I Love This Book…

Pandora

When I first saw that Pandora by Victoria Turnbull was coming out, on April 4th,  I had no idea what it was about, I simply loved the cover art and knew it was immediately being added to our library hold list.  When it arrived, it was clear as we opened the cover we were the first people to check this book out and have the privilege of reading it.

Pandora is a little fox, who lives in a world of discarded and broken things all alone.  She has made herself a handsome home (which my petites thought was quite fun and now they call their rooms handsome) she uses her time repairing and restoring items that she can mend and fix.  However, she is lonely and no one ever comes to visit her.

One day something falls from the sky, it is a tiny blue bird with a broken wing.  Pandora doesn’t know how to fix its wing, but does her best to take care of it and over time the bird regains its strength and begins to fly small distances.  Always returning with small gifts from its journeys, until one day, the bird doesn’t come back.  Pandora is alone, again.

As the days pass, slowly something lovely and beautiful starts to grow until one morning Pandora wakes to the sound of her bird friend and the stunning changes that have happened to her once broken and discarded world.

petite-stag-favoriteWhen we finished reading this story, my seven-year old picked up the book and held it to her chest and sighed and said oh mommy, I love this story so much.  How much is it?  Can we buy this book so I can always read it?  This is a story that is so much more than a story, it is about loving what you have, appreciating what you have, finding the goodness in what others may discard, taking care of others, being aware of feelings and what it means to have joy.  This is an absolutely perfect story for petites.  We have read it every single day since we have checked it out from the library.   It is quite clear that this is a new Petite Stag Favorite.

This is Victoria Turnbull’s third book, she is an author from the UK who has incredible talent – her words are so carefully chosen and her illustrations evoke such incredible feeling.  We cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.  To see more of her other two books and Pandora check out her website.

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Raising Mindful Petites

As a former teacher, I spent a lot of time with petites of all ages, from kindergarten to seniors in high school.  Over the years it became clear that an entire generation of kids has been swept up into a fast paced, shorter attention span and instant gratification, screen filled world.  So many petites are bored before they even get into the meat of an activity.

Mindfulness at first glance might seem like something you learned long ago in a yoga class when you were in college.  However, teaching mindfulness to our petites, creates a whole new space for them to slow down, take in their surroundings, think about what they are seeing and process what is happening in the world around them.  This is a very good thing – taking time for yourself to relax, recenter, to be in a calm space is an excellent thing to learn how to do at an early age and can be a wonderful reminder for all of us to slow to and take a moment.  Not to mention it is a great reminder for us as adults, too.

The two books I am sharing today focus on just what we’ve been talking about – mindfulness.

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petite-stag-favoriteA World of Pausabilities: an Excerice in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo and illustrations by Jennifer Zivoin (Magination Press, 2017) is a beautifully illustrated story that places emphasis on slowing down, taking deep breathes and noticing the world around you.  This book gives concrete examples of what mindfulness can look like.

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We love the encouraging words and clear ways to practice mindfulness; we love that this book places a focus on slowing down and really paying attention to what you’re doing and being intentional in your actions.

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This book is so much fun to read, on each page I would hear my petites saying “I do that” and “Oh, let’s try that sometime”.  Another aspect of this book that is so much fun is that it rhymes, making it the perfect read aloud for students.

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I love that Jennifer Zivoin created such gorgeous art depicting a diverse group of characters.  I think that this would be a perfect book to share with preschoolers through second graders.

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King Calm Mindful Gorilla in the City by Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles with illustrations by Bryan Langdo (Magination Press, 2016) is such a fun book about Marvin a gorilla who lives in the city, he is unlike other gorillas, he doesnt want to fight, or stomp around or be destructive.  His great-grandfather on the other hand is more known for his stomping and climbing tall buildings in the city.

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His grandfather doesnt really understand  why Marvin is so calm and so mindful.   When Marvin and his grandfather are in town – Marvin doesnt get crazy with the city spinning all around him, he remains calm and centered.

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Marvin offers words of encouragement to his grandfather to slow down and really taste what he is eating, to notice the world around him beyond just snapping a picture and moving on to the next thing.

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In the end, Marvin and his grandfather venture to the top of a skyscraper in the city (sound familiar?) and his grandfather starts to feel calm, to slow down, to notice everything around him.  We loved that Marvin is the one teaching his grandfather how to be calm and how to take in the special moments.

