Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
The Finding of Blue Bunny
By: Wave Walton
Publisher: Walton Publishing Group
Level: 0-5

While on a trip to a nearby department store, the author got the idea for this story by watching the scene of his very young daughter choose a toy bunny from a box full of bunnies. The choice of a plain bunny over fancy bunnies gave him the idea of writing the tale from the viewpoint of the toy as if even the most plain of bunnies deserves a loving home.

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Stephanie’s Ponytail
By: Robert N. Munsch
Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
Level: 6-7

Stephanie likes to have her own look. So when her classmates begin copying her ponytail, she finds increasingly outrageous ways to wear her hair until she outsmarts the copycats.

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Swimmy
By: Leo Lionni
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Level: 8-9

Deep in the sea there lives a happy school of little fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger. With its graceful text and stunning artwork, this Caldecott Honor Book deserves a place on every child’s shelf.

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No, David!
By: David Shannon
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc
Level: 0-5

Named a 1999 Caldecott Medal honor book. When author and artist David Shannon was five years old, he wrote a semi-autobiographical story of a little kid who broke all his mother’s rules. He chewed with his mouth open, jumped on the furniture, and he broke his mother’s vase. As a result, all David ever heard his mother say was “No, David!”

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The Dark Is Rising: The Complete Sequence
By: Susan Cooper
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Level: 14+

Will Stanton’s ordinary life is shattered with the dreadful revelation that the Dark — the source of all evil — is rising in its last and greatest bid to control the world. He finds that he is no ordinary boy, bit the last born of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping mankind free from the Dark. Soon Will is swept up in the great battle, along with his ageless master, Merriman; the three Drew children, who are mortal but have their own vital part to play; and a strange albino boy named Bran. These six fight fear and death in a quest through time and space interwoven with the most ancient myths of the islands of Britain — until, at last, Will and Bran find the weapon that will ultimately vanquish the Dark.

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Love, Splat
By: Rob Scotton
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 8-9

It’s Valentine’s Day and Splat has a special valentine for a certain someone in his class. Her name is Kitten, and Splat likes her even more than fish sticks and ice cream. But Kitten doesn’t seem to like him at all—she always ties his tail and pokes his belly when she sees him. And then there’s Splat’s rival, Spike, who also likes Kitten. Will Splat’s heartfelt valentine win Kitten’s paw in the end?

In this funny follow-up to Splat the Cat, Rob Scotton captures the highs and lows of a first …

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Olive, My Love
By: Vivian Walsh
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Level: 6-7

The beloved–but confused–pup Olive is back! But this time she’s not heading off to the North Pole to help Santa. . . . This time she’s out to return a one-of-a-kind lost object: a heart. And not just any heart, but a heart as large as Olive’s own. In her search to find its one, true owner, she makes the acquaintance of a cast of characters who show her what it truly means to give all of one’s love. Only J.otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh could have dreamed up this …

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9780060277949-l
By: Anne F. Rockwell
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 6-7

Valentine’s Day in Mrs. Madoff’s class means making special valentines to send to Michiko in Japan. As the kids decorate their unique cards with glitter glue, stickers, and candy hearts, they remember all their favorite moments with Michiko and what makes each of their friendships with her so special. With more than 200 valentines readers can find, this fifth Mrs. Madoff book is full of ideas for valentines that children can make themselves.

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By: Eileen Spinelli
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Level: 0-5

Mr. Hatch leads a lonely life until one Valentine’s Day when the postman delivers a huge, heart-shaped box of candy with a card reading “Somebody loves you.” Knowing he has a secret admirer gives Mr. Hatch a bright new perspective on life — until it turns out there’s been a terrible mistake. But Mr. Hatch’s new friends rally to show him that a lot of somebodies love Mr. Hatch.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!
By: Laura Numeroff
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 0-5

Any kid who’s dealt with an exasperated adult is sure to appreciate Laura Joffe Numeroff’s If You Give a… series, where children take on semi-parental roles with unexpected, demanding animal guests. Numeroff is an expert at silly situations, catchy verses and stories that absorb and engage.

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