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Building, Buddies and Babies: New Books for Younger Readers

building-our-houseBuilding Our House written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Imagine packing up and moving to a vacant grassy field in the country to build a new home and participating in its transformation. In Building Our House, Bean tells the story of his own family’s experience when he was very young and his parents built a house with their own two hands. Told through the eyes of a young girl (Bean’s older sister), we learn about the steps in building a house, but also about hard work, team work, and the importance of celebration when the job is done. Detailed illustrations with plenty of tools, trucks and building materials will excite young construction enthusiasts, too. (Preschool – Grade 2)

grumpy goatGrumpy Goat written and illustrated by Brett Helquist
Grumpy Goat arrives on the scene of Sunny Acres, the friendliest little farm in the county, only to disrupt its happy animal life.  The pigs, cows and sheep don’t know what to do with such a grumpy fellow. Grumpy Goat has no friends and isn’t looking for any — all he wants to do is eat.  He eats everything in his path until he comes upon a beautiful yellow dandelion that stops him in his tracks.   He watches and cares for it.  While the flower transforms so does Grumpy, and he realizes that friendly and happy is so much better than grumpy.   This is a lovely read-aloud with short text and vibrant illustrations that fill the page.  Great to read on a day when your preschooler is a grumpy goat! (Preschool – Grade 3)

my first dayMy First Day written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
Steve Jenkins and Robin Page explore what animals do on their first day of life.  For most, staying alive in that first 24 hours is a real challenge.  In the voice of each baby animal, we learn how Kiwis spend most of their first days kicking their way out of the egg and then are ready to go and take care of themselves.  A Siberian tiger is helpless and relies on its mother for protection, food and warmth.  The bold collages along with the playful text make this an excellent read aloud or bed time book.  Facts on each animal in the back of the book also will give kids who want to know more just that. (Preschool – Grade 2)

the readerThe Reader by Amy Hest; illustrated by Lauren Castillo
A young boy, his dog, and a mysterious suitcase on a snowy day.  You’ll follow the Reader as he pulls his sled through the snow as his dog bounces after him.  Where are they headed? What’s in the suitcase?  When they finally find the perfect spot, he opens the suitcase to reveal its mystery.  Simple text and old-fashioned feeling illustrations makes this a cozy read celebrating books, the simplicity of a child’s life, and the bond we have with our animals.  (Preschool – kindergarten)

- Jessica

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