Tag: book bundles

Book Bundles: Weather

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Like a Windy Day by Frank Asch ($7.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Storytelling Lapboard ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Wally the Weather Dog Felt Figures ($19.95) — Amazon
  • Windsock ($8.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $93.83

I wanted a very general weather book and again went with a Maisy book, Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book to cover all the weather. By doing this, I also was able to provide another book that I wouldn’t put in the general collection because of the pull tabs and pop-up aspects. Wow! Said the Owl besides being great fun also covers sunshine, rain, and rainbows which made it a great choice. And since I was including a wind activity, I decided that Like a Windy Day would round out the book collection in this Bundle.

One of the best activities for preschoolers about weather is choosing what kind of clothing is required for the weather. This helps them practice real-life skills and also is fun! So I chose a flannelboard and lapboard that included some science concepts (temperature), time concepts (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) and also had a fun dog to dress up.

The windsock was a “OH MY GOODNESS, PERFECT IDEA” moment. I was struggling with what else to include as a manipulative in this Bundle when it occurred that having a science experiment or observation item would be exactly what this Bundle needed. I wanted something that was easy to contain, didn’t require any extras for the family to provide, and didn’t have any replenishables for the library to manage. Observing a windsock is perfect! Families just need to go outside and hold it, or can hang it outside of their house/apartment.


It’s the middle of May and the Weather Book Bundle has gone out 12 times since launching at the end of November! I mildly regret not including anything related to snow since we are an Illinois library but…it was so complicated to try and figure out!

Book Bundles: Transportation

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • I’m Brave! by Kate and Jim McMullan ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hape Lacing Vehicles ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Honk and Rumble Wheel ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Transportation Pocket Flash Cards ($4.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $76.84

I could have had 100 books in this Bundle and still call them all favorites. But I did limit it down to just two books: I’m Brave! and Toot Toot Beep Beep and I feel like fire trucks and cars are probably the most popular of the transportation vehicles. And I’m happy to have Toot Toot Beep Beep in the collection again even if it means having it in board book form.

The Hape Lacing Vehicles are great for imaginative story play and also for fine-motor skills. I hope that the families are lacing them together and telling a story as they go. Or that a child is stringing their most favorite to least favorite pieces. Good ordering practice too!

The Honk and Rumble Wheel. Oh, the fun. Oh, the headache. This is probably the item I most regret buying for all the Bundles. Not because it’s a bad item — I think it’s great for play and it’s got fun sounds and shakes when you’re using it — but because it doesn’t have an off switch. We’ve had several patrons give us feedback that it’s too noisy. On the other hand, we’ve also had parents that thank us for having a noisy toy that doesn’t live at home.

And the Flash Cards were included to show photographs of the vehicles. A little bit of non-fiction where I can put it, right?


It’s the middle of May and the Transportation Book Bundle has gone out 13 times since launching at the end of November! I’m actually SURPRISED that this one doesn’t go out more!

Book Bundles: Time

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Maisy’s First Clock by Lucy Cousins ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Telling Time by Jules Older ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Munchkin Math: Telling Time ($16.98) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Time Match-Up Puzzles ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Clock ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $77.83

With the book, I wanted to provide an easy book and a harder book. I don’t know of any easier books than the Maisy series. Great to introduce concepts in an easily understood way. I was also thrilled that Maisy’s First Clock also has a movable clock embedded in the board book. Telling Time is my older book and covers both analog and digital time telling.

I struggled with what else to provide as manipulatives in this Bundle and was happy to find the Munchkin Math: Telling Time DVD. It makes learning to tell time fun and engaging for kids.

And then just like the books, I wanted to provide an easy puzzle and a harder puzzle. The Melissa and Doug Sorting Clock is great for the little kids because the shapes help guide the child into choosing the correct place for each number. It’s also nice to have a working clock. And my harder puzzle is the Time Match-Up Puzzles. These puzzles match digital and analog clocks that display the same time together. It’s also self-checking!


It’s the middle of May and the Time Book Bundle has gone out 10 times since launching at the end of November! I’m surprised that this one has gone out so many times — pleasantly so!

Book Bundles: Shapes

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Round Is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lauri Shape and Color Sorter ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Lace & Trace Shapes ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $72.87

The book choices for this Bundle were so easy. These are all favorites and in particular Color Zoo has a large fanbase here in our storytimes. I also like that all of these books talk about a variety of shapes — Round is a Mooncake focuses on circles, squares, and rectangles while Color Zoo talks about so many different shapes from a circle to an octagon.

The Lauri Shape and Color Sorter was a FIND for me. I was looking for some lighter manipulatives to go in this kit since I knew it was going to have three books. Being about to have a foam shape sorter that detaches to store nicely in one of our vinyl bags? Priceless!

