Petite Patriots: Part Four

For this weeks installment of Petite Patriots, we are sharing three books for you with very familiar faces.  These three books are all about running for office, whether it is president of the school or mayor.  These are great stories talking about elections and the voting processes.

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Splat the Cat for President by Rob Scotton (Harper Collins, 2016) Splat the Cat is a very familiar face, in this latest adventure Splat is running for student body president, he is the only candidate running and wins by a landslide (hilarious, right?).  As the story unfolds it is all about what Splat can do to make the school a better place, his first attempts fall flat and he is feeling pretty sad about it, but with gentle encouragement he is able to turn it around and really listen to the student body to determine what the students really want and need.  Fabulous read for preschoolers to second grade.

LaRue Letters from the Campaign Trail for Mayor by Mark Teague (Blue Sky Press, 2008) Perfect for kindergarten to third graders.  The LaRue books are fantastic, but do have a lot of words, making it difficult for petite listeners to keep focus.  But like all LaRue books the writing is witty and fun and completely engaging even for adult readers, so we highly recommend this book to learn a little more about what the campaign trail might be like.

Otto Runs for President by Rosemary Wells (Scholastic Press, 2008) is a fantastic story that is really realistic when it comes to class elections.  Many students want to be student body president, mostly the popular kids; what I like about this story is that it highlights what a good leader would do, the time they would need to put in, how they should be good listeners.  I think that this is a great story to talk about the qualities of a good leader.  Geared toward preschool to third grade.

Click the images below to read more about prior editions of Petite Patriots.


Petite Patriots: Part Three

As people prepare to watch the third and final debate tonight I wanted to share with you a fabulous book that we have enjoyed reading all about Hillary Rodham Clinton this week.


Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight by Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates is a great story to share with petites about a remarkable women who has accomplished so many things.  This story starts out with a young Hillary dreaming of becoming an astronaut in 1961, a job not possible for her at the time.  This book is filled with inspiration on every page.

Take the lead role in your own life

After reading this story with my girls and a few other books about Hillary Clinton we decided that this one was our favorite, because, according to my seven year old, the story just makes you feel good and she kept going even when it was tough.

Take a risk, and dare to change the world

The book is not only a very well written story, but is also filled with facts at the end of the book so that you can read about the accomplishments, contributions and history that Hillary has made.

The illustrations have a wonderful sketchbook, retro feel about them.  They also provide fantastic talking points throughout the reading to discuss how the people in the illustrations are feeling and treating young Hillary.  This book is geared toward a kindergarten – fifth grade audience.

Petite Stag All Time Favorite Halloween Story

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If I had to choose a book that we read the most in our house, that gets the most love, has the most mended pages, it would be Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson (Puffin Books, 2003).  This book has been a favorite in our house for years.  When my oldest was around four we stumbled upon this book and fell head over broom for it.  This book is brilliant, honestly, I have never once turned down reading it, I read it all month of the year.  One year I accidentally packed it up with the other Halloween books and the petites were less than thrilled until we found it.

So when we realized that there was an activity book to go along with Room on the Broom well you can imagine the thrilled squeals and immediate fighting over who could look at it first.  This activity book is great, it has lots of stickers which instantly make it all the more fun, bright images from the book, and hours of entertainment for Room on the Broom fans like us.  There are puzzles, word searches, cooking projects, tons of sticker puzzles all printed on high gloss paper, it is so well done.
petite-stag-favoriteJulia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created an absolutely lovely tale, so much more than a Halloween story, this is a book about inclusion, celebrating differences, working together, kindness and standing up to bullies.  So you can see why we read it all the time, it is a fabulous story.  Have I mentioned what a fantastic read aloud it is?  It’s so much fun!  The book is geared for preschool to second graders.  This book has fantastic rhyming sentences (which is why it’s such a great read aloud) as well as suspense, which is a really fun introduction for petites about what a “Page Turner” means.
Also, if you’re a Netflix subscriber they have Room on the Broom and it is 26 minutes of pure delight, Gillian Anderson and Simon Peg are the voices and it is absolutely perfect.  (This post is not sponsored by Netflix)  So definitely check it out.
If you add one book to your collection this Halloween, we’ve read quite a few and this is by far our favorite.

