Arnold’s Fitness for Kids Ages Birth – 5: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition

Citation: Schwarzenegger, A., & Gaines, C. (1993). Arnold’s Fitness for Kids Ages Birth-5: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition. New York: Doubleday. 

Ages: birth – 5

Grades: PreK

Description: Arnold’s Fitness for Kids Ages Birth – 5: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition is a guide to the basics of health and exercise for young children.  The book, targeted more towards adults who care for young children, also provides age appropriate exercises with instructional pictures and line drawings.  The book emphasizes the importance of fun and play as crucial in teaching children to love exercise.  Arnold’s Fitness for Kids Ages Birth – 5 is the first in a trilogy of books aimed at promoting exercise and nutrition to children.

Uses: Librarians, teachers, and other adults can use Arnold’s Fitness for Kids as a guide for planning age specific programming that promotes health and nutrition. Librarians can teach children the exercises provided within, and can share concepts of exercise with children. The book can also be used during a family storytime, to teach parents more about nutrition and children’s health. The text can also be used in displays during Read and Reach themed storytimes, and in parenting guides.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: exercise, non-fiction, parents and children

The Rooster Struts

Citation: Scarry, R. (2004). The Rooster Struts. New York: Golden Books.The Rooster Struts

Ages: 0-5

Grades: PreK

Description:  Scarry’s The Rooster Struts is a simple story that introduces readers to different animals and the concepts of how they move. Sentences are short and the images are large, which lends to a young child storytime. Different animals are mentioned, including roosters, chicks, bears, and ants.

Uses:  The Rooster Struts can be used in a baby or toddler storytime.  The simple pictures and short sentences lend to reading for large groups. Teachers and librarians can read each sentence, and then ask the children to mimic each animal’s movements.

Review Sources: The Rooster Struts. (n.d.). Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from:


Search Terms:  animals, animal movements, concept books

If You’re Hoppy

Citation: Sayre, A. P., & Urbanovic, J. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. New York: Greenwillow Books.Hoppy

Ages: 0-7

Grades: PreK – Kindergarten

Description: Based upon the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It”,  Sayre and Urbanovic introduce readers to different animals and their actions. The book begins “If you’re hoppy and you know it you’re a frog!”  and continues through other animals such as bunnies and crickets and their traits, like sloppy and growly. At different intervals in the book children are asked to “stretch your toes” or “ swing your wings.”  The book also features bright, cartoon-style images.

Uses: If You’re Hoppy and You Know It is ideal for a toddler and early elementary storytime. Children at this age may be familiar with the “If you’re happy and you know it” song, which may add to the appeal of the book for children.  Teachers and librarians can read the story for  during storytime, and then invite children to move and hop along with the animals.  In addition to reading the story, librarians and teachers can lead the children in a rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” that includes movement and physical activity such as hopping, jumping, or running in place.

Review Sources:

Cruze, K. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. Booklist, 107(13), 63.

Ludke, L. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. School Library Journal, 57(1), 82-84.

Tags: animals, animal movements, jumping, rabbits

Dunk Skunk

Citation: Rex, M. (2005). Dunk skunk. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.Dunk Skunk

Ages: 2-5

Grades: PreK – K

Description: Dunk Skunk is a simple story of animals engaged in different types of sports. Each page depicts the animals in action, and the story is told with simple, two word rhymes such as “Coach Roach” or “Hurdle Turtle.”  The book has bright, large images and text.

Uses: Dunk Skunk’s large text, simple rhyme, and humorous feeling make it an ideal text for a family or toddler storytime. The animals moving in different ways will inspire children to go and play different sports. There are several ways librarians could incorporate actions into storytimes with this text: first, librarians could read the story, and then lead the children in a storytime appropriate sports game, such as quiet ball. Second, librarians could read the story and ask children to mimic the movements of the animals in the story: they can pretend to dunk, to throw a football, etc.

Review Sources:

Roach, J. (2005). Dunk Skunk. School Library Journal, 51(4):110.

Dunk Skunk. (2005). Kirkus Reviews, 73(3), 181.

Tags:  animals, sports, rhyme

Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story

Citation: Parker, V., & Bolam, E. (1997). Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story. New York: Viking.bearobics

Ages: 3-8

Grades: PreK – 2

Description: In Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story, a single bear takes his boom-box into the forest. As he plays his music, more and more animals join the fun, each doing their own dance.  As the animals join in, children are introduced to different numbers and number concepts.

Uses: Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story could be read during a toddler or family storytime to reinforce or introduce number and counting concepts to children. The rhythm of the story invites students to dance along with the animals. Teachers and librarians can read the story, and then play music for the students to do their own Bearobics.

Review Sources:

Devereaux, E., & Roback, D. (1996). Forecasts: Children’s books. Publisher’s Weekly, 243(51), 58.

Townsend-Hudson, S. (1997). Books for youth: Books for the young. Booklist, 93(12), 1028.

Tags: concept books, bears, animals, numbers

Animal Action ABC

Citation: Pandell, K., Wolfe, A., & Sheehan, N. (1996). Animal Action ABC. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.Animal Action ABC

Ages:  3 – 7

Grades: PreK – 1

Description:  Animal Action ABC is part ABC concept book, part poem about movement. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a different action verb and poem that encourages readers and listeners to move in various ways. Each movement and letter is paired with an animal, which is pictured in bright photographs doing the motion. There are also children pictured mimicking the movement as well.

