Charlotte the Scientist is Squished

Title: Charlotte the Scientist is Squished
Author: Camille Andros
Illustrator: Brianne Farley
Publisher: Clarion Books | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


First of all: the backdrop for this photo is my new recliner-glider-swivel chair and I. Am. SO. EXCITED about it!!! I’m just entering my third trimester and having to sleep upright for most of the night, and needing to put my feet up, like, all the time so this recliner and I are very good friends right now. Yes, technically we got it for when baby boy arrives–but really, every time I sit in it, he’s there too!!

This book is also great, although I think I underestimated the appropriate age range when I first purchased it (for my niece and nephew, not my soon-to-be born son). It’s an easy enough story that my 3 year old nephew understood the basics. He also loved the pictures–he’s in a phase where he wants to name everything he can see on the page, and books like this one with lots to see are his favorites. My niece at 1.5 years old didn’t get it at all–although she liked throwing it across the room when she was denied a third s’more, so, if that’s important to you . . . this book is throwable.

I think it would really pay off, though, with a slightly older kid, because in addition to a cute story, it fairly clearly and accurately presents the scientific method:


Even my scientist husband was happy with the explanation. I think an older kid would get the different steps Charlotte took and would be more excited about applying the steps. I’m hopeful my nephew will grow into it . . .  and my niece’s interest in books will progress beyond throwing.

Let me know what you think. Happy reading!

Not Quite Narwhal

Title: Not Quite Narwhal
Author: Jessie Sima
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The third time I gave a friend’s child this book this month I declared it to be my favorite book—not my favorite children’s book, but my actual, all-time, best ever, favorite book.

That was probably an exaggeration caused by the intoxicating smell of a fuzzy little newborn head, but not by much.


It follows the adventures of an unicorn (I know, spoilers! But also, he’s on the cover?) trying to find his place in the world after being raised by narwhals. First, I love that it’s introducing kids to the magical world of narwhals so early. I have had multiple adults tell me that narwhals aren’t real creatures or ask if I just made them up—and not dumb adults, people I normally think of as smart and educated. In case you’re one of those people, here: [link]. They are real and they are awesome. Although, to be fair, drawing them on sparkly pages next to unicorns is maybe not the best way to teach kids to differentiate 🙂

Second, the book is just so pretty. From the cover to the sparkly beach party, it’s just gorgeous to look at and there is so much to capture young eyes! Not, like, newborn young though. It was a gift to his five year old brother. And to an almost three year old relative and to a not-yet born baby.

Finally, I like it because it seems like all of the baby shower invitations I receive now ask guests to bring books instead of cards. (Side note: does anyone else just end up bringing both a book and a card?? Books are great but not convenient for congratulating the mom-to-be!) Nobody wants to bring the same one as anyone else, especially when the 0-5 crowd has such an established canon of classics: Goodnight Moon; Love You Forever; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; Where the Wild Things Are; The Runaway Bunny, etc.

Let me know if you or your kids (or your friends’ kids!) have an opinion on this one! Happy reading!