The Best of 2017

I had too much fun getting my hands on books from Usborne Books & More this year.  From activity books to instant classics, there are so many to choose from that it helped me to categorize my favorites.

I have no control over publishing, but I know which books are staying put on my shelves.  Here’s a round-up of the books that I think will last through the years.

Most Likely to Induce a Snuggle:
“I Love You Hoo” by Rachel Bright
This picture book is a cute delight brimming with deep colors.  Those deep colors go hand in hand with the story.  It shows the depth of love for a child, and with a mama owl at the helm you know it’s as deep as wisdom itself.
Picture of Love You Hoo

Most Likely to Rope You In: 
“EJ 12: Hot & Cold” by Susannah McFarlane
This story about a Girl Hero is riveting from the first chapter.  With 7 other books in the series, young readers follow EJ 12 (also known as Emma Jacks), worrying about everything from mean girls to how to save the world from a melting polar ice cap.  She uses math and coding to save the world, which I believe ushers young readers into believing they can, too.
Picture of EJ12 Girl Hero Complete Library Collection (8)

Most Likely to Make a Mom-to-be Squeal in Delight: 
Garden Sounds by Sam Taplin 
I know sometimes it’s hard to know what to pick out for a friend’s upcoming baby shower.  This book is a crowd pleaser at the shower, but more importantly, it’s a baby pleaser and a mom-to-be pleaser.  The sounds are peaceful enough to encourage the mom to reach for the book when she wants to create a peaceful space reading to her new baby.
Picture of Garden Sounds

The Book That Surprised the World:
That’s Not My Unicorn by Fiona Watts
Since the 1970’s, Usborne Publishing in the UK has released 49 baby books in the “That’s Not My” series.  These books have stimulated young readers to reach out and grow with touchy-feely components and sing-songy predictability. This year, they surprised us all with the 50th release of “That’s Not My Unicorn.”  This delight continues the tradition of finding the mouse on every page, while also adding a separate dimension in the shimmering sides of the book.  I know that unicorns have been and will continue to be a source of inspiration – which is why I labeled this new release squarely as “classic” from its very first day.
Picture of That's Not My Unicorn

Most Likely to Make You Lose Track of Everything Else:
“The Mapmaker Chronicles” by A. L. Tait
Yes – the whole series!  When you factor in a humble protagonist, ships, and life and death, this fantasy series is a step into a different world.  The first books end in cliffhangers, but the entirety of each volume is nonstop excitement.  If you want to take a leap outside your world, this series is where you can forget it, too.
Picture of Race to the End of the World (Book 1)

Most Likely to Make the Long Trip to Grandmother’s Enjoyable:
The Usborne Museum Activity Book
If there’s ever a book to take for a road trip, this one is it.  This book, so unlike most on the market, makes clear that museums are sources of entertainment, too.  Activities like puzzles, coloring, and quizzes are each themed around different types of museums like fashion, technology, natural history and design.  By the time you make a museum stopover to break up your trip, your child will be excited to put their new knowledge into action.
Picture of Museum Activity Book - IR

Most Likely to Entertain for Hours: 
Fingerprint Activities Book
This is also the #1 best seller in the UK this year.  For many reasons, children will enjoy the attached ink pads to use different colors in creating their mice, caterpillars, and dinosaurs.  The guided help on each page, complete with examples, makes this a relaxed way for children to encounter art and realize all they need are their own fingers.  With this book’s help, Moms will also find the time for that quick coffee they haven’t had the chance to drink yet, too!
Picture of Fingerprint Activities

I hope you enjoyed this round-up of the year.  If this review helped you, please share.  I appreciate you!

If you need more assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me.  Helping people find books is my favorite! These books have enlivened my home and as a distributor I have the honor of guiding friends through their choices.

And dear reader, may  2018 be your best yet!

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