of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.
Toddlers Triumphant! (Ta-Da!) Part II
As promised last month, here is a list of recent picture book titles used (successfully) with toddlers in lapsit and other literature-based programs.
--Janice M. Del Negro, Editor
"Get ready to do the toddler-time boogie, because this bubbly little picture book is going to inspire a lot of activity from the babies of lapsit storytime age. This energetic collection of action verse and readable rhymes . . . . includes seek-and-find games like "Hunt the Circle," and many of the rhythmic verses are a blueprint for acting-out fun." (BCCB 2/99)
"Spare, rhymed text and boxy, bright pictures of vehicles on the move will rivet the attention of tykes who'd gladly trade their trikes for a rig: 'Trailer trucks, tow trucks,/ trucks that sweep the street./ Trucks that crawl, trucks that roll,/ trucks that mix concrete.' . . . . Double spreads with simple shapes outlined in black and filled with flat, crayon hues (a sixteen-color box full, at most) should satisfy rug-sitters . . . . Endpapers display all the trucks featured in the text and give slightly more detailed explanations of their functions. Take this one on a car trip, and spot the big rollers roaring past." (BCCB 3/99)
"Yaccarino's Mr. Gilly is a larger-than-life sultan of sanitation, who nimbly juggles galvanized cans and wire baskets with effortless aplomb, and always has time to wave at the school kids and pet the fire house Dalmatian. Chunky, streamlined shapes with a retro flair will show to advantage for preschool groups, where Mr. Gilly is certain to be a star of the 'community helpers' unit." (BCCB 5/99)
"Frog avoids being stepped on, caught by a cat, eaten by a crow, and captured by a gardener, finally ending up "with a splash! in the most wonderful place he could ever have imagined"-a pond. Lively's refrain ('One, two, three . . . jump!') invites participation. . . . Yellow tulips, white daisies, rainbow dragonfly, green frog, and orange cat are set against a sky-blue background dotted with fluffy white clouds in spreads that will be a boon to viewing groups, while the expressive poses of the participating characters deliver all the emotion and personality necessary to enhance this brief but ribbeting adventure." (BCCB 6/99)
Shades of "The Old Lady and Her Pig"! The little gray donkey wants to go to bed, but he can't because Pig's in his bed. Pig is in Donkey's bed because Dog is in his bed, etc. . . . This simple cumulative tale has multitudinous opportunities for participation-individual listeners will want to lift the sturdy recto flaps that reveal the displaced animals, and group listeners will join in with vociferous oinks, brays, clucks, and squeaks, as required. Saunders' compositions are balanced to the front, that is, the animal characters take up most of the foreground, which makes this a handy title for group viewing. . . . Ham it up for storytime, and find out where your toddlers like to nap. (BCCB 7/99)
Henkes' playful paean to snowfall ("The snow falls and falls all night./ In the morning everything is white./ And everyone wants to play./ Oh!") will strike a responsive chord in young toddlers. . . . The very simple storyline-the inspired snowplay antics of squirrel, rabbit, cat, dog, children, and cardinals-will easily transmit in lapsit storytimes and lends itself to all kinds of winter, weather, and animal activities. (BCCB 10/99)
Jonathan watches forlornly from the porch as big sister Sarah goes off to her first day of school. He spends his day actively playing with this and that, but always in the back of his mind is the question, "When will Sarah come?" Finally, "A yellow school bus is coming! The bus is stopping. The bus is stopping! It's Sarah! Sarah is home. ZOOM ZOOM BARRUMMMM!" (BCCB 10/99)
"Larrañaga sets the cumulative romp in Australia, peopling (animaling?) her story with a kangaroo, koala, possum, emu, and crocodile, in addition to the title froggie himself. The text is essentially a dialogue between the wide-mouthed frog and the animals he meets and greets: "The first creature he met had big thumping feet. 'Hey you! Big Thumping Feet! Who are you, and what do you eat?' shouted the wide-mouthed frog. 'I'm a kangaroo,' said Kangaroo, 'and I eat grass.' 'Well I'm a big wide-mouthed frog!' shouted the wide-mouthed frog. 'And I eat flies!'. The wide-mouthed frog is the picture of saucy, irreverent braggadocio. The possibilities for audience participation are many, and the popularity of this story among children will make the book a storytime favorite." (BCCB 11/99)
George is a young pup and his mother is trying to teach him to bark, but to no avail. Every time she says "Bark, George," George responds with a meow, or a quack, or an oink, or a moo, and George's mother is, to say the least, distraught. . . . A plot summary doesn't do the elegant humor of this simple tale justice; the clean lines of Feiffer's cartoon graphics combined with the inherent dramatic timing of the text will make this a storytime boon. . . The illustrations are particularly suited for group viewing, and the humor will tickle preschoolers' fancy for "Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" type tales. (BCCB 11/99)
