Favorite New Reads for Summer!

If you're looking for a funny new read for your kiddos, these four choices deliver a little something for everyone!

Have you read these? Did you think they were hilarious, too? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Dev Petty (Artist) and Lauren Eldridge (Illustrator)

What an original picture book! CLAYMATES is told completely though the dialogue of two balls of clay who become fast friends...and co-conspirators!

I couldn't stop giggling on my first read-through, and it has been requested REPEATEDLY since we brought it home. Ohhh, that hippo...

Pete with No Pants
Rowboat Watkins

Although this one could get a little tricky to read to a group of kids because of all of the different side voices, it is a very kid-centric story with heart.

All Pete wants to do is tell a knock-knock joke, wear no pants and be something other than an elephant. Sound like anyone you know (well, except maybe the elephant part...)? Fair warning: Your kids will be saying "night night nudey bird" for weeks.

Prince and Pirate
Charlotte Gunnufson (Author) and Mike Lowery (Illustrator)

In a battle for the space between corners, following the "doubly dreadful PLOP," will Prince ("Behold! I am the rightful heir to this splendiferous kingdom!") or Pirate ("Shiver me tailfin! I be just the pirate to command this grand sea!") prevail?

Gunnufson's spot on depiction of her character's voices (and Lowery's illustrations of the story's "twist") make this read aloud happy and jolly, indeed.

Sea Monkey & Bob
Aaron Reynolds (Author) and Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Teaching your kids about buoyancy has never been so silly! When Sea Monkey is terrified he'll sink into the dark, deep sea (like tubas and dinosaurs), Bob becomes convinced that he'll float up to where there is air. Until the two come up with a plan to keep them both from sinking or floating, that is. A perfect addition to your library for some (sneaky) summer learning!

Happy reading!

Five Books You Might Have Missed (June 2017)

You probably aren't supposed to let months elapse in between blog posts, right?

Sometimes life just...gets in the way!

Instead of fighting it (as fighting with myself is most often completely unproductive), I've decided to embrace these little bits of "in-the-way" life, and devote a post to some books you might have missed when life was getting in the way!

 As for keeping up with the blog better...as my daughter is very fond of saying lately:
I can't promise that I won't do it again. But I'll try my very, very best not to do it again. 
-The Littlest Manes, 5 years old 

The Mischievians (2013)
William Joyce
"Strange smells. Disappearing remotes. That itch you just can’t reach. It’s not your fault! It’s the Mischievians, an ancient race of global mischief-makers who do all the things that embarrass you."

While the Q&A format, lengthier entries and vocabulary makes this book better for older picture book readers, it is super fun and helps keep the imaginative 'magic' of childhood alive.

Interstellar Cinderella (2015)
Deborah Underwood (Author) and Meg Hunt (Illustrator)

"With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince's ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue!"

A refreshing fairy tale retelling, perfect for modern self-rescuing princesses (and princes).

Norton and Alpha (2017)
Kristyna Litten

"Norton the Robot is intrigued by his discovery of a lone flower one day and sets about trying to care for it, with amusing and ultimately poignant results."

A robot engineer and his (hand-built) pup discover that sometimes something's "use" isn't immediately apparent, but that doesn't make it any less important. Added bonus: a beautiful fold-out spread.

Lost. Found. (2015)
Marsha Diane Arnold (Author) and Matthew Cordell (Illustrator)

When a bear loses his scarf, it is found (and re-found) by a series of other woodland animals who each use it in a different way...until calamity ensues and friendship and patience win the day!

Such a sweet reminder of individuality AND the ties that bind us together. This nearly wordless book is great for picture book readers of all ages.

Perfect Square (2011)
Michael Hall

"A perfect square is transformed in this adventure story that will transport you far beyond the four equal sides of this square book."

A subtle and beautiful examination of creativity, imagination and transformation...and a fun way to spend an afternoon making your own art!

Happy reading!