Dreaming Of You (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dreaming Of You, written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Aaron DeWitt, a charmingly sweet bedtime book filled with animal friends.

What do animals dream of when it’s time for bed? Well, all sort of things. Kittens dream of lapping fresh milk, turtles dream of sunning themselves on the rocks, fireflies dream of dancing in the cold moonlight. But perhaps you might be surprised to find that all these lovely animals enjoy nothing more than to dream of you. For instance, puppies dream of cuddling in a warm bed with you, and horses dream that you’ll whisper secrets into their soft ears. So as you drift off to sleep tonight, enjoy your lovely gentle dreams, and know that creatures great and small are dreaming of you, too.

Delightful yet wonderfully soothing. The poem that comprises the text flows gorgeously, with flawless rhythm and delicate, whimsical rhyme. The concept deftly treads a line between adorable and saccharine, keeping an earnest air of preciousness without veering into “cutesy”. The art is lovely, blending the look of oils, pastels and mixed-media into a style that looks classic but feels fresh. The length is perfect for a bedtime read, and JJ and I adored it. A wonderful selection for helping little animals lovers wind down, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Read! Read! Read! (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Read! Read! Read!, poems written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated Ryan O’Rourke, a joyful and moving ode to books and reading for little ones.

Comprised of twenty-three poems written in different styles and forms, the reader is pulled into a celebration of reading, especially the impact that reading can have on a child. Books, magazines, newspapers, road signs, even the backs of cereal boxes; no type of reading is excluded or frowned upon. The poems explore the joy of getting lost in a thrilling story, how great books can change us or guide us through difficult times, and how we carry each tale we’ve read with us as we change and grow.

This book was an absolute delight. I was hesitant about a poem collection for JJ, considering the length, but this was so worth it. The poems themselves are bite-sized, only taking one or two minutes to read apiece, and the entire book can be completed comfortably in one sitting. And what marvelous poems they are, capturing the special relationship that children have with books and reading, and the impact that reading anything and everything can make on one’s life as they mature (the poem about Charlotte’s Web helping a young girl understand how to deal with grief was especially powerful). The illustrations are simply perfect, capturing the mood of each poem spectacularly and building fanciful and imaginative worlds around them. This one is a treasure, and JJ and I both loved it. Perfect for the little bookworm in your life, any age, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Every Day Birds (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

Hello, everybody! Today, we read Every Day Birds, written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Dylan Metrano, a beginners guide to common birds for young children. The book, told in rhyme, features cut paper illustrations of many species of common birds (such as robins, cardinals. woodpeckers, etc) on each page, with short, one-sentence descriptions to help identify them. Also included are more detailed descriptions of each bird in the back of the book for young readers to peruse as they grow.

This was a really cool concept for a book, and it was executed well. The cut paper illustrations are colorful and simple, so children can get used to the basic look of each species, yet still bring the birds to life, and writing the book in rhyme makes it fun and easy to read aloud to the younger readers. The length is fine, too, and this would be a great book for little nature lovers or beginners at birding. We liked it! Baby Bookworm approved!