The Book Bag, Books for Ages 0 to 4 (November/December 2008)

Because books make such a wonderful holiday gift, we wanted to make sure that we published our Book Bags in time for you to select stories that kids are sure to love. Here are some of the fun infant and toddler stories we’ve read recently. Our thanks to Andrea and Mark of Just One More Book for their podcast reviews of seasonal titles.

Click the book’s title to read our review. Click the cover to connect with a bookseller. The Reading Tub uses its earnings from purchases to donate books to at-risk readers and keep the website subscription-free.

Animal Exercises – Poems to Keep Fit written by Mandy Ross and illustrated by Sanja Rescek. Get kids moving with these poems that take an animal’s movement to create an exercise. “You’ll find four great things in this book: sweet illustrations, fun movement, inspiring vocabulary, and a wide variety of animals.” (Child’s Play, 2008) Reading Level 2.1

Animals are Sleeping written by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Gary R. Phillips. This is a picture book with gorgeous illustrations of a variety of animals sleeping in their natural habitats. You’ll learn about animals that sleep standing up, upside down, underwater, and more. This rhyming picture book shows all types of animals and where they sleep. “Gorgeous pictures and wonderful depictions of animals make this a sweet book to read just before bed. The illustrations are almost frame-able.” (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2008) Reading Level 1.6

Baby Gym Series: Bounce & Jiggle and Wiggle & Move illustrated by Sanja Rescek “Stimulation is a key learning element for young infants. I love the rhymes and interactive play in this book. I would LOVE it for a new parent. The sturdy pages are designed to handle lots of reading. The colorful illustrations and interactive rhymes encourage ‘hands-on’ reading.” Note: Our reviewer also recommended these as good titles for a grandparent to refresh their memories on interactive reading. (Child’s Play, 2008) Reading Level 3.8 (high due to parental instructions attached to rhymes).

I Love You More than Rainbows by Susan E. Crites, illustrated by Mark Jarman and Rosemary Jarman. This colorful picture book opens with the first of many answers to a child’s never-ending search for the answer to the question “how much do you love me?” Throughout the book, the narrator explains how she (or he) loves the children in their life. “This is an over-sized picture book, and the children on the pages are larger-than-life, just like the love that is described in words. There are no adults in the pictures. This is a book to be shared with a child; there is nothing to indicate that it is a parent-child relationship.” (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008) Reading Level 1.6

If you haven’t visited JOMB lately, then you’re missing out on some great reviews. Andrea and Mark have started adding video to their reviews … just awesome. We’ve added a note for podcast reviews that also include video.

Cuddly Dudley written and illustrated by Jez Alborough. “A determined crowd of affectionate penguins, acres of cartoon ice floes and a healthy balance of group hugging and irritation make this slapstick story of sibling saturation a huge hit with the preschool crowd.” (Candlewick Press, 1995)

Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears written by Daniel Manus Pinkwater, illustrated byJill Pinkwater. “Chucked full of colour, wacky wording and two bad bears bent on blueberry muffins, this crazy book is wacky, arctic fun.” (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)

The Magic Hockey Stick written by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas, illustrated byPeter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas. “Ok, maybe we like this book more than our girls do. Without a single hockey-loving bone in our all-Canadian bodies we still can’t help swelling up with some huge, undefined emotion when we read this book. Oh, and our girls enjoy it too.” (Which Books, 2001)

Snow written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer “Welcoming snowscapes, glowing orange coziness and carefully, crafted verse capture our very personal yet wonderfully universal relationship with snow in this exquisite reflection on the fleeting sweetness of life.” (Harcourt, 2008) with video review

Snowsong Whistling written by Karen E. Lotz, illustrated by Elisa Klevin. “This beautiful book, packed with playful illustrations and cozy rhyme, invites us into winter with such joy I just can’t imagine an autumn without it.” (Puffin Books, 1997)


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