Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

9781627794152.jpgThere is a lot to look forward to in Autumn: the chill in the air, the leaves falling, the colours. Kenard Pak‘s Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn follows a girl on her walk through the transition between summer and autumn. She notices and calls out to the trees and they respond with how their sway has changed; to the beavers and chipmunks and they reply that they have no time to play because they need to look for food. Quiet and lovely, this book inspires nature walks to notice the world around for ourselves.

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Blue On Blue

Blue On Blue is a lyrical look at one day on a farm, from the bright sunny morning to the homebook.pngstormy afternoon and the clearing-up night. Dianne White‘s language is beautifully subtle and Beth Krommes‘ illustrations are vivid.

When the rain comes, the children rush indoors. For a comparison read, try Worm Weather where the children rush out into the rain.

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What to Do With a Box

box_cover.jpgI know my kids aren’t the only ones who loved a big cardboard box to play in when they were little. The possibilities a box posed–it could be a fort, a house, a car. Imagination and crayons ran wild. What to Do With a Box explores that love for a cozy nook and the ever-changing possibilities. Jane Yolen‘s poetic text is matched perfectly with Chris Sheban‘s inspired illustrations.

Follow up your reading with cardboard box playtime; then read more books about imagination.

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Have You Seen Elephant?

David Barrow‘s delightful picture book, Have You Seen Elephant?, is all about turning BARROW-David.-Have-You-Seen-Elephant-246x300.jpgpreconceived ideas upside down. One might think huge elephants would have a difficult time hiding, but everywhere Elephant hides, the boy can’t find him (the reader sees him, though). When, by the end of the book, Elephant has successfully hid in multiple spots, it’s not so hard to believe the turtle who says she is very good at playing tag.

Discuss opposites and elephant books with kids after reading.

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Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures

Julia Child was extraordinary in many ways. Even so, this biography shows how highly relatable Julia Child was, from her nonchalance about making cooking mistakes on TV to 22929066.jpgher dedication to keep trying until a recipe became perfect.

Julia’s unique personality and voice shine through, and the pacing of the story kept me turning pages. Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures is a great nonfiction read by Erin Hagar with pages of art by Joanna Gotham in between chapters.

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Tell Me a Tattoo Story

A twist on the bedtime story and parental I love you story, Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison TattooStory_coverWEB-245x300McGhee and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler uses a father’s tattoos as the story starters. Told entirely in the voice of the father, we hear about each tattoo: when he was a little boy, when he met his wife, his time as a soldier and the birth of his child. Sweet and honest, this is a lovely read for all ages.

Read here for a behind-the-scenes look at the illustrations.

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School’s First Day of School


Told from the perspective of a school, the first day of school takes on new meaning. At first, it is just the school and the janitor, but when the kids arrive, school figures out what his various features are for: the fountain, the fire alarm, the bulletin board. And the school has feelings, especially noted when there’s a girl who is afraid of school and someone who hates school.

School’s First Day of Schoo by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson is for kids of all ages who will enjoy this school tale, and especially for kindergartener who is beginning school but already has a little experience with school.

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There Is a Tribe of Kids

A child travels through sundry of animals: a smack of jellyfish, a turn of turtles, an PB_Smith_There-is-a-Tribe-of-Kids-300x231.jpgunkindness of ravens and miscellaneous inanimate items: a formation of rocks, a pile of rubble, an ocean of blue until he finds a tribe of kids to call home. The subtle play on words (the line of turtles actually turns and the opening pages show a tribe of kids as in baby goats) heighten the interest in the child’s travels, but it isn’t until the end that we realize his journey is one to find home, where “there WAS a tribe of kids” turns into “there IS a tribe of kids”.

Lane Smith‘s gorgeous illustrations fill in all the blanks of the spare text. There Is a Tribe of Kids is a must-read for all ages.

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1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book

Juana Medina‘s creative counting book starts with “one avocado deer”, which is a photographed avocado with antlers and a deer body inked in. The adorable illustrations 9781101999745.jpeggrow into a colourful and playful salad recipe, complete with a recipe for dressing in the backmatter. The book is super fun, sure to please salad-lovers and entice those who are unsure of the pleasures of veggies.

1 Big Salad will appeal to those who enjoyed Vincent and the Night for its illustrations and Smick for its judicious use of words.

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Worm Weather


Worm Weather is an ode to playing outside, even in rainy, wormy weather. Jean Taft‘s prose is short and poetic, fun to read aloud. There are rhymes, but it never stretches too hard and stays rhythmic and lively throughout. Matt Hunt’s playful illustrations show the joy of splashing and running in the rain.

To celebrate rainy days, find some extension activities about the weather here.


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