Everyone Makes Mistakes

Many petites really struggle with making mistakes.  Often times it is a fear that they will get in trouble, or embarrassment that they didn’t get it right the first time, or perhaps they just don’t like to be wrong.  Whatever the reason may be many kids struggle with making mistakes and how that makes them feel doubt or shame.

As a teacher and a mom of two young girls teaching about making mistakes is a priority, how we react to making those mistakes can determine quite a bit.  Making mistakes helps to build stamina as well as provides learning opportunities.  However, if your petites are too concerned about making mistakes that they don’t take risks, or adventure or an opportunity for new learning then that is when problems can arise.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time reading Stickley Makes a Mistake: A Frog’s Guide to Trying Again by Brenda S. Miles and illustrated by Steve Mack (Magination Press); this book will be hitting shelves next month on August 16th.  This book is all about a young frog named Stickley.  He, like most petites doesn’t like to make mistakes, he strives for perfection and when he doesn’t attain it, well he doesn’t want to try again. As a teacher this was something that was all too familiar with little ones who struggle and make mistakes.   This book is filled with encouragement and support.

 Nobody’s perfect and good things can happen –  even when you make mistakes!

Stickley Makes Mistakes offers subtle ways to support children as they naturally make mistakes.  We love that the suggestions are to ask for help, feel proud for trying, practicing, how mistakes can sometimes be happy surprises and huge successes and that nobody is perfect.  This is incredibly important for our young girls.

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This book was published by the American Psychological Association and offers a parents, caregivers and teachers guide in the back of the book.  I love this approach, because the book is fantastic and with the incredibly helpful tips in the back the learning can be extended beyond the pages of Stickley.

I think that Stickley Makes Mistakes is a important book, one that should be in every single kindergarten classroom; because making mistakes and navigating challenging situations and problem solving skills are so incredibly important.  This book is a perfect read for preschool through third grade.  The tips in the back are ones all lower elementary teachers and parents should read and learn more about.

Thank you to Magination press for this wonderful book and use of the images for this post.  I received this book from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts about Stickley Makes a Mistake are my own.  Magination Press, publishes many books to support the social and emotional well being of petites check out their website to learn more about these titles.


We Love Big Books and Cannot Lie

My girls have a bit of a love affair with huge books.  You know those books that are so big you can’t really hold them and must lay on the floor to even turn the pages.  We wanted to share some of our absolute favorite big books and of course, if we’ve left any off of the list please let us know, we are always looking to add to our collection!

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Many of these I have written about before but never have you seen them in one gargantuan collection of awesome!

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinksi (Big Picture Press, 2013) is a gorgeous book, we love looking at this book and all of the amazing details that are held within it.  It has almost all of the countries of the world (to my petite’s dismay it doesn’t have Ireland).  We love how this book offers up bite sized facts and introductions to many countries and is a visual feast.  It comes in at a whopping 10.9x 14.8 inches.

Animalium: Ticket to the Museum by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott (Big Picture Press, 2014)  reminds me of those stunning Audubon images that my grandfather so loved.  This book contains 200+ stunning images that are accompanied by informative text.  This book is a pure pleasure to pour over on a rainy afternoon.  This books measures in at 11 x 14.9 inches.

Timeline: A Visual History of Our World by Peter Goes (Gecko Press, 2016) 10.6x 14.6 is the perfect size for this amazing book.  Goes does a remarkable job of putting together historical events from the Big Bang to present day.  This book has the most amazing little snippets of history.  To confess, I spent my time in history in high school catching up on correspondences.  So this book has been a great reminder of what I would have learned had I been paying better attention.

Zoo-ology by Emmanuelle Grundmann and Joelle Jolivet (Roaring Brook Press,2003) this is a book that my husband came home with one day.  It continues to be a family favorite and one that the petites often can be found laying on top of and exploring the detailed illustrations.  What I like best about the layout of this book is how they share the animals, it isn’t by habitat or region as you might expect but rather by large and small, hot weather, cold weather, feathered, horned, spots and stripes.  This hefty tome comes in at 12.4 x 17.8 inches and is tied for first place in our biggest book competition with Almost Everything.

The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 fact-filled maps!  by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero (Wide Eyed Editions, 2015) is an a visual delight!  This book is perfect for petites of all ages.  My youngest recently received it as a gift and she absolutely adores flipping through the huge pages and checking out all of the places on the map.  We love the Welcome to the State portion where you get some insight into what that state is all about.  We also love the little timelines in Moments to Remember, this books packs in so much information…it is a must for any family who loves to travel in the US.  This book isn’t the largest we are featuring today, but it is by far one of our absolute favorites at 11.5 x 13.8 inches.

