It’s Kindness November: Book Recommendations!

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November to Gymboree Play & Music means giving thanks, giving back and being kind. And, in honor of World Kindness Day, we are celebrating KINDNESS all month long! Our expert programming team compiled their top book recommendations to teach about the joys and importance of spreading a little kindness!

thank you omu Thank You, Omu! By Oge Mora

Omu is preparing a thick red stew that smells so delicious, everyone in town wants a bowl! This heartwarming story about sharing and community was chosen for this year’s “Read for the Record” campaign by Jumpstart, in which millions of children and adults are brought together to read in classrooms, libraries, community centers, and homes across the world. 

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Last Stop on Market Street By Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

Every Sunday after church, CJ takes the bus with his grandma through town. With Grandma’s help, CJ learns that you can find beauty and value in everything around you.

 

stick and stone.pngStick and Stone By Oge Mora

Meet Stick and Stone. They stick up for each other ‘cause friends rock! This pair become fast friends when Stick rescues Stone from a mean pinecone. Can Stone return the favor when Stick gets stuck in the mud?

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Do Unto Otters By Laurie Keller

We all know the saying, “Do unto otters as you would have them do unto you.” This playful book lists some different ways otters (and other animals) can be kind to one another.

 

 

ordinary maryOrdinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed By Emily Pearson

Can one little girl’s kindness change the world?  It was an ordinary day for Mary when she came upon a bush growing blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, it sets off a chain reaction that multiplies around the world!

 

 

October’s Mystery Book Recommendations

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In honor of Halloween, we aren’t just throwing amazing Gymb-O-Weencostume parties and spooktacular bashes! We’re also highlighting the many developmental benefits of mystery and imagination that inevitably come with the celebration of Halloween

To get in the Halloween spirit, each of our October book recommendations highlights MYSTERY! If you’re in for a suspenseful, mysterious (and educational!) good time, check out the list below! 

hatch Hatch By Heather Brown

Use the rhyming clues to predict what baby animal is about to hatch from each egg. Little ones will love lifting the flaps to reveal who is hiding inside.

 

 

 

hide and snake

Hide and Snake By Keith Baker

Follow this colorful snake through the pages as he challenges children to find his next hiding place. “Baker’s elaborate acrylic designs, variety of lush hues, and sly wit provide a feast for the eyes while maintaining the cohesive personality of the book from page to page.”–Publishers Weekly. 

 

alphabet mystery

Alphabet Mystery By Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood

Little letter x is missing! Follow the other lowercase letters as they solve the mystery of his disappearance and learn the value of the letter x… the only letter that stands for kisses! xxxx

 

 

moongame.png Moongame By Frank Asch

One night, Bear was playing a game of hide and seek with the moon. When the moon hides behind a dark cloud, Bear becomes worried that the moon is lost! Will Bear ever find the moon?

 

 

 

pigeon

Pigeon P.I. By Meg McLaren

Birds are going missing all over the city and word on the wire is there’s a feather thief on the loose! Not to worry, Pigeon P.I. is on the case! Follow this daring detective and his new partner as they investigate the mystery of a missing friend.

 

 

For more information about our Gymboween parties or to visit a site near you, find your location here! 

September Book Recommendations

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This month we will be celebrating the importance of creative, rhythmic, and internal movement. Studies show that children use movement as part of their development and engaging their bodies helps little ones absorb new skills! Let’s get our move on with these rhythmically inspired September reads! 

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Giraffes Can’t Dance By Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Gerald the giraffe wishes he could dance like all the other animals, but everyone knows “giraffes can’t dance.” With some encouraging words from a helpful friend, Gerald discovers “we can all dance when we find the music that we love!

 

flora

Flora and the Flamingo By Molly Idle

Follow Flora and her Flamingo friend as they learn to dance together in perfect harmony. Get creative with this wordless lift-the-flap story!  Challenge older children to mimic Flora and the Flamingo’s movements or play classical music as you help your little one turn the pages and lift the flaps! Try “Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II: No. 10”  or “Dance of the Hours” from La Gioconda.

 

 

dinosaur dance

Dinosaur Dance By Sandra Boynton

These dinos LOVE to dance! Stomp your feet, shake your tail and get into the groove with this rhythmic rhyming book. Can your little one repeat some of these patterns or try mimicking some of these dances?

