Dante’s Shelf: April 2021 Favorites

Posted April 2, 2021 by Berls in Dante's Shelf, Review / 4 Comments

I thought it would be fun to share some of Dante’s favorite books every month. He tends to have a few favorites at a time and we read them over and over. This way, parents & teachers can learn about some picture books they might want to share with their kids and I got a built-in memory of his favorites over time. Win, win!

Note: Last month’s To the Moon and Back for You and Dear Zoo, remain top picks – perhaps the #1 and #5 picks. But I wanted to share some of the others that have made it into the frequent reads rotation.

Dante’s Shelf: April 2021 FavoritesGood Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 13, 1994
Genres: Picture Books
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift

For a short time, this new larger edition includes a print signed by Peggy Rathmann!
It's bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who's that short, furry guy with the keys in his hand and the mischievous grin?
Sneak along behind the zookeeper's back and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp. 
The new generous trim size of every toddler's favorite book is even easier to share. With a warm, funny author's note highlighting how much this book has meant to kids and families since it was first published and some clever new details hidden in the illustrations, Good Night, Gorilla is the perfect gift for new babies as well as fans young and old.

Goodnight Gorilla is on it’s second rotation as a favorite book – we used to read it a ton about 1 year ago. It’s a very simple book, as the zookeeper closes up for the night, he says goodbye to all the animals, and the sneaky Gorilla follows behind him, letting them all out of their cages. They all follow the zookeeper back to his house and into his bedroom, where his wife says “goodnight.” When all the animals says “goodnight” back, she opens her eyes, turns out the light and discovers them all in her bedroom, so she takes them back to the zoo. The sneaky Gorilla and his companion mouse, with a banana on a string, sneak back in and go to sleep with the zookeeper and his wife.

I think Dante likes the colorful pictures best about the book. As a former Kinder teacher, I see this as a great book for early readers – most the  pages have two to four words – goodnight and the animal in the picture – so it would be very easy for them to use their picture clues and the repetitive text to read the book. There are also several pages with no text at all, allowing them to just describe what is happening in the pictures to tell the story. And the animals coming to bed with the zookeeper is sure to make any little one laugh.

5 stars Flipping Fantastic

Dante’s Shelf: April 2021 FavoritesHow to Feed Your Cheeky Monkey by Jane Clarke, Georgie Birkett
Published by Red Fox Picture Books on July 30, 2015
Genres: Picture Books
Pages: 18
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Cheeky Little Monkey wants something to eat.Pop her in the high chair and grab her favourite treat . . .
A board book about meal time featuring a cuddly little monkey
Discover the big moments and daily routines of every toddler’s life, with lovable animal characters and a playful, rhyming text. Each story features a child and their very own baby animal, brought to life by the creator of The Big Night-Night Book.

When I first introduced this book to Dante about 8 months ago, he wasn’t that into it. But now, he almost always picks it from his book shelf when it’s story time. I think he now understands better that the Cheeky monkey is eating and making a mess, just like he does. And we get some giggles when there’s mashed banana on the cat.

I’ve been trying to use this book to help Dante with gestures – so when you give a “happy clappy cheer”, for example, I clap and help him clap his hands together. There are a few other good gesture moments in this book. I also use it to point to his mouth and his ear on one page – working on body parts – and that always elicits a giggle. So some good learning moments along with laughter in this book.

4.5 stars I loved it

Dante’s Shelf: April 2021 FavoritesGrumpy Tortoise by Michael Buxton
Series: First-Time Feelings
Published by Kane Miller Books on September 2019
Genres: Picture Books
Pages: 8
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Grumpy Tortoise woke up grumpy. But friends have a way of making things better.
This stylish board book series features hilarious inspirational tales for toddlers focusing on everyday emotions.

This book is also on a second round as a favorite – although it’s not always picked right now. Maybe every other day. This story is about a tortoise that wakes up grumpy and by doing fun things throughout the day he’s happy by time he’s ready for bed.

In this book, there’s a few opportunities to work with Dante on pointing to things – we point to the tortoise on every page – and also some gestures. I think this would be a good book for older toddlers and young kids as well, since it indirectly shows strategies for dealing with grumpy feelings by showing the way tortoise deals with his grumpy feelings. It’s not really a giggle book, like the others, but Dante enjoys the bright pictures as tortoise visits different environments – desert, ocean, city, etc – and animal friends.

4 stars Pretty Great

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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