Love, diversity, and lots of silly animals

We have another snow day here, so we’ve been spending lots of time reading, arts and crafts, dramatic play, and screen time when we’re not out building snowmen. We build a LOT of snowmen. We also made sure to grab lots of book from the library. Here are the favorites of the latest haul.

We’re picking up more early reader books lately. Keep reading to discover why!

Disclaimer: all of the opinions I share here are my own or are a summary of my kids’ reactions.

Love comes in actions and words.

With Valentine’s Day this week, we found some books about love, of course. Just a Little Love by Mercer Mayer is another cute critter book. Each person in the family needs a little love when things happen whether it’s a bee sting, an illness or a speeding ticket. This book was dedicated to the families and community of Sandy Hook, which makes it all the more special.

The words are great, but the illustrations are beautiful!

We are big Nancy Tarfuri fans, especially the duckling books. You Are Special, Little One is a cute question and answer book which points out all the ways you can be special whether you are animal or a person. Because of the repetition, my kids were chiming in to help read.

I was talking to our librarians about diversity in books because it’s Black History Month. We did pick up a few books with this in mind, but I think I grabbed ones that were too text heavy for our young readers. I really enjoyed Jackie’s Bat by Maribeth Lorbiecki told from the perspective of a young bat boy, which would be great for readers older than 4.

Continuing the thought train of diversity, we also talked about diversity of ages and abilities. My kids happen to have great relationships with their grandparents and some of our elderly neighbors. I love highlighting these relationships in the books I write.

By far, our favorite book of the week. I might buy this one.

Another way to look at diversity is by ability. Our daughter has some significant gross motor delays, so she (and we) navigate the world a little differently. While I’m working on a manuscript about this, we fell in love with Different is Awesome by Ryan Haack. Based on the true story of Ryan’s brother bringing him to show-and-tell, the narrator shows that everyone is different and that’s awesome. What makes Ryan awesome? Hint:
Jim Abbott, Professional Baseball Player, is a huge fan!

Two silly books also made the list this week just because of the fun factor. Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham and What This Story Needs is a Bang and a Clang by Emma J. Virján (from the Pig in a Wig series) resulted in LOTS of laughs. Cute pictures, a mixed up alphabet, and fun noises are always a plus.

Finally, we have a fun milestone to share. Our 4-year-old surprised us by reading a good, old Dick and Jane book this week. If you’re not familiar with these early readers, they each have about 5 stories with short words and simple sentences. In the past, our daughter has “read” us a book from memory, but this time she was reading the words in a book we’ve never seen before. Look out world, we have a reader!

Feel free to let me know if you’d choose to highlight other books from the stack. Do you know a great Black History Month book for littles? Want to suggest another fun early reader? Or you know a book that falls in the “if you loved ___, then you’ll love…” category? Please share what to look for at our next library visit in the comments.

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