Tulip Loves Rex by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Sarah Massini (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books, 32 pages, $17.99)
“From the moment she was born, Tulip loved to dance.”
This colorful children’s book charms the reader with illustrations that beautifully capture the engaging text by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Illustrator Sarah Massini uses swaths of soft colors and sparingly-applied dark lines to bring to life the little girl Tulip and Rex – a doggie she meets in the park.
Tulip expresses her joy by twirling and whirling from early morning until bedtime. Her parents are amazed by their daughter. One day the three of them go for a walk to the park. In the park Tulip sees a big yellow dog with a red tag hanging from his collar announcing that his name is Rex and that he is not like other dogs.
Rex doesn’t respond when Tulip tries playing the usual games that dogs respond to like fetch and tag. She tells him that it’s fine if he is not like other dogs. Tulip then dances and twirls around the grass. Rex joins her with much enthusiasm, matching her moves with his own version of dancing.
When it’s time to go home, Tulip makes a discovery. Rex needs a home. Can you guess what happens next?
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
This book – which will be released on December 23, 2013 – is recommended for children who are in preschool and up to 3rd grade. “Perfect for bedtime and for any child who dances through life or dreams of having a pet as a best friend.” Amazon
No Bears by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Ridge (Candlewick Press, 32 pages, $15.99)
This is a novel children’s book written by Meg McKinlay, and illustrated by Leila Ridge. It’s about a girl named Ella. Ella loves books but is tired of reading stories that are filled with bears. As she says, “I’m tired of bears. Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS…” So she designs a story with pretty things, a princess, a castle, a monster and a giant. Oh, and also a fairy godmother with magical powers that might be needed to save the princess from the monster.
This 32-page Candlewick Press book is wonderfully illustrated, and throws in a lot of cool, sneaky references to well-known children’s tales (young readers will have fun discovering such things as the Owl and the Pussycat). It’s a great early reader because it includes standard phrases such as Once upon a time, Happily ever after, and The End. And it’s relaxing and unique especially because there are said to be NO BEARS in it. Not even one!
Written for readers aged 3 and up, and a few bright 2-year-olds. Toddlers who love animals will appreciate it; especially as they find that there are actually a few loveable bears hidden in its pages.
Christmas at the Toy Museum by David Lucas (Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages)
This is a children’s book about 22 classic stuffed toys that live in a Toy Museum. On Christmas Eve, the toys all rush to gather under the Museum’s grand Christmas tree. Once there, they sadly realize that there are no gifts for them under the tree! That’s when Bunting the old toy cat comes up with a great idea – the toys will wrap themselves up as gifts for each other. This seems like a very good idea, except that Bunting is the “gift” opened last and he has no gift to open for himself.
Well, it turns out that the toy angel at the top of the tree is a real angel with magical powers. She decides to reward Bunting with a truly special gift, a wish that he can make that will come true. Bunting decides to wish that Christmas would last forever, and so it does from that point forward.
This is a beautifully illustrated tale that teaches young ones the value of selfishness, while also indirectly telling them that everything in life – including one’s friends – has value. Christmas at the Toy Museum would make a perfect gift for a child in almost any household.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Christmas at the Toy Museum is recommended for children ages 3 and up, although we can imagine that some smart 2-year-olds will also enjoy it. David Lucas is also the author-illustrator of Lost in the Toy Museum: An Adventure.