Clover Kitty Goes To Kittygarten (Laura Purdie Salas)

Hello, friends! In honor of JJ’s first day of kindergarten, our book today is Clover Kitty Goes To Kittygarten, written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata.

Young Clover Kitty prefers calm things: knitting quietly, napping on a warm floor, slowly nibbling her kibble. Sometimes she wishes she had someone to share her calm activities with, but otherwise, she feels very safe and secure in her familiar routine. So when the time comes for Clover to head to Kittygarten, she’s very nervous – and after a disaster of a first day, it’s easy to see why. Between the bright lights, loud noises, crowded classrooms, strong scents, and general newness of everything and everyone around her, Clover is overwhelmed and has a meltdown. For the next three days, she asks to stay home, and her mother lets her. Mom even allows a quiet friend, Oliver, from school to try and visit; Clover hides the first two days, yet is disappointed when he doesn’t show up the third. Deciding that she wants to try school (and friends) one more time, Clover comes up with a plan…

Wonderful. Everyone knows that the first day of school can be scary – add in sensory issues like Clover’s, and it can feel like an impossible challenge. A fantastic use of descriptive language allows readers with and without sensory issues of their own to understand her discomfort with “glaring” lights and perfume that stinks “like licorice”. Clover’s toolkit for combatting sensory overload (sunglasses, earmuffs, special blanket, etc), is a nice introduction to the same items sensory-sensitive children use. Adorable artwork managed the tricky balance of setting both the calming and overwhelming tones without being visually overwhelming themselves. The length was good, and JJ adored this one, seeing a kindred spirit in Clover. This is a great story, especially for classrooms who must consider sensory issues: nuerotypical kids will better understand their impaired peers, and sensory-sensitive kids will feel seen. Definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

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

One More Hug (Megan Alexander)

Hello, friends! Our book today is One More Hug, written by Megan Alexander and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, an ode to the special bond between mothers and sons.

In this sentimental tale, a mother reflects fondly on several significant moments in her oldest son’s childhood. From waiting for the first bus to school, playing pretend in the backyard, learning to ride a bike and more, these big-little moments are often a mix of happiness, excitement, yet sometimes disappointment or fear, such as when a favorite toy breaks or a loud screech of a schoolbus door startles. But in those moments, mommies are there for one more hug, one more kiss, and one more cuddle – for no matter how old little one gets, they will always be their Mama’s boy.

Very sweet. Dedicated to her own two sons, author Alexander creates a loving and timeless narration of mothers and sons. The afterward also claims that the intention of the story is to show parents and young children that it’s okay for boys to show emotion and their feelings; however, this theme feels far less fleshed-out. Still, the root story is solid, and filled with moments that mothers will relate to, especially in the bittersweet pride and joy of watching one’s baby grow into an adult. The soft, airy artwork has a nostalgic feel that fits the sentiment of the story, and JJ enjoyed the soothing tenderness of the text. This would be a wonderful gift for little (or big) sons and their moms, as a reminder of the incomparable bond they share. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

All Of Baby, Nose To Toes (Victoria Adler)

Hello, friends! Our review today is All Of Baby, Nose To Toes, written by Victoria Adler and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, an adorable rhyming book about little bodies! On each page, a different part of baby is highlighted: ears, nose, belly, etc, followed by a family member who loves that wee little feature! 

This book is adorable! It’s great to read along with baby bookworms, because you can easily compare the fictional baby’s features to the reader’s to help them learn about their bodies. The rhymes are cute and easy to read, and the length is great, plus the illustrations are absolutely precious. We had a lot of fun with this one! Baby Bookworm approved!