This week at the library, we got eclectic… It’s probably how it’s going to stay. Structure is important but reading good stories is too amazing to force yourself to read only color books for a week. I’m always hunting for books I would consider purchasing and adding to our collection and I think we found some winners.
1. Bunny’s Noisy Book – Margaret Wise Brown, ill. Lisa McCue
I generally love Margaret Wise Brown, but this book feels a little unfinished. I think that it’s really just a bit out of date so some of the phrasing is off, but it’s still a fun read. The illustrations are so sweet. The little bunny in the story goes about his day and hears various noises. The noises are not explained in the book, instead Brown asks the child to tell what noise something would make. This book is just okay for teaching the littlest readers noises, but for a toddler who likes to fill in the blanks and make noises it would be really fun. One of my nieces is three and she’s probably the perfect age for this book.
2. Stone Soup – Marcia Brown
Definitely going in the must get Charlie a copy pile. I grabbed this book from the Caldecott collection my library because it immediately transported me back to my childhood when I read this book quite often. It’s a classic tale that’s both funny and happy and readers of all ages will love it. My husband also remembered this book from his childhood and he really enjoyed reading it to Charlie last night.
3. Olivia – Ian Falconer
This is another book from the Caldecott Honor collection, and I know a lot of people love this book, but I don’t understand the allure. The pictures and color scheme are wonderfully minimalistic, but the story itself is just okay. I probably wouldn’t purchase it unless one of my children loved it.
4. On Market Street – Arnold Lobel, Anita Lobel
I have heard so many good things about this book, I couldn’t wait to get home and read it this week to see what all the hype was about and I really really loved it. It lived up to it’s great reputation. Again, this is a Caldecott Honor book and the illustrations are beyond gorgeous. The story is very similar to the childhood game, I’m going on a trip and I’m going to bring an apple, banana, carrot, etc. without the repetition. It’s on the amazon wish list for our picture book collection already!
5. The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson, ill. Alex Sheffter
This delightfully rhyming and whimsically unrealistic tale of the snail riding a whale’s tail around the world is completely lovely. It has fun pictures, daring adventure and an unlikely hero. It does not have a lot of educational merit, but some stories are good just because they’re fun – this is one of those. Plus, rhymes are great for little people.
6. On the Farm – David Elliott, ill. Holly Meade
This is another book that was just okay. I was drawn to it by the illustration of the rooster on the front as my son loooooovvess chickens. He loves them. Each page has a few rhyming sentences about a farm animal and large, geometric pictures. The rhymes are a little off in quite a few places and the meter is also wonky in a few making it difficult to read aloud. Charlie liked the pictures and the animal sounds, but I probably won’t borrow this book again.
7. The Three Bears – Paul Galdone
We love Paul Galdone! This is a classic tale retold and illustrated but Paul Galdone. His retellings and illustrations always have a charming simplicity that captures the attention of children and adults alike.
8. Good Night, Fairies – Kathleen Hague, ill. Michael Hague
A captivating and magical bedtime story of where fairies go when we’re sleeping. The illustrations are detailed and have an old world quality that makes them feel timeless and elegant. The story is not very deep or meaningful, but it is an eye-catching fantastical bedtime story that provides a contrast to the typical sleepy animal bedtime stories I so often read. Who doesn’t love fairies?
9. Seven Spunky Monkeys – Jackie French Koller, ill. Lynn Munsinger
Another book for our bookshelf. This funky rhyming tale is sure to make your little one giggle at the funny rhymes and illustrations. Counting is important in this book as well as basic math as one by one seven spunky monkeys fall prey to the love bug. If at first the story seems disparaging of love, don’t fret, the ending is sure to make you smile!
10. The Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monsters’ Cave – Marcus Pfister
The Rainbow Fish original is one of our favorite stories to read before bed. We love the lessons of sharing and friendship and the sparkly illustrations. This book has all of that, plus an important lesson that the dark is often not as scary as you think. It exemplifies the importance of bravery, friendship and teamwork in a cute little story filled with the characters you love from The Rainbow Fish.
11. Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type – Doreen Cronin, ill. Betsy Lewin
This is a hilariously cute story with lovely illustrations and a funny refrain that will make young readers smile. The cows have learned to type and chickens go on strike in this tale of farm animals making their demands known. Another Caldecott Honor book, it deserves a place on any picture book lover’s shelves.
Phew. Done. That’s the last time I check out eleven picture books. Probably not… but I’ll think twice first.