Learning While You Read: 3 New Picture Books We Love

Posted by: , March 9, 2012 in 12:20 pm


peas on earth

PEAS ON EARTH By Todd H. Doodler uses a simple play on words to portray the basic concepts of peace, harmony, getting along with all kinds of people, and being green in a manner that young kids will grasp. And it will resonate more as they grow older. Adult caregivers will chuckle over the peas/peace references while young children will relate to the important messages about our earth and those of us who live on it.

The artwork is colorful, charming, and perfect for the board book crowd. And, as an added value, there is a simple pop-up at the end of the book. Todd H. Doodler is the pen name for Todd H. Goldman, a well-known pop artist and founder of David & Goliath, a company that produces clothing and other merchandise that feature his designs.

out of this world

OUT OF THIS WORLD: Poems and Facts about Space by Amy Sklansky; illustrated by Stacey Schuett gives young explorers an introduction to the moon and stars and beyond! Amy Sklansky’s evocative poems about the galaxy are supported by additional facts and explanations in the margins. Kids learn about planets, stars, rockets and moon landings while Stacey Schuett brings it all to life with color-soaked skies and beautiful perspectives in her fabulous paintings.

Space is a subject too grand for poetry or prose alone, so this book offers both to help readers truly appreciate our place in space. Both parents and kids will love reading this together. Amy Sklansky worked as a children’s book editor for several years before becoming a full-time writer. Her books include From the Doghouse: Poems to Chew On, Where Do Chicks Come From?, My Daddy and Me, and The Duck Who Played the Kazoo.

secret 150x144 Learning While You Read: 3 New Picture Books We LoveSECRETS OF THE GARDEN: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld; illustrated by Priscilla Lamont  is backyard science at its best!  Alice’s family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eat the plants, and what birds and animals come to eat the insects. It’s the food chain, right in her own backyard!

While Alice’s narrative is simple and engaging, science concepts are presented in more depth in sidebars by a pair of very knowledgeable (and highly amusing) chickens! Noted science writer Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld knows how to layer information to make it accessible to a wide range of readers and useful for educators. And illustrator Priscilla Lamont’s funny, friendly paintings make this a garden everyone will want to explore. Kids will eat up this wonderful book and perhaps they’ll even be inspired to eat their vegetables!


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