Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Grades PreK-3 24 pages Barefoot Books

The adorable Thesaurus Rex is sure to catch the attention of dinosaur-loving little ones in this bright and bubbly book filled with great descriptive language.

Thesaurus Rex spends his time exploring, exercising, even getting into mischief sometimes. At the end of his busy day, he eats a good dinner and has his bath. His day ends with his mommy tucking him into bed. This is an ideal story of what every little T. Rex with a loving mom should do each day.

However, what makes Thesaurus Rex really special is that while the children will enjoy the story, they will also be learning synonyms. They narrative rhymes and has great movement that soon has your child reading along and reciting with you as you read. In each of Thesaurus Rex’s daily activities, you find synonyms all illustrated in bright, bold colors by Debbie Harter.

Author Laya Steinberg has written a lively story that children will learn from as well as enjoy. The repetition of the words, along with alliteration and rhyme, add the element of strengthening good listening communication skills. If for no other reason, this is just a very happy, fun book for ages 4-8.

Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan
Ages 7-10 112 pages HarperCollins February 2009

In the town of Neatasapin (where everything is as the name suggests) lives Emmaline, a very lonely little girl. When she sees pictures of a bunny, she wishes she could have the cuddly critter; it looks like an animal that would make a good friend. She knows a bunny likes to hop and dig and cuddle, which would be wonderful for her.

Mayor Orson Oliphant doesn’t like anything having to do with a mess including animals - so that means bunnies, too. The mayor’s rules ban trees and bushes and digging in the dirt. He wants everything covered with concrete. Emmaline knows her parents will never let her have a bunny because of the mayor’s laws.

Emmaline realizes that since bunnies like to hop around things like trees and bushes, to dig in the dirt and cuddle, she really needs to go somewhere where she can find all these things and love a bunny legally. She decides to follow the wild animals to a place called Untidy, and there she finds “her” bunny. They frolic and play, but when the time comes for Emmaline to go home, she’s sad because she knows her bunny can’t come with her.

The story’s ending has to do with Emmaline’s parents and what they decide about the bunny. They notice a change in their daughter and decide to help her invite the animals back no matter what the mayor says. Will Mayor Oliphant let Emmaline keep the bunny? Will Emmaline’s parents change their mind and obey Mayor Oliphant? Will the lovely story full of great gifts coming in many different ways turn out to make Emmaline happy?

A lesson in how the environment changes all that exists, caring for a pet, and some great rhyming words make this a charming and enjoyable book for children. It’s especially conducive to being read aloud, stopping and discussing the problems Emmaline faces. Alliteration and imaginative wording helps make Emmaline and the Bunny a good choice for children to read and enjoy, and the soft watercolor illustrations add to its charm.

Originally submitted to Curled Up With a Good Book for Kids, by K.H. (Bingo)


Bingo said...

Where are my kids' book lovers this week? I know you are out there!