Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt

Daughter’s age when read: 3 years old

This is the second Scaredy Squirrel book we have read and this one was a huge hit. If you haven’t read this series it’s about this squirrel who is afraid of pretty much everything and always has a plan on how to deal with different situations. In this one he does not want to go to the beach because he’s afraid of things like pirates, pinching crabs, hordes of jelly fish, etc.  So he instead plans on building his own private beach.  After he is done he realizes he is missing one thing-the sound of the ocean.  So he decides he will go to the real beach, find a sea shell and bring it back to his own private beach so he can listen to the sound of the ocean.  Of course he has this elaborate plan but something goes wrong. When he gets to the beach he’s surrounded by people and is surprised to find he actually enjoys being a part of the crowd.

The best part of this book was the illustrations.  There are so many things to talk about as we go over his emergency plan and the map he draws.  She also finds it funny when we read what happens to Scaredy Squirrel when he plays dead (this is always his last resort when in trouble).  The ending was her favorite when he realizes that the shell he finally brings home with him has a crab living in it. I was amazed after we read it the first time she remembered when I said hermit crabs live in shells and she told her dad that the next time we read the book together. If you are looking for those giggles and lots of fun this series is one to check out.

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I Gotta Pre-Order Press Here by Herve Tullet

Description from Chronicle Books: 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!

A few months ago I went on a tour of the Chronicle Books office in San Francisco and this was one of the books I saw while on the tour.  It looks like a wonderful book and a lot of fun for the kids. It starts off telling you to press the dot and then on the next page it turns a different color, you flip the book and the dots multiply or move around and I think my daughter would love it.  I just saw it mentioned in today’s Shelf Awareness and that reminded me to pre-order it. It looks like loads of fun for the little ones so go check it out!  You can view a video of kids reading it here.Press Here Preview (pgs 30-44)

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Joey and Jet Book 1 of Their Adventure

Daughter’s age when read: 3.5 years old

This story is about Joey playing fetch with his dog Jet.  Joey throws the ball and Jet goes through the birds, over the water, around tables, in and out of holes, etc, etc. and then after catching the ball has to do all of it again to get back to Joey. And what does Joey do when Jet brings the ball back?  He throws it again!  Jet thinks to himself that a dog’s work is never done.

I have to admit at first this book seemed like a dud.  I did not browse through it at the library because it was one my daughter picked out herself and insisted we had to borrow it.  Through most of the book she just lay there and did not say much but once we got to the end and she saw the look on that poor dog’s face she started cracking up. I had to do a little bit of ad-libing too but she then thought it was hilarious.  The best part was after we had finished reading it twice and were laying in bed she started making her own stories up.  She was telling me she wanted to get in the car, go to the library, look at the books, tell grandma and grandpa goodnight again and then get back in bed.  Then she wants to do it all over again.  She also made up a story about riding an airplane across the ocean because we kept telling her that grandma and grandpa are catching an airplane home tomorrow. I think books that my daughter takes and expands on are the best ones.  So you may need to do a little extra work pepping this one up but it certainly was a hit and had my daughter chattering for quite awhile during bed time.

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If You’re A Monster and You Know It by Ed Emberley

Daughter’s age when read: 3 years old

This is another fun one for the preschoolers.  My daughter loves it and it gets her up-wiggling, giggling and clapping. It’s a cute take on the song If You’re Happy and You Know It but replaces it with monster-ish things like clapping your claws, stomping your paws and wiggling your warts.  Not only does it get my daughter up and moving but she’s having a great time and giggling the whole time we are reading the book.  My 6 month old has a blast when we read it because he loves to watch his sister and her crazy antics.   I will admit this is one of the few books that my daughter and I are not as into the illustrations as other books since it is such a physically involved story and the illustrations just aren’t ones I’m as interested in. They are more abstract but the bright colors did seem to catch my 6 month old’s attention.  If you want a book that is totally interactive and will have everyone laughing along this is a good one to pick up.

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Little Rabbit’s Christmas by Harry Horse

Daughter’s age when read: 3 yrs old

This was a cute book about Little Rabbit receiving a sled for Christmas and not wanting to share it with his friends.  After a series of events that leads to his sled breaking and his friends helping to repair it he realizes that it is better to share your toys and can be more fun than playing with it by yourself.  I think this is a book that my daughter would have to grow into.  There were too many words per page and she would lose interest so I had to summarize each page into short blurbs.  She was more interested in looking at the illustrations and making up her own story.  I have to be honest that while this was a cute story it was too long for my tastes but we may give it another try in a year or two.

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Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

Daughter’s age when read: 3 years old

We are spending the holidays with my brother’s family and they had picked this book up from the library. From the first time I read it to my daughter she cracked up. We read it 5 times before I had to go make lunch and then she went to ask daddy to read it again.

It’s about a bug leading you through a game of pretend that there is a bug stuck on your nose, then in your mouth, then in shirt and all the silly things you have to do to try and get rid of it.  That includes wriggling your nose, doing the chicken dance, making scary faces and other silly things.  My daughter had so much fun acting out each activity that she was practically falling over laughing.  It was such a fun, interactive book that I highly recommend it to anyone with kids old enough to follow simple directions.

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Bless You, Santa! by Julie Sykes

Daughter’s age when read:3  years old

It’s Christmas eve and Santa’s caught a cold.  How will he ever get the toys done in time?  Luckily Santa’s cat, mouse reindeer and other animal friends put Santa in bed to recuperate and they all pitch in to make the rest of the toys.

If you are looking for a cute holiday book that will bring on the giggles then pick this one up.  My daughter apparently has a thing for sneezing characters and finds them hilarious (like in Mo Willems’ Pigs Make Me Sneeze).  She refers to this book as the Santa has the sneezes book.  The story line is very basic but the illustrations are wonderful.  Each page shows a different sneeze of what happens when Santa sneezes.  Balls fall over, stars go flying and rockets tip over.  In the end all of Santa’s helpers complete the toys and Santa is feeling better by Christmas and is able to deliver the toys around the world.  Unfortunately though the sneezes has been passed on to his friends.  The last sneeze of the book ends up with everyone covered in snow.  This is by far my daughter’s favorite page in the story as she tries to find all the animals in the snow.

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