Preschool Book Reviews
Let’s Hear it for the Saints! February Book Reviews for Preschoolers
While browsing through stack of licensed-character Valentine’s cards or spreading green frosting on shamrock-shaped cookies, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day originally honored saints who lived and died at the dawn of the Middle Ages. While Valentine’s Day is no longer considered an important Catholic holiday (little is known of the original saint, or if he was an amalgam of several Valentines), St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, is still revered and holds a place on the liturgical calendar. So thank you sirs, for giving us an excuse to share our love, eat some treats, march in a parade, and, of course, snuggle up and read books with our children.
Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You
By Nancy Tillman
“I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.” This opening sentence reflects the theme of Tillman’s book: you are loved, everywhere and always. The spare rhyming verse flows along with the journey of an adventuresome child, but the serene, photographic-looking illustrations tell this story best. The love, represented by twinkling lights, that surrounds and follows the child in each picture adds a magical element to this book. Parents will feel a heart connection to this lovely book.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
By Tomie dePaola
While medieval history may lie beyond the grasp of most preschoolers (and their parents, for that matter), dePaola does an excellent job of providing a historically accurate, yet simple and engaging account of Ireland’s beloved saint. If you have read other books by dePaola you will quickly recognize his distinctive style of artwork, which in this story is imbued with Celtic-style designs and earth tones. The book does not shy away from religious themes—St. Patrick was a bishop trying to spread Christianity, after all—and concludes with five brief retellings of legends associated with the saint.
By Patrick McDonnell
Jules the kitten is “so filled with love/ He wanted to give the whole world a hug.” And so he sets out to do just that, Hug To-Do List in paw. Jules travels the earth, spreading love and kindness one hug at a time. The comic-style drawings (the author is also the creator of the Mutts comic strip) are simple but full of expression, much like the message of this little story. The author offers a rare treat in a “message-y” style book, conveying the feel-good sentiment without corniness, and providing enjoyment for adults and kids alike.
By Linda Glaser
Illustrated by Susan Swan
Yes, it’s cold outside, and thought is sometimes feels like the chill of winter is here to stay, spring will soon arrive with warmth and light. This non-fiction narrative captures the excitement of a child witnessing the emergence of spring and the new life it brings. The text does a nice job of highlighting the signs of spring, but the illustrations are what make this book stand out – almost literally. The cut paper artwork adds a three-dimensional quality, which gives readers a lot to look at and enjoy. Throughout the year, be sure to check out the three other seasonal titles by this author/illustrator pair.