Almost Everything by Joelle Jolivet (Roaring Brook Press, 2005) covers, well you guessed it, almost everything.  There are trees & flowers, fruits & veggies, houses, tools, cars, trains and more.  This book is so much fun to look through.  After purchasing Zoo-ology we knew we were huge fans of these gorgeous books.  This book is a huge book which we think makes it all the more fun to look through coming in at a whopping 12.4 x 17.8 inches you won’t find this in a standard sized bookshelf; and is tied for biggest book award with Zoo-ology!

Atlas of Adventure by Rachel Williams and Lucy Letherland (Wide Eyed Editions, 2015) is another completely stunning book that has the right to be on any coffee table in the land (or so I declare), it is that lovely.  This book is filled with glorious and adventurous illustrations.  This is a sort of adventure book in the sense that you have things to find within each page as well as fun facts to keep you learning.  It is perfect for petites who dream of traveling the world.  This book will fit perfectly under the seat cushion in front of you, coming in at 10.9 x 14.9 inches.

The Wonder Garden by Jenny Broom and Kristjana S Williams (Wide Eyed Editions, 2015) is a Technicolor feast of neon.  This book sends its readers on an adventure through 5 habitats with introductions to 80 animals.  This book with its exceptional bright pink and magenta tones will be sure to enthrall any petite who loves animals and interesting facts.  As my petites were reading it they kept saying “oh look at all the pink”.  Also I feel compelled to mention which habitats are covered because they are not the ones that typically come to mind, which we LOVE!  In this book you will be introduced to the Chihuahuan Desert, the Amazon Rainforest, the Black Forest, the Himalayan Mountains, and the Great Barrier Reef.  This brilliantly bold book will be sure to ensnare even the youngest of petites with the vibrant color and attention to details.  This book is also one of the smaller featured in this collection at 11.4 x 13.6 inches.

Pierre the Maze Detective by Hiro Kamigaki & IC4DESIGN (Laurence King Publishing, 2015) is probably one of our most favorite books.  This is an incredibly engaging book, imagine Where’s Waldo, but a bazillion times better!  Yes, a full bazillion.  In this book you will enter into the world of Opera City and the 15 mazes that Pierre will need to solve to uncover the clues to find Mr. X.  You will travel through a cafe, hot air balloon festival, castle, forest, a busy port, haunted mansion, and of course an ocean maze complete with a Craken!  The mazes are amazingly detailed almost in a spell binding way that so much detail can be contained on each page.  You have to search for multiple things on each page to complete the maze and get a step closer to catching Mr.X.  We absolutely love this book, for a more complete review where I basically gush over this books awesomeness click here.

If you have other favorite big books please let us know, we would love to check them out.
Happy Reading!



City Shapes

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City Shapes by Diana Murray and art by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown and Company, 2016) is filled with rhymes and rhythm.  This is the story of a little girl who is walking through her city for a full day.  This little petite is full of wonder and excitement as she gives us, the reader, a tour of her fabulous city.  I love that this book shows the wonder that a city has to hold, so often in picture books the city is not what is showcased its a more rural setting and I am really enjoying the new trend of showing off urban settings and all that they have to offer.

This book is a fanciful I spy and so much fun to read with little ones, the text is so engaging with the rhyme and then of course you need to search for all the examples of shapes on the page, which makes it so much fun during story time.  Another fun component is that the illustrations look like a collage and inspire little ones to think about the stories that they can tell and what they might look like.  I also love that after reading this story the next day as we were driving around our city, the girls started looking for all the shapes that they could see.

What I think is incredibly special is that this little petite who guides us through her city is Bryan Collier’s four-year old daughter; so sweet.  I love that the illustrations capture what it is to be a child and the wonder and delight that can so often be found in the simple discoveries around your community.  This is a perfect book for petites in the 2-5 year age range.

The Art of Friendship: Louise and Andie edition

If you’ve been hanging around with me here at The Petite Stag for a while now, you will know I am a huge Kelly Light Fan!  Huge, she not only creates amazing and inspiring books, but she is extremely generous, giving and kind.  Let me give you a little back story.  My daughter has epilepsy and was having a really rough time, she was having lots of seizures and struggling in school and just feeling overall really crummy.  I had posted something about it and Kelly Light happened to see it and asked if she could send a little something Zoe’s way to cheer her up.

She sent her magic in a box a year ago this week.

It happened to be one of those moments when you really see the good that is in the world, in the darkest of our days someone whom we had never met, someone on the opposite side of the country took a moment to brighten a little girls day.  So that my friends, is why we absolutely adore Kelly Light!