All My Friends Are Planets


All My Friends Are Planets.pngAugust 24, 2006 was a day that marked a huge shift in our solar system; a shift that challenged what we always thought we knew.   Mike Brown, an astronomer, determined that Pluto was no longer a planet, but in fact a Dwarf Planet.  If you or your petite is a huge fan of the solar system or even just wants to read a really fabulous story, I have just the book recommendation for you!  All My Friends are Planets by Alisha Vimawala is a story about our favorite Dwarf Planet – Pluto!

In this story Pluto is personified into a charming little planet, who has lived life on the outskirts of the solar system.  Pluto always felt a little different from his friends, but they never made him feel like he was alone or different.  Until that one day, August 24, 2006 when Pluto realized that all that time that he had felt differently and it was for a great reason, he was different but in a unique and extremely special way.
This story is not just about planets and science, but about being included, about what it means to know someone is different and to value them for their differences. The message is subtle, but a powerful one.  This book would be a great read for first to third graders as it covers a lot of information about the solar system (which often times is not taught in schools these days).
Another component of this book that is completely unique is that on the final page there is a blank planet and your petite is encouraged to draw their own planet and then snap a picture for a chance to have their creation shared as well as a chance to win a customized plush of the drawing!  So cool, right?
We hope you enjoy this fantastic book!  We love that this book inspires petites to look into the sky and imagine what else might be out there.

Petite Patriots: Part Two


We are reading lots of books in an attempt to pick the very best books for you and your petites…for this weeks installment we have decided that When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz and illustrated by Melissa Manwill (Picture Window Books, 2016) is the perfect pick.  I feel compelled to start with saying that this book smells amazing, both my girls immediately sniffed the binding and declared this to be one fabulous smelling book.  So with that out-of-the-way here we go…

When Penny Met POTUS is the story of a little girl who gets to go to work with her mother one day.  Her mother just so happens to work at the White House, so this is a really big deal and Penny is thrilled.  She is so excited to see what POTUS looks like, what he will be like.  She has imagined that he is pretty special because he has his own team of secret service agents, his own plane, a chef to make him whatever he likes.  As the excitement builds for what POTUS will be like when Penny finally meets him, you begin to wonder yourself, since up until the end POTUS is a suit wearing horned beast.  I love that this story so brilliantly captures the imagination of a petite.  Penny envisions the tea parties they will have, to help with some important work, it is absolute perfection!

When they get to The White House Penny needs to wait while her mother completes some work before they can meet POTUS.  Like most petites, this is just too hard, patience, waiting, very tricky, right?  So Penny, tiptoes off to find POTUS on her own.  She encounters some very friendly White House staff members who haven’t seen POTUS, all the while you as readers get insights into what Penny thinks POTUS might look like, until she finally lays eyes on POTUS.

Spoiler Alert: When Penny realizes that the person she was about to talk to is POTUS, in that moment everything changes.  POTUS is a woman.  When Penny tries to wrap her mind around this, she finally says, “but you’re a human”.  So incredibly cute, I love that she says a human, because she had envisioned a beastie.  Rachel Ruiz and Melissa Manwill have created this absolutely perfect book for petites.

Shout out to my amazing library!!!  Let me just say I am so thankful that our local library gets books quickly after they are published, because the faster they get them the faster I can share them with you!

Don’t forget to check out Petite Patriots: Part One:


Counting Concepts for Petites

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My three year old Vivienne, has been wanting to do “lessons” like her big sister for months now.  So since this school year started we’ve been focusing on lessons each day.  So of course, we go to the library a few times a week and get new books.  This week I let her choose a bag full of books and some of these were among her picks.

Musk Ox Counts by Erin Cabatingan and illustrated by Matthew Myers (Neal Porter Press, 2013) is one silly read.  This book is a perfect shape for little hands, filled with tons of silly drama from Musk Ox and Zebra.  This story is as silly as can be, we thoroughly enjoyed reading about Musk ox messing up the counting pages.

8 an Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper (Orchard Books, 2015) the premise of this book is simply too much fun.  On each page there is one animal that is shown 8 times, and your job is to find that animal.  I love this book, from the opening whiner Elisha Cooper explains why 8 is the number you’re looking for.  “Because 8 is great, because 8 is round and adorable”.  Too much fun!  Oh, this is also a bang for your buck book because it covers the alphabet too, making this one awesome book for petite learners.

