Posted in Book Review

Never Touch a Dinosaur!

I am always searching for board books that have lots of textures for my son to explore. Today, I discovered a board book with incredible, textured pages!

Never Touch a Dinosaur by Rosie Greening is the perfect book for a baby or toddler to explore. Each of the dinosaurs in this book have silicone designs. These silicone designs are highly textured and provided my son with endless entertainment today. It was an instant new favorite!

In addition to being a tactile delight, this book has vibrant multicolored words. The pages contain words that are in different colors, fonts, and sizes.

I will note that some of the words are written in cursive in this book. My six year old kept having to chase me around with the book to ask for help with reading the cursive words. I decided this was a great opportunity for her to practice reading cursive, but I could see it being a feature that frustrated a parent.

Stuart Lynch did an excellent job bringing to life the colorful dinosaurs with his illustrations. The dinosaurs are not scary, rather they are downright adorable. The dinosaurs in this book are smiling or making silly faces. They are brightly colored and have different patterns as well.

In addition to its fantastic visual and tactile design, this book is fun for kids to read. The book does not contain a storyline. Instead, each page features a unique set of instructions and warnings about the dangers of petting various types of dinosaurs.

The book also rhymes which makes it fun for kids as well. I will note, however, that some of the rhymes fall a little short of my expectations. For example, the book tries to count “good-bye” and “by” as a rhyming pair.

Never Touch a Dinosaur is approximately 116 words long, so it might be more challenging for a young infant or toddler to sit through. My son seemed amused enough with touching the pages to listen to the whole book. I could see a child potentially getting antsy though.

I would caution that this book does seem to be cheaply constructed. I do not anticipate that the binding on this book would last for a particularly long time. Also, while the silicone textures on the dinosaurs are great to touch, I doubt they are particularly durable. I recommend supervising a young child while they have this book to ensure they do not tear off a piece of silicone. It would concern me as a possible choking hazard.

Despite some of the drawbacks of this book, I still recommend reading this book with your child if they are between 0 to 5 years old. It is a silly book with a sensational design that draws kids in.

After finishing this book, we have now read 492 books of our 1,000 book goal.

Goodnight everyone!

Posted in Book Review

Charlotte Brontë for Babies!

Thanks to Jennifer Adams, the author of Jane Eyre A Counting Primer, you can introduce your baby or toddler to a Charlotte Brontë inspired counting book! If you are a literature nerd like me, this discovery will clearly excite your soul.

This twenty page board book covers numbers one to ten. This book contains approximately seventy words. Despite being a short counting book, it incorporates three direct quotes from the book Jane Eyre. The book also includes words, such as Thornfield Hall and Mr. Rochester.

Overall the book features a much darker color palette than I normally look for in a board book; however, neon colors would have ruined the beauty of this book. The colors while dark are still intense. My son was intrigued by this book despite the dark colors. I thought the illustrations by Alison Oliver were beautifully executed.

Now, I do feel it is necessary to highlight that this book does NOT contain a simplified baby version of the Jane Eyre novel. It merely includes some random words and quotes from the Jane Eyre book. The book has a Jane Eyre vibe, but will give your child ZERO insight into the actual story contained in Jane Eyre.

It is challenging for me to identify the appropriate age range for this particular book. At first glance, it is a simplistic counting book that contains short lines such as “1 governess. ” This makes it an ideal book for a child who is 0 to 3 years old. Upon further reflection though, my 8 year old daughter had no idea what a governess was. Both my 6 and 8 year old also needed help understanding two of the three quotes that were included from the actual Jane Eyre novel. The inclusion of more advanced words, like peruse, means that this book can still challenge a child who is a newer reader.

Ultimately, I used this book as a stepping stone to get my two older children interested in learning about Charlotte Brontë and her novel, Jane Eyre. We are now heading back to the library to find an illustrated and abridged children’s version of Jane Eyre.

Overall, if you were a fan of Jane Eyre, I would recommend reading this book with your child if they are between ages 0 to 5. Just please remember I warned you this book will NOT teach your child the Jane Eyre story.

Posted in Book Review

In the Woods

I will readily admit that I would have never picked In the Woods up from the library shelf if my son had not personally handed it to me. At first glance, this book’s cover did not contain the elements I look for when selecting our board books. The cover does not contain the bold, high contrast, and colorful imagery I gravitate towards; rather, it features a more subtle color palette. Even the title uses a muted yellow and not the big bold fonts I usually select.

