Books With The Tag: #animals

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Are you looking for this year’s Valentine’s Book to share with your small that will live on as a sweet, timeless classic?  This deLIGHTful board book, I Love You, Little One from DK Canada, will charm you and your babe.

Featuring a cover with a light up moon and a gorgeous colour palette of animals telling their little ones how much they love them, this sweet little book is the perfect gift to parents & smalls.  Cuddle up for a bedtime of moon gazing with animals around the world, on land and sea.

We love the animal choices, silhouette artwork and expressions of love on each page.  A book easily read to your baby, your toddler, your small child…just an excellent addition to the library.  Wonderful shower gift too!  Recommended newborn+up, for adoring parents & their smalls near and far.



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Today’s lift-the-flap counting #boardbook is Animal 123 by talented illustrator Jonny Lambert via DK Canada.
An instant hit at our house, this sturdy, colourful counting book has ALL the flaps:  side flaps, top flaps, DOUBLE FLAPS and things to find and count in every scene.  Our newly minted 4 year old small protagonist LOVES it on repeat and so I can’t say enough about a great counting book.  It starts out a fabulous, high contrast, sturdy and exciting touch & see book for your baby and grows with them through every stage until they are playing seek & find with every page and naming animals like a pro!  The DK quality really shines through on this book and Jonny Lambert’s illustrations are a delight!
Recommended 3 months & up for counters & animals lovers big & small!



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Today’s enormous #nonfiction book for kids is: The Incredible Fold Out Book of Animals from DK Canada–and incredible is right!  These tri-folds are GIGANTIC and feature exciting animals in action!  A few familiar and a few unusual animals make appearances here and the pages are packed with fun, up-close facts about each amazing animal!  

This bright, bold book is an action-packed addition to your smalls library, sure to be enjoyed as they grow!  Recomended 4+up.



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Today’s little #boardbook is Hello, Love! by Japanese artist Taro Miura via @raincoastbooks.  Coming to bookstores on Christmas Eve of this year!
This sweet, simple board book illustrates adorable affection between animals with sparse, tender text and finishes with a family snuggle.  High contrast colours make it ideal for new eyes and it’s small enough in size for little hands to enjoy.  
We loved this sweet little baby book and would be thrilled to see versions with more diverse families at the end!

Recommended newborn+up, a great shower gift for a new baby.



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Today’s gorgeous non-fiction book for kids is An Anthology of Intriguing Animals from DK Canada.

This incredible anthology has more than 100 animals, each photographed AND illustrated for small eyes to enjoy.  With gold gilded pages and a ribbon bookmark to keep your place this book is wonderfully giftable.  It’s packed with story-style facts about animals PLUS fun tidbits of mythology surrounding each animal.

Arranged from the largest animal to smallest this encyclopedia had creatures neither me OR my small had seen before–making it a perfect book to enjoy as a family!  Reignite your wonder of nature with this stunning book.  Recommended ages 3+up.



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Today’s #nonfiction book for kids is an enormous flap book called Peek and Seek, illustrated by the wonderful Charlotte Milner, published via DK Canada.  

This big book is packed with facts about animals and nature and each spread has twenty-eight things to count and find!  Seriously, these flaps are so big they exceeded the limits of my tiny studio!  A lively, sturdy book for small hands filled with rich, colourful illustrations by the talented Charlotte Milner.  A great way to introduce nature through play to toddler & preschool smalls and a wonderful seek and find book for the little kid crowd!  Recommended 3+up!



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Today’s book is Junior Maker from DK Canada and we are SO excited there is a junior version in the “maker” series!  This book is chalk full of crafts and projects to explore a variety of themes: space! nature! history! animals! science! And all aged down to our preschool and K level smalls!
We had so much fun with this book that we tried TWO different activities: some adorable stone animals and a four season nature tree.  
These activities require some prep but many of the parts can involve your small:  collecting rocks, sorting yarn balls and of course, preparing to paint.  The best part of these activities was truly the painting.  Getting to paint rocks was a treat, and mixing colours to match the seasons was pronounced “so exciting!”

Other commentary from my three year old test lab:

 - “I can pick any animals I want?”  (This led to demanding I somehow craft a skunk on a rock as we find all things stinky hilarious right now. I did my best.)
 - “I can put the leaves ANYWHERE I want?” (I feared a blend of seasons but he actually kept them all separate)

I adapted little bits of these projects easily for my guy.  He loves squeezing out glue so we got glittery “snow” glue to decorate our winter tree.  There’s lots of room to easily fit each activity to your own child.  

Overall A++ from our team here at the Small Protagonist.  

Bonus Blog Callout?  I focused on painting ONE rock for ONE minute and my son starting painting HIMSELF into a skunk.  Photo for your enjoyment.



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Today’s lap sized #boardbook is 100 First Animals by DK Books Canada, a delightful tour of animals, big and small, striped and spotted, scaled and shelled, in the sea and in the trees.  We love the bold, high contrast imagery perfect for developing eyes in that crucial first year.  And we love how this book can grow with your child from things to point at it to names to declare as the language explosion happens around 2.5.  A bright, brilliant collection perfect for baby shower gifts and first libraries.  Recommended newborn +up!



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Today’s #popupbook is Christmas at the Zoo a Pop-up Winter Wonderland by the talented paper engineer Bruce Foster and equally talented illustrator Jason O’Malley via Jumping Jack Press (aka Up With Paper).