Abagail by Catherine Rayner (Tiger Tails, 2013) Abigail is a giraffe who loves to count, she counts just about anything she can find; even her friends.  They count all day and into the evening, the illustrations are beautiful and sure to get your petite counting.

Turtle Splash: Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell (Greenwillow Books, 2001) is modeled after the counting song.  It is a terribly fun read and sing along.  We completely enjoyed reading this really fun counting book and counting the turtles.

Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman (Simon & Schuster, 2015) is a charming book, this book is filled with glorious rhymes and darling illustrations that will make this a perfect read for any petite who is learning about numbers, but also loves a great story.  One of our favorite pages is number 5!

As part of the petites counting lessons, we’ve been using little hippo counters to help her to learn more about counting objects, these have been incredibly helpful.  These counters are so much fun because they have endless uses:

  • sorting by color
  • sorting by type
  • counting
  • story telling
  • patterns
  • comparing numbers – which is larger or smaller

You will also be able to find counters for your petites online, here are some super cute ones that we’ve been eyeing on amazon.



If you have any other counting books that your petite’s are loving please let me know we’d love to check them out.

Petite Patriots: Part One

My petites have been asking a lot of questions about the United States and our history lately.  My husband loves politics, election cycles and history; so we are fully embracing their curious minds and spending quite a bit of time talking about the history of our country and some of the things that make America so special.

Since this is an election year, I wanted to start to share some of the books that we are reading and really enjoying.


For part one of our series of Petite Patriots we want to share two of Perter Spier’s books – his illustrations are fantastic, they make these books so much fun to read.

We the People: The Constitution of the United States (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1987)  What I love about this is that the book covers all of it, the beginning of the book is the illustrated preamble of the constitution, but then we get the full deal in the pages to follow.  Making this book, in my opinion, perfect for all ages.  The illustrated preamble is perfect for petite patriots; but then we get images of the signers, the story of the constitution, A call to action, information about the debate in Philadelphia, how it was drafted, individual rights (which you’re never to young to learn), along with the complete Constitution of the United States.

The Star-Spangled Banner (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1973) let’s just start by saying this book again, is gorgeously illustrated, the end papers show the flags of the American Revolution and the United States, as well as the government and armed forces flags.  This book covers the story of the star-spangled banner, War of 1812, Baltimore Attacked!, An Anthem Conceived in Battle – all about Francis Scott Key, and the Flag’s Journey it is a perfect introduction to the history of our national anthem.

These books are geared for  9 year olds, however, I think that these could be used in older grades as well.  The information in the second half of each book dives into the history which is written for an older audience.

Stay tuned for more Petite Patriots in the days and weeks to come.

The Petite Loves her Lessons

When our seven year old headed back to school in September, our three year old had quite a tough time dealing with her best friend and playmate being gone for 7 hours a day.  Something we have noticed with our second petite is that she wants to do everything her big sister does, she wants to wear her backpack to the bus stop, she wants to have a lunch packed even though she stays home with me during the day.  So we decided that because she so desperately wants to be a “big girl” we would start doing some big girl things.  So each day we’ve been doing what we are calling “lessons”.  She is obsessed with her lessons, she has a little backpack, pencil box, notebook, even her own scissors (which is a huge deal to her), so each day we spend time working on lessons.

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What her lessons currently look like is talking about a letter, tracing it in her notebook, putting stickers in her notebook, drawing a picture, cutting something – usually a picture from a magazine and gluing it in her notebook.  Counting different things we find and looking for “experiments” – which is basically feathers, cool leaves, or something she has found outside.  Of course we can’t forget reading stacks and stacks of books, looking for the letter we learned about.

Recently at the library, we found some pretty fun little books all about the five senses, we’ve been spending a lot of time looking at these books, and talking about the five senses.  They have been so much fun to use during our lessons.

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I Hear | I Touch | I See | I Smell | I Taste

What we love about these very young readers is their size, clearly they knew their audience has little hands and decided to make these little picture books the perfect size for little hands to hold in their laps.  These little books cover the senses with bold bright colors, sometimes even see through pages which are a huge hit with my petite.  The illustrations are a little silly and it is so much fun to see the reactions to the pictures.