Louise and Andie The Art of Friendship

So I am thrilled to be taking some time to talk about her latest book; Louise and Andie The Art of Friendship (Balzer + Bray, 2016).  This book is exactly what I had hoped it would be.  In this next adventure Louise and Art are getting a new neighbor, as they watch the movers arrive Louise is so excited to meet her new pal.  With of course one hope in mind, that she too loves art!  When it is discovered that Andie does love art well it truly is the best day ever.  They have so much in common, what could possibly go wrong?

Like most relationships there needs to be strong communication and these two artists are working on that skill.  When disaster strikes it is how they recover from the problem and move forward.  I of course, cannot spoil this for you…so you will have to rush to your local bookshop or library to see what happens.

What I think is pretty fabulous is the use of primary colors, if you were familiar with Louise Loves Art then you will know that red is the prominent color and here with the addition of Andie we get blue.  I love the attention to detail and the little touches that make these books so much fun to read with petites.  I will warn you, that just like when we read Louise Loves Art, immediately following reading the petites wanted to get out paints and get to work on creating their own art.



Words of Wisdom from a Dog Governess

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I have been known to judge a book by its cover, you too?  It is almost impossible not to have a reaction to book covers and well this one is swoon worthy.  Let me introduce you to Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill (Tundra Books, 2016).  This book has been on my radar for a while now, I am rather obsessed with the books that Tundra publishes (This is Sadie, If I had a Gryphon) and when I saw the cover for this one, well I marked my calendar for the release date.

Miss Moon, is a completely whimsical story filled with incredibly thoughtful advice that is beneficial for not only canines (ours approves) as well as petites and even adults.  We are given a brief introduction to Miss Wilhelmina Moon on the first page where we learn that she set off with her French bulldog, petunia and her monkey, Mitford to become a governess to sixty-seven dogs.  During her time as a dog governess she imparted her wisdom and sage advice to these pooches and in this collection you the reader will learn her 20 ‘most important lessons for lessons for raising happy, healthy, well-mannered pooches – and people”.

I couldn’t possibly spoil all of the fun; but feel compelled to share our favorite lessons from Miss Moon…

Lesson One: Friends can come in many shapes and sizes.

Lesson Five: Practice Makes Perfect.

Lesson Six: A good book will chase away the dark.

Lesson Seven: Never stop learning.

Lesson Nine: The impossible can become possible with a little creativity.

These are just a few of my favorites.  I adore these lessons and the illustrations that go with them.  They are unique, yet classic.  They are absolutely delightful.

Teacher Application: This book would be so much fun to read in the first weeks of school to your class and then discuss what lessons/rules would be great to have in your class for the year.  These are all perfect jumping off points for students to be better citizens and classmates to one another.  It would also be fun to see what other lessons the students might want to add to the list of 20.

Age range 4-8 years old.

Leave it to Tundra Books to also create an awesome guide for educators to go along with this book.  Find it here.

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Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can buy all of the illustrations from this enchanting book on Janet Hill’s Etsy site.

Happy Reading!

Our Love for Jan Brett

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with a first grade teacher who introduced me to the world of Jan Brett.  This teacher was one of those teachers that you wish your petites could have over and over again.  Her passion for teaching literacy and her love of Jan Brett was so evident when she read the fantastic stories aloud.  At the time I was a facilitator (for non-teacher folks, that means I didn’t have a classroom, I was able to move around and support students in all classes throughout the day); being a facilitator provided me an opportunity to spend time in the classroom and work with my students who were learning English and I often found myself in this teachers classroom for the literacy block.  It almost seems silly to say it, but I sat patiently and quietly on the floor and fell madly in love with the Jan Brett stories that she read.

Jan Brett, has been writing and illustrating stories for years, she has over 40 million books in print, incredible!  She publishes a new book just about every year, and when you take a moment to look at the incredible illustrations you will wonder how on earth she is able to do it; it’s quite possible she might have super powers.

So let’s dive into the books; there are a ton of them, so for this post, I am only going to cover my absolute favorites.

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The Mitten (1996) is a Ukrainian classic about a young boy who has white mittens and happens to lose one in the snow, this story is all about how many animal friends can fit into this white mitten.  This is a story of whimsy and delight.  This is one of my personal favorites to share with little ones.

Town Mouse Country Mouse (2003) is the story of two mouse couples who are tired of the day to day mouse grind and want a change of scenery.  This story switches back and forth with lovely lush greens of the country to the staggering beauty of the town.  This is a beautiful story and the illustrations are some of my very favorite.

The Hat (1997) is a story of a little hedgehog who finds stocking that has blown off of a clothes line.  Hedgie loves his new hat and all of the animals tease him for his new hat.  However, in the end Hedgie gets the last laugh.  Lisa, the owner of the stocking, has to track down all of her missing woolen things from all the silly animals.  This story is sure to get a laugh.

