children

The Babysitter From Another Planet


Author & Illustrator: Stephen Savage
Publisher: Neal Porter Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4147-1
Pages: 32
Price: 17.99

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Mom and Dad are going to the movies, so they call the babysitter. But the kids don’t realize she’s from another planet. After a little while, they realize she can do cool things, and soon the kids adore her. So when their parents go out the next time, they’re no longer content with a human babysitter. They make a quick call to the babysitter from another planet, and she has a new surprise for them.

This cute tale lets kids imagine the possibilities of interaction with an alien being. It would also be a great story for bedtime, since many of the activities the kids engage in are nighttime routines. The Babysitter From Another Planet is a fun read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

Count to 10 With a Mouse


Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Kirsten Richards
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-68412-741-2
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

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A mouse decides he wants to learn to count, but he does it in the most unusual way. He gnaws a hole through a book and dashes through the pages. On each page, he discovers other animals that he can count. And when he is finished, he runs back through the hole to begin again.

Kids will be able to count the animals on each page, while also being able to join their parents in reciting the refrain that is repeated throughout the book. Adorable illustrations accompany this rhyming text. I highly recommend Count to 10 With a Mouse.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

Five Hungry Mice


Author: Frances A.B. Dunning
Illustrator: Heather Lynn Harris
Publisher: Crisscross Applesauce
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-942483-58-8
Pages: 30
Price: $16.95

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Five hungry mice spy a box of full of rice. But in order to get to it, they need to cross the kitchen while avoiding the family cat! Atop the table, they find a bag of oranges that they use to distract the cat. Soon they’re filling their bellies with tasty white rice.

This cute retelling of a classic nineteenth century tale is accompanied by adorable illustrations. Kids will cheer for the mice as they reach their prize while narrowly avoiding danger. Five Hungry Mice is a delight to read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts


Author: Billie Pavicic
Illustrator: Susan Gaber
Publisher: Boys Town Press
ISBN: 978-1-944882-33-4
Pages: 31
Price: $10.95

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Parker Plum wakes up with a small green egg on his pillow. He’s used to strange things happening, so he puts it in his pocket. Then he gets grumpy when he finds out he’s not having his favorite breakfast, and the egg grows slightly. He misses the bus and arrives late to school. His grumpiness grows, as does the egg. As each thing happens that he doesn’t like, his mood becomes worse and worse, and the egg becomes enormous.

Finally, a lunch lady recognizes the problem, and explains to Parker that the egg is his rotten egg thoughts. He has the power to shrink it by changing his thoughts. She guides him by asking two questions: Can I change this? Are there any good parts hidden in the bad? After reviewing the miserable day he’s having, he sees that he can change his mood by changing his thoughts. And when Parker faces a new challenge later in the day, he is able to put these lessons into practice – BEFORE he causes a new rotten green egg to form.

Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts explains how to handle disappointments in a fun and easy to understand manner. In seeing the oversized green egg, kids can laugh at the silliness of the situation, while also learning from Parker’s mistakes. This is a wonderful teaching tool for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, classics

William Sheepspeare (Wild Bios)


Authors: Courtney Acampora & Maggie Fischer
Illustrator: Benedetta Capriotti
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Classics / Board book
ISBN: 978-1-68412-619-4
Pages: 16
Price: $7.99

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In hilarious ovine fashion, William Sheepspeare introduces Shakespeare to kids. But this is no dry biography for parents to read to their toddlers. Instead, clever puns fill these pages.

For example: Sheepspeare was a master of tragedy, with classics like: “Lamblet,” “MacBleat,” “Julius Fleecer,” and “All’s Wool That Ends Wool.” … Sheepspeare had a sense of humor, too. His comedies, like “Taming of the Ewe” and “As Ewe Like It,” had audiences baa-ing for more.

Small children won’t get these enjoyable puns, but they will entertain parents who will be reading it over and over again. And at some time in the future, kids might remember this funny tale and seek out more information about the Baa-rd. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, classics

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears


Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Julie Clay
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Classic
ISBN: 978-1-68412-760-3
Price: $12.99

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A big sleepy bear and a little sleepy bear are settling in for the night. One at a time, they each give a big yawn, a big stretch, and climb into bed. Heads on their pillows, they close their eyes and sing softly. And then they go to sleep.

This classic from Margaret Wise Brown encourages sleepy little ones to willingly climb into bed and mimic the bears’ actions. I especially liked the revised version of the bedtime prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep” which has angels keeping watch and no mention of death.

Cute and cuddly bears, sweet words, and a soft and gentle rhythm make Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears a perfect addition to your child’s bedtime routine. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

What’s the Problem?


Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-38-9
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

Executive FUNction Series
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Braden and Blake argue all the time. Savannah and Mary are having a misunderstanding. Braden wants to play sports, but his teacher has given him schoolwork. What do all of these have in common? A problem.

In this “Executive FUNction Series” book, kids are introduced to the SODAS steps to problem solving. They are encouraged to identify the problem, come up with options for dealing with the situation, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and choose one option as the solution.

In each of the three given scenarios, the reader sees how kids analyze the problem and identify possible ways to handle it. Since the characters are real kids, some of the options are terrible, but they soon realize the disadvantages of these bad ideas. The SODAS process is described in a positive way that works in action.

When good problem-solving skills are not modeled in the home, kids will react in less than favorable ways. But when they learn the proper way to deal with these situations, they will be successful at home and school. And these skills will help them long beyond their school years. I highly recommend What’s the Problem?.

Reviewer: Alice Berger