Busy Little Hands: Food Play!: Activities for Preschoolers by Amy Palanjian

Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: November 10, 2020

This cookbook is great for the youngest chefs. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks. Each recipe shows photographs of diverse children participating with procedural pictures also shown as well as information given about Grown – Up Prep Steps. There are labeled photos of kids’ cooking tools. Also there are 5 tips to make food more fun and 5 tips for good table manners. Ingredients are nutritious. This book gives good cooking ideas for preschoolers and kindergarteners to make at home or at school.

Henry at Home by author Megan Maynor and illustrator Alea Marley

Reading Age: 4 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Clarion Books

Publication Date: July 27, 2021

Two inseparable siblings enjoy all activities together until one day she gets a backpack filled with school supplies and he does not. Younger brother, Henry, learns to embrace being apart from his older sister, Liza, when she begins school. Both share when they come together. An emotionally charged book that belongs on book shelves. Illustrations are attractive, varied and welcome viewers to the fall season.

Goodbye Preschool, Hello Kindergarten by author Sonica Ellis and illustrator Nejla Shojaie

Reading Age: 3 – 5 years

Publisher: Sonica Ellis

Publication Date: June 14, 2020

A duckling is concerned about leaving his comfort zone of preschool where he knows the people and routines in this rhyming picture book. Kindergarten seems so big. Once he arrives, he feels more secure when greeted by a warm teacher. He sees some familiar faces and he realizes that others are also new to the kindergarten experience. By the end of the day the duckling is feeling positive about his transition to kindergarten. This is another good resource to read to children moving up from preschool to kindergarten. Illustrations are appropriate for this age group.

Yoga Adventure! by authors Jamaica Stevens and Jamaroo Kids and illustrator Rocio Alejandro

Reading Age: 3 – 6 years

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Publication Date: October 29, 2021

In this picture book children travel to 7 continents performing 14 yoga poses that represent animals from the continents and transportation such as bicycle, submarine, train, plane, and sailboat. An assortment of colorful and energetic children are depicted. Illustrations make onlookers want to start posing. In the back of the book, the origin of yoga and the poses shown throughout the book are discussed. A map of the 7 continents and where the animals live are shown with interesting facts about the animals added. A song that can be sung to this story can be viewed on an included website. My Book Eyes enjoys coupling movement and music with learning.

Llama Llama Back to School by author Anna Dewdney, author Reed Duncan and illustrator JT Morrow

Reading Age: 2 – 5 years

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

This rhyming picture book begins with Llama Llama enjoying summer including the beach, backyard camping and staying up late to name a few. Mama Llama informs him that school will start soon and all the activities associated with back to school begin. Reluctantly Llama Llama goes school shopping and gets ready for the first day. At school he follows the daily routine, befriends a new student and has a good day. Large, eye-catching illustrations with emotional depiction. A good book to ease children into the back to school experience.

You See a Zoo, I See… by author Michael Downs and illustrator Maureen O’Brien

Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Publication Date: March 8, 2022

The storyteller is a youngster who follows patrons around the zoo stating what they see however the child explains the true reasons behind the animals’ behaviors. For example, patrons see silly chimpanzees running around but the storyteller observes chimpanzees learning to escape predators, building nests and removing fleas. In addition to chimpanzees, other animals discussed in this rhyming picture book include: elephants, crocodiles, bats and ostriches. Guess how this young person knows so much about animals? Illustrations show animals in action. A wonderful read anytime.

KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by author Vera Ahiyya and illustrator Joey Chou

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Random House Studio

Publication Date: June 21, 2022

A teacher named Ms. Perry welcomes her new students over the summer with a letter that invites them to think about the new school year by gathering ideas about being kind and sharing them in a kindness pledge when they return. Leo, an introvert doesn’t think he has any ideas to share. At school, Leo observes and demonstrates kind acts but doesn’t mention them. Extrovert students speak out for themselves and for Leo who realizes that he does know kindness. This book will be a go to for many teachers beginning the school year. Illustrations demonstrate diversity in people that make up this community.

Granny’s Kitchen by author Sade Smith and illustrator Ken Daley

Reading Age: 3 – 6 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 1

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

On the Caribbean island of Jamaica, when a young girl named Shelly-Ann gets hungry, she asks her grandmother to make a Jamaican dish. Each time, Shelly-Ann’s grandmother shows her how to make a meal, Shelly-Ann’s cooking is faulty i.e. too soft, mushy, burnt, salty. One day the grandmother is too tired to cook so the girl demonstrates her independence in the kitchen and cooks her grandmother a breakfast that isn’t as good as her grandmother’s but considering that this is only Shelly-Ann’s second time cooking the foods, they both find the meal tasty. Children and adults will appreciate the child’s determination to be as good of a cook as granny but it will take practice as it took granny many years to perfect her culinary skills. There are 4 recipes included for fried or boiled dumplings, ackee, saltfish and fried plantains. Additionally fun facts about Jamaica are added at the back of this picture book. Illustrations are eye-catching and suit the story. Due to the added recipes, an older child could definitely benefit from this book.

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Reading Age: 9 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

In this middle grade novel, an 11 year old boy nicknamed Scoob has his share of school related problems. Additionally, he is mixed heritage and brown skinned with a white or pale skinned grandmother. They adore each other. Grandmother takes Scoob on a roadtrip through southern states and educates him about 1960’s events related to the African American experience. Grandmother relives a trip that could not be completed with Scoob’s grandfather in the 1960s because he was a brown skinned man and society frowned upon mixed relationships. The author unravels a grandmother who would be respected anywhere because of skin color but with a life lived of poverty and continuous criminal activity. Readers learn that she educates her grandson about racism but contributed to it in her past. Scoob’s dad who was reared by only his mother now is rearing Scoob singly. Interesting reading to keep pages turning. Text is appropriate for this targeted age group. Black and white illustrations dispersed throughout give eyes extra facts and details to look at. A good class discussion book. Looking forward to a sequel.