Petite Paleontologists, have you ever wondered how the dinosaur got to the Smithsonian?


Well, if you or your petite has asked this question before you’re in luck, because I have a book that will answer all of your questions. How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland (copyright 2011 Blue Apple Books) is a book that uses very scientific words, but in a way the petites will understand and even retain.  The way that each new word is introduced and then highlighted throughout the story is such a great way to reinforce the new vocabulary.

Inner page 1My two year old has a thing for dinos, she loves them.  We were at the library recently and she found this amazing book in the stacks.  My two year old loves this book, she will sit and look at the entire book and its stunning illustrations.  Where as my six year old loves hearing about all of the different jobs that are possible.  Especially since they are scientists, what I love even more is that when she was done looking through this book she saw that there was another book and she wanted to go right back to the library to learn more.

Inner page 2One of the aspects about this book that make it so special are the uniquely stunning illustrations.  Once you have seen one of Jessie Hartland’s books, you will recognize her other work immediately.

I love that this book inspired my girlie to want to learn about other things, like the sphinx and learn more about museums.

If you think that these book looks amazing, you’re right, because they are, you can tell that Ms. Hartland has a serious passion for the topics that she choses to write about.   However, if you have slightly older petites a new book of hers just came out  about Steve Jobs, it is geared for grades 8 and up.


The Circus Ship…and Some Unexpected Visitors

Recently we went to one of my all time favorite bookshops, Keplers in Menlo Park, California.  Growing up this was one of my favorite places and I spent most if not all of my allowances there.  Being back in California brought back so many fantastic memories that I wanted to share with my petites, so of course it was only natural to share this fantastic place with my family.


While browsing the children’s books one of their delightful sales people came up and asked us how we were, I asked her to show me some of her favorite titles.  She told me about her son and how he loves The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen, she said that he loved looking for the animals on the pages.  After a quick peak, it was clear that this book would be coming back to Seattle with us.

The Circus Ship

This is a tremendous story that is sure to become a favorite at story time.  It all starts five miles off the coast of Maine, where a circus ship is stuck in the fog.  On board this boat were fifteen circus animals that were heading to Boston for a show.  The delightful captain, Mr. Carrington was concerned about the weather and wanted to delay, however, Mr. Paine the circus boss has another plan in mind.

As you might have expected the circus ship didn’t make it to Boston, in fact it crashes and this is where the unexpected events unfold.  The fifteen anaimals swim all night long and soggily land on the shore, when the towns people begin to wake up they are in for quite the surprise.  This is where the amazing illustrations really come to life.  I found myself being excited with the turn of each page to see what the animals are getting into.  This story is filled with fun and adventure, the animals get into all sorts of trouble.  The rhyming flow of the story makes this a perfect book to be read aloud.  You cannot help but have a huge smile on your face as you search for the ostrich in an outhouse, a python in the pantry, and a tiger in the tulips.  This book also provides the perfect opportunity to discuss feelings of the towns people as they discover the different animals – I love this interaction it is so important to be able to discuss these small components of stories with petites.

Of course no story is complete without something really stunning happening, there is a fire and a little one who is trapped inside, the tiger acts just like he has many other nights with jumping through a ring of fire and he does just that and saves sweet Emma Rose.  After this brave act the towns people change the opinion about the animals and they lived together and it seems like this would be the perfect ending to a perfect book.

However, you may be asking yourself what about Mr.Paine?  Well, he comes back and he is mean as ever looking for his animals so that he can put them back to work.  The townspeople have had a change of heart, they love these animals and so they help to hide them.  Mr. Paine searches all over the town and cannot find his animals anywhere.  This is where your petite can see if they have better luck than Mr. Paine.

What I think is so terribly fun about this story is that it is based upon true events!

Circus Ship

What!  So this is the part where I get really giddy, as a teacher I love stories like this one and then where there is a non-fiction document to go with it, you have a fantastic teachable moment.

The Little Paris Bookshop…a complete delight to read.

The Little Paris Bookshop a NovelI recently read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (Crown, 2015) it is an absolutely wonderful read for book lovers.  This story is set in Paris, the main character Jean Perdu is a book seller, but more than that he has transformed a floating barge into the most perfect bookshop.  He of course sells books, but not always in the way that one would think.  He is phenomenal at choosing just the perfect book for the person who is reading it, his shop is a literary apothecary.  My biggest regret in reading this book is that I did not keep a list of the books that are referenced, because it would be so much fun to read all of them that Monsieur Perdu mentions.

This book is not just about selling books, or the perfect backdrop of Paris, it is a very detailed look at one mans life and the choices that he has made.  Perdu struggles with the fact that he loved deeply when he was younger and that relationship ended and he has never been able to move on.  He goes on this quest to resolve his lost love, picking up interesting characters along the way.  The friendships that he makes are fantastic in that they are not predictable, they are well crafted characters that all learn something from one another and all serve a really important purpose.  I absolutely love this book.  It is filled with friends, letting go of the past and being okay with moving on and loving again.  Nina George does a wonderful job of creating characters and a setting that transport you in time and place.