We also love that these books provide talking points where little ones can explore things like what’s your favorite food, what tastes do you like, what don’t you like?  These books are creative and clever and perfect for petites.  If you have a curious little petite who loves books these would be the perfect additions to your library bag.



Tales of Adventure & Reading!

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The Storybook Knight by Helen & Thomas Docherty by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (September, 2016) is a book that I have read almost every single night since it showed up on our front porch a few weeks ago.  This book is all about being brave and bold.  About using your mind to solve problems.  Most importantly it’s about sharing a love of reading!

So let’s just dive right into what makes this book one that your petites will beg to have read over and over.  First the illustrations!  They have a classical, familiar feel, almost like Richard Scarry; but with that said it’s completely unique in their own right.  Leo is part of a lovely family who want the best for him.  They encourage him to be a knight, but he doesn’t want to fight.  He wants to sit and read (sounds like an awesome mouse, right?).

Leo decided he will give being a knight a try, so he packs his brand-new shield and sword, sandwiches and lots of books.  When he sets off on his quest he encounters many new creatures; a griffin, troll and dragon!  (Have you ordered this fantastic book yet?)  In his encounters these creatures are used to ordinary knights who fight, but Leo is quite different, instead of using force to get what he wants, he uses his wit and the books he has packed for his journey.

What we love most about Leo is that although these creatures are much bigger than he is, he is brave!  He is bold!  He’s smart!  Leo is everything we want in a hero.  This book is so much fun to read aloud, with the rhyming and fantastic characters, it is so well written you just have to read it aloud.  We love this book and are certain that this book will be a huge hit with your petites!

Teachers and parents I cannot rave about this book enough, you have to check it out for yourselves.  The lovely folks at Sourcebook Jabberwocky have created two really great guides to help you make the most of this fantastic book.

Activity PackEducator Guide


I also feel compelled to tell you that this is not Helen and Thomas Docherty’s first book, for that you will have to check out The Snatchabook!  Snatchabook is a delightful story (that also can be purchased through your kiddos Scholastic Book account), it is all about the love of books!  One night a darling bunny, Eliza Brown is reading her stories and all of a sudden they disappear!  It is a perfect mystery for petites.  All of the books in Burrow Down and very suspiciously disappearing; Eliza Brown decides she’s had enough and is up for the challenge of figuring out just what is going on.  Eliza sets a magnificent trap for the book thief and patiently waits….until she discovers just who has been stealing all of the books in Burrow Down…the Snatchabook!  This story is so much fun.  It is a fantastic read aloud.

Think Happy


Think Happy by Karen Salmansohn (Ten Speed Press, 2016) in this book you will find a collection of fifty inspirational sayings that are sure to bolster your confidence, raise your happiness quota and help your overall mood.  This is a really fabulous book that not only looks amazing on the shelf or coffee table, but has really inspiring pep talks that are sure to help you support yourself or others.  Karen Salmansohn is a happiness guru, and it is quite clear that she is extremely passionate about helping others to attain happiness.

I am a huge fan of quotes and have many books dedicated to the wise words of others and this book will fit perfectly into this category.  A place where you can look and find sage advice to help move you from whatever place you may find yourself.

These are the perfectly motivational, inspiring, mood-lifting topics you will find:

  • Five things to say when starting something new
  • Five things to say when feeling grumpy
  • Five things to say when dealing with a major challenge
  • Five things to say when faced with failure
  • Five things to say to improve your self-love life
  • Five things to say when dealing with toxic people
  • Five things to say when you feel stressed out
  • Five things to say when looking for and maintaining love
  • Five things to say when you need to forgive and forget
  • Five things to say to motivate yourself to go for your dreams

Let’s also take a moment to discuss the art that is within these pages, I would be lying if I didn’t say when I opened this book part of me wanted to figure out how to get these inspiring words into frames and on my walls.  They are brilliant little reminders to strive for greatness, to let the small stuff go, to focus on what really matters.  This book is so aesthetically pleasing – I love the quirky art that accompanies each inspirational quote.  This book would be a perfect gift for a book loving friend, someone who needs more happy in their lives and well of course the perfect book to treat yourself.

I had never heard of Karen Salmansohn before reading this book and now I must confess, I want to read anything and everything I can find written by her.  Ms. Salmansohn has written quite a few books about happiness and inspirational teachings:


Blogger Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review; however the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.