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So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

Review of Triangle

Triangle by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-9603-0    $15.99 Triangle leaves his triangle-shaped house via his triangle-shaped door, off to “play a sneaky trick on Square.” He walks to Square’s house and stands outside the square-shaped door, hissing like a snake. Square, who is […]

Review of Bob, Not Bob!

Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Matthew Cordell Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 2/17    978-1-4847-2302-9    $17.99 Little Louie has a big head cold. “All he wanted (besides maybe some hot chocolate) was his mother.” But with his stuffy nose, his calls for “MOM!” sound like […]

Teach Your Monster to Read app review

I’m officially smitten with the Usborne Foundation’s phonics and reading game Teach Your Monster to Read (Teach Monster Games Ltd., 2014; iOS, Android, and desktop). Designed in collaboration with leading academics at the U.K.’s University of Roehampton to cover the first two years of literacy learning, this app serves as a nice complement to any […]

Review of Say Hello, Sophie!

Say Hello, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99925-7    $17.99    g This endearing mouse family’s fifth book highlights a new hiccup in big sister Sophie’s development that many parents and children will recognize: she cannot bring herself to say expected social niceties like […]

Fiete Hide and Seek app review

Friendly sailor Fiete invites you to play a favorite childhood game in Fiete Hide and Seek (Ahoiii, April 2017; iOS only). Tap on rocks and plants in a range of landscapes to look for Fiete behind them. If you’re stumped, tap the dog icon at bottom right to whistle for a pup who will help […]

Review of The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy; illus. by Eugene Yelchin Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-72288-9    $17.99 Deedy’s original story of the noisy village of La Paz has the feel of a well-told folktale — one with plenty of dry wit. “It was hard to […]

With a little help from their friends

We could all use a reminder that there is kindness in the world — as well as a reminder to extend kindness to others. These new picture books for young children show how small gestures of generosity can make a big difference. A woman bakes a special batch of red heart-shaped cookies and sends them […]

Review of Charlotte and the Rock

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin; illus. by Samantha Cotterill Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99389-7    $16.99    g “Charlotte wanted a pet. She didn’t care what kind of pet.” However, she doesn’t expect the pet her parents enthusiastically surprise her with on her sixth birthday: a rock. […]

Shake the Tree app review

Minibombo/Fox & Sheep’s new app Shake the Tree (March 2017; iOS only) offers preschoolers a slight but very funny interactive wordless story. Swipe rapidly back and forth to shake a very springy tree trunk at the screen’s center. With enough shaking, an animal or grouping of animals will fall out of the foliage. These creatures […]