Uses: Animal Action ABC could be used by librarians and teachers as a way to reinforce letter concepts in a non-traditional way. Students can move while learning, which is conducive to some learning styles. The short poems for each letter/movement are conducive to reading aloud in a group or storytime setting. The images allow for use during a program focused on animals, or on ABC concepts. The book can also be used to demonstrate to parents how literacy concepts can be integrated into movement activities. Animal Action ABC would also be well used for programs for teens or adults who are differently abled.

Review Sources:

Animal Action ABC. (1996). Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from:

Search Terms:  concept books, animals, differently-abled 


Citation: Page, R.  and Jenkins, S. (2006). Move! Boston Mass.: HMH Books for Young Readers.Move!

Ages: 3-9

Grades: PreK – 3

Description: In Move! readers are introduced to a number of animals, and how they move. Whales dive, gibbons swing, and snakes slither. The book also features a description of each animal and its habits.  The book is illustrated in with large, colorful images of each animal, with text mirroring how the animals move.

Uses: Move! is ideal for a preschool or family storytime. It could also be read to younger elementary school children in conjunction with a science lesson about animals. The description of how the animals move begs children and other listeners to get up and mimic the movements. Librarians and teachers can ask students to mimic the movements during the story, or after during an activity. The facts about each animal in the story make the book ideal for a lesson about animals for younger children.

Review Sources:

Carter, B. (2006). Move!. Horn Book Magazine, 82(3), 344.

DeCandido, G. (2006). Move!. Booklist, 102(14), 50.

Glantz, S. (2007). Move!. Library Media Connection, 25(4), 77.

Move!. (2006). School Library Journal, 52:32.

Weitz, S. (2006). Move!. School Library Journal, 52(6):136.

Move!.(2006). Kirkus Reviews, 74(7), 349.

Move!. (2006). New York Times Book Review, 15.

Tags: animal movements,  animals, non-fiction, 

Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!

Citation: Olson, J. (2010). Tickle, tickle! itch, twitch! New York: Marshall Cavendish Children. Tickle, Tickle, Itch Twitch

Ages: 2 – 5

Grades: PreK – K

Description: Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch! is the story of Gus the groundhog, who loves spending summer days lazily sitting in the shade. One day, Gus gets an itch, and it must be scratched! Little does Gus know, a mouse tickling his back with a flower caused the itch. The story follows Gus as he tries to use various objects to scratch his back, but they aren’t what they seem. Gus grabs a stick that is actually a snake and so on and so forth.  

Uses:  The repetitive structure of Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch! makes it ideal for preschool and family storytimes. The repeating phrases allow children to get involved with the telling of the story, and to predict what will happen next.  Incorporating movement with this story will require a bit more creativity from teachers and librarians.  During the story, librarians/teachers can ask children to move and act like the different animals Gus encounters. They can also get participants scratch their backs and stretch, or, parents can tickle baby’s toes, fingers, etc.

Review Sources:

Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!. (2010). Kirkus Reviews, 78(19), 1003.

Van Marel, L. (2010). Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!. School Library Journal, 56(12):87.

Search Terms: animals, mice

Ready, Set, Skip!

Citation: O’Connor, J., & James, A. (2007). Ready, set, skip! New York: Viking.Ready, Set, Skip

Ages: 2 – 8

Grades: PreK – 2

Description: Ready, Set, Skip! is the story of a young girl who does not know how to skip. She does, however, know how to do many things, such as: twirling, hopping, and leaping.  Eventually, her mother teachers her how to skip: “hop on one foot/then the other”.   O’Connor tells the young girl’s story in short, upbeat, rhyming text, that is paired with detailed charcoal images.

Uses: Ready, Set, Skip is ideal for a preschool, family, or younger elementary aged program. Librarians can read the book, and then ask listeners to do all of the activities mentioned in the text. Librarians can also ask students to skip, and to teach each other how to skip.  This book could also easily be adjusted to use with differently-abled adults and teens.

Review Sources:

Ready, Set, Skip!. (2007). Kirkus Reviews, 75(8), 398.

Ready, Set, Skip!. (2007). Publisher’s Weekly, 254(19), 59.

Allen, N. (2007). Ready, Set, Skip!. Magpies, 22(3), 26.

Constantinides, J. (2007). Ready, Set, Skip!, School Library Journal, 53(7), 82.

Brabander, J. M.(2007). Ready, Set, Skip!. Horn Book Magazine, 83(3), 271.

Phelan, C. (2007). Ready, Set, Skip!. Booklist, 103(21),66.

Tags: differently-abled, exercise, outside

Hand Book

Citation: Newman, J. (2011). Hand book. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.HandBook

Ages: 3 – 8

Grades: PreK – 2

Description: Newman’s Hand Book follows a set of hands as a they grow up, and experience the many emotions and happenings of life. With short sentences, and bold images, Newman traces the growth of the owner of the pictured hands: young hands clap, older hands toss graduation hats, and eventually older hands hold other hands.  Newman’s Hand Book subtly introduces readers and listeners to growing up, in a hopeful way.

Uses: The Hand Book is ideal for a family or baby storytime, when parents/guardians interact with the children during the program. The Hand Book can be read during programs, to introduce babies and young children to the concepts of clapping, etc. Parents can help babies clap, and move along to the story.

Review Sources:

Van Vleck, G. L. (2011). Hand Book. School Library Journal, 57(7), 74

Hand Book. (2011). Publishers Weekly, 258(23), 41

Hand Book. (2011). Kirkus Reviews, 79(14), 1261.

Kraus, D. (2011). Hand Book. Booklist, 107(21), 65.

Tags: parents and children