This whimsical retelling of the classic “Night Before Christmas” features zoo animals with all the trimmings!  Monkeys, giraffes, elephants, peacocks, penguins, lions, chimps and polar bears are all preparing for Christmas when “there arose such a clatter!”.

This is staple in our Christmas library and so much fun to pull out and pop-up each year.  Short, simple and filled with exciting details and one interactive rocking chair/cradle combo that smalls can pull themselves, this sturdy pop-up book is a joy to read and to share.

Recommended for smalls 3 & up, unless you have a very gentle or 2.5 year old (or incredibly fast reflexes to protect these pop-ups from harm like I did!) 



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Today’s #boardbook is the newest in DK Canada’s wonderful “follow the trail” series:  Follow the Trail Winter Wonderland.  This lap sized board book is filled with textured, sparkling lines for smalls to trace with their fingers and packed full of fun facts about winter animals.  Names, shapes, homes and food sources are all explored with a fun finger “maze” at the end.

These bold, high contrast books are great for smalls 6 months and up as they explore colour and texture for the first time.  The finger trails really come to life at around age 2.5 as smalls delight in vocabulary and shape recognition and feel victorious after tasks that play like a game.  

There is something in DK’s finger trail library for every interest and this winter themed edition is great for the holidays.



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Next up in the blog’s continuing Baby Shower Season coverage:  one of my personal recommendations!  The “That’s Not My…” series by Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells via Usborne & Harper Collins Canada.
The premise of these touch & feel books is simple:  A little white mouse notes what makes the duck (or other animal depending on book) not quite the one he is looking for until finding his on the last page.  Vibrant colours, high contrast imagery and large, quality touch & feel elements made these books a huge hit with my small from a few months old onward.  They have stood the test of time, he is two and a half and still brings them to me, reciting many of the pages by himself and now enjoying “finding the mouse” on each page. I give these books with every shower gift I build and recommend them. Usborne is a UK publisher and they make high quality, beautiful books.  These are at the pricier end of board books at $12 or $13 each but are available in 3 book value boxsets at most major retailers.  A great gift for new parents with favourite animals or nursery themes as this series is large and just about every animal you can think of is available.  Recommended newborn + up!



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Today’s title in our week of #myfirst with DK Canada is My First Farm.  This little board book packs lots of colourful punch with vivid photography, simple vocabulary and beautiful scenery!  Another title your little ones can grow with from high contrast imagery that’s perfect for new eyes to spreads filled with things to spot and name as they get older!

Recommended newborn + up, a great shower gift!

Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of the week where you can enter to win EVERY SINGLE BOOK you see in the first photo!  A wonderful first library for a baby!



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April is here and that means it’s Baby Shower Season - and although this season can technically be any time of year, there is a burst of it in Spring time!  So April’s theme will be baby’s first library, those special board books that make great shower gifts to treasure & enjoy with your precious new small!

I’ve paired up with the wonderful DK Canada to spend this first week showing you each of the books in their “my first” series.  Bright, high contrast imagery and simple, educational themes make these books great firsts for your smalls.

Tune in at the end of the week for your chance to win every book in the series!  That’s right, every book you see in the first photo could be yours!

First up today is My First Pets, a colourful tour of the many kinds of pets you can have.  Bonus blog call-out for including birds, which are often skipped!  (We are a parakeet house!)  Names, babies and basic anatomy are all included in the page spreads here so these books can grow with your baby right into toddlerhood!
Recommended newborn + up!



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Today’s picture book is Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose! by Geraldo Valerio via Owlkids Books, a bright, brilliant, animal alphabet book filled with Canadian animals and pithy, alliterative humour!

This fun, cheerful book is perfect for smalls from ages 2+up.  I particularly enjoyed the opening which reads like an announcer introducing our letter A animal!  I was also happy to discover I had several canadian animals in my small protagonists stuffy collection!  This definitely inspired me to track down some more!

And welcome to my holiday backdrop, here for all your winter animal and holiday themed title reviews! 



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Today’s board books are part of DK Canada’s Follow the Trail series, provided in exchange for an honest review.

These large, square board books are bright, sturdy and great for little hands.  With themes our littles love they offer ample opportunity for learning and play.  Follow each trail to match, travel and uncover facts!  Recommended 2+up

Head on over to DK Canada’s facebook page and give them a like and/or follow theme HERE on twitter for a chance to win two book of your choice from this great series!  Let me know you entered over HERE on my facebook page and I’ll do the draw tomorrow, December 17th, 2016, at noon.



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Today’s book is a non-fiction picture book titled Lifetime by Lola Schaefer via @chroniclebooks.  A lovely lapbook filled with simple numbers in nature, how many sets of antlers a caribou will have in its lifetime, how many holes a woodpecker will peck and how many baby seahorses one seahorse will birth.  From one to a thousand this book gradually builds in scale and is a simple, fascinating study perfect for ages 5+.  Feels particularly like a fabulous grandparent book to me!  I’ve loved it since I first saw it three years ago.

Lola Schaefer has a library of titles and resources under her belt as a teacher, writer and writing coach.  Learn more about her here.  Chronicle Kids Books is fun, quirky imprint with a treasure trove of unique kids books.  Check out their catalogue here if you like.

Woodpecker doorknocker via Wild Birds Unlimited.