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November 21, 2022

Children's Books for the Youngest Readers

by MK French

With Thanksgiving this week, you may have kids home from school and need to find some quiet activities to keep them entertained. And if you aren't celebrating Thanksgiving this week, then this will give you a head start on collecting ideas for the upcoming winter holidays. Check out these entertaining children's books you can pull out for them.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

This is a Birthday Cake by Andrew Cangelose, Pictures by Josh Shipley

book cover of children's picture book This is a Birthday Cake by Andrew Cangelose
August 2022; Oni Press; 978-1637150450
ebook, print (21 pages); ages 4 - 8

For Taco the squirrel's birthday, his animal friends plan to bake him a cake. None of them know how to make one, so hilarity ensues.

As part of the "This is a..." series, we see adventures involving the forest animals. Shelly the turtle is the forest baker, teaching Bucky the bunny what to do. This includes a little history about cake, and birthday cakes, and some common traditions around them in particular. Of course, Bucky doesn't have much patience and makes too many substitutions in the recipe by taking shortcuts around the forest. We know how it'll turn out, even if Bucky doesn't, and we see how the party goes.

This is a cute book that very young children will enjoy. The adults in their lives will learn a bit from reading this book to the kids, and they'll love Bucky's antics.

You Wonder All the Time by Deborah Farmer Kris

book cover of children's picture book You Wonder All the Time by Deborah Farmer Kriss
July 2022; Free Spirit Publishing; 978-1631986987
ebook, print (32 pages); ages 2 - 6

Young children are always so curious, asking about whatever they see around them. This "All The Time" book from Free Spirit Publishing puts several such questions and answers in rhyming format, from the perspective of an adult speaking to a child. This is perfect for preschool children, and encourages kids to ask questions and explore the world.

But why? STEM series

The "But why...?" series of books are written by authors familiar with California's Next Generation Science Standards. The idea behind the series is to help children take observable information from the world around them and teach them how to analyze it and look for patterns. The first of these, "But why do I have to wear a mask?" was published in December 2020. It breaks down the Coronavirus pandemic and explains it in a way that very young children can understand. "But why does my school look different?" was published in October 2021, and outlines the way that schools had to change to allow students back into a physical classroom.

While most parents and caregivers likely have answered these questions already, the repeated surges of the Coronavirus and other new outbreaks likely are leaving children confused as to what will happen next. These books can still be very helpful in explaining why things are happening, helping children to understand and fear the world a little less.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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