My son, however, had unmistakably crawled over to the book cubes, looked over several books, and emerged victorious with THIS book. Clearly, this meant the book was coming home with us.

Once we arrived home, we cuddled up to read this twenty-two page board book. The first four pages did not contain any story line, rather each page simply had pictures and two words. For example, page one featured a picture of trees on a hill. The only words on page one are “sky” and “hills.” After these initial four pages, the story begins to unfold.

In the Woods by Elizabeth Spurr uses basic two word sentences, such as “Fish wiggles.” to tell the story of a boy who goes fishing. After catching a fish, the boy and his father roast the fish over a campfire. Afterwards they both enjoy other camping activities before falling asleep in their tent.

The story was perfect for my ten month old because it was incredibly short. The whole book is only forty-five words long. Each page contains only two to four words, which meant we were able to move through each page easily without my son losing interest.

After reading this book, I acknowledge that it contains a charming, sweet story about a son and his father bonding together beside a river. This book would be an excellent choice for a father and his young son to read together. The illustrations by Manelle Oliphant while subdued are picturesque and match the tone of the story beautifully.

I would recommend this book for children who are 0-3 years. This book would also be a perfect option for a child who is just starting to learn how to read.

Posted in Book Review

An Introduction to Peter Rabbit

I grew up listening to the beloved stories of Beatrix Potter and I wanted to introduce my baby to her books. The full length Beatrix Potter books are just too long for my ten month old to sit through. I was ecstatic to stumble upon Hello Peter!

Hello Peter! is a ten page board book that my son can easily enjoy even on his most hyper days. This book only contains thirty-three words which makes it a quick read.

This book is beautifully illustrated just like the classic Peter Rabbit books I remember reading as a child. My son enjoys looking at the pictures in this book. Based on the short length of this book and its incredibly simplistic writing style, I would recommend this book for children under two years old. An older child would likely be bored with this book.

After our reading today, we have officially read 470 books!

Posted in Book Review

Sloths, Monkeys, Parrots, and More!

Our children’s librarian recommended that I check out Riddle Diddle Rainforest by Diane Z. Shore and Deanna Calvert. This interactive flap book provides readers with rhyming riddles that they are supposed to solve. Using the clues, children are able to guess who is hiding under the flaps.

This book has five different animals hiding in it. Monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, parrots, and boa constrictors are all hiding out in this colorful riddle book. If your child is scared of snakes, you may want to skip this book or at least skip the last two pages.

Riddle Diddle Rainforest contains 150 words which makes it a longer board book than my ten month old likes to sit through. The riddles are about twenty words long which makes this book better suited to toddlers and younger children. Obviously my ten month old son does not understand the book, but I would absolutely re-read this book to him when he is between ages 2 and 5.

This book is an excellent choice for kids who enjoy solving riddles. My six and eight year old both used this book to practice their reading this morning. This book contained an ideal mix of easy to read words and more challenging words, such as “dweller” and “victor.”

I would recommend this book for children who are ages 2 to 5 years old.

Posted in Book Review

Peace, Love, and Woodstock!

I stumbled upon a wonderfully psychedelic board book at my local library. Woodstock, Baby! A Far-Out Counting Book contains twenty pages that are jam-packed full of bright colorful illustrations. Spencer Wilson, the illustrator, created a quirky child-friendly book with a 60s feel. This counting book has hippies, bell-bottoms, peace signs, and flower crowns galore!

This counting book only contains seventy words which makes it easy to read to a young baby. Woodstock, Baby! would also be an appropriate book to read to a toddler or young child who is learning to count to ten. With my six and eight year old, this book served as a way to pique their interest in the 60s. We are lucky enough to have a local museum right down the street that has a 60s exhibit that is perfect for my kiddos to explore.

Overall, if you want to share some 60s nostalgia with your little one this is the perfect board book! I think this book is best suited for children who are between 0 to 3 years old.

Posted in Book Review

Words and Fingerprints

Alphaprints Words by Roger Priddy is a tactile treasure for a baby or toddler. This ten page board book contains colorful pictures. Each picture has a raised fingerprint design which makes the book really exciting for a baby to explore. My ten month old is obsessed with running his finger over the designs.

This book is perfect for teaching a baby or toddler new words. Each page features one word that is paired with an image. Some of the words included in this book are boy, ball, and apple.

