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LEGO Masters, Bluey, Wild Kratts, & Toy Story 4: Quarantine Read-Alikes for High-Interest Streaming Shows

New and classic books for kids who like these shows.

Kids and families have extra time on their hands with stay-at-home orders across the nation during the coronavirus pandemic. Consider breaking out these read-alikes for some of the most popular streaming shows that younger children may be binge-watching when parents aren’t looking…unless they’re all tuning in together.


 

READ-ALIKES

The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz. DK. 2013.
Gr 4 Up–Inspired by the magnificent creations on the show? Pick up a LEGO building guide for tips on how to engineer your own.

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen. Puffin. 2005.
Gr K-4–Young engineers intrigued by the creative designs and innovations put together by teams on the show will appreciate the wacky and downright cool ideas in this humorous rhyming picture book. If they like this one, don’t miss If I Built a House and If I Built a School.

Oh No!, or, How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett, illus. Dan Santat. Disney Hyperion. 2010.
K-Gr 4–For a build as over-the-top as those on the show, check out this comic-style picture book in which a girl’s science project takes on a life of its own.

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth, illus. by Robb Mommaerts. Penguin Workshop. 2019.
Gr 3-8–Viewers who dig host Will Arnett’s exaggerated, sarcastic humor may get a kick out of Klawde. This evil alien warlord has accidentally landed on Earth and appears to humans as a normal stray cat in a funny take on a supervillain story.


 

READ-ALIKES

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig. HarperCollins. 1998.
Pre-S–Just like Bluey’s imaginative and engaged parents, Pete’s dad comes up with a creative game to play with him on a rainy day. This book will give both parents and kids warm fuzzies, just like the show.

Meet the Barkers by Tomie DePaola. Putnam. 2001.
Pre-S-Gr 1– Fans of the anthropomorphic dog characters in the show will love meeting the Barkers, twin siblings who have age-appropriate adventures like starting school and solving arguments.

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells. Puffin. 1997.
Pre-S–Viewers who enjoy the gentle dramas and realistic interactions between Bluey and her sister Bingo will also enjoy this and other titles in the “Max and Ruby” series, which speaks directly to young readers in a similarly appealing way.

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin. Little, Brown. 2010.
K-Gr 2–A sibling pair has funny adventures and realistic kid interactions in this series starter about twins who look very alike but are not exactly the same. Viewers who enjoy Bluey and Bingo’s lighthearted antics will want to see what Ling & Ting are up to, as well.


 

READ-ALIKES

Weird But True! 300 Outrageous Facts. National Geographic Kids. 2010.
Gr K-5–Kids who love learning interesting nature facts on the show will enjoy the “Weird But True” series, dynamically illustrated titles that present a series of amazing facts.

I Wish I Was an Elephant by Jennifer Bové. Harper. 2018.
Gr 1-3–The Ranger Rick early reader series asks readers to imagine themselves as animals while providing facts and full-color photo illustrations. Just like the Wild Kratts taking on animal characteristics on the show, these books ask readers to put themselves in the animals’ places.

 

Wild Born (“Spirit Animals” #1) by Brandon Mull. Scholastic. 2013.
Gr 2-6–Viewers who like the speculative aspects of the show, including when the Kratts assume animal powers to save the day, may enjoy the Spirit Animal series, in which four kids from around the world bond with animals to help fight against an ancient evil.


 

READ-ALIKES

Corduroy by Don Freeman. Viking. 1968.
PreS-Gr 1–This classic story of a department store teddy bear will appeal to children intrigued by the idea of what toys do at night.

Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2006.
K-Gr 3–The secret lives of toys is at the heart of this sweet, funny book about a motley crew of toys whose adventures include going through the washing machine and visiting school for show and tell.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. Hyperion. 2007.
Gr 4-8–An unlikely duo, separated from the rest of their communities, sets off on a journey together in this funny and heartfelt novel about an alien invasion. Kids with an affinity for Toy Story 4’s odd new character Forky, and Woody’s attempts to reunite him with Bonnie, may connect with this sci-fi romp. It’s especially great on audiobook, narrated by Bahni Turpin.


Abby Johnson is the collection development leader at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, IN.

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