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Bonkers for books

A roundup of what my 3-4 year olds are currently reading that is worth recommending...

It's Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf. Illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Written in memory of a beloved Holstein on a Minnesota dairy farm, this book is about a little girl helping her father with the daily chore of milking the family cows. The soft tones of the pictures and gentle poetry mostly catalog events inside the barn in detail...down to manure and washing and putting down fresh straw bales. An important lesson about hard work, where food comes from, and the animal-human bond.

Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander. Illustrations by Tim Bowers
This book delights me in ways my children cannot yet understand. If your kids are older, they can get even more out of this music-centered book with plenty of historical nods. The rooster wants to start a jazz band and knows some famous jazz legends like Mules Davis, Duck Ellington, and Thelonious Monkey. Who will win the farm's annual contest? The back of the book has a glossary of jazz vocabulary, real life musicians, and a jazz timeline. The language is punchy and the pictures hold young eyes.

The Life of A Car by Susan Steggall
Basically anything by this author is amazing. The pictures are always a stylized, gorgeous, colorful slice of life with vehicles. Rattle and Rap about trains is great. This one is car factory, fueling, towing, and recycling of cars.

Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
A cow is obsessed with chasing the mail carrier. Cow ends up being the one to deliver mail. Need I say more?

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
This book documents the process of standing in line and riding an old-fashioned roller coaster. It almost functions as a social story for potentially nervous riders, but has an element of humor that playfully notes the diversity of those in line. Everyone has a different reaction and the tag at the end is a nervous little girl overcoming her fears and taking yet another ride with her adoring father who helps her along the way.

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