Hedgie’s Surprise (2000) this is a tale set in Denmark, little Hedgie helps Henny protect her eggs from Tomten who is stealing them daily.  She tries everything to trick Tomten by putting a berry, mushroom and finally a potato and nothing stops him from taking the eggs, until Hedgie comes to save the day.  This is another story that will have petites rooting for Hedgie and Henny.

The Umbrella (2004) I absolutely love this book, it’s about Carlos a young boy who lives in the Costa Rican jungle and the adventure that embarks on.  It is one brilliantly illustrated page after the other.  The animals are amazing and petites have so much guessing what will happen next.  Even though we as readers, see tons of animals Carlos doesn’t see a single one while they play with his umbrella.

Mossy (2012) I think this might be my absolute favorite of her books, the illustrations and the story are so lovely.  This is the story of a scientist Dr. Carolina and her niece Tory.  The two find this amazing little box turtle that has the most unusual garden growing on her back.  They take Mossy to their museum and keep her there for a year for all the visitors to see; but in the end they realize Mossy is sad and belongs back at Lilypad Pond and so they reunite her with her pond and her love Scoot.

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears (1987) this is the telling of the Goldilocks and the Three  Bears.  What I love best is the gorgeous illustrations, on the side panels there are little foreshadowing images of what it to come.  We love books with little hints about what it to come.

Armadillo Rodeo (1995) Is a story about a little girl Harmony Jean and Bo the armadillo who  just like Harmony Jean loves a good old Texas adventure.  Bo is on a search for a red armadillo (which happens to be a cowboy boot, on Harmony Jeans foot) and in the midst of his search he encounters some new friends and some spicy eats.  What I love most about this story is Bo’s amazing attitude and his mamas wonderful instincts for her baby.

The Three Snow Bears (2007) This is another take on the classic three little bears, but this time set far north with the Inuit.  This is a stunning take on the three bears, with gorgeous illustrations.

Beauty and the Beast (1990) to be honest, I love this book the art is amazing.  The side panels and tapestries in the background are lovely for foreshadowing.  To be completely honest, my youngest (three years-old)  thinks the illustrations are a little frightening.  It is a stunning take on the classic Beauty and the Beast.

Honey…Honey…Lion! (2005) Is a story set in africa, with the honey badger and honeyguide bird.  The two usually work together as a team, but one day the badger becomes greedy and refuses to share.  Honeyguide has had enough and plays a rather elaborate trick to teach him a lesson.

The 3 Little Dassies (2010) this is the story of the three little pigs but with a twist.  Set in Australia this is a darling take on a classic.  I am sure three little piggy fans will adore this book.

Here is a really great book for teachers filled with all sorts of ways to start using Jan Brett books in your classroom.  Teaching with Favorite Jan Brett Books

Teachers and parents often times Jan Brett books are part of the Scholastic catalog, even if they are not in the little fliers that come home with the petites the titles can be found online.  


Here is my Pinterest page for all things Jan Brett.

Padmini is Powerful

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Padmini is Powerful by Amy Maranville and art by Tim Palin (Bharat Babies, 2015) is a board book that gives an introduction into Hindu gods.  This book is absolutely darling in every way, not to mention educational and a wonderful conversation starter.  Padmini is a little girl who you will fall in love with immediately; from her smart red glasses to her little expressions.

This book is a perfect primer for Hindu gods, the bright cheery illustrations by Tim Palin keep the smallest of petites interested in the bright colors.

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My daughter was so excited to see this book, this was her first introduction into Hindu gods and she asked such amazing questions about the gods and what they were like and what they did.


It was incredible to me that a three-year old would interact with a board book in this way.  We talked about the words that are showcased: powerful, wise, creative, energy, generous & kind, focus, creates and protects.


At this point in our book talk my almost seven-year old sat down and they started talking about how they are powerful and wise and creative.  I adore that this book created such thoughtful conversations between the girls.


Another component to this book that made both girls squeal is the mirror in the back of the book, they both thought it was so much fun to see their faces.

This book is so important for so many reasons, getting board books into the hands of petites as their first introduction to reading and books is so critical to raising readers.  I love that this book promotes a strong female character in Padmini and teaches about the Hindu gods.  I have seen picture books that have a focus on Hinduism, but I have never seen a board book before in this category and I am thrilled to be able to share this amazing book with you.

A huge thank you to Bharat Babies for the images.  Also, when you go to their website and sign-up you will get $5 off of your first purchase!

Blogger note: I was given this book by Bharat Babies in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts about Padmini is Powerful are my own.

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