Extra Yarn – Mac Barnett

Extra Yarn is a fantastic book that features a little girl named Annabelle who is a terrific heroine.  Annabelle demonstrates creativity, curiosity, and confidence.   She finds a way to transform her dreary town of black and white into a colorful, fun place with just some extra yarn.  When an evil archduke comes to town it appears that the magic may end, but things work out as intended when all is said and done.



Amazing Magnetism – Rebecca Carmi

Amazing Magnetism is part of the Magic School Bus Chapter Book Series.  Ms. Frizzle and the adventures of the Magic School Bus have been favorites for a long time at our home in their picture book format.  We recently discovered that the adventures continue in chapter book format.  Our kindergartener is incredibly delighted.  These books provide solid science information while continuing the humorous adventures of Ms. Frizzle’s class as they have one of a kind field trips in the Magic School Bus.

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything – Elise Broach

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything is a fun book.  Often children are given stickers after successfully visiting the doctor or dentist.  What if instead of a sticker, a child was given a dinosaur to take home?!  After collecting a few dinosaurs on an afternoon full of errands, a little boy and his mother return home.  Mom quickly comes to realize that dinosaurs can be exceedingly helpful around the house, and the little boy immediately accepts them as part of his family and includes them in all the fun of the day.  Dinosaur lovers young and old will enjoy this silly tale.

Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot – Anna Branford

Violet captured our daughter’s heart and imagination within the first few pages of Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot.  Violet is a little girl of substance who has a big imagination and often finds answers to problems she encounters with “out of the box”  solutions.  Ultimately, her kind spirit triumphs when faced with a big decision that is key to her brilliant plot.

Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot provides great messages about working toward a goal as well as kindness.  The next book in this series will be released in February, and our daughter is looking forward to it with great excitement and enthusiasm.

Betsy-Tacy – Maud Heart Lovelace

I was not familiar with the well loved Betsy-Tacy series until I was introduced to them by a friend.  Our daughter has quickly fallen in love with them.  Betsy is five years old and longs for a best friend.  She finds one in her new neighbor five year old Tacy.  The two girls are so inseparable that their names are merged into one.  Although some things in our world have changed, specifically the amount of freedom the girls have to play outside unsupervised, the character development and the adventures detailed captured our daughter’s imagination within the first few pages.  The wholesome nature of these books is refreshing, and I like how the difficulty of the text increases with each book as the girls get older.  This series is well worth giving a try…

Chester the Brave – Audrey Penn

Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand is a favorite book at our home, so when our daughter saw that the main character Chester was featured in a book about being brave, it was quickly added to our must read list.  This book does a great job focusing on dealing with feeling afraid.  Rather than suggesting that being brave means that you don’t feel fear, fear is re-framed as something that is normal and that you recognize but you don’t allow it to stop you.  The message is so important and is brought to life with the beautiful illustrations.  If you have a cautious child, this is a must read!

The Cloud Spinner – Michael Catchpool

The Cloud Spinner is about a little boy who spins clouds and has been taught never to spin one stitch more than is needed.  One day the king admires his scarf and requests that he make many, many things for the king.  The young man tries to explain that the king is asking for far too much, but he does not want to hear anything of the sort from the little boy.  Soon the young man has created all of the things the king has asked him to create, but now there are no clouds and ultimately no rain.  Soon the animals become thirsty and the crops start to die due to too many clouds being taken away and turned into scarves and clothes.  Ultimately, the quick thinking of the wise princess and the cloud spinner save the kingdom.