The Whizpa Bookshelf: Feb Book Recommendations

By Beverly Sace

February is the month of love, and this year, of lunar new year celebrations as well! This month’s picks are all about feelings, woks, dragons and just some pure lighthearted nonsense that we all need.

How Do YOU Feel? By Anthony Browne
Read Aloud: Ages 2-6

Simple but profound
With coronavirus cases down to single digits this week, we parents are all feeling relieved. But how do our little ones feel day today? Between Zoom learning and various other activities to keep them occupied, picking up this book will allow us to start a conversation about how they are feeling. Matching a label to their feelings supports their emotional development and is a great big step towards emotional literacy.

Perfect for: children aged 2-6. Talk about different emotions and when they feel them.

The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine
Read aloud: 3+
Independent Reading: 6+

Funny and magical
Chinese New Year may have come and gone, but the lessons in this book are relevant year-round. Firstly reminiscent of Jack and the Beanstalk, and then of Robin Hood, The Runaway Wok brings a good family fortune while teaching a greedy family a lesson. Children will first be worried and then be delighted as the wok reveals its true mission.

Perfect for: parents who want to teach their children the value of sharing to the community.

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen
Independent Reading: 7+

Just for laughs
Uncle Gobb annoys his nephew Malcolm and his best friend Crackersnacker to no end as he lives with Malcolm and his mum Tess. Why does he polish his forehead? Why do beans have to be on toast? Why does it say “Gobb Education” on all their worksheets at school? And just what is a Dread Shed?

Perfect for: boys and girls who want to read some silly nonsense while unwittingly being exposed to some clever word play and creative writing.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Independent Reading: 9+

Adventure and enchantment
Aventurine is a dragon who wants to prove her worth to her family by catching a human. The human she caught however gave her some enchanted hot chocolate which transformed her into a girl with two legs, no scales, no fire and no claws! She has to find her way to the city to find more scrumptious chocolate and learn how to be human. That is, to learn how to trust and be a friend.

Perfect for: boys and girls who are getting started on reading fantasy and love chocolate!

About the Book Reviewer

Beverly Sace is an educator who is a passionate advocate of children’s dialogic reading. She is currently the Curriculum & Content Director at a STEM EdTech Lab.