2015 Spring Books for Kids & Parents

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It's time to get your READ on! Discover our Editor Picks in spring books for babies, preschoolers, big kids and parents in addition to a spunky collection of crafting books — PLUS get your kids hooked up to Summer Reading Programs at your local library!


DearZooDear Zoo
A Lift-the-Flap Book

By Rod Campbell
Little Simon
It may be 30 years old, but Dear Zoo is just as popular as ever … and since Nashville has such a cool zoo, we thought your baby should read this book! It DOES have a new, updated look for the lift-the-flap story detailing a young boys search for the perfect pet: It starts, “I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet … They sent me a …” . You can fill in the rest. It’s a delight through and through. — ssd

HonkHonk, Honk! Baa, Baa!
By Petr Horacek
Mixed media illustrations make this cute board book about learning animal sounds stand out for the littlest ones. Bold colors and seven different portraits of animals will have you mooing and clucking together until your little one’s a champ at his imitations. Plop him on your lap and have at it! — ssd

RedbirdRedbird: Colors, Colors Everywhere!
— and —
Redbird: Friends Come in Different Sizes
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
Workman Publishing
$5.95 each
The author of Beautiful Oops! introduces a friendly new character to wee ones with Redbird. In Colors, Colors Everywhere!, Redbird takes teensy readers through an assortment of his favorite colors as he tries hard to figure out which is his favorite. By the end, he reveals his favorite colors are the ones in the rainbow and loves them all. In Friends Come in Different Sizes, Redbird introduces kids to a variety of his animal friends who come in great degrees of various shapes and sizes — some small, some big, some long, some short. It’s a fun way to appreciate everyone’s uniqueness. Saltzberg’s charming illustrations are playful and captivating for little eyes in each colorful board book. — cy

YellowCopter AM copyYellow Copter
By Kersten Hamilton; illustrated by Valeria Petrone
Penguin Young Readers
Available May 19, 2015
Encourage a love of bright colors and … helicopters with this cute book. The fun action words and easy rhymes will engage your little one as you read this story to him. The illustrations are done so that they’re not so overwhelming with bright colors all around except for specific items. — ka

AGES 3 – 5

BearCookbookThe Berenstain Bear’s Country Cookbook
By Mike Berenstain
Cook with Mama Bear and the rest of the Berenstain Bears using these kid-friendly and tasty recipes. Having images of the beloved bears on each page of the cookbook will keep your little one interested as he mixes, cracks eggs, rolls dough and more. Sub-titled “Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult,” this makes for a lovely way to spend some togetherness — what the Berenstain Bears are known for! — ssd


DaylightStarlightDaylight Starlight Wildlife
Written and illustrated by Wendell Minor
Penguin/Random House
Wildlife/landscape painter Wendell Morris puts his talent to great use in this delightful children’s book about the assortment of wild critters often seen in one’s own backyard — some during the daytime while others lurk at night. Each spread features the contrast of day and night along with a particular daytime animal and nighttime animal on each page. Morris’ spectacular, lifelike illustrations will draw little eyes to the pages, and they’ll enjoy encountering fascinating fauna like chipmunks, flying squirrels, cardinals, raccoons, barred owls, white-tailed deer, luna mothers, cottontail rabbits and more. The back of the book includes fun facts about each animal in the book. — cy

HenryStarsHenry’s Stars
By David Elliot
Penguin Young Readers Group
If your kids love staring at the stars, they’ll love this cute book about a pig and what he sees in the stars. You know how we see the Big Dipper over here … and others see it over there … oh, but it was the Little Dipper they saw … wasn’t it? That’s how Henry feels when he sees a pig in the stars and happily shows his farm friends. However, things take a different turn as each animal sees only an animal in the stars that represents themselves. It’s a great way to show kids how to use their imagination and that you can see many things in the stars. — ka


