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If ever there was a perfect book for introducing non-fiction to your preschooler, then Jane Brocket's Clever Concepts would be it. These books are filled with bright and beautiful still-life photographs, as well as colorful language.

Let me take a moment to talk about the photos, because they capture real life at its essence. For instance, in Jane Brocket's Rainy, Sunny, Blowy, Snowy: What Are Seasons?, children can look at the picture and understand (without words) which season it is portraying. The first page has four pictures, the first being a close-up of tiny little violets and next to it, a bowl of juicy, ripe peaches on a tan wicker table and beside that, is a gorgeous picture of orange leaves with just a tinge of green to them and lastly, a breath-taking picture of frost covered leaves taken in the dappled light of an early winter morning.

If the photographs in these book were not enough to sell you on this series, then the language surely will. There are a vast amount of adjectives used in Jane's books and I would recommend this series to any teachers out there doing a lesson on seasons or the value of synonyms. These books are great for building your child's vocabulary. Brocket describes winter as "pale, watery, frosty, with a silvery sky." Each page has just enough text to keep your child's attention and is done in such a poetic way that it is very pleasing to read, even as an adult.

Perhaps my favorite part of this series is the last page because Jane leaves the reader with an open-ended question for the child to discuss with whoever is reading the book with them, whether a preschool teacher, a parent or even, dare I say, a librarian! These books are an excellent non-fiction choice for young readers, because discussing with your child what he or she has read is essential to your child's early literacy development, which in turn helps your child to become ready for Kindergarten.

You'll find Jane's books on the following topics: shapes, texture, colors, senses, numbers, patterns, and seasons at the Cecil County Public Library. I hope you enjoy reading them with your child as much as I have with mine.

Recommended by Tracy Alexander


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