New books for children, including a sparkling board book series by popular photographer/author Margaret Miller:
BABIES AND TODDLERS:Chances are, you and your toddler have read a book by veteran children's photographer/author Margaret Miller - maybe "Whose Hat?" or "Can You Guess?" Now, Miller extends her reach to babies in a wonderful new "Super Chubby" board book series. Published by Little Simon, this series of four books does indeed sport soft, chubby covers just right for small hands to grip.
Each book costs $4.99 and highlights a different topic: "My Best Friends," "At The Shore," "Family Time," and "Happy Days." Miller keeps her text to a minimum and wisely allows babies and toddlers to revel in her engaging photographs of a diverse group of kids enjoying life. These are a guaranteed hit with the youngest set. (Ages 6 months-3 years)
Spring's many joys are celebrated with lyrical rhyme and whimsical illustrations in "The Day The Daisies Danced" (G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.95). Author Dee Lillegard uses a light touch to tell the tale of a shy young girl named Camellia, who takes time out from her role in a wedding ceremony to go for a walk in a nearby garden. There, Camellia enters a fantasy world where the flowers are all atwitter over the impending wedding of Sweet William to Columbine. Lillegard's text is a little sweet, but it's given verve and energy by the extraordinary illustrations by Rex Barron. (Ages 4-8)
Young children love to ponder what job they'll have when they grow up. In "When I Grow Up I Want To Be ..." (Candlewick Press, $9.99), author Blaise Douglas uses jaunty verse to present a few of the job possibilities most interesting to young readers, including firefighter, veterinarian, musician, detective, and race car driver. Young readers also will love the illustrations by Tania Hurt-Newton, which are colorful and full of life. But the book's special cachet is that it contains a die-cut circle on each page, allowing readers to place a photo of themselves at the back of the book and actually see how they'll look at each occupation. (Ages 3-7)
With lyrical language and entrancing illustrations, "The Birth of a Whale" (Silver Press, $19.95) gives young readers a new way to celebrate these great creatures of the sea. Author John Archambault and artist Janet Stiles have combined to create a book that is lovely to look at, delightful to read, and a wonderful lesson in how humpback whales live and survive in the "deep water dark." As a bonus, the book comes with a tape, on which Archambault reads the story, backed by an original musical score by David Plummer. Kids will particularly enjoy learning the two songs, "The Birth of a Whale" and "Singing Whales." (Ages 4-8)
Learning to read is a blast with the pun-filled jokes in "Sheepish Riddles" (Dial, $12.99). One of Dial's "Easy-To-Read" series, "Riddles" is filled with jokes focused on - you got it - sheep. Authors Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg must have gathered every sheep joke ever known to create this collection, which includes such riddles as "Why is it hard to talk to a ram? He keeps butting in!" The illustrations by R.W. Alley add to the silliness of this silly book that kids will love and parents will endure. (Ages 5-8)