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Preschool milestones

van lieshout_i use the potty

Learning to share is hard. So is learning to use the potty and how to ditch the pacifier. The following books will help encourage preschoolers to take the next steps (though IRL they won’t get there until they’re ready). In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold, the Big Kid Power series by Maria van Lieshout discusses […]

AJL 2016

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A few days before Roger and Martha set off for ALA, I flew to Charleston for the annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). As a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee (named for the author of the All-of-a-Kind Family series; which sibling are you?), I was eager to hear from […]

Fathers, sons, and grandfathers

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The bonds between a son and his father or grandfather can be strong yet complicated. The following books offer middle schoolers a glimpse into some tricky, loving family relationships. In Kwame Alexander‘s verse novel Booked (a companion in structure and theme to his 2015 Newbery Award–winning The Crossover), eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a […]

Arts and letters

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STEM’s great and all, but these picture-book biographies — about two fine artists, a musician, and a wordsmith — show that a career in arts and letters can be more than just a dream. In Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, Amy Novesky presents an exquisite portrait of modern artist Louise Bourgeois, who […]

Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app review

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Potty training is the worst. Mr. Rogers is the best. PBS Kids’s animated television show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood — which, per the Fred Rogers Company “builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” — has a new potty-training app, Stop & Go Potty (February 2016), starring the Daniel Tiger characters. The home screen features Daniel […]

Potty booklist

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And don’t forget to suggest names for our upcoming parent-themed blog! The Saddest Toilet in the World by Sam Apple; illus. by Sam Ricks Preschool Aladdin/Simon 32 pp. 6/16 978-1-4814-5122-2 $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-5123-9 $10.99 Potty training is serious business for all involved, but what of the unsung toilet? Does anyone consider its feelings? Apple […]

Review of Flora and the Peacocks

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Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-4521-3816-9    $17.99 Idle’s third wordless picture book starring Flora (Flora and the Flamingo, rev. 7/13; Flora and the Penguin, rev. 11/14) is, appropriately, about a three-way friendship and the tricky dynamics thereof. Flora curtsies hello to a pair of […]

Five questions for Mordicai Gerstein

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Ancient Greece wasn’t always so ancient, and sometimes gods just wanna have fun. Using cartoon panels, child-friendly dialogue, and copious humor, Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Pan! (Roaring Brook, 4–8 years) gives us a first-person, picture-book Pan whose big personality can’t be contained: “Arcadia, here I come!” 1. Your appended bibliography is pretty dense stuff! How […]

Mother: Treat Her Right 2016

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What’s better than hearing Mr. T extol the virtues of mothers? (that would be: nothing) You know who else loved their mothers? Abraham Lincoln (“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”) and John Quincy Adams (“All that I am, my mother made me”), among others, whose pithy remarks […]

It IS raining in Boston this week!

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Some of Roger’s smallest fans send him a thank-you.