Babies Don't Eat Pizza

Babies Don’t Eat Pizza by Dianne Danzig, illustrated by Debbie Tilley.

Stop right here if you are looking for a perfect book to tell children about their new little brother or sister.  Done in a light-hearted but also matter-of-fact style, this book will answer all of the questions new big siblings have.  The book ranges from what babies look like to what they eat to what they can do plus all of the hair pulling and stinky bottoms too.  The mix of the sweet with the annoying will prepare children well.

Danzig’s text is spot on, offering just the right amount of information and leaving nothing to a child’s imagination.  The tone is exactly right too, filled with humor but staying up front and informative.  Tilley’s illustrations add a friendly approachable feel to the information, keeping the book light rather than intimidating.

A great book for public libraries to have on hand to inform all of the new big brothers and sisters.  This would also be a great gift for the new sibling when the pregnancy announcement is made.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Adventures of Riley: South Pole Penguins

Adventures of Riley: South Pole Penguins by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre.

This is the latest in the Adventures of Riley series that mixes illustrations with photographs in an inviting way.  The book is packed with scientific facts offered in bite-sized pieces, digestible and interesting.  The story is told through the eyes of young Riley who heads out with his scientist aunt and uncle and their daughter to the South Pole to study the effect of air pollution on krill, the foundation of the food supply for many Antarctic creatures.  This focus on the environment is part of the Riley series, making it all the more current and interesting to today’s youth.

The book can be read in two ways.  One would be simply reading the story itself.  The other way, you read the story and the accompanying facts, making it more of a science book than a story book.  Because of this flexibility, the book works for a variety of ages.

The illustrations are inventive and offer the ease of a cartoon paired with the beauty and grandeur of real photographs of the region and its animals.  The science facts come identified with the scientist who said it, offering children the opportunity to understand not only the need for science but the many areas of speciality available. 

Recommended for budding scientists to peruse of their own, these books are better used in small groups than large because of the details shown.  They are useful as discussion starters about the environment and science in general.  Appropriate for ages 6-8.