Recommended Books

and then it's spring“First you have brown, all around you have brown then there are seeds and a wish for rain…”

In this sweet storybook, a young boy and his dog decide they’ve had enough of winter brown and plant the first seeds of spring.

With a red wagon full of planting supplies, boy and dog dig, plant, and wait…and wait…for signs of spring.  Charming critters join them. Patiently they watch, and even listen, hoping to hear a “greenish hum” as stems push upward.

After weeks, on a sunny day, shades of green appear.  Oh, the joy of green all around!

Fogliano’s writing is simple, yet stirring. She captivates little listeners with her playful, childlike words. The beautiful pictures by Stead (Caldecott Medal winner) are warm and inviting. She brings seasons to life with soft details. Within each picture’s hopeful shades of brown, children can study the colors, looking for spots of red.

A poetic story, this quiet garden tale inspires parents and little ones to get out in their yards and plant seeds.

when charley“Dear Grampa, We got a dog. His name is Charley. He sleeps in my room. He’s a fast runner like me, and he’s got the same last name as me. Korn.”

“Henry can’t wait for Grampa to meet his new puppy, Charley.

“When are you coming to see Charley? Bring a big suitcase and stay a long time …”

A storybook winner of 2013, parents and grandparents will delight to read aloud When Charlie Met Grampa. Author Amy Hest and Illustrator Helen Oxenbury crafted an enchanting story around a special moment between grandfather and grandson.

“Dear Henry, I’ll be there Sunday, and my train arrives at noon. My suitcase is big. Look for Grampa waving, that’s me. Now about that dog. Is he friendly or fierce?”

Henry and his adorable puppy set off for the station to meet Grampa. They trudge through swirling snow, pulling a sled for Grampa’s suitcase. Henry tells Charley all about his grandfather. But, his Grampa has never been friends with a dog before.

What will happen when Charley meets Grampa?

A hint? A gust of wind blows Grampa’s green cap and Charley knows just what to do. It’s Charley who saves the day.

Here’s a story about how a puppy can warm a hesitant heart. With stunning pencil-and-watercolor paintings, Oxenbury gently expresses the emotions of a boy and his Grampa as they bond with the bouncy puppy.

You’ll be smitten with the ending: all three comfy, cozy in Grampa’s bed.

“Charley looked in Grampa’s eyes and Grampa looked back, which is code for I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Playful Early Learning

  • Look at the cover and ask your child what she sees
  • Open to the title page and look for Grampa’s suitcase, a clue
  • As you read aloud, be sure to study the details of every picture
  • Look for splashes of color, like the boy’s red jacket
  • Whenever you see Charley, describe his face and how you think he feels
  • On the last page, imagine what the three friends will do the next day

boys readingI’ve created a list of ten of the best 2014 storybooks for parents of children birth to age 5.

I look for exceptional quality and books that are perfect read-alouds for little ones.

These stories, with their familiar themes, playful rhyming words, and stunning artwork will capture your children’s hearts.

To get your copy of the list, click the button.