Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kid Konnection: Picture Books for Little Ones

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a few picture books that we've been enjoying in our house over the past few weeks.

Summary: Learning—and using—Yiddish is fun for the whole family, from the youngest mamaleh to the oldest bubbe and zaideh. Introduced to America as the mother tongue of millions of Jewish immigrants, Yiddish has made its way into everyday English. The sprightly, rhyming text follows a toddler through a busy day and is peppered from beginning to end with Yiddish words. Oy!—will everybody kvell when they hear their little ones spouting words from this most expressive of languages. Here are just a few that are included in this sturdy board book: bissel—little bit; ess—eat; kibitz—joke around, chat; klutz—clumsy one; kvell—burst with pride, gush; kvetchy—dissatisfied, whiny.-- Random House

NOSH SCHLEP SCHLUFF BABYIDDISH by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke was a very cute and original book. Basically, this sweet little board book introduces children (and probably some parents) to some basic Yiddish words. The book is written in short phrases rhyming text so it's quick to read and perfect for little ones! Booking Son wasn't exactly the targeted age range for this book -- he's six (and a half, he'd add) -- but he liked the illustrations and the "funny sounding words."

I realize that this book is geared towards toddlers, but I have to be honest. I used this book to introduce Yiddish to my son and explain that it was the language spoken by Jewish immigrants. In addition, there were a few words that he recognized, like klutz, so I'm hoping that I was able to explain how words from other languages become common in our everyday lives.

I just love the author of this book, Laurel Snyder! I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her last year at the 2010 Lititz Kid Lit Festival, and I was deeply impressed with her passion to write culturally diverse books. I can't remember ever reading a book like this as an adult or a child, and I think it's terrific that she's sharing her heritage with so many children!

Summary: Stunning photographs of wild African elephants are paired with rhyming, toddler-appropriate action verbs. Babies and toddlers will delight in seeing elephants of all sizes in their natural habitat as they romp, stomp, stretch, step, splash, dash, and more. This is the 14th book in the popular Busy Book series.-- Tricycle Press

BUSY ELEPHANTS by John Schindel and Martin Harvey is another very cute board book. Needless to say, Booking Son considers himself way too old for board books, but this one was simple enough that he treated it as a "learn to read" book. Plus, what kid can resist these gorgeous photographs of elephants?

BUSY ELEPHANTS is ideal for toddlers! The book is small enough for the littlest of hands to hold and there are very few words on each page. I think my kids could have even sat still for this book when they were younger. Each page of the book begins with the text, "Elephants..." (i.e. Elephants meeting, Elephants, greeting, etc.) It's pretty catchy and easy for kids to chime in!

BUSY ELEPHANTS is the 14th installment in the Busy Book series. I wasn't familiar with these books prior to reading this one, but I will definitely be checking out the rest of this series for potential gift ideas. I am a huge sucker for pictures of animals (and especially jungle ones), and I thought this book was adorable. Highly recommended for little ones and animal lovers!

Summary: This delightful board book captures the affection and playfulness of grandmother and grandchild interaction with a clever, funny text and illustrations that are right on the mark.  The rhyming couplets also teach about animal behavior, which comes to life in Hiroe Nakata's sweet and charming artwork. -- Robin Carey Books

Attention all you grandmas out there, I have a precious book for you! It's called GRANDMA CALLS ME GIGGLEPIE by J.D. Lester and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, and it's one of those sweet books that you and your little grandkids will love!

GRANDMA CALLS ME GIGGLEPIE is another board book (we've been receiving quite a few of these lately) that is perfect for little ones. Each spread of the book shows a very special grandma and her grandchild (the book includes humans, bears, pigs, and even apes); and it also lists many silly names that the grandmas call their grandbabies (like Gigglepie, Snaggletooth, and Slurpy-Slopp.)

In addition to the funny, rhyming text, the illustrations in this book are adorable. I love the colorful pictures of the grown-up and baby animals, and I think each and every pictures captures the fun that grandmas and grandchildren can share.

GRANDMA CALLS ME GIGGLEPIE is one of those books that will bring a smile to your face because it shows the bond between grandmothers and their grandkids! Definitely recommended!

Summary: Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages! -- Chronicle Books

I saved our review of PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet for last because it was Booking Son's absolute favorite book from last week. Of course, in all fairness, it was the only one actually geared towards his age range. Both of us absolutely adored this book and it's already been read over and over again!

I actually wish I had taped our bedtime reading of this book because it was so funny. Booking Son couldn't stop giggling -- it was pretty much all-out belly laughs with a few snorts thrown in. The concept behind PRESS HERE couldn't be simpler. The book is filled with colorful dots that change in appearance as the reader interacts with the book. For example, the reader is asked to press the buttons, tilt the book, shake the book, etc.; and as he/she turns the page the dots "react" to what the reader did. But why this book is so original is that it's not actually filled "real" buttons or any technology of any sorts. It's all done with illustrations of the dots as well as the child's imagination!

I absolutely can't rave enough about this book. It was so much fun to "play" with the dots and then see what they were going to do! Both Booking Son and I couldn't stop laughing as we realized the dots changed sizes and moved across the pages. For a few minutes, I think Booking Son was a bit confused about what to make of PRESS HERE. He wasn't quite sure how the dots knew what to do, and I'm pretty sure that he thought the book was magical!

I love that the end of this book sets up the reader to start all over again -- and so did Booking Son. Now, he's reading the book and playing with it on his own. Yay for books that make him want to read by himself!

PRESS HERE is sure to be a hit in your house -- just like it was in ours! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- a MUST-READ book for kids of all ages!

Thanks to the publisher for sending copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too! 


Beth F said...

What a super batch of books. But that last one has me totally intrigued. I now *have* to take a look when I'm at the store or library. It sounds like so much fun.

Laura Fabiani said...

My son would really like the Elephant book since he always takes out books about animals from the school library. Press Here sounds wonderful! I love books that make me laugh with my kids. Will keep it in mind for my 3 year-old nephew.

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

I saw PRESS HERE at The Bookstore yesterday, looks so cool

Melissa Taylor said...

We just got Press Here, too - love, love, love i! It took me by surprise, it was brilliant and clever!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Great collection of books this week! I love the idea too of introducing other languages in board books. My niece has always had au pairs - from a different country each year, and it is amazing how she has picked up so much. I'm so envious of how easy it is to learn foreign languages when you're little!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

This is a fabulous post honey! So many great books!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I recently saw a book trailer with kids reading Press Me. They seemed to really enjoy interacting with the book.

bermudaonion said...

I love the idea of the Yiddish book. I know it would teach me a thing or two - it's great to learn with your kids!

Drea said...

These look great! My daughter is getting a bit too old for board books, but my son is just starting to finally pay attention when I read to him, so these would be perfect!