The Empty Pot by Demi

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This week’s featured title is . . .

The Empty Pot by Demi

An aging Chinese emperor gives each child in his country a flower seed and after a year’s time the child with the most beautiful pot of flowers will be named his successor.

A young boy named Ping tends to the seed with care all year, but is unable to grow any blooms. Will Ping present his pot to the emperor?

The Empty Pot, through its timeless tale and exquisite illustrations, teaches children the importance of honesty and integrity. Recommend for ages 4-7.

 

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Winter & Snow Picture Books

This morning my daughter called me to the window because she discovered a white peak that had formed over the night on our little bird feeder. It was indeed a charming sight! The fresh powdery snow sat like a small cap on the feeder. As I looked around at the snow trimming the rails of our porch, the bare trees, and the roofs of the houses behind our home, the last line of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Winter-Time” came to mind:

“And tree, and house, and hill and lake,

Are frosted like a wedding-cake.”

 

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My children are especially excitable this winter because we lived in Southern Texas for three years where we had exactly one dusting of snow (emphasis on the dusting). They will finally be able to experience the joys of sledding down a hill and building a snowman taller than themselves.

Snow doesn’t need an introduction but I’ve been reading my children books about snow since they were toddlers and it has only increased their anticipation for their first big Midwest snowfall.

We have read MANY winter books over the years, but this is a list of the ones we love most. I hope these delightful books make their way into your library bag or on your bookshelf and that you enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Winter Booklist

Click here for a printable version of the Winter booklist.

The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader

Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt

Now it’s your turn! What are your family’s favorite picture books about wintertime? Please share in the comments below.

 

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Best Picture Books for Toddlers

When my first child Lucy was entering toddlerhood, she loved pulling books from the little shelf in our apartment living room. She would sit with them tucked between her chubby knees and turn the pages continually. The books began to tear from her daily routine.

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Circa 2015

My first instinct was to put them high where she could not reach them so they could be preserved for her future siblings.

Now that I am three children deep, I have realized that often the best picture books are the ones that end up torn, taped, re-taped, and broken at the binding from being opened so many times. They are the ones that end up in my lap for the tenth day in a row with the words, “Mama, book?”

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So many memories shared between the pages of our duct-taped binding of Blueberries for Sal.

Here is a list of the books that have been beloved by my toddler-aged children (you better believe I have these memorized!):

 

Picture Books for Toddlers

Click here for a printable version of the Picture Books for Toddlers booklist.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Blue on Blue by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth Krommes

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Freight Train by Donald Crews

The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone
Going to Sleep on the Farm by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

The Napping House by Audrey & Don Wood

1 is One by Tasha Tudor

Pelle’s New Suit by Elsa Beskow

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever by Richard Scarry: I am linking the new edition. We own the first edition so I am uncertain if there are significant changes.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa

 

What picture books does your toddler pull off the shelf again and again? Please share in the comments below.

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How am I to sing your praise?

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“Picture-Books in Winter” by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Summer fading, winter comes

Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,

Window robins, winter rooks,

And the picture story-books.

 

Water now is turned to stone

Nurse and I can walk upon;

Still we find the flowing brooks

In the picture story-books.

 

All the pretty things put by,

Wait upon the children’s eye,

Sheep and shepherds,

trees and crooks,

In the picture story-books.

 

We may see how all things are,

Seas and cities, near and far,

And the flying fairies’ looks,

In the picture story-books.

 

How am I to sing your praise,

Happy chimney-corner days,

Sitting safe in nursery nooks,

Reading picture story-books?

 

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I was unfamiliar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry until I saw the title A Child’s Garden of Verses on John Senior’s nursery booklist. Since then I have become extremely fond of Stevenson’s poetry and will always recommend A Child’s Garden of Verses if asked what poetry book to first invest in for a child’s library (apart from an excellent Mother Goose collection). Stevenson’s poems delightfully and wisely capture the joy, curiosity, and imagination of children. A Child’s Garden of Verses is also the book I reach for when looking for poems for my young children to memorize.

The full text of A Child’s Garden of Verses is available at Gutenberg.org. If you are looking for a printed edition, I recommend A Child’s Garden of Verses illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Her illustrative style is a perfect match to Stevenson’s poetry.

 

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