MaggiMiloMaggi and Milo
By Juli Brenning
Illustrated by Priscilla Burris
Dial Books for Young Readers
Little Maggi plans a frog hunt after getting an awesome frog hunting kit from her grandmother. Full of spunk, Maggi greets the next morning happily and sets out with her best friend, Milo, a smart border collie, along for the fun. This sweet life-in-the-country tale takes place in no-rush kid time, with nary a care in the world beside the whereabouts of frogs. When Milo disappears in the muck, guess what he eventually returns with then leads Maggi too? A cute little girl, a fun-loving dog and a full day for mucking … what could be better for a kid? This is Nashville-based author Brenning’s first children’s book. — ssd

PigPugPig and Pug
By Lynne Berry; Illustrated by Gemma Correll
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available June 2, 2015
Pugnacious Pug and Pigheaded Pig are pint-sized portable pets — one in a pocket, one in a purse. Lots of bickering, chasing and mud wrestling occur when they meet, but they eventually settle their differences and become friends. The book features fun, whimsical illustrations and tongue-twisters to enchant beginning readers. Your kids can meet the author and illustrator at Parnassus Books in Green Hills on Saturday, June 20 at 2 p.m. — cy

WildBookWild Ideas
(Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking)

By Elin Kelsey
Artwork by Soyeon Kim

Owls Kids Books
Did you ever stop to think that all of us literally deal with problems all day long? But problems don’t have to be seen as insurmountable, only as a way to find a creative solution … or not! This awesome picturebook from the author of the critically acclaimed You are Stardust will have you and your child looking at the world a bit differently, and realizing how utterly self sufficient we all are. The beautiful diaoramas that fill out each page strengthen the theme of looking at life in a whole new way. — ssd

AGES 6 – 8

MindMuddlersMind Muddlers: What You See is Not What You Get!
Ticktock/Octopus Books USA
This book has several optical illusions for kids to mull over and enjoy. It also tells you how to create them for yourself. You’ll find your child possibly spending hours at a time with this book and trying to work up something to match it. It’s a great example of optical illusions, impossible shapes and trick photography. — ka

SharkWarsShark Wars: Creatures of the Deep Go Head-to-Head
Ticktock/Octopus Books USA
Ages 7 and older will love seeing the awesome images of sharks, whales and other scary sea creatures from the deep. Along with each stunning illustration (so real looking that you’ll think they’re truly photographs of each occurrence) of the real animal, kids can read up on information pertaining to them. It’s a good read for those interested in learning more about the battles and struggles of who’s on top of the food chain in the deep sea. — ka


colorillusionsColor Illusions: Visual Tricks, Fantastic Facts and Impossible Puzzles
Kids can have a blast exploring the wonderful world of colors with this informative, interactive read that explains how color comes from light and how a prism splits it. Readers also get a little bit of biological facts about how our eyes’ rods and cones work to detect color. Several pages contain a variety of colorful patterns that create optical illusions as they seem to move around. Learn how just three colors (red, blue and yellow) can make many more when mixed in certain combinations. The book also features colors in nature and how some animals are born with the ability to blend into their environments. The enclosed 3D glasses come in useful in learning how 3D pictures work. — cy


LEGOStarWarsLEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
DK Publishing
This updated, expanded guide the the miniature figures of the Star Wars galaxy is chock full of LEGO Star Wars facts, from the rarest figure to which one can be found in the most LEGO sets. This edition features 72 additional pages of new figures, and the book comes with an exclusive figure to add to your child’s collection. — cy

2016AlmanacNational Geographic Kids Almanac 2016
National Geographic
More than 330 colorful pages of facts, fun info and spectacular photos will occupy young readers for hours. Kids will find just about everything they want to know in this inviting book. From the world’s wackiest houses and wonders of nature to cool things about music, readers can absorb myriad knowledge while having fun along the way. The Kids Almanac offers heavy coverage of the animal kingdom and world geography along with good doses of science, history and world culture. Several quizzes and games enhance the reader experience. Look for the 10 “Almanac Explorer” hidden throughout the book, then unscramble the letters to reveal a secret code that unlocks more fun at kids.nationalgeographic.com/almanac-2016. — cy



