Toys

Gus and Grandpa Ride the Train

By Claudia Mills

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In this early chapter book, Gus and Grandpa waive hello to the big train that passes through their town, set up a toy train set, and finally get to ride on the real thing. JBR Mil

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Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo

By Kevin Lewis

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A rhyming story about a toy freight train's day, from loading freight in the morning to retiring to the roundhouse after the day's work is done. Sweet and soothing. JE Fic Lew

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

By Kate DiCamillo

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Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him. He travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

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Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit, and Other Friends

Over 100 years ago, Helen Beatrix Potter was born in London. Her family had plenty of money, but they were not truly happy. Lonely Beatrix lived upstairs in the nursery. She rarely saw her parents and was looked after by a nanny, who, although she was strict, did tell her marvelous fairy stories which she loved. Beatrix and her little brother were happiest when the family went on holidays (vacations) to the countryside. There the children were free to play outside and explore nature.

Helen Oxenbury: On the Side of the Child

"One of the most important things is to laugh with your children and to let them see you think they're being funny when they're trying to be. It gives children enormous pleasure to think they've made you laugh. They feel they've reached one of the nicest parts in you.... As a picture book artist, I don't think one can be too much on the side of the child."

Helen Oxenbury, from Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book, by Leonard S. Marcus.

Helen Oxenbury understands babies. She knows that they are messy, cranky, and wonderful. She knows that few things fascinate a baby like, well, another baby. In the world of board books, those sturdy first books that are impervious to drool and can survive a few tasty chews, Helen Oxenbury reigns supreme.

Choo-Choos for You

Clickety-clack, down the track, faster, faster goes the train. Puff, puff, toot, toot, off we go. Grab a train book and settle in for story time where excitement waits around every bend.

Hands-on Colonial Crafts

Chances are if you are studying colonial times, your teacher will assign a hands-on project. You could make a model of the Jamestown Fort or a copy of the Declaration of Independence-but why not try a craft that the colonists themselves would have done?

Every colonial family except for the very rich had to be able to make their own soap, candles, furniture, cloth, baskets, toys, and musical instruments. Below is one practical craft to try. Scroll down and check our lists of books and Web sites for more ideas.