Terrific Children’s Books – #5

Children’s Books #1 – #4 have been about the all-important things that children need – kindness, giving, empathy… those social and emotional skills.

 #5 is two books that I discovered at the Eric Carle Museum last month.  I always find great books at their bookstore.  Always!  One is fun and whimsical, one is nature and beauty.

I wish you could be there alongside me when I find a great book.  For me it’s akin to finding hidden treasure.

Red Sled
by Lita Judge

In a nearly wordless book, Bear discovers the red sled by the cabin,  He cannot resist a ride, and animals along the way hop on the sled.  These are but a few illustrations.

The animals climb aboard bear on the sled one at a time, and each animal changes the ride in a delightful way.  The ‘scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch’ as the bear takes the sled, and the ‘scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch’ as the bear returns the sled are perfect.  This book will delight any young child.

by Tony Johnston

The cover alone draws in the reader.  Those golden title letters, ‘Trees’, are raised.  Children enjoy feeling the letters as they look at the beautiful cover.  Who wouldn’t want to open the cover and discover something about trees?  I did!  The end papers have detailed drawings of roots and sprouting trees.

Trees love sky.  They love all that blue above them.

Well, this is enough to make everyone smile a really deep smile, the kind that makes your cheeks hurt.

Trees love clouds.  They reach high to touch them.

The illustration reminds the reader of being a child and looking up, way up.  Isn’t that what we should all do?  When was the last time you stood under a tree, close to the trunk and looked all the way up?  It is glorious.

Days, they hold out their limbs for songbirds to come.
Nights, they hold out their limbs for stars.  And moon.

Perfectly crafted words and beautiful illustrations take trees through day and night, sun and rain, bark and blossoms.  Blossoms make people happy, like snow.

Some trees are old, old, old.
Their ringed cores hold stories.
Of summers.  Winters.  Years.

My goodness.  Those words spark a long conversation.  Children want to talk about old.

Trees are friends.  Their branches say,
Come.  Come.  Climb.

Ah ha!  Now children learn about animals that live in trees.  This is another whole discovery, from bigger animals to insects.  On one of the final pages, the words say,

Like friends, trees stay.
They do not go away.

I love those words.  This book will delight any nature lover and tree enthusiast.  I think most children fall into that category.


Stay tuned for my updated post of favorite Christmas books.

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Book Review, Early Education, Eric Carle, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, literacy, Nature, picture books, reading, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Terrific Children’s Books – #5

  1. beth says:

    Both wonderful choices

  2. I’m all about taking a wild ride on that red sled!!

  3. beetleypete says:

    Lovely books, Jennie. The Tree one is beautiful.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. I love both the Red Sled and Trees I unfortunately left both of those books home.

  5. Jim Borden says:

    one book looks like pure fun, while the other one offers a nice message. what a great combo…

  6. Mireya says:

    Trees looks interesting. I was inspired by all the trees in my park and wrote wise trees.

  7. I’ve not commented in awhile, but I have been reading your posts on ‘good books’ Just sayin’…
    “Trees” is heavenly – delicious prose/poetry and artwork sublime. It also hits home in an unexpected way for me – if I may elaborate here?
    During my days of studying with the Maestro (Ricardo Iznaola) there came a time where he would bestow upon his students their ‘tree’ name. I was named, “Redwood”. At the time it really troubled me – I felt like it meant I’d take forever to finally be a ‘good enough’ musician to begin making my mark. As time progressed, I realized to be a Redwood meant having a presence during that growth and being there for the long haul (a long-lasting presence).
    Your Redwood Lady – Laura

    • Jennie says:

      What a wonderful and profound story, Laura! Yes, you are the Redwood Lady. Thank you for reading these ‘good books’ posts. I must be better about writing more book reviews in 2022. Best to you, my friend.

  8. Ritu says:

    Again, these look lovely!

  9. I love trees, that sounds like my kind of book. The Red Sled looks wonderful! That’s definitely going on a wish list.

  10. I’d like to know why that silly bear was out of bed?

  11. Darlene says:

    These books both look entertaining but in different ways.

  12. They all have such wonderful illustrations.

  13. Carla says:

    These are both awesome books, Jennie. I love the illustrations in both, but the Tree book looks amazing.

  14. dgkaye says:

    I love your sweet recommends for the kiddies. ❤

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    I love the photos of the trees below as they reach upward toward the sky.

  16. Red Sled is a beautiful, delicious book! I love it!

  17. bosssybabe says:

    Can’t wait to get red sled for Charlotte! When I meditate, I see a vision of trees from the perspective of lying on the ground, much like the picture book opened! What a beautiful book! 🙂

  18. One day I may be able to get all these books and read them for myself.

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