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!




Bloom…the mud fairy


Bloom by Doreen Cronin and illustrations by David Small (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2016), is a fabulous picture book for kids age 4 – 8.

This is the story of a mud fairy named Bloom.  She has a rather important job of keeping the castle in tip-top shape, however, her muddy tracks leave the King and Queen unhappy and she is released from her duties of keeping up the castle.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go well for the King and Queen who live in a glass castle and now have to deal with it falling apart before their very eyes.  They have no idea what to do, so they go in search of Bloom to bring her and her magical skill set back to the castle.  However, they are not willing to look past the beetles in her hair, the mud caked onto her shoes to see her real magical skills.  When they King and Queen feel they have no other choice to save their castle they send a perfectly ordinary young girl, Genevieve who works at the castle, her job is to polish a crystal sugar spoon (which my petites thought to be pretty silly).  When Genevieve meets Bloom, she learns to true secret to her magic.

This is a perfect story for any petite who thoroughly enjoys playing in the mud and getting a little dirty all while wearing a princess dress and tiara.  I love that this story showcases an “ordinary” girl, who does extraordinary things.

Doreen Cronin is an author whose books I am guessing you have sitting on your shelves, she is the genius behind Click, Clack, Moo stories.  Perhaps if your petites have graduated from the Click Clack Moo books, Bloom might be just what you’re looking for.

Happy Reading!


Powell’s Books!

Powell's Books HaulLast weekend my family finally made it down to Portland to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends and of course had to stop in at Powell’s Books!  I mean can you even imagine going to Portland and not stopping there?  No, I didn’t think so.

I have wanted to go to Powell’s for years, but never seemed to be able to get there for one reason or another.  This time we finally we got to go and it was AMAZING!  If you’ve never been and love books this is a must stop bookstore.  It is huge.  My petite family spent almost three hours wandering around with our shopping cart, yes they have shopping carts!  We filled ours by the way with some amazing titles!

The Thank You Book, by Mo Willems (Hyperion, 2016)

You simply cannot go wrong with owning an Elephant and Piggie book.  My oldest loves them and loves reading them to her little sister.  As a parent I love that these books are accessible to little ones, the lessons taught are so important, never pushy, always easy for little ones to understand and relate to.  As with all of Mo Willems books, this one does not disappoint.  There is even a cute Thank you surprise that made Zoe squeal when she saw it- I wouldn’t dare ruin your surprise.

Technicolor Treasure Hunt, by Hvass & Hannibal (Wide Eye Editions, 2016)

We love seek and find books, but at times they can be rather one note.  This book is perfect for teaching little ones colors, and lots and lots of new words.  This book is geared toward 12 months and up and with its little tabs on the side toddlers will adore looking at these brightly colored pages.  Vivi’s favorite page is the pink page, it has some of her favorites, lots of sea creatures as well as her favorite bird…the flamingo, or mingo as she calls it.  This book is perfect for learning colors as well as counting.  It is going to be my new go to board book gift for petites.

A Butterfly is Patient, by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long (Chronicle Books, 2011)

I’ve shared my love for Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long before, they have this amazing series of highly engaging, gorgeously illustrated nature books.  As budding naturalists my girls love pouring over the detailed drawings of their books.  This is a book we’ve checked out numerous times from the library and earned many fines for keeping it way too long.  We decided since we have painted lady caterpillars at home that recentently turned into chrysalis and any day into butterflies that this would be the perfect book to finally add to our library.  If you know a junior naturalist, I highly recommend any and all of their books.

Are We There Yet?, by Dan Santat (Little, Brown and Company, 2016)

Dan Santat is by far one of the most imaginative author illustrators out there.  After his Caldecott Medal win last year for Beekle, I was curious as to what he would put out next; well Are We There Yet? is absolutely spectacular.  For every petite who has ever had to endure the boredom that ensues when on a long car ride this book is the answer!  Some of our favorite aspects about this book are a surprise visit from Beekle and of course, the facial expressions that lead to the most amazing discussions about feelings.  The incredibly fun component of needing to turn the book to the side and upside down while reading is so unique and entertaining, we love a book with something new and novel.  I can only hope that the long road trip my family is planning in a few months is as entertaining as the trip Santat has depicted in the pages of this must have book.

A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle, by Mark Holtzen and John Skewes (Little Bigfoot, 2006)

This is a hometown classic in the making.  Although I am not originally from Seattle, this book is certainly a treasure.  My husband grew up in the Pacific Northwest and loves baseball, so this was a book that he was incredibly excited to share with the girls.  I love that Mark Holtzen mentions places as Huey runs through the neighborhood, mainly because they are still in existence today, Borracchini’s Bakery and Mutal Fish Company (now in a new location) as well as the Barrel burger joint.  I personally think these little tidbits of history are really important.  This is also just a really fun story about a little boy, who misplaced his ticket to the biggest game ever – the Pennant we follow him as he runs around town looking for where he might have misplaced it.  But don’t worry it has a happy ending.

The Great Journey, by Agathe Demois and Vincent Godeau (Tate Publishing, 2015)

My oldest loves seek and find books, recently she fell head over heals for Pierre the Maze Detective, read more here.  This book brought so much enjoyment to our story time, we have been wanting to add a new seek and find and found this one.  What we love about this book, is the lens to look for the hidden items in the pages, it is too cute to watch the girls hold the little lens to their eyes as they look over the pages.  So much fun for ages 4-7.

