# Boy + Bot

Most kid friendships start with one kid asking: “Want to play?” When the other kid is a robot, the answer is “Affirmative!” Boy and Bot have a great day until Bot’s power switch gets bumped and he turns off. The boy asks, “Are you sick?” When Bot doesn’t answer the Boy takes Bot home and does the things humans do to help each other feel better – a snack, a story, and a nap!

Boy takes a nap too. While he does, Bot’s switch gets turned back on. Bot talks to Boy but Boy doesn’t answer. “Did-you-malfunction?” Bot asks. And Bot does what robots do to fix each other – oil, reading the instruction manual, and a new battery!

FINALLY, Boy wakes up and Bot is powered up at the same time! Good times! Author: Ame Dyckman

# Wumbers

Wumbers is a story created with letters and numbers. Letters and numbers are used together to make words and sentences 4 kids 2 figure out!  It’s a great book for kids interested in word puzzles. The clues are letters and numbers.  The pictures help too. Here is what the story looks like:

Don’t you just love making 4ts?! (Don’t you just love making forts?!)

I Like 10ts, 2! (I like tents, 2!)

It’s fun.One of my favorite books growing up was CDB! (See the Bee) by William Steig. It does the same thing! In fact, Wumbers is dedicated to William Steig. The author of Wumbers liked CDB! too! L8er allig8or! Author: Amy Rosenthal

# How Many Jelly Beans?

If you could have as many as you wanted, how many jelly beans would be enough? (I could eat a lot…except the black ones. I always gave those to my Mom.) Is a handful good? How about 10? How about 100? The kids in this book up the number of hoped for jelly beans until they get to a million. On each colorful page kids can watch the number grow in the pictures and actually count the jelly beans. Even a million! The million page fold out to make a giant poster of ONE MILLION COUNTABLE BEANS! For small children, it’s often hard to tell the difference between one minute and 5 minutes…let alone big numbers like 100 or 1,000 or 10,000. This book is a great way to introduce the big numbers. And it’s funny, which is always an A+ way to end a book. Author: Andrea Menotti

More books to help get a handle on numbers, the big ones as well as amount words like “pair” and “couple” and concepts like “more than” and “less than”!:

While on a picnic, Rabbit and Mouse look at everything that happens in a different way–Rabbit produces an apple, Good news!, Mouse finds a worm in it, Bad news! Rabbit produces a piece of cake, Good news!, Mouse sees a bee on it, Bad news!. Rabbit sees only the glass half full, Mouse sees only the glass half empty. Rabbit is Spongebob Squarepants and only sees every situation as something WONDERFUL!  Mouse is Squidward and only finds something TERRIBLE.

When their adventures take a hair raising turn Mouse finally loses it…and subsequently makes Rabbit cry…leading him to make an effort to see the good and cheer Rabbit up. A great story for Findng happiness in the simple things and for keeping disappointments in the proper perspective. You can complain…or you can find the bright side!

Some kids are automatically wired to be positive. For the kids who aren’t naturally wired that way, these stories can help them learn how to look for the positive. Positive=smiles=happy.

# Little Dog Lost

Little Dog Lost is one of those books that you know right away will be a favorite. It isn’t very long but it doesn’t have to be. The words and the pictures that are there do all the work. The story is packed with emotion – how can you not feel immediate empathy for the stranded little dog on the cover? How can you not want to know if he gets rescued? Look at the position of his ears. He needs help!

And after all that…the writing is fun to read out loud:

“Can anybody help? Please, help Dog!”

“Don’t be scared dog!”

You will cheer together for Dog and all the people who try to help him as he floats in the ocean alone on a piece of ice. The ending is just what you hope and to make it all even better – the book is based on a real dog. This one is definitely a “read it again!”

If you and your family like Baltic’s story here are some more books about man’s best friend you might like to share. The first four stories are also based on real dogs who were exceptionally loyal. The Incredible Journey is a chapter book without pictures. It is the story of a bulldog, a golden retriever, and a Siamese cat who travel cross country in search of their missing human family. The movie adaptation is called Homeward Bound – a great choice for family movie night. I showed Homeward Bound one time at the library. There is a dramatic scene in it starring the golden retriever named Shadow. You really, REALLY want Shadow to be OK. I remember a boy, about 10 years old, sitting on the very edge of his seat murmuring “Come on Shadow! Come on Shadow!” When you care that much about the characters you know the book or movie is telling a good story.

# My Friend Fred

Grace’s dog Fred is her best loyal friend. He likes stories and running and lying around doing nothing, just like Grace. He even makes sure there are no monsters under Grace’s bed.

When Grace’s sister Sarah points out that Fred belongs to the family Grace wants none of it. She thinks to herself  “No, Sarah, you are wrong. Fred is mine. My friend Fred.”

When Fred’s loyalty to Grace is tested by Sarah and his favorite ball Grace decides the only way to keep Fred to herself is to go in her room with Fred and shut. the. door. tight.

Fred wants none of it. There is a ball out there! He wants it! Fred scratches. He presses his nose on the window, he whines, he pouts…until Grace finally figures out what he’s trying to say. “Friends don’t keep their friends all to themselves all of the time.”

It’s true for dogs and people both. In a family there is always enough love to go around!