A. H. Benjamin Buy here. Duffle is a very small duck - so small that the other ducks laugh at him. "A duck so small can do nothing at all," they jeer and it seems as though they are right, for everything poor Duffle attempts to do ends in disaster. But Duffle is determined to prove that he isn't useless after all and when a tiny duckling, even smaller than himself, gets trapped in a hole, Duffle knows exactly what to do.
P.D. Eastman Buy here. Life lessons? Romance? Literary instruction? Go, Dog. Go! offers all this and more, wrapped up in one simply worded, warmly hued package. Using single-syllable words in rhythmic repetition, and introducing colors and prepositions, this Seuss-styled classic has been an early favorite of children since 1961. For those looking for deeper meaning in a beginning reader book, here you'll find nothing less than a microcosm of life. Green dogs, yellow dogs, big dogs, little dogs. Dogs who prefer cars, dogs who favor skis. All represent the diversity a child will find in the world. And the slow-to-bud romance between the cheerfully oblivious yellow dog and the mincing pink poodle explains more succinctly than most self-help books what goes on in many grown-up relationships. Nonetheless, Eastman takes the concept of "primary" to heart, with his simple silly phrases and solidly colored illustrations. Not only will this book inspire peals of laughter in kids, it will also help them make the magical connection between those mysterious black squiggles on the page, and the words they hear and speak. (Ages 4 to 8)
Lois Ehlert Buy here. There are far more than seven wonders in a child's world—award-winning illustrator Lois Ehlert's In My World reveals more than a dozen! Die-cut pages layer creature upon creature, each cutout giving glimpses of the next. An adjective on each vividly colored page provides a hint of the almost abstract shape, while the flip side names the image: "wiggling worms," "leaping frogs," "shining sun," "growing fruit." The clutter of colors and shapes is almost overwhelming at times, making it difficult to recognize the featured object. On the other hand, this jumbled quality beautifully suits the illustrations of butterflies and flowers and birds, for example. Young children will be fascinated by the magically shifting outlines with their brilliant, bold colors, and by the rebus poem at the end, which features all the shapes in the book.

Ehlert is the bestselling illustrator of Waiting for Wings, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault, and many others. (Ages 3 to 6) —Emilie Coulter
Caroline Gregoire Buy here. Often-overlooked concepts will never be the same. Apollo is not just any old dog - he's a Super Dog! He can divide himself into halves, he can be on the right and the left, above and below, by himself, or in a crowd.
Tana Hoban Buy here. Whenever you are — inside or outside — there are shapes to discover. And with Tana Hoban's help you will begin to see them. Look around. How many circles, squares, stars, triangles, hearts, and rectangles can you see? They are everywhere!
Jerry Pallotta Buy here. Picture book teaches: simple shapes, lines, plane, point, intersection, angle, parallel, right angle, square, perpendicular, rectangle, perimeter, formula, area, triangle, vertex, circle, circumference, degrees, protractor, cube, sphere, pyramid, cone, prism, cylinder and dimension.