Llama Llama Red Pajama – 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.

Llama Lllama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin

After reading Llama Llama a story, Mama Llama puts him to bed and go downstairs. Not quite ready to go to sleep, Llama Llama wants a drink. Well, actually, he just wants his Mama Llama to come back and keep him company. So Llama Llama begins to call and cry for his mother.

I’m sure most little kids can relate to Llama Llama here, not wanting yet to go to sleep, just wanting Mommy or Daddy to come and cuddle, and not getting it. Mama Llama has things that need to be done while Llama Llama is in bed, so she doesn’t return immediately, but when she does return, she reassures her little Llama Llama that she is always around, even when she isn’t immediately present.

Daniel has decreed this his new favorite book. “Do you want to read XYZ?” “No! Llama Pajama book!” I don’t blame him, really. For one thing, the illustrations are beautiful and the little llama is absolutely adorable. Plus, Llama Llama Red Pajama is a book that simply begs to read aloud. Llama Llama gets progressively more anxious the longer his mother is away and Dewdney uses incredibly expressive words that are perfect for a slightly dramatic reading.

I think part of the current appeal of Llama Llama Red Pajama is that Daniel is attempting to transition from his crib to a toddler bed. It is making him more anxious about bedtime than usual, so Llama Llama is somewhat reassuring.

We now love Llama Llama (and our cute little Llama Llama doll in his red pajamas that Unabridged Bookstore included with our order). I have a feeling that we’ll be buying all of Dewdney’s other Llama books soon.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

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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Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums – 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.

Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Daniel Jennewein
Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins

In 2010, the world’s cutest buffalo ever made his debut in Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the fact that Daniel was only one, and we wouldn’t have any need for it for a long time. Enter the second buffalo book, Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums.

In Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums, the buffalo is still the most adorable thing ever, but now he’s trying to free his inner-musician and play drums. It isn’t easy to get a buffalo to hold drum sticks, but if you help him out, he can find a way to do it.

Okay, admittedly I bought Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums more for me than for Daniel. It is a really cute book, one that a parent could read multiple times without getting sick of it. It is, however, a bit more than Daniel’s two year old attention span can handle; we have yet to actually get through the whole thing. He loves the part we have read, though, and it is a book that can continue to grow with him.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

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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Who Has These Feet? – 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.

Who Has These Feet? by Laura Hulbert, illustrated by Erik Brooks
Published by Henry Holt & Co, an imprint of Macmillan

Who Has These Feet? That is the question of the hour in the book by the same name. Hulbert doesn’t beat around any bushes, asking readers “Who has these feet?” on the very first page, as we are confronted with Brooks’s illustration of great, hairy, white feet. Turns out, it is a polar bear who has these feet, and it needs all that fur on the bottom so it won’t slip on the ice.

It is entirely possible that Who Has These Feet is the new favorite in our household. “Feet book!” is a constant request, and every time I read the eponymous question, Daniel responds with a little questioning shrug, “Which animal?” Daniel likes the predictive text and the interaction he has inserted into it, and I like the ability of Who Has These Feet to grow with the child reading it. Daniel is not yet ready for the explanations of why the different animals have different kinds of feet, for now it is enough to recognize and match them. However, an older child could easily be fascinated by the requirements that environment and behavior put on an animal’s feet. For these children, there is enough detail first to satisfy and later to spark an interest and further exploration. For those too young to be interested in this, though, the ‘why’ sections are brief enough to maintain the quick flow of the book.

Not only is Hulbert’s text very well balanced, but Brooks’s illustrations are absolutely charming, with great details on the cloe-ups of the animal feet.

A fun and informative book to read for toddlers on up. Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher
* 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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Tumford the Terrible – 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.

Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman
Published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan

Tumford isn’t really terrible, exactly; in reality, he is a very nice cat. The problem is that, like many cats, he has a tendency to make messes and, when he does, he has a very strong aversion to the words, “I’m sorry.” Day after day he gets into scrapes around the house, and instead of owning up to what he has done, he hides all over the place from his very pleasant human parents. Tumford’s parents are understandably very frustrated with the situation, but instead of getting angry, they decide to try a different technique. They will give him a treat, take him to the big fair that is in town, if only he will promise to apologize for anything he does that goes wrong. As you might guess, Tumford isn’t able to behave himself completely at the fair. His first reaction when things go oh-so-wrong is still to hide, but as he is hiding, Tumford thinks about his parents, and realizes what he really wants to do is to make them proud.

Tumford the Terrible is a very sweet book. Tillman found a very good balance with Tumford’s actions. He is never deliberately malicious, just naturally curious in the way that cats and small children tend to be and, as is often the case with cats and small children, his curiosity has a tendency to end messily. Hiding from one’s mistakes is an unfortunate reaction that people of all ages have, so showing children that it is better to own up to one’s mistakes is a very good message. Even better, Tillman manages to keep the message from becoming a heavy-handed MESSAGE.

Part of what keeps Tumford the Terrible from becoming too preachy is Tillman’s jaunty verse, but most of the credit belongs to the absolutely gorgeous illustrations. You must find a copy in a bookstore and flip through it, my personal favorite is when Tumford and his family are marching off to the fair. The picture is a full spread, with Tumford marching assertively in front of his family wearing yellow boots. It is absolutely gorgeous.

So clearly I like Tumford the Terrible, but what about my toddler? Some of the pages have a bit more text than he likes to sit still for, but they are well-balanced with much shorter pages to keep the story moving for younger readers, which keeps him actually seated and engaged for the entire book. An even better measure of enjoyment, though, is the fact that the “cat book” has become a frequent request.

Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Review 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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Three Hens and a Peacock – 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.

Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester A. Laminack, illustrated by Henry Cole
Published by Peachtree Publishing

The Tuckers’ farm is a quiet place until, one day, when a peacock shows up on the front step. Not one to sit idly by, the peacock starts strutting his stuff, and draws a crowd to the Tuckers’ farm stand. Not too surprisingly, the hens start to get jealous of all the attention the peacock is getting, especially since he doesn’t even do any of the work around the farm, not like them, intrepid egg-layers that they are. In order to calm everyone down, the farm hound dog suggests that the peacock and the hens switch jobs.

My very favorite thing about Three Hens and a Peacock is the illustration. The pictures are gorgeously drawn, slightly cartoonish with rich, beautiful colors. The level of detail in the illustration just adds to the pure beauty. I also like the twist on the ‘be yourself’ storyline; the hens are so much fun when they are trying to fancy themselves up, to be what they aren’t. You really can’t beat chickens with beads, bows, and bracelets. Plus, you know Daniel loves the fact that there are chickens, not to mention cows (although the cows are just part of the farm backdrop).

Three Hens and a Peacock is a fun and beautiful book, and one our family has really enjoyed. Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound | Amazon*

Source: Publisher
* 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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