Picture Book Review ~ The Rabbit Listened

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The other day I shared a few books that I qualified as “shelf-esteem” books. Those with stories that help to build or encourage a healthy self-esteem in children. There are also tons of books that would qualify as “lesson” books. Some are very pedantic and preachy but the best show by example how to handle situations that come up in every day life. Today’s spotlight is one of the best of the best.

Taylor builds something wonderful but when it gets ruined his friends come by and offer to help. The chicken just knows Taylor wants to talk about it and clucks non-stop but Taylor doesn’t feel like talking. The bear feels angry and starts shouting, the elephant wants to remember exactly the way things were, and each other animal has their own ideas of how to help Taylor cope but he’s not ready to do any of those things. When the Rabbit comes by Taylor doesn’t notice so he snuggles up close to the boy and soon Taylor opens up. He listens as Taylor talks and shouts moves through all his stages of grief and anger and recovery and dreams of the next great thing he plans to build.

This is absolutely the sweetest little story and a great lesson in friendship. So often we figure that our way of dealing with something is the best way rather than really listening to what our friends need. It’s a great reminder for kids and adults alike.

The Rabbit Listened book review

The Rabbit Listened

Written and Illustrated by: Cori Doerrfeld

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018

Number of Pages: 40

Age Range: 3-100

Rating: 4.5/5

The Rabbit Listened book review2

Picture Book Reviews ~ Wintry Favorites

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

We’re a little behind the curve here but we’ve finally gotten a snowstorm! In celebration (and because we’re all fighting colds and don’t want to actually go out in it just yet) I’m sharing a few of my recent favorite snowy, winter books.

The Snowbear Book Review

The Snowbear

Written by: Sean Taylor

Illustrated by: Claire Alexander

Number of Pages: 32

Age Range: 2-6

Rating: 3.5/5

Iggy and Martina wake up to a world covered in snow and proceed to make a snowbear in their front yard. Then they venture out to try their sled and end up deep, deep in the woods. Thanks to their snowbear (or was it just their imagination?) they get home safe and sound.

A fun tale of adventure, friendship, and the power of imagination (or perhaps a little magic, you decide!) Alexander’s illustrations evoke all the chill of a winter’s day but rather than making you want to stay bundled inside you’ll long to join the kids in their adventures.

Winter Dance Book Review

Winter Dance

Written by: Marion Dane Bauer

Illustrated by: Richard Jones

Number of Pages: 32

Age Range: 3-7

Rating: 5/5

A small fox watches as snowflakes begin swirling through the air. With winter coming, what should he do? All the animals he encounters in the forest have suggestions for him. The caterpillar tells him to wrap up in a shiny chrysalis, the bat tells him to swoop into a cozy cave to sleep, the turtle tells him to bury himself in the cool mud and more. Each animal takes his own advice but the fox knows none of these is best for him. When another fox appears the two join the dancing snowflakes in a dance of their own. Gorgeously muted illustrations are a perfect match for the lightly poetic text. This is a versatile tale that could pair with winter bedtime stories or serve as a precursor to a day of playing out in the cold.

Something's Fishy Book Review

Something’s Fishy

Written and Illustrated by: Jean Gourounas

Number of Pages: 32

Age Range: 4-8

Rating: 4/5

A grumpy looking penguin is trying to do some fishing but he is continually interrupted by all the other polar animals. Each one asks what he’s doing, though the fishing pole dangling in the hole in the ice should make it relatively obvious. And each one is greeted with the same glare. Eventually it seems as if everyone has gathered and they’re perplexed as to why no fish are biting…something’s definitely fishy!

I won’t give away the ending but young readers will surely chuckle. This would be a great classroom read to encourage predicting endings. (North and south pole animals mix indiscriminately here…sometimes I can let that slide, other times it bothers me to no end. Somehow I was okay with it today. Just be aware, penguins and polar bears are NOT neighbors in real life!)