Picture Book

THE HOLE STORY by Kelly Canby

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

When a boy finds a hole in the ground he is delighted to put it in his pocket. But he soon discovers that a hole in your pocket is not as wonderful as he thought. In fact, holes don’t seem to be very useful anywhere. But there is one creature eager to get the hole back in the ground…

This adorable, punny picture book will delight parents as much (or more) than their children. Ideal for older preschool or kindergarten audiences, the story hinges on knowledge of common expressions involving “holes” and will get kids thinking about the flexibility of language. The simple, colorful illustrations with ample white space are eye-catching and easy to follow–with added bonus puns in shop names in illustrations of the town. Released in Australia in 2018, the charming book will be coming to the U.S. in August.

Cece’s Picks: Favorite Books of a 0-6 Month Old

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I have been surprised by some of the books my baby is obsessed with.  In addition to the typical baby picks (high contrast, bold illustrations, simple and repetitive text), she loves books with long, rhythmic text.  She can take or leave the illustrations.  When she was fussy in the grocery store yesterday, I recited “The Raven” for her and she was captivated.

So here are some of her favorites to try with your little one.  She has gone through a few phases where she is not interested in paying attention to books, so if they don’t work for you right now, try again in a week.  I have also found that with my squirmy daughter, she pays more attention right now if she is lying in her pack and play with toys to cuddle while I read to her storytime-style.  So if your baby won’t sit still for a book in your lap, try her/him in other locations.

Share what works (worked) best for your little one in the comments!

Cece’s Favs

WOW SAID THE OWL by Tim Hopwood

LITTLE CLOUD by Eric Carle



I KISSED THE BABY by Mary Murphy

MOO, BAA, LA LA LA by Sandra Boynton

SECRET SEAHORSE by Stella Blackstone

GIRAFFES CAN’T DANCE by Giles Andreae 

HURRY! HURRY! by Eve Bunting


Children’s Books About Moving

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Farewell, Virginia!  It’s been fun.  This week, I move to New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.  In honor of all of the boxes and bubble wrap in my life, here is a list of some picture books and chapter books about moving to a new home!

Picture Books

Half a World Away by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood
When Amy moves to “the other side of the world,” Louie thinks he has lost his best friend—until he figures out a way to send a special message just to her.

I Want to Go Home by Tony Ross
When a little princess moves to a new castle, all she wants is her old room back.

A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn
When Chester has to leave the tree he grew up in, his mother helps him imagine how their new home might be even better.

Moving House by Mark Siegel
Joey and Chloe are moving—but their house doesn’t want to be left behind!

My Friend the Monster by Eleanor Taylor
Louis discovers a monster under the bed in his new room, and helps the shy creature to make friends.

The New Arrival by Vanya Nastanlieva
Sam the hedgehog worries that he will not find any friends in his new forest.

The Next Door Bear by Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin
Mr. Bear teaches Emma how to make friends in her new neighborhood.

The Trip by Ezra Jack Keats
Louie misses his old friends, so he invents a magic box that allows him to watch their activities.

Chapter Books

Anna Was Here by Jane Kurtz
Anna and her family move to Kansas, where she connects with her family’s past and her elderly relatives.

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
When Hiroshi is forced to move to the United States, he worries that he will not fit in with his American cousin and will never again get to compete in the kite battles that were an important part of his life in Japan.

How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (And a Dog) by Art Corriveau
When his parents divorce, Nicky is forced to move to Boston, but he finds comfort and adventure when he adopts a former guide dog.

Moving Day by Meg Cabot
After moving across town, Allie tries to figure out all of the new rules for going to a new school and making new friends.

New Kid by Tim Green
After moving to a new school, Tommy overcomes a troubled past by joining the baseball team.

Piper Reed, Navy Brat by Kimberly Willis Holt
When her father is transferred yet again, Piper must leave her friends behind and adapt to a new life in Florida.

Powerless by Matthew Cody
Daniel discovers that he doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids in his new neighborhood—all of whom have superpowers—but they just might need his help to defeat a mysterious supervillain.

So Totally Emily Ebers by Lisa Yee
When her parents divorce, her Emily moves with her mother to the other side of the country and begins to correspond with her father through letters.

