Baby and Toddler Picks for April 2016
Best Books for Babies and Toddlers April 2016 Picks


This month’s picks for best baby and toddler books are all looking pretty darned delightful.

I love the looks of Xavier Deneux’s Baby Animals.  Each image of a baby animal is mirrored by a wider-lens view of its home, sometimes with a glimpse of the habitat, sometimes with the mom or dad animal watching over.  These inclusions provide an appropriate amount of possibility for expanding on learning.  So, what starts as pointing to the frog and tadpole, and giving a kiddo that combination of an image and a bit of vocabulary, can later become a little talk about where a frog lives and how it transforms from a tadpole into a frog.  The image style is simple and elemental, and each image offers readers tactile experiences with the use of cut-outs.  I also like that the images, though not placed in a story line, are accompanied by a handful of words or phrases (ex: frog, tadpole, lily pad, swimming, wiggling, etc.) to guide parents with “telling” the story through description.  I don’t know about you, but I need hints.  I’m terrible at improv.

For personal I-have-a-car-crazy-little-boy-in-the-house reasons, I’m looking forward to Old MacDonald Had a Truck and Cars Go.  The illustrations in Old MacDonald Had a Truck look darling and hint at a touch of Grandma Moses inspiration.  The addition of bulldozers, excavators, dump trucks and more to the traditional Old MacDonald song will be fun (and I’d bet funny) to share with a kiddo familiar with the classic song.  And on the subject of cars and trucks, Steve Light’s Cars Go will no doubt be a blast to read with a car lover.  There are different kinds of cars in the book and all sorts of crazy noises to accompany.  This series has already explored trains, boats, and more and has been a huge hit with readers.

I am also really looking forward to the board book edition of Edible Colors.  Anything that makes fruits and vegetable interesting and tempting to kids is o.k. by me.  It’s also a plus to call attention to the vast variety of fruits and vegetables that are grown.  It can be easy to fall into routines with food and forget to try new things, and thereby miss out on different kinds of nutrients.  Not cool, right?  So this book and a trip to the farmer’s market equals a fun outing and an exciting taste testing adventure later on.

**This post was mentioned on Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Literary Musing Mondays, and The Homeschool Nook

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Shape Shift Book Cover
Shape Shift
by Joyce Hesselberth
published January 12, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Round, curvy, pointy, or straight-shapes are all around us.

With vibrant illustrations that highlight shapes in all their forms, this informative book reinforces the identification of circles, squares, crescents, diamonds, triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and ovals while encouraging kids to pair shapes together to make new forms.READ MORE

Old MacDonald Had a Truck Book Cover
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
by Steve Goetz
illustrated by Eda Kaban
published March 1, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.Old MacDonald...READ MORE

Edible Colors Book Cover
Edible Colors
by Jennifer Vogel Bass
published April 26, 2016

With a combination of unusual foods and a kaleidoscope of colors, this concept book shows that not all foods have to look the same way. A banana can be red, broccoli can be purple, and cherries can be yellow and still taste just as delicious.READ MORE

Pigs and a Blanket
Pigs and a Blanket
by James Burks
published April 5, 2016

Pig siblings Henry and Henrietta love their green blanket. It is soft, it smells good, and it makes a great cape! As much as they each love playing with the blanket, they don't love sharing it. Will ripping it in two solve all their problems?

Author/illustrator James Burks has created...READ MORE

Baby Animals Book Cover
Baby Animals (TouchThinkLearn)
by Xavier Deneux
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

Featuring spreads with raised, shaped objects that fit into scooped cutouts on their opposite page, these new TouchThinkLearn books offer the youngest learners an opportunity to explore in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name—these modes of perception combine to stimulate understanding of essential...READ MORE

Beach Baby Book Cover
Beach Baby
by Laurie Elmquist
illustrated by Elly MacKay
published April 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly

A gentle, poetic lullaby for baby, filled with memories from a perfect day playing on the beach. Castles, sand dollars, seals peering out of the waves and the beat of the ocean become sweet reminders of all the magical things that await baby tomorrow. A lyrical celebration of natural beauty...READ MORE

A Brave Bear
by Sean Taylor
illustrated by Emily Hughes
published April 12, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publishers Weekly

What is the bravest thing in the world? A brave bear, of course! And who is the best at helping a little bear feel brave? His dad.

It is a hot, hot day. Dad Bear says, "I think a pair of hot bears is probably the hottest thing in the...READ MORE

Cars Go Book Cover
Cars Go
by Steve Light
published April 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Little ones will enjoy revving up their reading with these eight noisy cars as they honk, clank, vroom, and zoom their way through this lively book! The sturdy pages feature a police car, pick-up truck, sports car, monster truck, and many more, accompanied by a cacophony of sounds sure to...READ MORE

Gus Book Cover
Gus (board book) (Gossie & Friends)
by Olivier Dunrea
published March 1, 2016

Gus loves to be by himself. He explores the whole barnyard, taking in the world around him all on his own. Until he finds three small eggs. His perfect companions might be inside! How long will they take to hatch? 

     The latest character to join Olivier Dunrea's growing gaggle...READ MORE

Nursery Rhymes Book Cover
Nursery Rhymes Touch and Feel
by Roger Priddy
published March 8, 2016

Featuring all-time favorites including Twinkle, Twinkle, Little StarThis Little Piggy Went to Market, andHickory Dickory Dock, this is a beautifully illustrated collection of 15 traditional nursery rhymes. With touch-and-feel patches on the pages to explore, parents and children will enjoy reading and sharing these classic childhood rhymes....READ MORE


Love this list! My daughter illustrated our first children's book together, Learn with Purple Penguin and Friends: Numbers, Animals, Colors, and it was just published this year on Kindle and soon in print (bilingual English/Spanish). Children are so inspiring!

Hi Elle! Thank you.
Congratulations on publishing a book with your daughter. What a wonderful experience!

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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