To further increase the usefulness of this book, we actually used a pen to write in the Hungarian translations of the book. If you are also trying to raise a bilingual baby, this book is easily translated into a second language.

Even though I love this book, I do feel it is necessary to point out this book is only ten words long. It is INCREDIBLY short. I was lucky enough to pick this book up for $1.49 at Ollie’s. I think that is a reasonable price for the book given how short it is. Had I paid more for this book, I would likely have been disappointed.

If you are looking for a short word book to explore with your baby, I recommend this book.

My kiddos are all fast asleep now, so I just checked our progress. As of today, my son and I have read 405 books together!

Posted in Book Review

Baby Loves Quantum Physics!

I saw Baby Loves Quantum Physics on the shelf at the library today and INSTANTLY my inner nerd rejoiced! I thought I misread the title BUT no. There really is a board book in existence called Baby Loves Quantum Physics!

Just what is this book about? This book presents a modified twist on Schrödinger’s cat. Rather then featuring a cat that might be considered both alive and dead, the author, Ruth Spiro, makes the book more child friendly by presenting the cat as potentially being both asleep and awake.

This colorful twenty page board book was features an adorable baby girl and her cat. Candidly, the first nine pages seem like a perfectly typical story about a cat that likes to meow and play hide-and-seek. It is not until page ten that the cat hides in a box. The pages then slowly build up to the two pages that present a child friendly introduction to the idea of Schrödinger’s cat.

While this book’s title might initially scare a parent away from picking this book up from a shelf, there is no reason to be intimidated. This book is more of a cute story about a cat than it is an early science book.

Even if you and your child are not the nerdy scientific types, this is still a great board book for a child ages 0 to 4 years. This book features large colorful pages that quickly attract a child’s attention. Additionally this book is only seventy-one words long, which makes it a quick read. Besides what parent doesn’t want to brag about how their baby loves Quantum Physics? 😊

Posted in Book Review

Terrific Toucans!!!!

My kids are obsessed with animal books, so we are always on the hunt for new animal books. Lately, I have been on the prowl to find more non-fiction animal books that the girls can read on their own. Today, I found a fantastic book that was perfect for my six and eight year old to read – Toucans by Rob Ryndak.

This twenty-four page book is part of the Jungle Animals series. These early readers are perfect for children who are between ages five and eight. Specifically this book is designed to be for an early reader.

Every time the reader turns a page, they are greeted with one page containing easy to read text and an adjacent page featuring a stunning toucan photograph. Most of the pages contain four to six words, which makes this an ideal book for practicing reading.

This is a non-fiction book that introduces very basic facts, such as toucans live in groups called flocks. This book focuses more on being easy enough for an early reader to tackle, then it does on presenting a wealth of information about toucans. This book would be ideal if your child wanted to read a book about toucans on their own; however, this would not be the book you would get for a child who wanted to learn a lot about toucans.

At the end of the book, there is a section listing words the reader should know. While there were only two words in this word bank, it did provide my girls with an extra opportunity to practice their reading. I also quizzed them by asking them to define these two words.

As an added bonus, even my ten month old son was captivated by the photographs in this book. My son listened to the whole book, although it was a battle to keep him from eating the pages! Because the entire book only contains sixty-seven words, you could easily read this book to a baby or toddler. You just have to protect the book from teething and page tearing.

I would highly recommend this book to any parents searching for a non-fiction animal book for their early reader!

Posted in Book Review

Colors!!!!

Baby Touch and Feel Colors which was written by Carrie Love and designed by Rachel Hare embodies the perfect marriage of colorful imagery and fun textures. This twelve page book is a sensory delight for a baby.

This book features nine different textures. For example, on page six the orange fruit has a rough bumpy skin. An additional bonus feature are the three pages that have bold glittery images. My son was mesmerized by this book. He kept going back to the book to open it and to touch the different textures.

This book only contains thirty-seven words making it ideal for even a young infant. This book would also be perfect though for a child who was learning their colors or who is learning to read. The pages feature concise text such as “furry teddy bear” and “brown.”

My six year old read this book as part of her nightly reading homework. It had words that were easy to sound out like “skin” but it also contained words that challenged her like “silky.” Much like my son, she loved the pictures and the sparkly pages.

Overall, I give this board book a five star rating. It is definitely worth reading to your little one!

Now that my little guy is fast asleep, I also looked at our total of the day. We read 31 books today. This means we have 635 books left to read!