The Little Paris Bookshop is a delightful read that any one who loves a great story and a story about books will completely enjoy.  In fact this book was so interesting to me that I wanted to immediately know more about this idea of prescribing books to people to cure their ailments.  So I did a little research into this idea and found The Novel Cure, which is a book that contains recommendations for what ails you.  It is an A – Z of literary remedies created by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin.  They started The School of Life in London, where they have been prescribing literary therapy for years.  You should definitely check out their recommendations and if you happen to be in London go The School of Life.

Blogger note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, however the ideas presented are my own.

The Giveaway is complete! The Winner is Jennifer R!

BabyLit Winner

I absolutely love giving books away.  There is something about getting new books that is so incredibly special.  Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, I love giving books away so much that there will be another giveaway soon. 


It’s Giveaway Time

I am so excited, I truly love giving books away.  Books are some of the best gifts that you can give to someone and this time I am thrilled to be giving away some of our absolute favorite books.


I have mentioned before that I am madly and forever in love with BabyLit and the amazing designs and creations of Alison Oliver and Jennifer Adams.  There are so many stunning books, I have made it a mission to collect them all (I need to get my hands on four more at the moment to complete my petites set).

Baby Lit

Introducing petites to these primers is wonderful for so many reasons, the books are stunning introductions to the classics we have all grown to love.  With gorgeously illustrated pages, that help petites to learn about counting, colors or animals.  These books are gorgeously designed, they entice pre-readers with the bright colors and fantastic illustrations.  One of my favorite things about these books is that they are fun for parents to read too.  They also look amazing on a shelf.

Okay, let’s talk about the giveaway: the giveaway includes four of our favorite BabyLit books.

Romeo & Juliet: A Counting Primer

Romeo & JUliet romeo & Juliet inner

Alice in Wonderland: A Colors Primer

Alice and Wonderland

Alice and Wonderland inner

Moby Dick: An Ocean Primer

Moby Dick

Moby Dick Inner

Pride and Prejudice: A Counting Primer

Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice Inner

As you can see if you are not familiar with these books, they are a gorgeous homage to the classics, perfect for petites.  A special thank you to Gibbs Smith Publisher for the lovely images.

How to Enter and Rules for Entry

♥ Follow the Petite Stag on Facebook & Share the page with one friend

♥ Follow the Petite Stag on Instagram & Tag one friend in the comments of the giveaway post

♥♥ Make sure to enter following the steps above and  by clicking on a Rafflecopter giveaway, when you have completed the above steps.♥♥

This giveaway is only open to US residents at this time.

Best of Luck!


Orion and the Dark

coverOrion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett (2015, Templar Books) is a book that is all about facing your fears and having fun along the way.  Orion is a young boy, who like many petites is afraid of quite a few things: wasps, dogs, monsters, spiders, girls and one thing that scares Orion more than anything else…the dark.  Because he is so frightened of the dark, he has tried everything to solve the problem, but nothing works.


His room that isn’t scary during the day becomes frightening at night.  One night Orion notices something very peculiar happening, the Dark begins to come alive and then straight into Orions’ room.  The Dark is a beautiful slightly transparent figure adorned with stars and constellations.


Orion remembers what his mother always says “remembers your manners” so he introduces himself and what do you know, the Dark – not so scary after all.


Orion goes through a fantastic transformation, he realizes that the Dark is not exactly what he expected.  The adventure that Orion and Dark go on is to uncover all the scary places and see what they are really about.  What Orion learns through facing his fears is that some of the places that he thought where the most frightening, turned out to be really FUN!


Together Orion and the Dark explore the darkness and all of the things that had previously scared Orion and together they conquered his fears.  Until they got to the scariest of them all the night sky.


What Orion realizes through this journey with the Dark is that they are friends and that he doesn’t want the Dark to go far away.


This book is perfect for petites who love a great story and maybe aren’t too fond of the dark.  After we read this book, I looked for some really fun activities that we could do to keep the fun going and talk more about the stars.  A special thank you to Templar Books an imprint of Candlewick for the images.


Since the girls so enjoyed reading Orion and the Dark I wanted to make sure that we continued to have fun discussing this topic.  I found this gorgeously done constellation book that is the perfect companion activity to this book from Quince & Quire.

Quince & Quire Constellation Book

Here is an amazing printable document of the Northern Hemisphere constellations courtesy of Mr. Printables, that might help you to complete your constellation book.



Hope you enjoyed our fun activity, if you like what you read here consider following The Petite Stag on Facebook or Instagram.

If you liked this book here are some other posts that you might enjoy:

The Dark - Cover  Flashlight - cover