Picture Book Podcast

Have you ever heard of a podcast for picture book? Well, check out Lu and Bean. They have their own style of doing things that will put a smile on your face.












Counting Books by Jeanne Styczinski

Let’s face it. Most counting books aren’t…that riveting…for parents to read to their children. We all know they are important. Counting seems like a good life skill. But are we really that excited to read Doggies one more time? So much repetition. So much barking.But repetition is important to learning how to count. Actually, it turns out repetition is important for learning how to do most things. As a veteran kindergarten teacher, author/illustrator Jeanne Styczinski has years of experience using repetition to teach kids how to read, write and complete other critical life skills that take lots and lots of practice. Including counting.

I have to say that when she sent me her counting books Mama, How Does the Wind Blow? and Papa, Why Does the Sun Shine? last month, my first thought was that Jeanne knew just how to use repetition without making my eyes glaze over. Actually, my first thought was OH MY GOODNESS THESE BOOKS ARE BEAUTIFUL. And my second thought was that Jeanne knew just how to use repetition without making my eyes glaze over. It doesn’t feel forced becuase it contributes to a storyline and it’s clear that it is there to support learning.

Both books follow a similar format. They start with a question about nature and then, by counting things that occur in the natural world—two chickadees, three leaves, four sleepy turtles, and so on—lead to answers to the books’ title questions. I won’t give it away, but both books end with a loving exchange between parent and child, followed by a cute and quirky final page.

These books are appropriate as read-alouds for very young children aged 0–3, but early readers could also gain confidence from the repeated phrases in the prose.

But back to how beautiful these books are. So pretty! Styczinski’s style is like a mixture of Eric Carle and Lauren Child. I especially love the colorful end pages—she thought of special details that aren’t found in many self-published books.

Book Giveaway

In addition to being a rockstar kindergarten teacher and author/illustrator, Jeanne is an extremely kind person who sent us two sets of her books—one set for Lu and Bean and one set for one of you. As Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approach, wouldn’t you love to get a special care package of two fun picture books in the mail (provided that you live in the U.S. and Canada…sorry to all of our overseas fans!)?*

Use the form to enter to win a signed paperback copy of Mama, How Does the Wind Blow? and a signed hardcover copy of Papa, Why Does the Sun Shine? by sharing your email address with us. Win a bonus entry by visiting us on Facebook. The contest ends at midnight on Sunday, May 8. Good luck!


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