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 I
Finding material to use with toddlers (here defined as children ages 18-36 months) in storytimes can be something of a challenge. The winning combination of story, language, images, and age-appropriateness that results in a successful, useful book can be very elusive. Fear not. Here is a list of recent picture book titles used (successfully) with toddlers in lapsit and other literature-based programs. Tune in next month for Part II, and, in the meantime, have fun with these tot-pleasing titles.
--Janice M. Del Negro, Editor
Ahlberg's variation on a familiar theme turns that beloved old nursery song "Hush, Little Baby" into a newly realized birthday lullaby. A cheerful family happily endeavors to celebrate Baby's first birthday, buying mockingbird, tree swing, pedal truck, and a dog named Rover . . . . Start warming up your voice for a singalong storytime that's sure to leave everyone humming." (BCCB 10/98)
"Crebbin offers a rollicking singalong, from 'cows in the kitchen, moo moo moo,' to 'ducks in the dishes, quack quack quack,' to 'pigs in the pantry, oink oink oink' et al., the livestock are having a heyday waking up Tom Farmer and wreaking general pastoral havoc . . . . sung to the tune of "Skip to My Lou," this is one noisily successful nonsense song . . . . Turn your storytime into a hoedown with this bouncy offering." (BCCB 10/98)
"Move a few books over and make room on the shelf for this version of [the great big enormous turnip] . . . . a happy combination of rhythm, repetition, and audience participation possibilities makes this a retelling worth repeating . . . . The expressive characters (even in the somewhat generic crowd scenes) and the double-page compositions lend themselves easily to group reading aloud. Tired of turnips? Try potatoes. They're sure to be a (s)mash hit." (BCCB 10/98)
"There's a layabout in every family, and in Mama Cat's family, it's Boris: 'Mama Cat has three kittens, Fluffy, Skinny and Boris. When Mama Cat washes her paws, Fluffy and Skinny wash their paws. Boris naps,' and naps, and naps, no matter what else is going on in the lush green grass around him . . . . This is a close-to-perfect dance of text and illustrations, where the success of one depends upon the success of the other and the two combine to make an eminently satisfying whole." (BCCB 1/99)
"Uncurling after a good night's slumber, 'the circle dogs wake up. Clink-clank, clink-clank, clink-clank, clink. Hear their tags? Mrooon, mro-o-o-o-on. They stretch and stretch and moan and yawn.' Thus begins a full day of doggy doings-lapping up table scraps, barking at the doorbell, digging in the yard, licking faces, and dreaming of cats. . . . The closing line suggests bedtime use: 'Shhh. They're sleeping now. And you should be too. Good night.' Forget it-this is too much fun for sleep." (BCCB 10/98)
"The opening phrase ('Pots and pans,/ Pots and pans,/ Baby's in the kitchen/ With the pots and pans') sets the tone for this rhyming romp. Baby investigates the kitchen cupboards, pulling out every pot, pan, can, and lid and performing a percussive symphony . . . . Haul out some pots and pans, and let your listeners pound away for a rollicking lapsit or toddler time--that is, if you can stand the noise." (BCCB 9/98)
"Little Girl is happily picking peas in her lush green garden and singing a little song ('Pickin' peas. Put 'em in my pail') when she notices an addition to her simple refrain ('Pickin' peas. Land on my knees!') and realizes that a "pesky rabbit" is picking her peas, too. . . . . MacDonald includes a detailed source note with tips for telling this highly tellable tale; music for the pea-pickin' refrain is also included." (BCCB 9/98)
"These nine simple, rhyming riddles have simple, easy answers: the sun ("What wakes you up at the beginning of the day? It's bright, round, and yellow--at night it goes away"), an elephant ("What has wrinkly skin and a very long nose? It carries its trunk wherever it goes"), and so on . . . . This is a cozy lap book for caregiver and child as well as a good guessing-game addition to preschool storytime." (BCCB 9/98)
"Simmons' baby cautionary tale has a great deal of downy charm, much of which comes from her appealing portrait of sunshine-yellow duckling Daisy, whose innocent grin of pleasure at all she sees is positively beguiling . . . . The images spill across oversized double-page spreads suitable for large group viewing, and there are opportunities for listener participation both in Mama Duck's repeated 'Come along, Daisy!' and in the bouncy noises, quacks, and ribbits provided by Daisy's encounter with a friendly frog." (BCCB 9/98)
"'Pete's father can't help noticing how miserable his son is. He thinks it might cheer Pete up to be made into a pizza.' So the imaginative Dad picks up his delighted son, places him on the kitchen table, and turns him into a laughing, giggling pizza, complete with talcum-powder cheese and checkers for pepperoni ('Pizzas are not supposed to laugh!' says Dad; 'Pizza makers are not supposed to tickle their pizzas!' replies Pizza Pete)." A hilarious exercise in creative dramatics. (BCCB 1/99)
"Newly hatched and enamored with the beauty of the world around him, the little chick can't help singing, 'The sky is so blue!/ The sun is so yellow!/ The trees are so green!/ And I'm a happy fellow!'-That is, until he abruptly becomes a fox's lunch. . . . Cecil's cast of simply shaped and outlined animals is amiably dopey, and their wide-eyed horror at finding themselves doomed to cheerfulness makes a direct hit on the funny bone. . . . a rollicking complement to Jack Kent's The Fat Cat (BCCB 9/71)." (BCCB 2/99)
"With bountiful sound effects in the text and whooshing action in illustrations that jump all over the page, this is a natural readaloud for young mimics, who can take advantage of sound effects as strong as those in 'Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed': 'JUMP, JABBA JABBA,/ RUN, JABBA JABBA,/ SLIDE, JABBA JABBA/ Tiny, tiny monkeys having fun!'" (BCCB 9/98)
"William, Chloe, and their dad ride bicycles to the footbridge where 'the bridge is very high and narrow, with railings to keep people from falling over the edge. And far below are the railroad tracks.' From the rhythmic chug-chug of her language to her watercolor depiction of the bridge above the train tracks, with its crowd of train-and-noise-and-excitement lovers, Voake thrillingly captures the wild delight in watching the trains go by. . . . This is a winning readaloud ride for any age." (BCCB 1/99)
This page was last updated on March 1, 2001.