GardenClassroomThe Garden Classroom:
Hands on Activities in Math, Science, Literacy & Art

By Cathy James
Discover a surprising number of ways to inspire learning in children ages 4 – 8 right in your own backyard. Arranged project by project in easily disgestable sections like “Play & Imagination,” “Reading & Writing,” “Science & Math” and so forth, the author provides all kinds of learning prompts for you as you work with your children in nature. Colorful photographs accompany projects and you’ll soon be turning all outdoor adventures into your spirited classroom. Lucky kids! — ssd

DesignMomDesign Mom:
How to Live With Kids, A Room-by-Room Guide

By Gabrielle Stanley Blair
Workman Publishing
If you’re a mom in search of a method to the madness, Gabrielle Blair’s book is for you. Loaded with great ideas and real-life situations, Ms. Blair shows moms how to DEAL with it all and at the same time, have some style. The gorgeous photography may have you thinking Martha Stewart, but don’t be fooled. This book is LOADED with great ideas for making what you have at your home useful, pleasant and workable. She details siblings sharing rooms, smart toy storage, smart solutions for kids clothing and on and on. I don’t think there’s a family subject she doesn’t tackle and make you feel great about doing it. — ssd

GeekBabyThe Geek Baby Book:
A Memory Journal for Every Geeky First in Your Baby’s Life

By Tim Mucci
Adams Media
This is a hilarious twist to the every mom edition of baby books and journals. Dad will laugh at all the silly things he can relate to with his child, especially if it’s in the realm of Geekdom. As Baby grows, Dad can record these as a “LEVEL UP!” He can even draw in what his kid’s hairstyle is. Don’t worry, Mom will have fun with this book, too. It’s a great item for parents that are deeply happy with their own Geekdom. — ka

JoyOfMomThe Joy of Mom: Celebrating a Mother’s Love
By Vicki Reece
Simple Truths
Reece, a mother of three and mommy blogger, offers mothers everywhere a collection of inspirational quotes about motherhood from various sources — famous authors, various proverbs, unknown authors, song lyrics, spiritual leaders, herself and more. Heartwarming photos accompany many of the passages that will encourage readers to treasure every moment with their children to the fullest. — cy

LittleBookforDadsThe Little Book for Dads: Stories, Jokes, Games & More
By various authors
Adams Media
It starts off with three fun children’s songs that we’ve all grown up with and possibly forgotten the words to. Then, Dads will be immersed in the world of fatherhood through activities to do with kids as well as fun stories for all. In between some sports terms and techniques, you’ll find a story for little princes, the story of Rumpelstiltskin, poems and more. So, it gives fathers a chance to be the sports guy and then a chance to be a storyteller. — ka

NewDadDicThe New Dad Dictionary:
Everything He Really Needs to Know — From A to Z
By Chris Illuminati
Adams Media
Creator of the parenting blog Message with a Bottle, humorist Chris Illuminati offers fellow fathers a crash course in today’s parenting language and spells it out in real-guy talk with a hefty dose of HA-HAs along the way. The dictionary features three main sections — Pregnancy, The First Year and The Rest of Your Life — offering definitions to terms including: Birthing Ball, Episiotomy Cradle Cap, Engorgement, Ferberization, Alopecia, Meconium, Helicopter Parenting, Manipulative Toys, Redshirting and beyond. Along with the humor, dads will gain some valuable know-how about the kinds of changes to expect from their babies — and Mom! — from before birth to the early childhood years. — cy


