Check It Out: Opposites, Patterns, and Sizes

3:32 PM, Aug. 19, 2013  |  Comments
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Ethan Long's "Up! Tall! And High!" can be used two ways: a silly beginning reader with abundant picture clues and a read-aloud concept book that will delight toddler and preschool listeners. An assortment of expressive birds demonstrates the tricky and often shifting concepts of up, tall, and high. Frequent surprises, revealed through interactive flaps, also teach about the force of gravity. In the second of three stories, "high" is explained through a penguin who learns to fly with the aid of a creative friend and some props. A lift-up flap emphasizes the pudgy bird's glorious ascent into the clouds. This charismatic and instructive trio of tales won the 2013 Geisel Award for best early reader.


"Opuestos: Spanish Folk Art Opposites in Spanish and English" by Cynthia Weill

This basic introduction to opposites is invigorated by carved folk-art animals from Oaxaca, Mexico. The brightly colored creatures pop against solid backgrounds in vibrant shades. The bilingual text adds another layer of learning to this lively concept book.

"Baby Happy, Baby Sad" by Leslie Patricelli

"Black? White! Day? Night!" by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

"Dinosaur Roar!" by Paul Strickland

"Exactly the Opposite" by Tana Hoban

"Exploring Opposites" (Pebble Plus Series) by Joy Frisch

"The Foot Book" by Dr. Seuss

"If You Were an Antonym" by Nancy Loewen

"In-o-saur, Out-o-saur" by David Bedford

"I Say, You Say: Opposites" (board book) by Tad Carpenter

"Just the Opposite" (Bookworms Beginning Reader Series) by Sharon Gordon

"Maisy Big, Maisy Small" by Lucy Cousins

"Naughty and Nice" by Harriet Ziefert

"My Friend Lucky" by David Milgrim

"Opposites" by Ingris Schubert

"What's Up, Duck?" (board book) by Tad Hills


"Bees, Snails, and Peacock Tails: Shapes Naturally" by Betsy Franco

Betsy Franco's informational poetry, some of it rhyming, some verse, explores the purpose of patterns in nature. Steve Jenkins' trademark ultra-detailed collage illustrations elevate this book to another level. While younger children may want to simply identify the objects in the illustrations, elementary aged readers will gain scientific knowledge from the pithy text. From why hexagons are a smart shape for a beehive to how a puffer fish inflates, this is a brief, but fascinating, look at naturally occurring patterns.

"Animal Spots and Stripes" (board book) by Britta Teckentrup

"Busy Bugs: A Book about Patterns" by Jayne Harvey

"Checkers and Dot/Checkers and Dot at the Zoo" by J. Torres

"Look and Compare: A Photo Analogy Game" by Kristen McCurry

"The Look Book" by Tana Hoban

"No Two Alike" by Keith Baker

"Patterns" by Peter Patilla

"Patterns in Nature" by Jennifer Roy

"Patterns: What Comes Next" by Michelle Koomen

"Phases of the Moon" by Gilla Olson

"Red Car, Red Bus" by Susan Stegall

"Stripes of all Types" by Susan Stockdale


"I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean" by Kevin Sherry

A cartoony giant squid is near bursting with pride as he revels in his status as the biggest thing in the ocean. From shrimp to sea turtles, our boastful narrator easily surpasses them all with his oversized stature and magnetic personality. When a blue whale announces his presence in a most dramatic way, Squid is almost ready to admit that size is relative...The large format of this book, along with the bold and clear illustrations and simple refrain combine into a lively, comical group-share for ages 2-5.

"Big and Little" by John Stadler

"Big, Little" by Leslie Patricelli

"Big and Small, Room for All" by Jo Ellen Bogart

"Big, Bigger, Biggest" by Nancy Coffelt

"Biggest, Strongest, Fastest" by Steve Jenkins (K-3)

"A Closer Look" by Mary McCarthy

"Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea" by Steve Jenkins (K-3)

"Higher, Higher!" by Leslie Patricelli

"Itty Bitty" by Cece Bell

"Looking Down" by Steve Jenkins

"Open this Little Book" by Jesse Klausmeier

"Tall" by Jez Alborough

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

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