“They’re the only books my oldest daughter makes me put on her bedside when she goes to sleep,” actress Brooke Shields has said of the Flippy and Friends trilogy of children’s board books about a magical tadpole and his critter friends. “She just loves her Flippy books.” (Other celeb moms who own the books include Tori Spelling.) And it’s easy to see why.

Written by L.A. actor John Mese (Sex and the City, The X-Files) and his teacher wife Dawn Kelsey, Flippy’s rhyme-filled adventures hold up wonderfully to repeat readings as kids are invited to discover the world around them with Flippy as their gentle but fun-loving guide. Illustrated by artist Chanler Holden, the Flippy board books — Flippy and Toadpole, On the Flippy Side and Through Flippy’s Eyes ($11 each) — are a visual delight, filled with humor and eye-diverting pleasures.

And for the older child, Mese and Kelsey have just published the more advanced Flippy Goes on a Road Trippy ($14), in which Flippy heads off on a cross-country trip with his friends Halimagator, Crawdaddy, Toadpole, Eartha and Duke. With more sophisticated rhyming and greater length, this adventure has as much appeal for the 7-year-old as for his or her younger sibling. By all means, check Flippy and Friends out. You — and your child — will be glad you did.

— Champ

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