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New to Our Shelves: Less than Traditional Kid Books

A few months ago a publishing company contacted me and asked if I would take a look at a few of their newest books.  As soon as I saw that one was written by Herve Tullet, I jumped at the chance.  In case you’re not familiar with Tullet, he’s the creative genius behind the massively engaging, and uber popular, Press Here. (This interactive book is one of my kids favorites – if you don’t have it, I’d highly recommend looking into it.)


With Doodle Cook, Tullet once again serves up an outside-the-box book full of quirky fun.  This time around it’s a coloring book masquerading as a cook book.  The “ingredients” are various types of doodles and shapes.


The “recipes” consist of step-by-step drawing directions.


And they’re to be cooked on the adjacent page.  What I like most about this activity book is that the recipes start the kids off with specific instructions (“draw four lines on the plate.  Make the lines nice and straight”) but also include lots of open-ended components to encourage creativity (“Garnish the kebabs with colors or patterns.  Finally, season your dish by scattering a few delicate strokes over the whole plate.”).


Doodle Cook is a big book too.  Not only does it have 20 different recipes, but it measures nearly 10″ x 14″ in size, providing lots of space for your littles to express themselves.  Click through for another great read, this one of the traditional story book variety.



Jonathan & Martha is an easy read in which two lonely worms learn the true meaning of friendship, cooperation and sharing.  It was written by Petr Horacek, recipient of The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Book Award for Silly Suzy Goose.


Along with the sweet and silly story, the vibrant illustrations and die cutting are captivating.  This is the kind of book I love having on our shelves.

Jonathan & Martha is one of those books preschoolers and bigger kids adore because mixed in with the sweet message is just a little bit of G-rated violence – the worms fighting followed by a bird pecking off their tails.  It sounds gory, I know, but the worms are hardly phased by it and carry on their merry way. Kids are fascinated by tales like these which aren’t all hugs and holding hands but, instead, trust them to to handle a little reality.


Do you have any favorite books a little more off-the-beaten path?  Please share your finds in the comments below.




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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen Gagnon August 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

These look interesting! My girls would love them I’m sure :). Thanks for sharing.


Tammy August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Thank you for sharing these books. I am always looking for something new and fresh! I will add these to the Christmas list for my granddaughter.
I do have a book to share with you…
And the DISH Ran Away with the SPOON by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
Janet lives in Boulder CO and came to our school to share her books with our students. This book is a fresh take on an old nursery rhyme.
The dish and spoon run away and take an adventurous journey through other nursery rhymes. In the meantime, their friends from that rhyme set out to rescue them in time for the next reading.


Anonymous August 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen! The sequel This Is Not My Hat is coming out soon too, I have it on pre-prder:)


Chelle August 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for the review. I am off to track down the first one. Excellent for kids learning to follow instructions in the preschool years.


Merly August 15, 2012 at 3:55 am

Great. Christmas list. Love your blog.


Merly August 15, 2012 at 3:55 am

Great. Christmas list. Love your blog.


morestorytold August 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Great recommendations! Here’s mine: If I Were a Lion, by Sarah Weeks and illustrated by Heather M. Solomon. It was published in 2004 by Atheneum, just recently some friends mailed it as a gift to our daughter. I wrote a blog post on it, you can find it @ http://www.morestorytold.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/if-i-were-a-lion. Hope you like it! Thanks, Marina


pallavi August 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Hi, great suggestions here. My 5 yr old daughter is in love with doodle all year and play all day ..both by taro gomi


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