2. From Amazon.com - With its lovely, humorous illustrations and wonderful narrative about a hungry caterpillar growing up to be a beautiful butterfly, Eric Carle's story touches anyone who still has some growing to do. Along with reassuring repetition--"He was still hungry ..."--the book includes some wonderful interactive moments: what youngster can resist sticking a finger through that hole in the page as his ravenous friend makes his way through various delicacies? The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
4. Somewhere in the Ocean By Jennifer Ward From Amazon.com - The nursery rhyme "Over in the Meadow" provides the model for the rhyming text of this picture book, but the habitat is the ocean, and the animal families are sea creatures. The idea works well, though the lines don't always trip easily off the tongue: "`Munch!' said the mothers. / `We munch!' said the five, / so they munched prickly urchins where the kelp forests thrive." Graceful of line and glowing with color, gouache paintings illustrate each quatrain on a double-page spread with a scene of sea life. The book ends with five pages of "Fun Facts" about the animals and their habitat as well as simple piano music and chords for setting the rhyme to music.
6. The Curious Garden By Peter Brown From Amazon.com - One boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book
8. The Day It Rained Hearts By Felicia Bond From Amazon.com - Originally published in 1983 as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, this sweet book remains the same except for a new cover. Still, many libraries will no longer have the original, and this is a good choice for holiday shelves. Young Cornelia is walking along when it starts raining hearts. Catching them in her hand and in her yellow slicker, she takes them home to make valentines. Because each heart is different, she is able to make very special cards for her special friends. The small watercolor-and-ink illustrations in the center of each snowy page give the spreads a cozy feel. Little ones will enjoy watching as Cornelia catches her hearts and decides what to do with them, and they will appreciate the happiness the valentines bring to Rabbit, Turtle, Mouse, and Dog.
10. From Head To Toe By Eric Carle From Amazon.com - Animals and multiethnic children illustrate various body movements on large, double-page spreads. A giraffe bends its neck, a monkey waves its arms, etc. The repetitive text has the animal stating the movement and asking, "Can you do it?" Each child responds, "I can do it!" Carle's vivid cut-paper collages are striking and invite sharing individually or with a group. There is no story, Rather the book is an invitation to get everyone moving. A nice addition to a toddler story time, but it may get lost as it's cataloged in 613.7.?
12. There’s No Place Like Space By Tish Rabe From Amazon.com - The perfect first space book for those almost-readers, There's No Place Like Space takes us on a whirlwind tour of our solar system, with a few constellations thrown in for good measure. Cat in the Hat (along with beloved Thing One and Thing Two) straps on his space suit and rhymes his way among the nine planets, presenting important facts along the way. Where else could your preschooler learn phonics and astronomy at same time? "A planet can have satellites that surround it. Uranus has lots of these objects around it" is just one example. This is a fine addition to the library of any young stargazer-few books are written with this many facts in such an easy-reading manner.
14. What Do You Do With A Tail Like This? By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page From Amazon.com - Children will learn that lizards can completely break off their tail as a defense and that it will grow back. And, they'll find out that crickets' ears are on their knees. Most fish have two eyes, but some have four, the better to see above and below the water at the same time. These are just a few of the fascinating facts of nature dangled out front to draw readers into this beautifully illustrated book. On each spread, five different animals' tails, ears, eyes, or other body parts, done in vibrant cut-paper collage, appear with a simple question. The next spread shows the five creatures in their entirety and offers a brief explanation. For example, "If you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath." The back pages offer more information for older or more curious readers.
16. First The Egg By Laura Vaccaro Seeger From Amazon.com - Beginning with the die cut on the cover, to completes the title and hides a secret underneath, this delivers a string of delightful surprises as Seeger crisply explores the stages of development in the natural world and, then, how a story grows. Textured backgrounds provide visual energy for minimalist images that incorporate additional die cuts. “First the EGG,” reads the text on the opening spread, which pictures the egg through an appropriately shaped hole. When children flip the page, they’ll find a fuzzy chick and its adult counterpart—“then the CHICKEN.” So it goes through the life stages of frog, flower, and butterfly. Suddenly, Seeger turns away from nature. “First the WORD,” she writes, “then the STORY.” “First the PAINT . . . then the PICTURE,” accompanied by a painting that pulls the book together, showing chicken, flower, frog, and butterfly enjoying a beautiful day together. A funny finale sets up the book’s beginning.
18. The New Way Things Work By David Macaulay and Neil Ardley From Amazon.com - The New Way Things Work boasts a richly illustrated 80-page section that wrenches us all (including the curious, bumbling wooly mammoth who ambles along with the reader) into the digital age of modems, digital cameras, compact disks, bits, and bytes. Readers can glory in gears in "The Mechanics of Movement," investigate flying in "Harnessing the Elements," demystify the sound of music in "Working with Waves," marvel at magnetism in "Electricity & Automation," and examine e-mail in "The Digital Domain." An illustrated survey of significant inventions closes the book, along with a glossary of technical terms, and an index. What possible link could there be between zippers and plows, dentist drills and windmills? Parking meters and meat grinders, jumbo jets and jackhammers, remote controls and rockets, electric guitars and egg beaters?
20. The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs By Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen From Amazon.com - Preparations for Visitors Day in Room 101 come to a sudden halt when Ms. Frizzle receives an invitation to a dinosaur dig. With a twist of a dial, the Magic School Bus becomes a time machine hurtling through prehistory, stopping at various points in the Mesozoic Era so the class can observe flora and fauna, shoot a video, make smart remarks, and generate the usual blizzard of written reports. Readers may be confused to read on one page that reptiles are cold-blooded and that dinosaurs were a kind of a reptile, and on the next that some may have been warm-blooded; otherwise, Cole mixes up-to-date facts and general statements with virtuoso skill, stirring in plenty of jokes, small subplots, and flights of fancy. One gruesome scene aside, Degen's full-color illustrations enhance both the humor and the information, featuring maps, charts, actual-size drawings of fossil teeth, and plenty of dinos in action.