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Summer reading picks for kids under five: Totally Monster and Pretend and Play

Totally Monsters Best Friends is an adorable interactive summer reading pick for kids five and under.
Totally Monsters Best Friends is an adorable interactive summer reading pick for kids five and under.
Lauren Ivy Chiong/

Totally Monster and Pretend and Play books and iPad apps


Disclosure: The reviewer received a copy of Totally Monster Best Friends for review purposes.

A child enjoyed the summer reading pick Totally Monster Best Friends, available in both hard cover and as an iPad app
Lauren Ivy Chiong/

If you are looking for a totally wonderful reading pick for your child age five or under, you’ll want to check out the cute hardback book Totally Monster Best Friends!

Kids of any age can participate in summer reading programs, even the very young. The trick is to choose books that can hold the attention of toddlers and preschoolers. Totally Monster Best Friends has a variety of features that kids age 0-5 will love.

Let’s start with the cover: the book stars two adorable monsters pictured in bold colorful graphics. The design draws young children in. The durable book then holds short attention spans with fold-out flaps and pages, almost as thick as a board books, that are easy for little fingers to grasp.

For babies and toddlers, the book is a wonderful introduction of opposites, as the monsters describe how they will stay friends no matter what, for instance, whether they are upside down or right-side up, or happy or sad. This book is a helpful learning tool for pre-readers, because the words presented are simple and short, and directly illustrated by the monsters’ expressions.

Toddlers and preschoolers especially love storytelling, but they may be afraid of monsters. A story about friendly monsters can allay those fears. Plus, the book’s sweet and positive message of lasting friendship is ideal for ages 0-5. There is nothing too scary presented in the book, as you might find in a traditional fairy tale.

In short, Totally Monster Best Friends is definitely one you’ll want to add to your young child’s book shelf to keep her entertained, whether reading it alone or with a loved one.

More summer reading and learning recommendations

The Totally Monster series is available as interactive book apps for iPad. Several to check out are the ipad version of Totally Monster Best Friends, chronicling two monsters’ friendships through thick and thin; Totally Monster Feelings, in which children learn about feelings and how to express them along with the protagonists, adorable monsters, and Totally Monster Manners, where children will learn about politeness and getting along with others.

The Pretend and Play series is another educational app series to explore with your child. In Pretend and Play Toolbox, children use tools to create a beautiful birdhouse, learning the function of each tool in the process. Kids love firefighters, and in Pretend and Play Firefighters, children learn about fire safety and some of the tasks that firefighters perform, in addition to building their very own firetruck. Finally, in Pretend and Play On the Farm, children learn about farm animals, complete pictures by selecting animals, and play counting games.

All of these apps are available as hardback books, and the Pretend and Play series books are kits including a puzzle and a handle for easy carrying.

For further information about Totally Monster and Pretend and Play series, visit Silver Dolphin Books website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.