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the big blue book of beginner books

Some of the finest early reader texts in one collection for your beginning reader who’s taking off and starting to read up a storm.  The Big Blue Book of Beginner Books includes P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dog, Go!, The Best Nest and Are You My Mother?, Robert Lopshire’s Put Me in the Zoo, Mike McClintock’s A Fly Went By and Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen’s It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny.  There's a range in reading level amongst the texts, but the readability is mostly first grade.  Be sure to take a look at the entire series—you might find another favorite set of stories that will help build your budding reader's fluency.  Published by Random House Books for Young Readers.


sunday sketching

Breathing in the calmness of a rainy Saturday morning and spending some quality time with Sunday Sketching.  Written and illustrated by Christoph Niemann and published by Abrams Books.



Little poodle Antoinette lives contentedly with her family in Paris.  All of her bulldog siblings seem to have found their unique strengths, but not Antoinette.  She wonders.  One day, she has a revelation as she follows her heart and instinct in a true act of bravery.  Fans of a certain spunky bulldog named Gaston will be elated to see him make an appearance in this lively and affable sequel.

Antoinette was written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


nanette's baguette

Oh happiest of days.  Little Nanette is finally granted the responsibility of procuring the day's bread.  The WEIGHTY responsibility of getting the daily baguette.  En route, distractions abound—all brilliantly rhyming with our protagonist's name—as Nanette attempts to stay focused on the task at hand.  Luckily she makes it to baker Juliette and starts her way home, warm and wonderful baguette in tow.  But can our heroine resist the beguiling aroma of a perfect and gloriously crusty baguette ALL the way home?  Will she crack under the pressure?  Missing the ending in this one might be something you'll regret. ;)  Ingenious rhymes and extraordinary handcrafted French village by the incomparable Mo WillemsNanette's Baguette was published by Disney Hyperion.


guys read

Saving these for when Nate gets a little older (and Avery will probably dig some of these short stories as well), but am really enjoying reading through them now.   Isn’t that one of the marks of great kidlit?  Stories that resonate with both kids and adults.

Sometimes when I start a collection of short stories, I excitedly rifle through them and read the first couple lines of each.  Here's how the first story in Guys Read: Funny Business starts out — "Ernest was a nerd, but it was fourth grade: we were all nerds.  Even the best of us were shackled to some fatal flaw."  After reading that, you know it's going to be pretty hilarious (and smartly written).  And your mind jumps back to some embarrassing, awkward scene from your own fourth grade career.

The Guys Read series was edited by Jon Scieszka and published by Walden Pond Press.