“Big Girl Panties” by Fran Manushkin, Illustrated by Valeria Petrone, Robin Corey Books, 2012, ages 18 months to 4.

An early step towards independence for young children is potty training, and Big Girl Panties will inspire and entertain little girls as they make this important transition. The board book format, bright illustrations, and enthusiastic text will help to motivate even the most reluctant young one.

“Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond” by Mary Quattlebaum, Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant, Dawn Publications, 2011, ages 3 to 8

The old-favorite song Old MacDonald Had a Farm provides the melody for this version about a young girl observing and sketching life in and around a pond. Clever vocabulary emphasizes accompanying pond sounds, such as the dragonfly’s whir-whir and the raccoon’s chat-chat. The book also includes an informational section about pond critters and suggestions for ways for children to be a naturalist.

“Rapunzel” by Trixie Belle & Melissa Caruso-Scott, Illustrated by Oliver Lake, Henry Holt, 2013, ages 3-6.

The fairy tale of Rapunzel is retold in this nearly wordless board book. A single word on each page and bright, simple illustrations, provide limited details, leaving room for the readers/storyteller to fill in the missing details. The Les Petits Fairytales series introduces the youngest readers to these traditional stories and includes Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Mermaid.

“Not That Tutu!” by Michelle Sinclair Colman, Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, Robin Corey Books, 2013, ages 2-4.

A young child’s favorite article of clothing may be worn over and over, just as Taylor wears her pink tutu to bed, to the swimming pool, and to the playground. Her family and friends wonder if she will ever give it up, until the day she gives up the tutu and latches onto something new. The board book presents a durable format for this book that is sure to be well-loved.

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