Cult Classics for Petites


EDITED 1/26/2017: I have learned that KinderGuides authors Fredrik Colting and Melissa Medina are being sued for copyright infringement concerning all four of their books mentioned in this post.  To read more about this click, here.

We all have those favorite books, the ones that we keep on our shelves long after we finish the last page.  Those books that we hold dear, books that cause us to ponder something greater than ourselves.  As an English major I am thrilled for the day when I can share my absolute favorites with my petites, but that will be years from now…or will it?

Recently KinderGuides by Melissa Medina and Fredrik Colting (Moppet Books, 2016) came onto the kid lit scene and has adapted cult classics into petite sized reads of some of the most popular, commonly sought out, revered books around.

It’s not about growing up quickly, but rather about sowing that seed of appreciation for classic literature at an early age” Frederik Colting

Let’s spend a moment talking about the current trend of creating books that are classics, but in a package that is suitable for petites.  There are many books out there that re-envision the classics.  Some of our absolute favorites are BabyLit’s board books that use the classics as a conduit to teach petites about first skills, they are quite literally perfect primers.  What KinderGuides is doing is for slightly older petites, more in the age range of roughly 6-12 year olds.  These books are learning guides, that take classic stories and make them suitable for petites to digest and start to talk about.  Not to mention, KinderGuides is perfect for bibliophile parents – it is really fun to have an introduction into beloved classics minus the sex, drugs and violence.

The first four books that have been published and are currently in stores now are: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.  Other titles that are currently in the works are: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

“The goal of all of this is to get them really psyched about these books now, so that they’ll want to read the originals later,” Ms. Medina said.

New York Times Interview, 2016

On The Road by Jack Kerouac is one of the most iconic authors of the Beat Generation his book On the Road is a cult classic for sure.  In this KinderGuides book you will read a short bio about Kerouac then hope right into a summarized version of On the Road.  In this summary you will get a general idea of On the Road and the adventures that Sal and Dean have together along with some of the characters that they meet along the way.  During reading  there were a couple of times where my petite asked questions about the ambiguity of the summary.  This story reads more like a bulleted summary at places and doesn’t flow when read aloud like you might expect.  However, I do believe that readers who love On the Road will love sharing this book with their petites.


The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway is one of my absolute favorite stories of all time.  Let’s first discuss the illustrations, they are stunningly vibrant, engaging and seem to capture the tone of the novel.  The summary for this book is spot on and gives you a real sense of what happened in the book.  I actually think that this might be a perfect addition to a classroom for a language learner so that they could use this guide to gain a more complete understanding of the original text.


I love that through the reading of this book my petite was engaged and wanting to know more about what would happen to Santiago once he caught the fish and what it must have felt like to pull his boat ashore with a pretty much eaten carcass.  I believe that these conversations are the root of what Ms. Medina and Mr. Colting were aiming for when they created KinderGuides.


Here is a link to the New York Times piece about KinderGuides.

Bloggers Note: I was given the books mentioned in this post for an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.  Thank you to KinderGuides for use of images from The Old Man and The Sea.



Illuminature – So unique…so special

Illuminature by Carnovksy and Rachel Williams (Wide Eyed Press, 2016) is by far one of the most unique books we’ve laid our eyes on in quite some time.  This will have you and your petites spending hours pouring over the images and discovering new animals in their natural habitats.


This book covers:

  • The Congo Rain Forest
  • The Simpson Desert
  • Lock Lomond
  • The Andes Mountains
  • Weddell and Ross Seas
  • The Redwood Forest
  • East Siberian Taiga
  • The Serengeti Plains
  • The Ganges River Basin
  • The Apo Reef
  • East Siberian Taiga

Within each habitat you will learn about the destination, which continents, number of species and the size of the habitat.


Page Without Viewing Lens


Daytime Animals




Nighttime and Twilight Animals

Once you have chosen your first destination you will learn all about what that particular part of the world has to show you, then you will go to the observation deck where you can use the special view finder to search out the flora and fauna.  Your petites will also enjoy checking out the species guide to learn more.

How this amazing book comes to life, is this magic viewing lens.  With the red lens you will see creatures that are out during the daytime – diurnal animals.  With the green lens the plants will come to life.  With the blue lens you will be able to view the nocturnal animals.

petite-stag-favoriteThis book is so much fun, I cannot express to you how fabulous and unique this book is.  I promise your petites will absolutely love spending time looking at this book.  It is beyond gorgeous and so much fun.  The only downside is deciding who will get to hold the magic view finder first.

Let me know what your petites think of this, I can’t wait to hear how much they love it.

Bloggers Note: I received this book for free from Wide Eyed Press for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.  Also thank you to Wide Eyed Press for use of the images in this post.

Let me introduce you to Warren the 13th


Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye written by Tania Del Rio and Illustrated by Will Staehle (Quirk Books, 2015) is a perfectly mystifying middle grade read.  This book is about Warren who is the bell hop, valet, grounds-keeper and basically does everything around the ancient hotel kind of guy.  This isn’t your average hotel either, it is filled with spooky corridors and mysterious clues that Warren needs to sort out before his horrible Aunt Anaconda.


What your kids will love is the clues that need to be solved throughout this story, the secret codes, the puzzles, ghosts, mysterious guests covered in bandages – this is the perfect introduction into mysteries.  What makes this book so special is the two color illustrations featured on every page, oversized hard cover format, two column format that gives this book an old timey feel and of course Warren – who is quite the sleuth.  Here is a link for the book trailer:


What is even more fun is that the lovely folks over at Quirk books sent me a book and some tattoos for one special reader!  The giveaway ends on Friday the 13th at Midnight, be sure to enter for a chance to win this fantastic middle grade read.

friday-the-13th-imageHow to enter, comment on who you would like to share this fabulous book with in the comments here on the blog, our Facebook page or on our Instagram page.  My petites will chose one lucky winner at Midnight.

Also, be sure to check out this awesome Activity Packet Free Download, here from our friends at Quirk books.

Bloggers Note: I was given this book for free from Quirk Books for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Thank You!

2016 was a busy year for us here at The Petite Stag, we read hundreds, okay more like thousands of books.  We fell hard for Mo Willems, like really hard, my 7 year old has a deep love for Elephant and Piggie and has read all 25 books multiple times.  So when Mr. Willems came to Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle a few months ago it was clear that we needed to go and meet the genius behind this series that has delighted petites, mine in particular, for years.

Mo Willems in hilarious.  His books are proof that his writing is funny and endearing, but his demeanor and presence had the entire audience in stitches.  We had the best time listening to him read The Thank You Book and we even got a preview of Nanette’s Baguette, made even more special by the animated reading that Mo enthusiastically did for us.

We wanted to say thank you to all of you, those of you who started out with us in January of 2014, when I still wasn’t sure exactly what this blogs direction would be, to those of you who have joined us along the way.  Thank you!  Since this blog is still growing, your following, sharing, likes and comments really do mean so much.

So we wanted to say thank you by doing a very special giveaway!!  When we went to see Mo Willems, we were sure to get our copies of The Thank You Book signed, but we also got one signed just for one of you!

Here is how you enter  The Thank You Book Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Enter & Rules

  1. Follow us on Facebook at The Petite Stag
  2. Follow us on Instagram at The Petite Stag
  3. Share the giveaway with your bookish friends, tag them in the post or share to your feeds.
  4. Be sure to click on the link above for the Rafflecoper link, so that your entries can be counted.

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.  One winner will be chosen on Sunday, January 8th at midnight to receive an autographed copy of Mo Willems’ The Thank you Book.