Timeline: A Visual History of Our World, by Peter Goes (Gecko Press, 2015)

We have a thing for oversized books here at The Petite Stag, they are just so much fun to lay on the floor and really spend time pouring over the illustrations.  This book is perfect for the petite historian!  This book starts with a big bang…Dinosaurs, Mesopotamia, First Settlements, Viking, Incas, throughout the centuries, all the way to the 2010s and what has been happening this decade.  What I love about this book is that there is so much to see.  This book gives really great facts about key people, places and dates thoughout history.  This book is geared toward older kids 4th grade and up.  However, I’ve been reading it to my 6-year-old and looking at the pictures with her and we’ve been having the most interesting discussions.

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When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

April is National Poetry Month.  This is such an incredibly fun time for most lovers of English.  I loved teaching in April and sharing poems and having students work on crafting their own.  It is a magical experience to see little ones really become creative and often times poems give just that creative outlet.


When I heard that Julie Morstad was working on a new book, I got really excited, she is one of the illustrators that I follow, or stalk might be the more appropriate way to put it.  I love her work, you will probably remember her from I am Sadie or perhaps Julia, Child, which is shared in my Petite Foodie series.  I love her work and even more so the amazing writers that she teams up with.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for all Seasons, by Julie Fogliano and art by Julie Morstad; published by A Neal Porter Book, 2016.  This is a book that shares poems for specific days throughout the year; starting in the spring and working through to the winter.  The petites particularly enjoy the poem for June 10th discussing all sorts of flowers and how they came to be, another is June 15th sharing about eating berries which is a favorite summer past time for  my girls.  Just like you will recall from This is Sadie, the illustrations are divine.  I love the small bright pops of color and attention to the little details whether is a small butterfly flitting about or a bicycle being gently dusted with snow.

Both Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad seem to have melded together to create this perfect union of words and illustrations, the imagery that is depicted within the lines of the poems are so perfect.  It is almost as if each poem has captured that particular moment in time and you feel almost as if you were right there smelling the tomatoes ripening on the vine, or the salt spray in your hair.

I think that this book would be perfect to share with petites to spark their creativity and foster a love for the seasons.  This book would also be perfect to teach poetry writing to elementary and lower middle school students.  The poetry is accessible and would be a great starting point for many students as they start to explore creative writing.

A Princess, A Sonic Socket Wrench and a Whole Lot of Ingenuity


A few weeks ago I went to a bookshop I’ve never been to before and they had these most amazing displays of books.  Within this amazing wall of books, all of which I need to just magically appear on my bookshelves, was Interstellar Cinderella.  Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood with illustrations by Meg Hunt copyright 2015 Chronicle Books.

As the mom of two small girls, I know how important it is to have lots of books around, but more so to have books that feature strong female characters.  Characters that show gumption, ingenuity and curiosity about a myriad of topics.  I love these books, they are treasures and books I want to surround my girls with – Interstellar Cinderella is just this type of book.

This book is a play on the traditional Cinderella, but with an updated twist, this Cinderella dreams of fixing rockets and her wicked stepsisters are going to The Prince’s Royal Space Parade and not a ball.  Cinderella also has a lovely fairy godrobot that is illustrated to perfection.  There are many similarities that will have you thinking about the traditional Cinderella, but the part that I love the absolute best is that it is this Cinderella can fix her own problems, she doesn’t need a prince to help her do it, and she knows what she wants.  The ending is one that makes you want to applaud.  Instead of the book ending with a marriage and a carriage, Interstellar Cinderella ends with her turning down a proposal and offering one of her own!

This book is perfect for everyone, however, if you have a daughter, niece or granddaughter this is a book you will want to add to their shelves.  The illustrations are wonderful and the message is so needed.  I hope that this author illustrator duo have something else in the works, because this book is perfection.

If you like this book you might also like Rosie Revere Engineer, read more here.

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Well hello, This is Sadie

Cover Art

This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary & Julie Morstad published by Tundra Books/ Penguin Random House Canada, Spring, 2015.  This publication of this book is something I have been looking forward to for a while.  The art Julie Morstad has created is simply divine.  You may already be familiar with her work she illustrated Julia, Child which I have adored from the moment I first saw it, read more about Julia, Child here.  There is something about these gorgeous images that just inspire and make you feel as though you are dreaming.

What I love so much about this book is that the Sadie has a very active imagination and as a mom of two little petites imaginative play is so incredibly important.  It is something that we try to foster and support in any way that we can.  I love that this book starts out with Sadie playing in an empty cardboard box.  She is a girl who loves a good story, a girl who is imaginative and bold.

Another incredibly endearing quality about this book is the marriage of story and illustrations.  This book has a very unique and special quality that makes it easy to read over and over.  Even when you see this book on the shelf it jumps out at you, with darling Sadie peeking out through her fox mask.  The illustrations engage the reader and sort of hold your hand through the magical experience that Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad take you on in this lovely collaboration.

Another really fun component to this book is that Tundra Books is an awesome publishing company that not only publishes some of our favorite books, but supplemental materials that keep the fun going.  Check out these beautiful buntings, paper fox mask (just like Sadie’s), paper dolls and paper flowers.  The bunting makes me so happy, I love that I can decorate my petites book nook to represent one of her favorite books.  Click on the image below to be directed to Tundra Books website where you can download this lovely activity kit.

Activity Kit

Once you check out This is Sadie let me know what you think.  Also for more of our favorite books check out our facebook page The Petite Stag.