Whether you are traveling, armchair traveling, or studying U.S. geography, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee* by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles is a rousing glimpse of the Volunteer State.
(*Amazon Affiliate link)
Written by Tennessee native Alice Faye Duncan, this fact-filled picture book uses a new take on layered text. The primary layer is a modified version of the popular Twelve Days of Christmas song appropriate for younger readers, starting with:
“On the first day of Christmas,
my cousin gave to me,
a mockingbird in a tulip poplar tree. “
What makes it unique is that the secondary text is epistolary — in the form of letters written from areas around the state. What a great idea! It attracts older readers and encourages the lost art of letter writing all in one.
To make it perfect to accompany a geography lesson, there’s a map of Tennessee on the title page labeled with the specific places the letters are written.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee would be a fun book to read this month and revisit throughout the year.
Related Activity Suggestions:
1. Check out the free 9-page activity kit from Sterling (PDF download)
2. Read more children’s books about Tennessee from our list at Reading Through the States
Reading ages : 5 and up
Publisher : Sterling Children’s Books; Illustrated edition (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-10 : 145492859X
ISBN-13 : 978-1454928591
Ever wanted to visit Australia? Now you can travel in your imagination with the new picture book, A Bobby-Dazzler of a Pouch! by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Abira Das.
The story revolves around a real life problem: how do joeys (baby kangaroos) find their mother’s pouch when they are in a big hurry? With the help of friends, the joey comes up with a unique solution. Along the way, the reader meets common Australian animals and plants like brush-tailed possums and beautiful box mistletoe flowers, as well as gets a brief introduction to Australian vocabulary.
The well-researched back matter includes fun facts about kangaroos, a glossary of Australian words, and a list of the Australian animals and plants introduced in the book.
Janet Halfmann has written many popular children’s books on a variety of topics, but A Bobby-Dazzler of a Pouch! is special to her because it was one of the first fiction picture book manuscripts she wrote when she started out — over twenty years ago. Read about the inspiring details of its eventual road to publication in an interview at Write Now! Coach.
A Bobby-Dazzler of a Pouch! would be perfect to accompany a trip to Australia, to pull out when doing a geography lesson about Australia, or even to prepare for a trip to a local zoo that features Australian animals. Jump into a copy today!
Check out another Australian animal, the adorable small kind of wallaby known as the Quokka.
Paperback: 38 pages
Publisher: Pen It! Publications, LLC (May 21, 2020)
Let’s wish a happy book birthday today to Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story by Ellen F. Feld and photographs by John Cebula.
The third picture book in a series featuring the author’s adorable miniature donkey, follow Donkey-Donk as she prepares to hike Mount Washington in New Hampshire all the way to the top.
The first things that catch your eye when you pick up the book are the gorgeous photographs of breathtaking views, each with Donkey-Donk front and center. The scenery is amazing. The donkey knows how to pose.
Next you notice the lightly humorous, gently tongue-in-cheek story that will delight youngsters. The best part is that the text is sweet and succinct, not too wordy or overdone like some children’s books can be. It gives just the right amount of information using appropriate vocabulary, then moves on.
And move it does, right up the mountain. Do you know what is at the top of Mount Washington? You will find out if you read this book.
Take A Hike! would be perfect to accompany a trip to New Hampshire or to encourage kids to get outside and take a hike in their own state. It is a must have for young horse or donkey lovers, too. Check out a copy today!
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: Willow Bend Publishing (May 7, 2020)
Note: I will be adding this book to my list of children’s books set in New Hampshire at the Reading Through the States website.
Disclosure: This book was provided for reviewing purposes.
Bring a little of the great outdoors inside with this gorgeous informational fiction picture book, Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier, illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa, and translated by Sarah Klinger. Available April 14, 2020.
Young Susanne tells the reader — in the first person — how she found a special tree in the forest near her grandparents home. She returns to the tree again and again throughout the summer to discover the life that depends on the tree and how it changes from season to season.
Although fiction, leaf-shaped sidebars on many of the pages add nonfiction interest through questions, activity suggestions, and tree facts.
Mizuho Fujisawa’s illustrations are delicate, calming and yet vibrant at the same time. Perhaps it is because all the inks a vegetable based, but the colors sing. The illustrations capture the feeling of a cool forest on a warm summer’s day perfectly.
Spending time in nature is especially important right now. For children who might not be able to talk a walk in the woods, reading this quiet, gentle book that celebrates trees might be the best alternative. Get lost in a copy of Under My Tree soon!
Check for the giveaway at GoodReads by Blue Dot Press running until March 31, 2020.
Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press (April 14, 2020)
Want to read more children’s books about trees? See our redwood-sized list of tree books at Science Books for Kids.
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.