Words (from other folks…)Posted: November 13, 2014
I thought I’d recommend some children’s books tonight. These are some of our favorites with which you might not be familiar. Do me a favor and share some of yours/your kids’, too. As always, I recommend you support your local bookseller (or mine, Wellesley Books!).
1) Dinosaur Rescue, by Penny Dale
Ok, so high literature this one is not. It’s essentially pandering to the interests of preschoolers: dinosaurs, crashes, railroad crossings (what, your kids don’t demand you drive them past certain crossing gates multiple times a day?), trains, emergency vehicles, and easily-resolved crises. You pretty much can’t go wrong with this combo. Repetitive, readable prose and brightly colored, highly detailed illustrations make this one the whole package. And it’s led to some fun play schemes in our house, too.
These charming books are translated from the Finnish. Written in whimsical, rhyming couplets, they’re quirky and heartfelt. Toffle is about a lonely soul who finally finds his match, and Mymble is about a quest to find a lost sister. Both take place in the same mystical world. Mymble has spectacular cut-outs on every page, and both use vivid drawings of their invented beings. They’re on the long side (especially Toffle), but they hold my kids’ attention.
3) Stop Snoring Bernard, by Zachariah Ohora.
Bernard is an otter with a snoring problem. His pals kick him out of the otter exhibit, and he tries to find a new spot in the zoo. Don’t worry, it ends happily. The heavy line drawings look like woodcuts, and the simple prose, animal characters, and opportunity to make loud snoring sounds will amuse toddlers and preschoolers.
4) I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal
Willy’s lovey is his sock monkey, Bobo. But Earl the cat loves Bobo, too. So they battle over him. The line drawings use pops of primary colors, and the words take over the pages at some point. Simple enough that little ones can start “reading” along with you. A favorite of each of my kids between eighteen months and two (but DBB still enjoys it at four).
5) Listen, Listen, by Phillis Geshator and Alison Jay
Another rhyming book with highly detailed illustrations: cute little animals, lovely landscapes, and frolicking folks. The book goes through the seasons, describing the changes in nature and the different activities people can enjoy. It highlights the sounds of each season with lots of opportunities for kids to make sound effects. Charming and beautiful, it’s a great book for games of I spy.
So what are your family’s favorites? Share in the comments! We’re always on the hunt for new books and love getting favorites from friends. We were just introduced (via gift) to the wonderful Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Circus animals survive a wreck at sea and become valued members of a Maine community! And a Facebook post taught us about Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s Mercy Watson, the toast-loving, problem-solving, trouble-making porcine wonder!