Bloggers Note: I was given these books from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own.  Thank you to Magination Press for use of images from A World of Pausabilities and King Calm.

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.

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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.

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Page Without Viewing Lens

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Daytime Animals

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Habitat

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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.

Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes

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Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes by Brenda S. Miles and Susan D. Sweet with illustrations by Valeria Docampo (Magination Press, 2016) is an updated take on a classic.  Currently, we are seeing a huge shift in picture books that promote strong female protagonists who don’t need a prince or anyone else to come and save them.  We have strong willed girls who are perfectly capable of determining their own destiny and that is what we have in Cinderstella.

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This story follows the same premise of a young girl, Cinderstella who lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters.  She is forced to take care of all of their needs and then when there is time her own.  Cinderstella has plans of her own though, she isn’t waiting for some prince to come and rescue her, she is too fond of her telescope and calculations to give up her interstellar dreams.  Cinderstella even has a fairy godmother who is convinced she wants all the usual things: a lovely gown, glass slippers and carriage; but not our smart girl.

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In this book, you will find something different entirely, Cinderstella is quite inclusive and includes her step-sisters in her interstellar adventures.  In doing so she showed her step-sisters a world of possibilities.

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Another component to the fantastic books published by Magination Press is that they offer notes to their readers with ways to offer support for families to encourage children to find interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  They offer suggestions for parents, teachers and caregivers to use this book to foster conversations about STEM, talk about interests and goals and what it means to dream BIG!

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petite-stag-favoriteA huge thank you to Valeria Docampo for permission to use her incredible images, they are absolutely stunning.  As we read this story last night my petites, kept oh-ing and ah-ing at the illustrations.  They both immediately after reading declared they wanted to read more books about space, look through a telescope and make a planet mobile just like Cinderstella.  So in one simple read, this book became a Petite Stag Favorite for inspiring my petites to dream big, desire to learn more and engage with the text in a meaningful way.

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.

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

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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.

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!

 

 

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!

Books That Celebrate Differences

As a teacher, and a mother of a petite with special needs, I find myself looking for books and ways to help build confidence and self esteem.  These books can be simple stories that have a special meaning, or perhaps a character that is relatable; but I have found that there are a few books that have been highly beneficial both in the classroom and at home.

When you’re little being different is so hard, when I was small I had tons of freckles and for some reason there was a little kid in my class who called me “Freckle Fred” and I was devastated every single time he said it.  Now I look back and sort of laugh, because it’s a weak put down and freckles are awesome, but my eight year old self was crushed.  During this time, I remember my mom reading Ferdinand to me and thinking about how he was different and how it was amazing that he was cool being who he was just sitting under that cork tree smelling flowers.  I also remember being mad that people tried to make him into something he wasn’t.

When Zoe was diagnosed with epilepsy, we quickly found that the world could be a cruel place and that many people, adults included, could be incredibly insensitive and probably not even think about it.  Her seizures made her special and different and made a lot of things really difficult.  We spent a lot of time reading books with strong female characters and messages about being yourself and not letting others get you down.  These are books about differences and celebrating those differences, which I think casts a wider net and allows for petites and families to use the books to talk about feelings and have really thoughtful conversations about the characters and how we might relate to them or their situation creating empathy.

Here is a list of some of our favorites that I hope will have the same impact they did for me and my petites.

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Ferdinand Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson (Grosset and Dunlap, 2011/ 75th aniversary edition) this is a classic and deserves a place on every petites’ bookshelf.  If you haven’t read it, it is all about Ferdinand who is a bull who loves to sit under a cork tree and smell the flowers.  He has no desire in being in the bull fights and prefers to stop and smell the flowers – going against all the other bulls and ideas about what bulls are supposed to be like.

Calvin Can’t Fly by Jennifer Berne and Keith Bendis (Sterling Children’s Books, 2015).  This is a lovely story about a starling named Calvin who prefers to read instead of learning how to fly.  His siblings and friends call him names and he doesn’t let it bother him, he continues to read and read.  When it does come time for him to migrate he encounters struggles, but what he has learned through his reading helps him to save the day.

