Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Children's Book Highlight: What to get your own child or friend's infant/toddler for Christmas

Don't know what kind of book to get your own kid or friend's kid for Christmas? You aren't alone. It may be fine if it's your or your friend's first child, as we have the time told favorites like Goodnight, Moon or the Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc, but the likelihood is that someone else will beat you to the punch or he/she already has that book. With Christmas (and now 10 kids I need to get gifts for) right around the corner, this dilemma is very much on my mind. Olivia's now almost 14 months, and I am continually learning about good children's books for her age group. Sadly, there aren't many. But there are a few gems out there that your friend AND the baby/toddler will absolutely love.

The book I want to highlight today is called the Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna. This is definitely one of the New York Times Bestsellers that deserves its hype.

Amazon.com's description:
The Pout-Pout Fish
Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.
Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?
Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in this fun fish story that's sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.The Pout-Pout Fish is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Rating: 5 couches

Review: This is a delightful book that one of my friends at work recommended. It's a sad but true realization that rhymes in children's books are generally not very good. This is one of the rare exceptions. There is wonderful alliteration and rhythms and the flow of the words is very soothing to the infant that doesn't even know what you're saying. The words are difficult, but as another reviewer stated, that's hardly the point. The story makes sense (and is quite wonderful), and kids love the way the words sound, and the illustrations are terrific-- especially ones with the fish as he goes into his familiar refrain. I won't say it here to not spoil you, but if you are around parents or kids with this book, you'll know what I'm talking about. And it's rare that an infant/toddler book can surprise an adult. But I distinctly remember my husband's reaction as he turned to the final pages without any prompting from me-- and let out surprised laughter. And he doesn't get that reaction very often! So this awesome book has become a staple in our household, it's one of Olivia's favorite books, and I've bought it for every friend that I know (even ones without kids as I know they'll find a kid to read it to). So this is a perfect Christmas gift for that favorite baby in your life!

What is your favorite infant/toddler book that you would recommend to my readers? 

I would really appreciate your comments! I will also give more recommendations for the holidays as they are coming upon us.

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  1. Great review! I'll have to add this to the Christmas list for book to consider. One of my niece's and nephew's favorite books is Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema. It's not a newly published book, but I came across it 2 years ago and they absolutely love it. It's been read so much that it's worn out. I'm thinking of getting them a new copy this holiday.

  2. Ooooh that sounds like a great book. I'll definitely be putting that on the list! Thanks so much, girl!