SweetapolitaSweetapolita Bakebook
By Rosie Alyea
Potter Books
The Sweetapolita blog enjoys nearly 350,000 followers and more than 1 million visits each month as moms and girls seek out new and amazing ideas for cakes and cookies. Look no further! Enjoy these 75 fanciful cakes, cookies and more! While you see lots of gorgeous cakes around these days, perhaps none are as unique at Ms. Alyea’s — and that’s not all. Discover recipes for homemade sprinkles, ice cream cone cookie pops, candy clay, cotton candy cupcakes, chocolate rootbeer float cake … and on and on. Give it as a gift or keep it for yourself, we’re putting this book on cake tier of it’s own. — ssd

DisneyPartyThe Ultimate Disney Party Book
By Jessica Ward with Cynthia Littlefield
Edda USA

If you’ve got a Disney-loving kid (and what parent doesn’t?), you’ll want to get your hands on this gem of a book to plan your child’s next party. Eight chapters cover specific Disney themes, including Aladdin; Disney Princess; Toy Story; Mickey and Minnie; Monsters, Inc.; Wreck-it Ralph; Planes; and Captain Hook. Each chapter has all the info you need to pull off an unforgettable party encompassing invitations, decorations, crafts, party games and recipes. — cy



paperMachinesColossal Paper Machines
Created by Phil Conigliard
Text by Theo Baker
Workman Publishing

This gigantic book will have older kids (9 and up) popping out, folding together and glueing paper structures that will amaze and delight. Included are 10 giant machines in all like a Chinook helicopter, a steam boat, a cement mixer and more. It will delight you to see your child immersed in something other than a video game! ssd

PetitCollagePetit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Décor Projects for a Playful Home
By Lorena Siminovich
Potter Craft
Looking for a fun and crafty way to spruce up your child’s room all while creating something fun for him to play with? This book has several great ideas for just that. The design elements are sleek with a modern feel. She even provides templates and very detailed instructions to help make the crafts go smoothly. — ka


SewLearn to Sew with Lauren
By Lauren Guthrie
Mitchell Beazley
Have you always loved those handmade clothes you see at markets and specialty boutiques? If you’ve got the time and really want to learn, this book gives you detailed instruction and teaches you how to sew. Use the provided patterns in the book to make just about anything from pillow shams, totes, coin purses, children’s clothing, women’s clothing and more! — ka

ArtfulYearThe Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays with Crafts & Recipes
By Jean Van’t Hul
Roost Books
The author of The Artful Parent offers fans another great book to share with your kids. This book is filled with crafts and specialty projects that you can do throughout the year to help celebrate the seasons and holidays — there’s more than 175 ideas! From edible treats to decorative crafts, you’re sure to have something fun to do with your kids throughout the year. — ka



CreativityGiantBooikThe Giant Book of Creativity for Kids:
500 Activities to Encourage Creativity in Kids Ages 2 to 12

By Bobbi Conner
Roost Books
This book has it all. And it should considering it boasts 500 different activities to do with your child. You’ll be doing anything from playing pretend, dancing, singing, building, drawing and more. There are activities and some crafts to go along with them. The crafts have their own instructions, the only drawback is that there are no fun photos to go with them. I mean, they did cram a ton of stuff into this book! — ka

Summer Reading Program at Your Local Library

2015 Summer Reading Logo














School’s almost out for another year, but your local library wants to keep kids reading during the 2015 Summer Reading Program in June and July. Readers can set goals and earn prizes for reaching them. This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story.” Area libraries host events ranging from storytimes and craft workshops to puppet shows and guest appearances by local children’s entertainers. Participation in the program is free, and some related events require advance registration. For all event info and to sign up for the Summer Reading Program, visit one of these websites:


La Vergne — lavergnetn.gov
Linebaugh, MGL, Smyrna, Eagleville — linebaugh.org

Gallatin — gallatinlibrary.org
Hendersonville — hendersonvillepubliclibrary.org

Bethesda, College Grove, Fairview, Franklin, Leiper’s Fork, Nolensville — lib.williamson-tn.org
Brentwood — brentwood-tn.org/library
Spring Hill — springhilllibrary.org

Lebanon — lebanonlibrary.net
Mt. Juliet — mtjulietlibrary.net

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