Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Welcome in Spring with a Good Book" -- A Wonderful Selection of New Books from Random House Kids (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

My girls are having so much fun this year helping me review the assortment of children's books from the different book publishers, I have been sent to review as part of my annual "Welcome in Spring with a Good Book" feature.  One recent shipment of books they were excited to get was from Random House Kids.  From board books to early reader paperback books, Random House has some amazing new children's books for spring 2013.  Just look at the sampling of books I was sent, that the girls can't get enough of:

Princess Baby, Night-Night

Poor Princess Baby. It’s bedtime, but she isn’t sleepy in this adorable follow-up to the first Princess Baby book. After all, there is so much a princess baby needs to do. PJs need to be put on, toys need to be put away, the perfect book needs to be chosen, and her beloved subjects need to brush their teeth! It’s a very busy time in Princess Baby’s room. Young readers will want to climb into their own beds when our pint-sized heroine finally pulls up the covers and goes “night-night.”

My Thoughts:

I love the Princess Baby books in this series from Karen Katz, seeing that I have two princesses of my own. :-)  And, what little princess wouldn't like to touch the glittery front cover of this sturdy book. Both of my girls caught sight of the glitter and asked to read this book out of all the ones sent from Random House first.  And, what a treat it was!

With only 1-2 short sentences per page, the girls were able to follow along with this cute story about this princess getting ready for bed.  The adorable illustrations of the Princess Baby were colorful and appealing to the eye.  I found my girls flipping back a few pages just to admire the whimsical illustrations and point out things, like the orange cat wearing a crown, stuffed animal in cute pajamas, etc.

This board book is really durable and has withstood daily play from my toddlers, and it still looks brand new.  I can't wait to see what other Princess Baby books will be releasing soon, so that we can add to our growing Karen Katz collection..  If you have a little princess in your life, this is a cute book that you will love sharing with them.

Jungle Friends (Disney Jungle Book)


"Furry friends. Scaly friends. Feathered friends. Giant friends. Mowgli has lots of jungle friends! Meet all the characters from the swingin’ Disney classic The Jungle Book."

My Thoughts:

Who doesn't love Mowgli and Baloo from the classic Disney film The Jungle Book?  I grew up watching this Disney movie, and couldn't wait to share it with my girls.  And, now with the recent digitally remastered DVD being released, we get to relive the fun and adventure of Mowgli and his friends of the jungle.  I especially love dancing in the living room with my girls to songs like "Bare Necessities" with them.  Now, I can say that they are fans of The Jungle Book, too. :-)

When I heard that Random House Kids was releasing a paperback book called "Jungle Friends" featuring everyone's favorite characters from Disney's The Jungle Book, I couldn't wait to share this book with the girls.  Even if your children have never seen this movie, they will be introduced to Mowgli and his friends as they flip through the pages and read along with you.  Being a Step1 Ready to Read book, this book is perfect for beginner readers.  The words are in large print and easy to sound out.  And, the wonderful and oh so colorful illustrations help readers figure out the text on the pages.  This is one book I will be using when the girls begin to read.  Until then, we will enjoy bedtimes with Mowgli and Baloo and the other great characters from The Jungle Book.

The Crayon Box that Talked


""While walking through a toy store, the day before today, I overheard a crayon box with many things to say..." Once upon a time, Shane DeRolf wrote a poem. It was a deceptively simple poem, a charming little piece that celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. The folks at the Ad Council heard it--and liked it so much that they made it the theme for their 1997 National Anti-Discrimination Campaign for Children. Following on the heels of nearly a year's worth of televised public service announcements, Random House is honored to publish the picture book, illustrated in every color in the crayon box by dazzling newcomer Michael Letzig and conveying the sublimely simple message that when we all work together, the results are much more interesting and colorful. "

My Thoughts:

I have to say that this is one of my favorite books that I have reviewed thus far in this year's "Welcome in Spring with a Good Book" series.  Usually you don't find children's books, especially board books for little ones tackling the theme of diversity.  But, in this colorful book, a box of crayons is used to teach children that even though we are different, when we join together the final outcome is much for brilliant because of our own uniqueness that we bring to the table.  

Both of my girls love this book, and I love talking to them about their differences, but how when they work together on say a craft or coloring project, their unique ideas they bring to the table, make the finish fish amazing, just like they are.

As Big as a Whale (Disney Junior: Doc McStuffins)


"Doc McStuffins gets a little beluga whale toy named Lulu who can grow in water. The problem is, Lulu wants to be big now! Growing boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this Little Golden Book retelling an episode from the popular Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins. And they'll also love finding out Doc's secret to getting bigger—patience!"

My Thoughts:

Both of my girls are huge Doc McStuffins fans.  So, when they saw this book, they couldn't wait for me to read it to them.  As I started to read the story and they looked at the illustrations featuring all their favorite characters from the hit Disney Junior show, Savannah quickly chimed in that this story is about an episode they saw (countless) times on television.  Being one of their favorite, the girls took turns as I flipped the pages and read the text, to fill me in in greater detail about the story based on what they remembered from the episode on the television. 

The book didn't cover all that the show did, but with the girls' help, I was able to relive this favorite episode (which I have also watched countless times with the girls) yet again.  But, the time spent listening to the girls get excited about this book and filling in missing pieces of the story was priceless, and one that I cherish each and every time they pull this book off the shelf and ask me to read it to them. :-)

And, in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, I was excited to share this lift-the-flap board book with the girls --

The Cat in the Hat Great Big Flap Book


"Now for the first time ever, the Cat in the Hat appears in a silly, Seussian flap book, which offers loads of learning and lots of laughs and is packed with over 50 seek-and-find flaps that help teach basic concepts such as colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and opposites!

Inspired by five all-time best-selling Beginner Books®, this Seussian tour de flap includes:

* Counting with the Cat in the Hat himself, from 1 fish to 20 Zeds (with hair on their heads!)

* Animal sounds, courtesy of Mr. Brown (Yes, he can moo! Lift the flap and you'll moo, too!)

* Rhyming games and wordplay inspired by There's a Wocket in My Pocket! and One Fish  Two Fish  Red Fish  Blue Fish

* And as if all this weren't enough -- Dr. Seuss's ABC in 26 flaps!"

My Thoughts:

What a fun way to celebrate everyone' favorite beloved children's author, Dr. Seuss, during his birthday month.  Both of my girls love lift-the-flap books, and this book contained plenty of flaps to keep them busy, while reading along with me, or enjoying this board book on their own time.  

This board book contains pages inspired by everyone's favorite Seuss books, 
There's a Wocket in My Pocket!One Fish  Two Fish  Red Fish  Blue Fish and Dr. Seuss's ABC.  As you flip through each page, children will love lifting the flaps to see what is hidden underneath.  While they will have a blast lifting up all 70 tabs, they will also learn counting skills, their ABC's and so much more.  Leave it to Dr. Seuss and his classic rhyming stories to make learning fun.  I was a fan growing up, and love being able to share Dr. Seuss and his stories with my girls.  This is one lift-the-flap board book that will be enjoyed time and again, for years to come. :-)


Hoppy Easter! (Peter Cottontail)Easter Stencil Fun! (Peter Cottontail)

Stay tuned next week when I will be sharing a selection of Easter-themed children's books, including egg decorating kit books, sticker books, etc. from Random House Kids, that you will want to pick up and enjoy with your children as you prepare for the Easter Bunny's arrival, and hide a few away to put in their Easter baskets. :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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