Dear Readeo Friends,

Our first new addition this month takes us into the wild in Mommies and Their Babies, by Guido van Genechten. The brown and white high-contrast illustrations teach young readers about the proper names of mommies and their little ones, from the tiny “baby spiderling” to the big “elephant calf.” Read this book along with its pair, Daddies and Their Babies, also by Guido van Genechten.

We move from the wild to the zoo with Swing Like a Monkey, by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback, which should perhaps come with a disclaimer: Do not read before bedtime. This book will get you and your little reader jumping and wiggling, stomping and leaping from its very first injunction to “Move! Move! Move!”

The animals creep a little closer in Lisa Campbell Ernst’s How Things Work in the Yard, a fun and interesting book that explores and explains your great backyard in simple, clear language. Ernst uses clever three-dimensional paper cut-outs illustrating everything from robins, squirrels, caterpillars, and fireflies to wagon wheels, acorns, and bubbles. A great book for the very curious or very restless since reading in order is not required.

And don’t look under the couch! The animals have invaded the house in Prickles vs. the Dust Bunnies, by Daniel Cleary, a silly comic-style book about a cat named Prickles who is none too happy about his mouse friend, Squeeky, who is harboring dust bunny fugitives in his otherwise-spotless house.

In My Dog Thinks I’m a Genius, another addition by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Barroux, the animal star, Louie, grows bold when his owner is away at school. He seizes the opportunity–and a paintbrush–to create the masterpiece of his doggy lifetime…a still life that looks astonishingly similar to a famous painting by Cezanne. As you BookChat, look for the other subtle references to famous paintings in Barroux’s illustrations.

It’s one thing for the animals to be hiding under the furniture or sneaking into your art studio, but it’s quite another when they brazenly invite themselves in and plop down on your sofa as in Jan Thomas’ hilarious book, Is Everyone Ready for Fun?. This book has quite possibly become one of my all-time favorites with its laugh out-loud illustrations of three lively cows (and one very distraught chicken) and comical storyline. Read about how these exuberant cattle arrive at a mutually agreeable solution with their stern chicken friend.

Log in today to let these characters invade your child’s imagination, and please let me know what you think of our new additions on our Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy reading!
Kristen Johnson