June is the month to honor dads.
What children’s book is your ode to fatherhood?

Welcome to KidLit Gems!

Join us in a coffee-style chat about favorite children’s books and the elements that make them shine.

This month’s theme: KidLit Gems for Dad

NameplateKristisGemIONLY MY DAD AND ME
Text © 2003, Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Illustrations © 2003, Tiphanie Beeke

ONLYMEANDMYDADPicture Book Fiction

Age Range:  2-5 years

Grade Level:  Preschool-K

Harper-Festival, HarperCollins Publishers

2004 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award Winner

When it’s only my dad and me, We pick shells from the sand, And jump waves hand in hand. ~ ONLY MY DAD AND ME

Only My Dad and Me, is a wonderful rhyming book that takes the young reader through seasonal rituals. This book resonated with me as I read it with my children because the setting is always outdoors, which was our favored place to explore. The double flaps of the book reveal how time spent together can build a lifetime of beloved memories that celebrate the friendship a child has with their father.  Beeke’s saturated hues and watercolor style further celebrate Satin’s capricious narration. Their married simplistic style creates an overall feel of energetic love, that Only a Dad and child share.  The perfect picture book to celebrate the Father’s Day season.

~ Kristi

ONLYMYDADANDME ONLYMYDADANDMEII____________________________________________________________________

We go sailing away. “IT’S SUMMER! HOORAY!” When it’s only my dad and me. ~ ONLY MY DAD AND ME

Kids love buried treasure. This quiet little gem provides the joy of discovery with whimsical watercolor surprises on hidden double flap pages. Your young ones will ones enjoy opening the folds to spot a dancing squirrel amidst autumn leaves, a winter snow bunny eating a carrot, a spring scarecrow and a bluejay nest, summer seashells and fishing mice, during four seasons of adventure with a bunny father and child.

Kudos to Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Tiphanie Beeke for creating such a sweet tribute to fatherhood.

~ Anna


KEM Sapphire

Watch for Kristi’s gem again next week!

We want to hear from you!
What children’s book is your ode to fatherhood?

July’s KidLit Gem Theme – Reptilian Tales


June is our month to recognize fathers.
What children’s book would you recommend for Father’s Day?

Welcome to KidLit Gems!

About favorite children’s books and the elements that make them shine.

This month’s theme: KidLit Gems for Dad

NameplateAnnasGemIMY DAD IS BIG AND STRONG, BUT . . .
Text © 2012, Coralie Saudo
Illustrations © 2012, Kris Di Giacomo



                 Age Range:
4-8 years

              Grade Level:

       Enchanted Lion Books


Kirkus, Starred Review

At first, I try to be nice. ~ My Dad Is Big And Strong, But . . .

This father/child picture book is a French import that shows how humor and tenderness can survive translation. In it kids everywhere can experience the universally exhaustive side of bedtime manigances (That’s French for shenanigans. Aren’t you impressed?) The protagonist must convince his father that it is bedtime; that he’s read him enough stories; and no, the dark is nothing to fear. What a delightful way to affirm a strong and playful bond between a father and child. All this while empowering the child with a newfound empathy for his or her caretaker.

I hope Coralie Saudo’s deadpan text will make you laugh out loud while you study Kris Di Giacomo’s unique and funny illustrative style with its muted and earthy color palette. Wouldn’t you love to be a little birdie in the corner as Saudo and Di Giacomo tuck children into bed? With their humor and creativity, it must involve entertaining negotiation.

Fathers: experience My Dad Is Big And Strong, But . . . with your children. It might not make the lights-out process less eventful, but it’s sure to make the ritual more fun.

~ Anna




And when he looks at me with those pleading puppy dog eyes, I give in every time and read him another story. ~MY DAD IS BIG AND STRONG, BUT . . . (the next page)


GEM Ruby

Watch for Kristi’s pick next!

We want to hear from you!
What children’s book would you recommend for Father’s Day?


June is our month to honor our fathers.
What children’s book makes you think of your dad?

Welcome to KidLit Gems!

Join us in a coffee-style chat about favorite children’s books and the elements that make them shine.

This month’s theme: KidLit Gems for Dad

Text © 2002, Martin Jenkins
Illustrations © 2002, Jane Chapman



Age Range:
4-8 years

Grade Level:
3rd Grade


And because he’s egg-sitting, he can’t go off to the sea to feed. So that means two whole months with an egg on your feet and no dinner! Or breakfast or lunch or snacks.”
~ The Emporer’s Egg

With June honoring fathers, let The Emperor’s Egg serve as a shout-out to all those single dads, stay-at-home fathers, and any guys who shoulder the bulk of child-rearing. And yes, I’m also talking about penguins here.

The Emperor’s Egg draws us into Antarctic family life from a male Emperor penguin’s point of view. After the female lays an egg, she disappears to feed all winter. The male warms, protects, and hatches the egg, then feeds the chick until the female finally returns to land.

Stellar non-fiction picture books intertwine facts with emotion-evoking narrative. In The Emperor’s Egg, author Martin Jenkins slips in non-fiction tidbits while getting us to really care and root for the penguins. Illustrator Jane Chapman’s soothing acrylics capture charming penguin body language, while bringing life and depth to a barren landscape.

Whatever your family situation, if you’re looking for a Father’s Day book that really embodies dad devotion, check out this gem.

~ Lou

THEEMPORERSEGGIV ___________________________________________________________________

And when it gets really cold and windy, they all snuggle up together and shuffle over the ice in a great big huddle.
~ The Emporer’s Egg

THE EMPEROR’S EGG is an EGGcellent tribute to fatherhood; plainly stating the sacrifices that are made as the Emperor patriarch. I love how the narrative begins with the extremes of nature while the illustration portrays a simplistically painted landscape. The illustrations are seemingly simple, yet masterfully rendered. Much like the extremes of the Arctic cold and starvation, the bold brushwork allows the onlooker to feel the heaviness of the dire situation. Then, CHIP, as though the sound of the newborn chips away the icy cold, the narrative and brushstroke’s shift and we are introduced to the feathery ways of parenting a penguin chick. This to me is a true picture book, as neither the narrative nor the illustration would behold such beauty, if it weren’t for the other. A true union that hatches a gem worthy of royalty.

~ Kristi

THEEMPORERSEGGIII ____________________________________________________________________

It’s mom! She starts trumpeting “hello” and the father penguin starts trumpeting “hello” and the chick whistles. The racket goes on for hours, and it really does sound as if they’re extremely pleased to see each other.
~ The Emporer’s Egg

There’s something special about waddling penguins, newborn babies, and doting dads. Martin Jenkins, author of Chameleons Are Cool and Grandma Elephant’s in Charge, combines them to add another irresistible animal-centered picture book to the Read and Wonder series. Through Jenkins’ enthusiastic and conversational writing style young and old readers will fall in love with the biggest penguins in the world. Their unconventional, gentle, and efficient tag team-style cooperation toward making a family offer subliminal inspiration to us humans as we strive for a higher level of selflessness and commitment. Jane Chapman’s lifelike illustrations and Jenkins’ clever footnotes pull the story together for an authentic nonfiction experience. If you enjoyed National Geographic’s March of the Penguins, you’ll enjoy The Emporer’s Egg.

~ Anna


KEM Diamond

Watch for my pick next!

We want to hear from you!
What children’s book makes you think of your dad?