Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Change is scary for everyone. Autumn certainly is a season of change, and one can easily see why it’s a scarier counterpart to spring. Instead of plants and animals coming alive and everything turning green, here we see what looks like decay. But autumn isn’t scary, it’s just unfamiliar, at least to one little frog.

As little frog experiences her first autumn, she’s scared. But mom has some words of wisdom for her:

And so, she sets off to explore and be brave.

Though soon she has a scraped knee and a sense that she’s wandered too far.

But then she recalls her mother’s words of advice.

And discovers autumn isn’t so bad after all.

A great book about autumn and confronting fears.

For another book about animals experiencing autumn for the first time, check out LEAVES by David Ezra Stein.

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The Story of Thanksgiving

Publisher: Harper Collins

Back into the Thanksgiving trenches we go! Ok, I picked this one up at our library and was super impressed. That said, this is definitely

for older kids – it is *very* text heavy (VERY).

(What I mean when I say it is very text heavy! Also note the lovely illustration style used throughout.)

I like that this book relates Thanksgiving back to all of the other harvest festivals held by people all over the world: Greeks thanking Demeter, Romans thanking Ceres, Jewish people and the Feast of Booths. This was actually educational for me!

The book then turns to how the American Thanksgiving story originated (again, including things I didn’t know) and when it formally became a holiday (during the Civil War, in 1863, in the hopes that the “holiday would bring a spirit of unity to a nation broken in two.”).

It concludes with a traditional Thanksgiving song to sing and a recipe for pumpkin muffins (yum!).

I do wish there had been some back matter in this book – I would love to have seen what the sources were for the facts in this book. That said, this is a good one to pick up if you’re looking to go deeper into the history of Thanksgiving.

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Author: Julie Markes

Illustrator: Doris Barrette

Publisher: Harper Collins

I was recently bemoaning how Thanksgiving gets passed over and the book selection is more sparse. But, ladies and gents, I think I’ve found a Thanksgiving winner.

I bought the paperback version of this book last week and was *so* excited to add it to our collection. Then, lo and behold, a package from Harper Children’s showed up this past week with the board book version! Good news board book fans: this is the same exact text as the paperback. The only difference is the end page where you can write thankful thoughts in the paperback (pictured below).

Now, why I love this book:

🦃 It rhymes (you know I love well done rhyme!)

🦃 The illustrations are fall perfection. All of the colors just bring you right into the season.

🦃 The things to be thankful for are so relatable for kids: cuddles with mom, play dates, swings and slides, piggyback rides.

🦃 Although it’s a Thanksgiving book, Thanksgiving itself is only mentioned once – so I really see this as a book about being thankful that you could keep out all year long – and that’s a message that I definitely want to emphasize with my kids all of the time.

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving book I highly recommend this one. Do you have any Thanksgiving favorites?

(Picture of page included in paperback version of the book.)

PS – leaves from our thankful tree – anyone catch the cartoon character my son included last year?! 😂

Bear and Chicken

Author/Illustrator: Jannie Ho

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Oh what a delightful book! Kirkus Reviews called this “A sweet tale of expectations upended,” and I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. The humor in this is just fantastic – adults are going to get a laugh on a whole different level. Just check out these opening lines:

“One very cold day, Bear was hungry from his morning walk when…he saw a chicken, frozen in the snow! How does one defrost a chicken? thought Bear.”

Ha! I love how well done the build-up in this story is. Everything Bear does appears to be for one reason – to eat Chicken.

But all is not what it seems, as Chicken ultimately discovers (though it does take Chicken a while to get there!).

The illustrations are lovely, particularly for this time of year. The snow is falling, soup is on the stove and a fire is burning. Sounds like a perfect day to me! And check out these beautiful end pages:

An all around great read (one that my kids just had me read three times back to back to back!). Thank you to Running Press Kids for sending this one my way to review.

Oh, and don’t forget to check the back of the book for bear’s soup recipe and a note about black bears. Here’s a sneak peek:

Don’t Call Me Choochie Poo

Author: Sean Taylor

Illustrator: Kate Hindley

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Choochie Poo is a normal dog who is embarrassed by almost everything his owner does: the miniature heart-shaped treats, being carried in a purse and above all, the nicknames and baby talk.

All the dog wants is to play like normal dogs.

When it’s time to leave, little Choochie Poo learns a valuable lesson:

No one is ever alone. And true friends will accept you no matter what.

I’d say this would make a great read for kids pushing back against parental affection and/or kids who may be embarrassed about nicknames. I loved the illustrations in this one – so boisterous and fun. And Choochie Poo has such a commanding presence, right?!

Places To Be

Author: Mac Barnett

Illustrator: Renata Lusaka

Publisher: HarperCollins

You know how some books have a story in the illustrations that’s completely separate and apart from the text? And you know how some are so masterfully done that the text and the illustrations perfectly compliment each other? This is one of those. I love how the text talks about all the places people can be together and the moods they can have. It’s such a wonderfully true representation of real life. Check out some of the inside illustrations:

PS – this one has some great vocabulary words – like “sullen” seen above. I love books that introduce new words!

Today

Author/Illustrator: Julie Morstad

Publisher: Simply Read Books

Oh man this book is just gorgeous. I love how the whole thing is interactive. It basically takes the reader through tow iterations of a day: one where it’s sunny and the other where it’s rainy. The readers get to talk about what they would choose in the many situations: which clothes, which outdoor activity, which popsicle, and so on. Every page is so lovingly illustrated- you can tell a lot of time went into it. I feel like this is a book older readers would pore over as well. I’d love to see a “Tonight” sequel!

(I mean, how gorgeous is this spread?!?!)

You Are My Pumpkin

Author/Illustrator: Joyce Wan

Publisher: Scholastic

If you’re in the market for sweet Halloween books, look no further. This seriously could not be any cuter. There is basically zero scare factor here. Check out some of the inside spreads. And oh, that closing. ❤️

The Monsters’ Monster

Author/Illustrator: Patrick McDonnell

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Man oh man I love Patrick McDonnell’s work. His illustrations are so distinctive and his voice so endearing. If you’re looking for a sweet Halloween read, look no further.

We meet three monsters, who are quite awful (and only slightly remind me of my kids 😂).

They decide to create the biggest, baddest monster of all…

Only to find out that their creation is…super thankful to be alive! Ha! This was such a sweet, unexpected surprise from a book about monsters. I can’t recommend this one enough. We see so much spooky and scary at this time of year – it’s wonderful to see truly sweet as well.

And just wait until you see the last few pages…but you’ll have to go check it out for yourself! I can’t spoil it, it’s too good. ❤️📚

I Am A Story

Author/Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino

Publisher: HarperCollins

What’s more important than stories? They are the ties that bind, the lens through which we see the world, the way we communicate. I love the idea of this book – to simply talk about stories:

The ways in which stories have been told:

And the ways in which we have done stories wrong:

And how it closes is just perfect: stories live forever.

I’d recommend this for a slightly older child, one who can understand the concepts laid out above.