 

 

jazz baby

Jazz Baby By Lisa Wheeler and R. Gregory Christie

Singing, snapping, tapping clapping… there are so many ways to make our own music! This Jazz Baby gets the whole family dancing to the beat, and it all starts with a ‘clap-clap-clap!’

 

 

animal boogieThe Animal Boogie Illustrated by Debbie Harter, Sung by Fred Penner

Let’s shake, swing, stomp and boogie along with the animals in the jungle! This book comes with a CD so you can listen and sing along! Encourage older children to dance along or hold baby in your arms as you do the Animal Boogie!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25_u1GzruQM

 

COME VISIT YOUR LOCAL GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC! 

Falling Forward with August Book Recommendations

In August, we are highlighting the benefits of falling forward. That means turning mistakes into stepping stones and a path to success. At Gymboree Play & Music, we look at failure as a great learning tool. In fact, we believe in encouraging failure! When your little one doesn’t succeed on the first try, they are learning so many great things — most importantly that it’s OK to fail! They’re also learning the importance of getting up and trying again, along with many more early development benefits! And, we can all agree that childhood is the time to experiment.

So, check out some of these super fun book recommendations this August, and read all about the positives to trying new things, even if it might mean you don’t succeed the first time around!

August Book Recommendations

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Unstoppable Me! By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Kristina Tracy

Through ten rhyming poems, Dr. Wayne gives context to some important ideas about living life to the fullest. How to take risks, deal with stress, and enjoying the moment. The poetry is a fun way to introduce children to some big ideas, and help them see the value in their creativity, their ideas, and themselves!

 

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Beautiful Oops! By Barney Saltzberg

Interactive textured pages take us through how messes, mistakes, and unexpected things can be beautiful! This simple story explores how to be creative through the ‘Uh Oh’s!’ And turn them into something magnificent!

 

 

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The Most Magnificent Thing By Ashley Spires

A girl is creative and works hard to make the most magnificent thing but what happens when it’s not magnificent at all?! This book takes us on a journey about not giving up even when our hard work doesn’t turn out exactly how we thought. A wonderful story about perseverance and dealing with our emotions.

 

paper bag princess

The Paper Bag Princess By, Robert Munsch

You might remember this story from your childhood! Originally published in 1980 The Paper Bag Princess tells the story of a resilient, problem-solving princess who realizes her wits and intelligence are all she needs to outsmart a mean dragon there’s also a fun twist at the end!

 

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Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons By, James Dean and Eric Litwin       

Pete the Cat is losing his buttons! But does he cry? Goodness no! We just keep going! This story is not only a perfect read aloud with it’s song and rhyming repetitive text, it shows us that when things happen we don’t need to get upset; we can just keep singing! Singalong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkQ4d_fff3E 

 

Our equipment is specifically designed to create challenges and spark learning in your little one. Come give it a try!  

 

July Book Recommendations

wil things

Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

Let the wild rumpus start! Max is off on an adventure where he meets beasts and friends alike. A magical tale that teaches us about dealing with emotions and unconditional love.

 

chicka chicka

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom, will there be enough room?! This rhyming text is a favorite. This book is a wonderful read aloud all about having a little too much fun with our friends and that our moms and dads are always there to make it all better.

 

 

brothers  sistersWhat Brothers/Sisters do Best By Laura Numeroff

What’s better than one book? A two in one book! What Brothers/Sisters Do Best, is a simple sweet text that explores all the wonderful ways to play with your siblings. Including a few Rough-and-Tumble adventures!

 

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Nuts Keep Rolling! By, Eric Litwin

By the same author as “Pete the Cat”, this story as a similar upbeat, funny, and engaging text. The story is all about tumbling and fun! Enjoy reading this aloud and you can even sing it!

 

 

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Silly Sally By, Audrey Wood

Silly Sally likes to do things a little differently. This story is wonderfully silly and will have kids of all ages giggling about walking on our hands, going upside down, sleeping sheep, and pigs who do jigs! All tumbling towards town in this delightful story for all! 

 

 

Come visit us for some fun, safe rough & tumble play this July! 

June Book Recommendations: Making Connections!

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Summer is perfect for family time, adventures with friends and meeting new people.  That’s why our June theme is MAKING CONNECTIONS! The below reads are great for teaching your little one about friendship-building, sharing and diversity…all important things to learn when it comes to making connections!

