Peas Please! Bringing letters, numbers, colors, and months alive with little green peas.

Little Green Peas series by Keith Baker

Ages 3 – 6

Keith Baker’s series about a group of anthropomorphic peas is a perfect way to introduce letters, numbers and colors. The rhyming text give the stories a nice flow while the beautiful artwork is engaging. You can read these books to a class, but due to the detailed illustrations, I think they are most enjoyed with one on one sharing. These books also lend itself nicely to multiple reading as my son loves pouring over the pictures and discovering something he hadn’t noticed about one of the peas before. This is one of the books I love to bring to the doctor’s office or on an airplane since we can choose to read the book relatively quickly or sit and look through the pictures for a long time. As an added bonus there is a ladybug that appears on each page that is fun to hunt for.

I hope you enjoy these appealing books as much as I do!

 

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LMNO Peas by Keith Baker (2010)

Each letter is presented with rhyming text and a group of peas performing the actions and occupations mentioned in the text. The letter, “A” appears in a two-page spread with the text, “We’re acrobats, artists, and astronauts in space.” Followed by the spread for “B”, which reads, “We’re builders, bathers and bikers in a race.” Some of the language might be new to young children, so it provides a nice opportunity to introduce new vocabulary. For example, some children may not have been introduced to the words “inventors, investigators, judges, unique, volunteers and zoologists” yet. I also love that the book ends with the challenge, “We are peas from A to Z. Now tell us please, who are you?” This provides a nice conversation starter to how your child identifies his or herself.

 

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1-2-3- Peas by Keith Baker (2012)

While many counting books simply go to ten, this one counts all the way up to one hundred. Counting to one hundred can be intimidating or repetitive, Keith Baker manages to present the numbers in such a clever way one reaches one hundred in no time. The book begins by counting to ten then eleven to nineteen fit in a two-page spread that pictures each number and reads, “eleven to nineteen – skip, skip, skip” featuring three little peas skipping on jump ropes. The remainder of the book counts by tens up to one hundred.  Similar to LMNO Pleas, this book is filled with flowing rhymes and images of little green peas performing the actions stated in the text.

 

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Little Green Peas: a big book of colors by Keith Baker (2014)

I picked up the board book version for my 16-month old daughter, but my four-year-old son quickly confiscated it for his own reading. Usually he will not touch a board book since he considers them babyish, but he loves this series and couldn’t wait to see what the little green peas were up to in this adventure.

As the title implies, the third installment in the series focuses on colors. Following the same format as its predecessors, Little Green Peas features the name of a color in big block letters on a two-page spread with catchy rhymes. The peas stay green, but most of the other images on the page switch colors. I especially loved the page featuring the color “Red”, which reads, “Red fences, red trees, red kites” and the next page displays, “little green peas!” as they are raking red leaves.  It’s a beautiful homage to fall and colors you see everywhere.

 

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Hap-pea All Year! by Keith Baker (2016)

After letters, numbers, and colors what could be left? Months of course! Each spread concentrates on a month and all the wonderful celebrations each month may hold. Whether it be a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day in March or beautifully falling snow in January, signature moments fill this beautiful calendar of a picture book. The peas are as busy as I feel each month and this book provides a nice discussion starter for exciting moments or events that usually fill each month.

 

LMNO Pea-quel by Keith Baker, 2017

In his latest book, Keith Baker returns to the alphabet but this time presents lower-case letters instead of upper-case letters as he did in LMNO Peas. Teachers and parents will love pairing these two books together to teach children both upper and lower-case letters. While the illustrations are as whimsical as ever, advanced vocabulary is introduced such as words like ichthyologists and optometrists. This is another winning offering from Keith Baker that helps bring the alphabet alive to children.

 

 

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The books in the Little Green Peas series are my favorite of Keith Baker’s books, but he has many other wonderful stories including No Two Alike, which follows a pair of birds through a winter landscape illustrating the beauty in being unique.

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