And of course, Lace and Trace Shapes. I love these kinds of toys for fine-motor development and tactile exposure. And because this is a Melissa and Doug product, I could trust it immediately to withstand the normal kid wear and tear. And I know that I’ll be able to buy it again in case pieces go missing.


It’s the middle of May and the Shapes Book Bundle has gone out 10 times since launching at the end of November! This Bundle is probably one of the lightest ones that we have.

Book Bundles: Nursery Rhymes

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Steven Lenton ($8.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Nursery Rhymes (Twin Sisters Productions) ($7.99) — Amazon
  • Kids Preferred Amazing Baby Nursery Rhymes Flash Cards ($21.95) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning Storytelling Lapboard ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Nursery Rhymes Felt Pieces ($16.29) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $96.09

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear is a soft-covered squishy board book that’s great for reading a page or two at a time. It’s also brightly colored and a younger nursery rhyme collection that I’m very happy with. Then, to satisfy older readers, I went with You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You which is perfect for beginning readers or two voices (older siblings/caregivers).

I really want to have a Nursery Rhymes CD because it’s important to have nursery rhymes read aloud. It’s better for listening to the rhymes, cadences, and sounds of different letters. Think about reading “Jack Be Nimble” versus hearing it chanted aloud as a jumping rhyme.

The toddlers and preschoolers are obsessed with the flannelboard at this library. Normally, they don’t get a lot of opportunities to interact with the felt pieces and the board at storytime. The circulating Bundles were a perfect chance to let them play to their heart’s content with the flannelboard.


It’s the middle of May and the Nursery Rhymes Book Bundle has gone out 9 times since launching at the end of November! I’m okay with this one being a low circulating kit because it’s still an important concept for kids to know.

Book Bundles: My Body

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • From Head to Toe by Eric Carle ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Steady, Ready, Jump: Preschool Fitness Fun ($13.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Let’s Get Moving! Activity Mats ($49.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • My Body Match-Up Game & Puzzle ($8.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $121.88

I chose From Head to Toe because it’s a classic and identifies body parts, but also because it encourages the reader to get up and do some moving: “Can you do it?”. This is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get up and do some exercise. To balance it out, I chose My Nose, Your Nose because it talks about body differences in a positive way and also identifies parts of the body that From Head to Toe does not cover.

Since Shakes, Shimmy, and Dance is such a positive class at the library, I knew I wanted to include a music CD to carry that fun home. The Georgiana Stewart CDs provide prompts for movement and are really a great help for caregivers (and librarians!) who might struggle with helping a child do a specific dance.

The Let’s Get Moving! Activity Mats are one of my favorite purchases. I only include five in the circulating Book Bundle, but I’ve used the others in programming often. These are a great way to get kids up and moving. It’s also a backdoor way for me to publicize the Book Bundles. When we used them in Discovery!, I made sure to let caregivers know that they could bring some home if they checked out the Bundle!

Sadly, the My Body Match-Up Game and Puzzle is no longer being sold. It’s a great manipulative since it can be used two ways: as a memory game and a floor puzzle which involves a lot of movement to put together. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the families keep track of these pieces since I can’t replace it anymore. Or that the company starts selling it again!


It’s the beginning of May and the My Body Book Bundle has gone out 10 times since launching at the end of November! This includes a stint where it spent about two weeks on my desk because I was trying to track down the correct copy of From Head to Toe — a library copy was inside the Bundle instead of the Bundle copy.

Book Bundles: Feelings

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • The Feelings Book by Todd Parr ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley & Anne Miranda ($12.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hape Expression Eggs Game ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning Moods & Emotions Mirrors ($29.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Vinyl Bags ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $107.87

All three of my choices are ones that I recommend to caregivers who are working with their children to identify and name emotions. I really think that the interactivity of Glad Monster, Sad Monster is one that can help a child since they can use the masks to “see” the emotions. It’s also another book that I hesitate to keep in the general collection for wear and tear purposes. Also having to inventory the book until return. And I chose the board book of The Feelings Book so that the Bundle didn’t become too heavy.

Hape Expression Eggs is a board book that comes with eggs to match up with their base colors, each describing a feeling. I appreciate the high quality of the materials of this set. I also like that it provided a guided play opportunity while caregivers read the book with their child. Especially because feelings can be hard to understand.

The Moods and Emotions Mirrors were recommended to me by a fellow librarian who has worked with autistic children. The mirrors are a great resource because they provide a photo-realistic image of an emotion and then have a mirror on the opposite side for the child to practice with. I did remove “proud” and “shy” from the set because they are harder emotions and they made the Bundle really heavy for the kids.


