Saturday, December 3, 2022

7 Days of Books, Day 3 Books to get Young Readers Moving, Thinking, Dancing

Here we are with Day 3, and I am so excited with the creativity behind these titles! So much so that they seemed to beg for a category of their own - one that slightly stood away from the traditional categories of Humor or SEL or STEM. I hope you'll find as much wonder sparked from these books as I did and be inspired to share them with the kiddos in your life. 

Take a ride on a Holiday train in Vancouver:

I'm also repeated pleased with the generosity of our kidlit community seen in authors and illustrators willing to give back and lift others on their journeys with their knowledge and experience. I hope you'll take advantage of the opportunities presented today and enter in the giveaway after reading about these wonderful and inspiring new titles. First, by commenting on this post and then by entering the rafflecopter.

Build an igloo as inspired by:

Are you ready? Here we go with our unique and fabulous batch of books!

Brainstorm by Rebecca Gardyn Levington, illustrated by Kate Kronreif (Sleeping Bear Press 2022). 

This rhyming lyrical story of a girl who feels lost of ideas on what to write for a class assignment slowly feels the excitement build for creativity as she's hit with one fun idea after another. Young readers will find delight in deciphering and chasing the ideas across the page along with the young writer-in-bloom. This book provides a great starting point in inspiring kids for their own creations, and this author heart absolutely LOVES it!

A free teacher's guide and activity pages for this book can be downloaded here:

Ride, Roll, Run. Time for Fun 
by Valerie Bolling, illustrated Sabrina Khadija (Abrams Appleseed 2022). 

A new book that makes a GREAT companion to her previously published, Let's Dance, this rhythmic and rhyming story from Valerie Bolling, shows different activities that young kids can do together at the end of a school day, or throughout summer. The diverse cast of children and activities ranging from sports, to music, to sidewalk art will sure to connect with young readers and tap into feelings of JOY that can come from doing activities with others. 

Find more about this author's other books here:

Dot, Dot, Polka Dot by Morissa Rubin (POW! 2021).

This bright and cheery board book introduces young readers to the wide world of fabric designs, from round calico prints to blocks of kenke cloth to fancy batik. Personally, I wasn't introduced to such fabrics until adulthood when a friend brought me a batik print from Kenya and I fell in love with the artistry. It's wonderful that our smallest humans can be introduced to a range of patterns from different cultures around the globe!

A teacher's guide can be found here:

Treasure Hunt by Stephanie Wildman, illustrated by Estefania Razo (Lawley Publishing 2022).

There aren't many kids who would say no to a treasure hunt, and this book will undoubtably inspire them to create their own treasure hunt with friends or siblings, and then create their own puppet show! I used to love making my own dolls and toys as a kid, and I hope that this book ignites a similar passion for creativity in youngsters, especially one that lies in resourcefulness in using items that can be repurposed, rather than trashed or recycled!

Find more about this author here:

Come On In: There's a Party in this Book! by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Sabine Timm (Hippo Park, Astra Publishing 2022). 

Read Brightly listed this book as one of the best picture books of 2022, and my creative-loving heart can see why. Kids will undoubtably be inspired to create their own characters for playtime, (hopefully, not entirely through lunch or snack time) given the unique illustrations of this story. But mostly, I suspect they'll enjoy the rhyming, bouncing text and read along with the refrain of, "Come on in!" as Lemon goes about trying to find the party. This utterly different book tickled my mind and soul!

Kiyoshi's Walk by Mark Karlins, illustrated by Nicole Wong (Lee & Low Books 2021). 

When a young boy watches his grandfather draw a haiku poem with Japanese script, he asks where poems come from. So his grandfather takes him for a walk through their city where he learns how to make observations to create haiku with things like an artful eye, and artful ear, and an artful mind. I absolutely love this book for showing how the beauty of nature can be found EVERYWHERE, along with the relationship between grandfather and grandson. 

Wonder Walkers 
by Micha Archer (Nancy Paulsen Books 2021). 

Having grown up with much of my time spent exploring the outdoors near my home, I adore books that inspire children to get outside and think about our natural world in new and wonderous ways. This book does exactly that. Additionally, it's sparse, yet mindful text, will plant the seeds for word recognition and independent reading. A win all around!

Atticus Caticus 
by Sarah Maizes, illustrated by Kara Kramer (Candlewick Press 2021). 

The lively alliteration and rhythm of this story will prompt young readers into clapping their hands, tapping their feet, and singing along with the text. Perhaps they'll be inspired to go on and make up their own fun songs about their own fur and non-fur friends.

