthday party is just days away, but he has an earache. Dr. Hippo knew just how to help Eddie feel better! This picture book walks children through a visit to the doctor’s office and offers comfort (and a pamphlet) for dealing with earaches! “This is a story that every parent and child will appreciate. Rare is the child who hasn’t suffered not one earache. The Parent’s Guide in the back is a HUGE bonus!” (The Hippocratic Press, 2007) You can also hear a podcast interview with the author at Just One More Book!

The Prince’s Bedtime by Joanne Oppenheim. The King and Queen have tried EVERYTHING to make the prince go to sleep, but nothing worked. Then one night an old lady came to the gate. Does she have the answer to this problem? This picture book is a royal version of an every-day dilemma for many families. “As an adult, I enjoyed sharing this story. As a children’s librarian, I loved the ending!” (Barefoot Books, 2006)

From Just One More Book …

May I Pet Your Dog? by Stephanie Calmenson. Three adorable dogs and plenty of vicarious petting cleverly disguise the delivery of essential, clearly stated instructions for dealing with dogs — friendly and otherwise. If only instruction manuals were all so thrilling.