It’s the beginning of May and the Feelings Book Bundle has gone out 11 times since launching at the end of November! I am happy with this Bundle and the chances we’re providing for families to work on emotional development at home.

Book Bundles: Community Helpers

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Kitten Red Yellow Blue by Peter Catalanotto ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Whose Gloves Are These? by Laura Purdie Salas ($25.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Elmo’s World: People In Your Neighborhood ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Learning Journey: Who I Am? Puzzles ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa & Doug Town Blocks ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $116.87

The two books that I chose Kitten Red Yellow Blue and Whose Gloves Are These? both feature a variety of jobs and a variety of people doing them. I love the guessing game aspect of Whose Gloves Are These? which really engages readers. And Kitten Red Yellow Blue has a great storyline for kids to follow that doesn’t revolve around just one job. (So many of the community helper books focus on just firefighters or just police officers.

I really wanted to give kids a chance to see real people doing community helper jobs. When most of the books were outdated, I decided to go with a DVD. Elmo is a favorite here and we actually didn’t own this DVD in our collection. So this accomplished my goal and also added a new material to the collection.

These puzzles include a ton of options that are not community helpers (like a wizard) and I just removed those from the kit before circulating. This has been popular because it has a “right” way to do the puzzle, but it can also be used to tell a story about a firefighter-doctor-pilot.

Oh, Town Blocks. I had a set similar to this and it was one of my most beloved toy sets. I think that kids never get tired of playing with blocks and this is a great set to talk about community helpers. It has a lot of cars and building and road signs. It’s great. I did remove some of the blocks from the set and I’ve got them in reserve in case a police car goes missing at some point.


It’s the beginning of May and the Community Helpers Book Bundle has gone out 11 times since launching at the end of November! This Bundle was renewed three times in a row by the same family because they “couldn’t give it up”! I’ve really been enjoying all the feedback that our families have been providing us with!

Book Bundles: Colors

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Colors by DK Publishing ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning: Colorpillar Magnetic Maze ($19.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Learning Resources: Color Mixing Lenses ($7.99) — Learning Resources
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $80.88

For the book selection here, I went with a board book with bold colors (Colors), a new favorite of mine and many patrons (Monster Love Colors!), and a classic that has fallen out of major circulation here (Mouse Paint). This perfect mixture (haha! it’s a color pun!) really feels balanced to me and I’m happy to reintroduce an old favorite to the patrons again.

The Colorpillar maze is one of the harder manipulatives to play with and I have heard some feedback that it isn’t easy for a two-year-old. That being said, I’m okay with having a project that they can grow into in the Bundle. I’ve watched a preschooler concentrate on this toy for about an hour in the library and I think it’s perfect for that age group. I definitely recommend using this puzzle in the car because the pieces won’t go everywhere.

To introduce a little bit of science, I was super excited to include the Color Mixing Lenses. This is a great set to introduce “proof” that primary colors mixed together make secondary. I have noticed that it doesn’t work as well under fluorescents, but I encourage my families to try it in natural light on the activity guide.


It’s the beginning of May and the Colors Book Bundle has gone out 14 times since launching at the end of November! It is our most popular Bundle if you’re looking at circulation numbers alone.

Book Bundles: Animals

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell ($11.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Finger Puppets ($15.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Picture-Word Rubbing Plates ($12.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa & Doug Animal Puzzle Book ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $82.83

Both of my animal books are classics. And while we have a plethora of copies of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, we don’t own Dear Zoo in the collection because of the flaps/pop-ups. I was really excited to put it in a kit since it won’t be subjected to constant use in our front-facing shelves. I chose a book that covers mostly domestic/forest animals and a book that does jungle/zoo animals for variety.

We had a TON of puppets available in our previous kits. Like every single kit had puppets. So I knew that I needed to have puppets in one of my kits. I think animals made the most sense for me and I hope families are making up silly songs and talking lots with these manipulatives.

My favorite idea for working on write skills! We don’t provide crayons and paper, but I know these are being used with the amount of crayon wiping our volunteers have had to do on the plates themselves. I also really like that each plate also has the name of the animal printed on it which is great for print awareness.

One of the biggest brand names that I trust in the early childhood toy field is Melissa and Doug. This puzzle book is organized by where the animals live and I thought that was such a great way to do an animal book. I also like that the book is magnetic puzzle so it doesn’t involve lots of loose pieces in the Bundle. (Now, I wasn’t always able to avoid the loose pieces but I sure tried when I could!)


It’s the beginning of May and the Animals Book Bundle has gone out 13 times since launching at the end of November! With our two week circulation, that means it goes right back out the minute it hits the shelves — this is one of the Bundles that patrons often request for holds as well.