Picture books for launching mathematicians

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

My school uses a play-based approach to teaching math, which is advantageous because as an early childhood teacher, my students still love math and they love to play games. They enjoy learning and working with numbers and I can build on this through math games. For me, teaching math is often challenging because my own […]

Review of From There to Here

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From There to Here by Laurel Croza; illus. by Matt James Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 5/14    978-1-55498-365-0    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-366-7    $16.95 In the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning I Know Here (rev. 5/10), the young narrator knows she and her family will soon be leaving their home in the glorious wilderness of Saskatchewan, and […]

Chill out, animals

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While proofreading the May/June Magazine book reviews section, Martha astutely noted how many of the picture books feature animals draped over branches. (Trust us on Two Little Birds; the picture is inside.) Nice life, animals.       

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

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Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99 Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes […]

Review of Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine

whelan_queen victoria's bathing machine

Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan; 
illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 4/14    978-1-4169-2753-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5885-7    $12.99 How could Queen Victoria get into the sea on a hot day? Modesty decreed that she mustn’t be seen in her bathing costume. It’s Prince Albert to the rescue with a queen-sized […]

Review of Here Comes the Easter Cat

underwood_here comes the easter cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood; 
illus. by Claudia Rueda Preschool    Dial    80 pp. 1/14    978-0-8037-3939-0    $16.99    g Cat discovers an advertisement for the Easter Bunny’s arrival on the front endpapers of this witty offering, and from the very first page he is unhappy about it. The text addresses Cat directly throughout the […]

Big-city picture books

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Visiting big cities can foster both excitement and anxiety. Whether young children are already well traveled or just curious about new places, these four picture books can provide them with excellent armchair tours of New York City and Europe. A little girl traveling on the subway counts from one (“1 MetroCard”) to ten (“10 friends […]

Review of You Can’t Have Too Many Friends!

gerstein_you can't have too many friends

You Can’t Have 
Too Many Friends! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-8234-2393-4    $16.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3101-4    $16.95 This retold French folktale (“Drakestail”) stars a farmer duck who, in this absurdist version, is wealthy in the jelly beans he has grown. When the little-boy king “borrows” his […]

Review of In New York

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In New York by Marc Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/14    978-0-375-86454-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-96454-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-307-97444-0    $10.99 Join the little blue-capped boy from the cover as he and his father make cameo appearances throughout this enthusiastically busy guide to New York City. Just about all of […]

Review of Sophie Sleeps Over

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Sophie Sleeps Over by Marisabina Russo; 
illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-59643-933-7    $16.99    g Sophie and Olive are BBFFs (best bunny friends forever). When Olive announces a sleepover birthday party, Sophie is excited to go (“‘Sleepover parties are my favorite kind,’ said Sophie, even though she had never been to […]