Alliteration, a sense of understatement, and short repetitive sentences filled with gorillas, alligators, and tigers enliven this bedtime readaloud. . . . Cut-out yawns given to each character (including a cutaway cover with a hippo's wide, yawning mouth) and the chance to pull the flap at the end that helps the animals close their eyes will keep young readers up way past bedtime. So grab your blankie, snuggle in, and don't forget-yawning is contagious. (BCCB 12/99)
By now the spout-scaling spider has probably made more thankless ascents than Sisyphus, but for preschoolers who can't get enough of the classic fingerplay Hoberman provides a host of fresh verses. The little pink spider in her flowered blue hat explores her environs in a dozen rhymes (eleven original), which find her swimming with a frog, marching with a bug band in a parade, wandering down a spooky, shadowy park path after sunset, and other kid-pleasing activities. . . . Musical notation and hand motions are included only for the original rhyme, but little kids will have no trouble supplying some new ones as long as an accommodating adult is willing to sing this again and again and again . . . (BCCB 3/00)
There's nothing like two youngsters going off in search of adventure to pique the interest of young listeners. Duckling Daisy (Come Along, Daisy!, BCCB 9/98, etc.) and her little brother Pip go in search of "the Beastie" from Grandpa's story. On their journey they encounter a variety of farm animals and their young, which encounters provide opportunities for imitative vocalizations from the ever-enthusiastic Pip. . . . Daisy and Pip's mini-odyssey is going to make a lively addition to storytime; chances for participatory animal sounds abound ("'Honk! Honk!' said the goslings. 'Honk!' said Pip") and the right dramatic reading will give this reassuring tale a suspenseful resonance that is just the right intensity for preschoolers. (BCCB 3/00)
Based on the perennially popular preschool song by the same name, this picture book shows ten creature mothers leading their countable babies in activities appropriate to each species, from jumping (frogs) to buzzing (bees). Cabrera's thick brushstrokes create inviting background textures, and, despite a slight google-eyed sameness, her cozily cartoonish animal families contrast appealingly with their setting. The book reinforces the baby count for each spread by situating bold black numerals in one corner. Two final spreads reiterate all the creatures and their habitats in a single panorama and then depict the babies on a white background next to their appropriate numerals. Although the rest of the book begs for group sharing, the diminutive baby animals and fine details of the final spreads will be best shared one-on-one. Destined for animal storytimes everywhere, this title deserves a prominent place in the menagerie of preschool counting books. (BCCB 5/00)
It's not that this bus doesn't have the traditional wheels; they're just not the main point of this particular outing of the venerable jingle. Notable instead are the riders: seals (which go "ERRP, ERRP, ERRP"), geese ("HONK, HONK, HONK"), monkeys ("EEEEH, EEEEH, EEEEH"), and so on; the driver is a tiger ("ROAR, ROAR, ROAR"). . . The voyage of a lifetime this isn't, but it's a loud and happy road trip. (BCCB 5/00)
Hubbell's sprightly text begins a toddler's energetic day by asking, "How will you bounce/ today, baby?/ Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!/ Will you bounce/ like a grasshopper,/ cricket, or frog?/ Or a hoppity toad/ on his log in the bog?" . . . . Useful books for toddler storytimes are difficult to find, and your bouncing bouncing bouncing toddlers will be thrilled to bounce along with this one. (BCCB 5/00)
Little Duck shows up a little too early and finds her pond is "stiff and white// And her feet froze to the ice stuck stuck stuck." She imagines the coming of spring ("She tucked her head into her feathers to think think think// Of spring and warmer weather// Of bubbly streams and glassy puddles drink drink drink") and voila! spring (and a flock of ducks for company) arrives. . . .this is a cheery readaloud sure to be appreciated by a bunch of toddler storytimers as well as that lap-sitting baby. (BCCB 5/00)
This children's song marks its fiftieth anniversary this year, and Paley provides collage illustrations to entice a new generation to sing (quack, buzz, etc.) along. A little brown mouse draws open the stage curtain on the music and lyrics, and the performers-duck, frog, bug, and snake-enter from the wings. . . . Shapes are large and simple, and although the green of the frog and the lily pad frequently blend right into the blue-green pond, varied paper textures provide enough contrast to keep them from getting lost. (BCCB 5/00)
This page was last updated on April 1, 2001.