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, The True Story of Alan Bean written by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Sean Rubin (Orchard Books, 2019).  This story is about a boy who grew up loving airplanes. Sparked by natural curiosity and wonder for the beauty he saw around him, after learning to fly with the navy, Alan Bean decided to take painting classes in order to share the beautiful sights he saw out the cockpit window. After walking on the moon with the Apollo 12 mission, he applied his artistic talents to creating paintings that not only shared what he saw in the moonscapes, but how he felt when experiencing them. Those feelings were expressed through use of color and also textures that were made from using tools he had used during his moon visit. I love this book for showing how scientists and artists don't necessary work in separate lanes -- that we can work in both, and that art is a wonderful way to express scientific discovery and learning. As someone who identifies as both a scientist and an author, I highly recommend this book for showing kids that both outlets can intersect seamlessly.

So You Want to Build a Library by Lindsay Leslie, illustrated by Aviel Basil (Capstone Press 2021). 

In a world made better by reading books, comes a book that will undoubtably tap-tap-tap at the imaginations of young readers by getting them to wonder about the ways that they might design their own library. With trained dragons? Handy giants? Tiny nooks for tiny fairies? The lively illustrations that nearly leap from the pages will inspire creativity and spring forth smiles in all ages.

From Here to There. Inventions that Changed the Way the World Moves by Vivian Kirkfield, illustrated by Gilbert Ford (Clarion Books 2021).

You won't want to miss this book for the inspiration and learning that comes from reading about interesting inventions with moving parts that got us, well, ... moving! I loved listening to stories like this at bedtime--short and interesting snippets that spark imagination and wonder. With my own family history rooted in the railroads, the story about the steam engine is a special favorite. No doubt this book will get young minds tinkering, which as a parent, teacher, and scientist at heart, is most certainly a wonderful thing! 

For a free teacher's guide, visit the authors website here:

Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing by Christopher Willard, illustrated by Daniel Rechtschaffen (Sounds True 2022).

Yes, I've been blown away by videos on social media of itty bitty toddlers helping other toddlers move through strong emotions by showing them how to take deep breaths. Little kids get it, if they're introduced to it. This book was one I wised I had read as a youngster. Learning how to self-soothe is such an important life skill. I highly recommend this book for all ages!

Alphabedtime by Susanna Leonard Hill, illustrated by Betsy Snyder (Nancy Paulsen Books 2022). 

Singing and laughing before bedtime? Should that be a thing? Absolutely! I can't think of a better way to tuck a child in at night for sweet dreams than after having spent time smiling and giggling along with a book read together with family. Which most certainly will help them wake up on the right side of the bed in the morning. Basically, this book bustles with brilliance, and is not to be missed!

Duet by Eloise Broach, illustrated by Ziyue Chen (Chisty Ottaviano Books 2022). 

This unique middle grade mystery layered with music, history, and intriguing mystery is written from the perspective of a yellow songbird named Mirabelle who befriends a piano-playing boy bound for greatness. However, the boy refuses to play and his piano teacher's health is deteriorating. With a musical competition looming on the horizon, will Mirabelle and Micheal find a way to deliver a performance that will land a cash prize capable of saving his teacher's emotional health and home? This story will keep young readers turning the pages as it dips into art history, mystery, music, and suspense.

And now for the fabulous giveaways! I hope you will follow, connect with, and support these generous authors and illustrators! To grab your chance at winning one of these giveaways, please leave a comment on the blog and then get additional entries with the rafflecopter. Good luck!

Make holiday tags

1) A 30-minute "Ask me Anything" session with author Rebecca Gardyn Levington of Brainstorm and other titles.

2) A 20-minute "Ask me Anything" session with author Valerie Bolling of Ride, Roll, Run and other titles

3) Winner's choice - picture book manuscript/illustration portfolio critique or Ask me Anything session with author/illustrator Morissa Rubin

4) A copy of Treasure Hunt to a US address from author Stephanie Wildman

ENTER the giveaway here, and comment below for the post! Share your own favorite titles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a great list! I am looking forward to reading these!

    1. Thank you! Enjoy! and Good luck in the giveaway!

  2. More excellent book titles to inspire wonder in a readers.

    Sue Leopold

  3. Thank you for an awesome list!! Excited to read some new ones that you brought to my attention!

  4. Wonderful post!!! Emily Holewczynski

  5. I love this theme - moving thinking dancing. - Jasmine

  6. SO many great books here!

  7. So many of these books feature topics I'd never think of. The world is a fascinating place, and writers help us see that.

  8. I think it's cool how you've curated a list of titles that are unique in their movement!

  9. What a great opportunity! Thanks so much for making this available :)

  10. I found your blog from Twitter and these books look beautiful and with fun rhymes. Thanks for sharing!!

  11. So many great books shown here! I've read some, but others are new to me. Thank you for featuring ones you've enjoyed! More to add to my growing TBR pile. Love it!

  12. Such fun encouraging messages to get our bodies moving. Love these!


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