FOUND by Salina Yoon

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A bear finds a bunny in the woods.  Realizing how much the bunny’s owner must miss his special friend, the bear does everything he can to reunite them.  But as he and the bunny search for the owner, they become attached to one another.  Fortunately when they find the bunny’s moose, the moose is ready to let the bunny go to a new happy home–with the bear.

Another adorable story from Salina Yoon–perfect for your 2 and 3 year olds in storytime or at home!  Also adorable are her earlier Penguin books, so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already!  Penguin and Pinecone is one of my favorite friendship books for my preschool storytime.  It pairs well with Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found.

THE SNOW QUEEN retold by Lesley Sims; illustrated by Alan Marks

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snowqueenFrozen frenzy has taken hold all over the world.  I was in England a couple of weeks ago and was walking down the Mall by Buckingham Palace and there were these two little English girls singing “Let It Go” really loudly.  It was adorable.

In my preschool music class, I planned a lesson where we sang some Frozen songs and learned about Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (the composers/lyricists).  I also wanted to share the story of The Snow Queen so we could talk about what was different (basically everything) and what was the same (there was some snow and also a reindeer).

Hans Christian Anderson’s original is way too long for a preschool class, but this retelling worked great.  It was fairly concise, the illustrations were engaging, and it captured the interest of the 3-5 year olds in my class.    It seems to be possibly out of print, but it isn’t too terribly old (2005)  so check at your library (or interlibrary loan!).

SHARK VS. TRAIN by Chris Barton

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shark-straightThis picture book is an extended “Who’d Win in a Fight” concept.  Who would win in a diving contest?  How about basketball?  Or sword fighting on a tightrope?  A shark and a train face off in a series of hilarious and absurd situations–until the two boys who were playing with them are called off to lunch.  This story would be fun to share with kids or a storytime group who love humor and using their imaginations.


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Crossing bok chittoThe river Bok Chitto marks the border between the land of Martha Tom’s family—the Choctaw people—and the plantations where the African slaves work in the fields.  Sometimes, a slave will escape to the Choctaw side of Bok Chitto and become free.  But usually no one crosses from one side of the river to the other.  One day, when Martha Tom is looking for blackberries, she ventures across the secret underwater bridge to the plantation side of Bok Chitto where she stumbles upon a slave church meeting and befriends a young slave boy named Little Mo.  And years later, when Little Mo’s family is in trouble, his friendship with the Choctaw girl will lead them to freedom.

This is a sweet story of friendship and freedom by Choctaw author Tim Tingle. A bit text-heavy for preschool storytimes, it would work well as a family read aloud or for use in a K-2 classroom.  


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imagesA fox sees a mother goose walking along the road and asks her to go for a stroll.  Despite the warnings of the baby goslings, the goose and the fox go walking through the deep, dark woods—all the way to the fox’s kitchen.  But as the gosling’s warned, that is really, really, really not a good idea!  And someone is in for a pretty big surprise . . . .

How many times have you thought “That is not a good idea!” as fairytale characters make obviously stupid choices that will ultimately lead to their demise?  Mo Willems gives readers a chance to shout this chorus out loud as they watch a common fairytale trope play out in silent movie-style illustrations.  The twist at the end requires a bit of a morbid sense of humor.  But That is Not a Good Idea will surely appeal to readers who enjoy Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and other slightly morbid fractured fairytales.

JOURNEY by Aaron Becker

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untitledA little girl can’t seem to find anyone to play with her.  Her parents and sister are just too busy, and she doesn’t have any friends.  But when she finds a red marker on the floor of her room, she draws a door on the wall and escapes into an amazing imaginary world where she and her marker create wonderful adventures.  In the end, her courage and imagination may win her a new friendship.

This beautifully creative wordless picture book will appeal to imaginative preschool and school-age children.  It may be difficult to use in storytime with a large group, but with a few children or one-on-one, the pictures open the door for conversation about what is happening in the detailed fantasy tale.  Consider pairing Journey with David Wiesner’s Flotsam.


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9780803739475_p0_v1_s260x420Poor Raccoon loves pizza, but every time he tries to eat some, he gets chased away with a broom.  What’s the solution?  A secret pizza party!  If it’s a secret, maybe no one will show up with a broom. Plus everyone knows when something is secret, it is more exciting.  But will Raccoon’s clever disguise fool the pizza guy?  (Or the raccoon-sniffing broom-bots?)  If you love Bad KittyI highly recommend checking out this book with a similar style of narration and quirky sense of humor.