Just Like Daddy – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Just Like Daddy by Cecilia Johansson
Published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Animals! Tactile experience! Repetitive text! What more can you really want from a toddler’s board book?

Actually, Daniel is sort of over the tactile portion of this book, although younger children (he’s almost 19 months) may still enjoy it. Each page has an animal and his or her daddy, and some part of each animal’s fur is actually sort of soft and fuzzy. My favorite part about this book is that it goes into descriptors of each animal. For example, the giraffe: “feel the patterns on my skin, I stretch up high, I’m tall and thin.” Daniel’s favorite part, though, is the predictive text. At the end of each animal’s page, the text ends with “just like Daddy.” Here’s how it goes in my house:

Me: “…just like…”
Daniel: “DADDY!”

So fun! We love books where Daniel can participate in the ‘reading.’

As an indication of just how much he likes this book, Daniel actually stole “Just Like Daddy” from me while I was writing this, and flipped through it for at least 5 minutes saying, among other things “where’d daddy go?” and “tada daddy!”

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Sheep in a Jeep – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margaret Apple
Published by HMH Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Oh, these sheep and their jeep! They are not the most responsible of car owners. First their car stalls, then they push it into a big mud puddle. Finally, when the car has been removed by some friendly pigs, they are so elated that they forget to even steer and crash their jeep once again.

This is perhaps my very favorite book to read to Daniel. I absolutely love Shaw’s rhymes, everything flows perfectly. What I like best about “Sheep in a Jeep,” though is opportunity it gives me for vocal expression. Things start out peachy keen, but before long the sheep are shrugging, leaping, and grunting. It is great fun to read all of these descriptives with the appropriate inflection, plus it provides additional clues, besides simple context, for Daniel to learn this vocabulary. The most fun of all? Daniel definitely understands the book enough to know that unfortunate things are happening. The first word on page 2 is ‘uh oh,’ so he likes to shout that as soon as I flip from page one. He also adds his own commentary of ‘uh oh’ when the jeep ends up in a heap at the end of the book.

So much fun, and great for phonemic awareness. I just became aware when writing this post that there is a whole series of sheep books, where they get on a ship, go to a shop, take a hike. Daniel and I can’t wait to check them out.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear (audio) – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my new feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy, since we are definitely reading more than one book a week!

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle, narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow in English and Adriana Sananes in Spanish
Published by Macmillan Young Listeners, an imprint of Macmillan

“Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” companion or sequel to “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” Like “Brown Bear,” it has predictive text with each animal hearing another, which then hears another. In some ways, I actually prefer this one, because of the rich descriptions of animal noises (the boa constrictor ‘hissing,’ the elephant ‘trumpeting’). Plus, we’re huge Eric Carle fans around here, so anything he has written or illustrated is a big hit.

I will say, that even with my confidence in all things Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, I was a bit hesitant to try the audio book with Daniel. For one thing, I was totally unsure how Gwyneth Paltrow would do as a narrator. What I didn’t take into account was that she is a mom who clearly has lots of experience reading to her own young children, because she read with spot-on ‘mom reading to toddler’ enthusiasm, fun voices and all. Because of this, Daniel definitely enjoyed the experience of listening to the audiobook while sitting in my lap and having me turn the pages. It isn’t an option I would use frequently at this age, but I can see doing it when I have a sore throat or otherwise don’t feel well.

One nice thing, though, is that there are three different options on the audiobook, depending on what age and level reader you have. The first track is simply the book being read without any interruptions, which works well for reading the book with a parents or potentially for an older child who can read along or determine when to turn the page through animal cues. The second track would be wonderful for an emergent reader or even a pre-reader, as there is a chime to indicate when the page should be turned. I can even see Daniel being able to turn the page at each chime on his own in a few months. The third track is in Spanish for bilingual families, or, I suppose, simply if you wanted to expose your child to another language.

I really appreciate that we can pick up just the book itself, or add the cd if need be. Although I don’t think we need any more audiobooks for Daniel for the stage he is in, I can definitely see him growing into this format on his own as an older toddler or preschooler.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Is Your Mama a Llama? – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my new feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy, since we are definitely reading more than one book a week! Also, if anyone is interested in helping me make a button for this feature, please let me know.

Is Your Mama a Llama by Deborah Guarino, illustrated by Stephen Kellogg
Published by Scholastic

Is your mama a llama? That’s what little Lloyd wants to know from all of his little animal friends. Unsurpringly, most of their mamas are not llama, since he is asking seals, bats, and cows.

We read this book a lot. How much, you ask? A whole lot. Enough that when we took Daniel to the zoo and saw an alpaca, which looks like a small llama, and I was unable to stop myself from reciting this entire book from memory.

Luckily, Daniel isn’t the only one who likes “Is Your Mama a Llama.” It is a book I genuinely enjoy reading to him as well. I love the rhyme scheme. This book has a great cadence and therefore the words themselves are fun to read. Plus, “Is Your Mama a Llama” discusses the attributes of a handful of animals as Lloyd’s friends explain why they do not believe their mamas are llamas, so there is an educational aspect besides the literacy benefits of an engaging story and the phonemic awareness imparted by the rhyming.

Then there’s the fact that Stephen Kellogg is the illustrator, which would be just about enough to sell me on the book right there. Daniel has loved this book since he was twelve months old, but it is something I think we’ll be reading for years to come.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780590447256?aff=devourerofbooks

Baby Nose to Baby Toes – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my new feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy, since we are definitely reading more than one book a week! Also, if anyone is interested in helping me make a button for this feature, please let me know.

Baby Nose to Baby Toes by Vicki Ceelen
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House

I thought I’d kick this Saturday Story Spotlight into high gear to start and open with Daniel’s favorite book OF ALL TIME. Of course, ‘of all time’ in this case means just over 16 months, but still. We’ve been reading this book to him since he was about three months old, and it has been a consistent favorite for that entire time.

The basic format of this book pairs a baby in a given post/making a certain face with a similar image of an animal.

I enjoy the book for the rhythm of the words. I’ve found that occasionally the board books with pictures of real babies spend so much time on the image that the words seem as if they were mere afterthought with clunky cadence and overly forced rhyme. That is not the case here at all, everything flows very well.

It won’t be a surprise to anyone who has spent time around babies and toddlers that Daniel likes a book that has pictures of real babies, that seems to be a fairly universal. However, we have quite a few books with real babies in them and have borrowed even more from the library, and none has caught on like “Baby Nose to Baby Toes.” I think it is the juxtaposition of the babies with the animals that really draws him in. His favorite page reads “Baby’s clean as clean can get, puppy’s dripping, sopping wet.” It has a great picture of a baby in a bathtub, next to one of a wet Golden Retriever. Actually, I’m not sure if it is just his favorite picture in this book, it might be his favorite picture in any book he has ever read, he just loves that baby and that dog. He’ll sit with this book and just look at that page for 5+ minutes, occasionally telling me, “dog!” or “baby!”

Any book that a child can adore for over a year in a time when he is changing so rapidly is definitely one worth investing in, so I can very highly recommend “Baby Nose to Baby Toes.”

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.