Image result for how kind kids book How Kind! By Mary Murphy

Sharing, giving, being kind! This book’s simple story is a wonderful way to introduce our youngest reader to the thought: What is being kind? Pig, Hen and dog show us; it’s simple! The bright illustrations are as eye catching as the humble text, with a big message!

 

Image result for we all sing with the same voice We All Sing with the Same Voice  By J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene

This story (originally seen on Sesame Street) is a sweet message about how through all our differences we are all the same! It can be read or sang aloud. It’s diverse and colorful illustrations spark conversation from young listeners, perhaps they’ll even spot “themselves” somewhere in the story!

 

Image result for llama llama misses mama Llama Llama Misses Mama By Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama is feeling shy, sometimes new experiences and making connections with new people is difficult! Llama Llama is a wonderful story to show it’s okay to feel unsure and of course that Mama always comes back!

 

 

Image result for peanut butter and cupcake Peanut Butter & Cupcake By Terry Border

Peanut Butter is looking for a new friend to play! This story shows us it’s okay to keep trying! That making friends sometimes takes some time, and that’s okay! It also shows us how fun it can be when a whole group plays together!

 

 

Image result for the peace book The Peace Book By Todd Parr

What is peace? Todd Parr’s book shows us some of the simplest yet profound ways to show peace. Sometimes it’s taking a nap, and sometimes it’s doing something good for the planet, but mostly peace is being who you are.

 

 

Come visit your local Gymboree Play & Music for your very own Making Connections story time!

Build Early Literacy with these April Book Recommendations!

This April we are highlighting early literacy! The journey of learning to read and write starts long before your little one is actually ready to do either. In fact, early literacy begins in their first three years! Your child’s interaction with books and reading will provide the foundation to develop critical early literacy skills.

Literacy begins with a love of books so let’s whip out those books and teach our children the joy of reading! We’ve picked books for ALL AGES!

poutpout

The Pout-Pout Fish, By Deborah Diesen

Repetitive language in story books builds oral language skills. Pout-Pout Fish’s sing-songy text repeats over and over making for a fun educational read aloud that your toddler or preschooler will repeat again and again!

 

junglytails

Jungly Tails, By Jollybaby

A full sensory experience! Introduce your babies to books as early as possible. This soft squishy sturdy book can be enjoyed in tummy time or simply allow baby to explore with their hands and even their mouth! That’s how they learn!

 

wakeupmagicduck Wake Up, Magic Duck!, By Moira Butterfield

Storytime doesn’t have to stop during bath time! Magic Bath Books bring literacy and learning into the tub! Magic Duck has a special surprise when she gets wet…she changes colors! Enjoy the fun that comes with books that are interactive and inspire babies and toddler to love reading!

 

polarbear Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do you Hear?, By Bill Martin Jr/ Eric Carle

Children love repetition and this book is full of memory building writing. Your child will be able to repeat the story back to you! Build early literacy by choosing high quality texts like this one!

 

 

babysfirstcloth Baby’s First Cloth Book: Zoo, By Nosy Crow

Charming cloth books with high contrast images are perfect for baby’s first reads. This book can also go with you when you’re on the go. Its convenient Velcro strap lets those tiny hands keep “reading” wherever you are!

 

 

Build those early literacy skills at your local Gymboree Play & Music! 

 

March Book Recommendations!

This month we’re paying homage to the greatest rhymer of them all – Dr. Seuss!

Not only does rhyming and wordplay help with early literacy development, it’s a lot of fun! Remember that regular reading is important for your little one so let’s get to rhyming!

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

By Dr. Seuss

Nonsense rhymes with silly words create for an entertaining read-aloud with this classic Dr. Seuss favorite!

 

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Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom

By Bil Martin Jr and John Archambault

This classic alphabet rhyming book creates a fun read-aloud that children will want to hear again and again! The rhymes are quick and fun and easy for little ones to remember!

 

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Is Your Mamma a Llama?

By Deborah Guarino

A wonderful rhyming story where children can finish the rhymes! Beautiful illustrations and the rhyming text supports teaching children how to make predictions.

brown bear Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? 

By Bill Martin Jr

Simply a classic! A “singsongy” text will capture children of all ages, while bright simple pictures will delight babies, toddlers, and preschoolers alike!

 

peekawhoPeek-a Who?

By Nina Laden

Cut out images add to the anticipation of who is peeking through! An interactive rhyming book that supports making predictions and teaches children how language works!