Elmer by David McKee (Harper Collins, 1989) this is a classic.  Elmer is an elephant who isn’t like other elephants, he is a patchwork rainbow colored elephant.  This book is so special because it is about finding joy and laughter and Elmer is the elephant that brings that to his group of friends.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant (Groundwood Books, 2014).  This is one of my favorite books.  In this book Morris loves to wear the tangerine dress in his classroom dress-up box.  His classmates do not understand why Morris loves the dress so much and tease him for wearing a dress – since boys aren’t supposed to wear dresses or like girl things.  This is a touching story that celebrates little ones who are imaginative and love what they love regardless of if it has been traditionally for girls or boys.  We reviewed this book a while back, here.

Francis Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif (Candlewick, 2014).  This is another favorite book of ours, my oldest is what I call a sensitive soul.  What we loved the most about this little petite is that she loves to dance, but she is worried about dancing in front of others.  In the end she realizes that dancing makes her happy and that is what is important.  This book is one of our all time favorites!  Read more about of love of this book, here.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (Mulberry Books, 2008)  This book is another that bolsters confidence in petites.  Chrysanthemum is a story of a little mouse who has a lovely name that she adores, until she goes to school and kids make fun of her.  This book is one that is highly relatable and has sold more than a million copies, because it is so poignant and such a fantastic way to talk about teasing and confidence.

The Pirate of Kindergarten by Georgia Ella Ryan and Lynne Avril (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2010)  Ginny is a kindergartener who has double vision and she has an amazing solution to her problem – an eye patch!  The stunning before and after illustrations are wonderful.  I love this story and think it is perfect for petites.  It builds empathy and helps little ones to see that they are not alone when it comes to struggling and differences.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown (Little Brown, 2013) is about Mr. Tiger who is tired of being proper and bored with his daily life hindering who he wants to be.  He wants to be who he really is, he wants to roar, to walk on all fours and to wear clothes that he likes.  It is a great book about not feeling compelled to conform to everyone else’s idea of normal and to be true to who you are.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell and David Catrow (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2001)  Is it a darling story about a little girl who has buck teeth a voice that sounds like a toad.  She is fortunate to have an incredibly lovely grandmother who tells her “to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud”.  The petites love this story.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees (Orchard Books, 2001).  Gerald wants nothing more to dance and dance, but he has two left feet, or rather four!  His friends tease him for wanting to dance when he is so terrible.  This book is all about building self confidence and being cool with being you.

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus and Jose Arugeo (Harper Collins, 1994).  Leo is a a late bloomer, he is not meeting traditional benchmarks and his father is worried, however his mom knows that Leo will get there in his own time.  A wonderful read that needs to be in the hands of petites to reassure them that we all grow, learn and develop on our own timeline.

It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) is an ode to acceptance and understanding.  This book celebrates needing help, being who you are and loving it, with trademark bright cheery colorful illustrations.

 

If I Had a Gryphon…if only…

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If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle and art by Cale Atkinson (Tundra Books, 2016) is one of my new favorites!  This book is the answer for Harry Potter loving parents to prep there petites about all the possible mythological creatures that might just make the perfect pet.  The premise of this book is a little girl named Sam, she has just gotten her first pet and it’s a hamster, but it doesn’t really do anything exciting and to be honest is rather boring.  After Sam reads a book about Mythological Creatures (who doesnt love a book about a petite reading a book?), she decided that there are some more exciting pets, lets talk about some of these pets!  Unicorns, hippogriff, sasquatch, of course a gryphon…but then she considers some of the other magical creatures that might make a perfect pet; manticore, basilisk, kelpies, sprites, mermaids and more!

As an English teacher I love myths, they were some of my absolute favorite lessons to teach and this book enables me to teach the girls about some of these magical creatures, which I think is incredibly fun.  The illustrations in this book are perfection.  Sam is this amazing little girl who wears flannel, a knit cap and glasses!  I am smitten with this little girl, the illustrations perfectly capture her feelings and reactions to the different creatures and the troubles that they get into, Cale Atkinson perfectly captures these amazing feelings and emotions.  The conversations that we had about feelings was delightful as a bedtime read.  This book is filled with opportunities for full belly laughs.

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One particular page that got the petites giggling is the dragon:

If I had a dragon with a termpermental SNOUT, I’d need a fire extinguisher to put her sneezes out.

In the end Sam decides that a hamster might just be the perfect pet for her.

Happy Reading!

If you liked this book you may also enjoy:

 A Girl with Gumption: Julia’s House for Lost Creatures