Two new PAL Award Winners are great fun with the preschool crowd. “The Splendid Spotted Snake” has kids mesmerized as the magic ribboned snake lengthens on each page and adds a row of new colored spots. It’s fun to sit back and listen to kids’s description of the snake. Learn colors and descri be changes. Here is my review:

“The Splendid Spotted Snake”grows on you as each page turned reveals an added link to our slithery friend.  Kids love the magic ribbon technology as the smiling snake’s cloth body expands to teach a new color. The text of  simple rhyming phrases–“He grew a little more…he had green spots galore!” is a backdrop for the clever enlarging snake while turning the pages reveals a new spotted section of his body. When his growing ended , the snake looked splendid and surprise–his spots were blended! Kids as young a 2 enjoyed this book, spotting the difference on each page,  “Oh, blue tape!” and “More spot!” The magic ribbon snake was easily the highlight of the book for kids. A great choice for an interactive read-aloud for your preschooler, the growing, bumpy bright spotted snake gives readers lots to talk about and engage in with a child.  Talking about a book can be as valuable as reading it to a child to develop language that later relates to reading ability.

“How Big Is the Lion” is a first measuring book with an attached ruler to measure the cute folk art creatures pictured. A great learning device, kids have to follow directions, describe differences (bigger, longer, wider) and use their language. Here is my review:

A first book of measuring, “How Big Is the Lion?” captures kids’ attention on the opening page as they work to slip the attached ruler out of it’s sleeve. Each page is a simple scene with children and animals flying kites, accompanying a dancing pig, serving cake or jumping rope. Folk artist, William Accorsi’s felt cutouts, buttons, lace and ribbons  provide a uncomplicated background for spotting objects to measure. Just line up your ruler along the dotted line and see how long, high, or wide an alligator, peacock or mouse can be, in inches or centimeters. Math is rich with language as kids learn to follow directions, compare sizes and solve problems. “Can you measure the little mouse? Does he fit inside the house?” When one little boy discovered that the mouse was 4 inches but his house was only 3 inches, he declared that the mouse could fit but his tail would stick out! Good logic and good reasoning coming from a little measuring book.