Posts Tagged: Children’s Books

Who Needs Donuts (When You’ve Got Love?)

This was one of my favorite books as a kid. I remember puzzling over the bizarre and extremely detailed drawings again and again. The book slipped out of my memory for a while and didn’t re-enter until a conversation I had with my mom.

We were talking about children’s books in regard to my daughter. I ended up buying Who Needs Donuts online (thankfully it was re-printed in 2003). S— was also mesmerized by the artwork. We read it together last night. She wanted to know why the Sad Old Woman was so sad? Why the pigeons were part horse? Why did a bull run into a coffee tank? Why does Sam look like that? What are those people saying?

Each page brings more questions as you get drawn in to the frenetic intricacies. So, if you’re looking for a new kid’s book, check this one out. It’s great. For an interesting interview with the author / illustrator, read this.

Ooko by Esmé Shapiro

In Ooko, by Esmé Shapiro, a lonely fox searches for companionship. Geared up with a stick, a leaf, and a rock, she’s all set to play. But, ugh, she has no friends!

People. People. People.

wherethewildsthingsare
Tonight, while reading Where The Wild Things Are, S— pointed to the monsters and said, “Person. Person. Person.”

I started to correct her. I pointed and said, “Monster.” But, I mumbled the “ster.” What am I doing, I thought?

“That’s right,” I said. I pointed to the figures in the picture. “Person. Person. Person.” There were no monsters for S—. She may not even have the word or the concept.  The figures didn’t frighten her. She saw Max and the Wild Things and didn’t differentiate. Why should I teach her the word monster? Why would I teach her to fear that which is different?

We finished the book. Max sailed home, in and out of a week, and back to a warm dinner waiting in his room. Soon, S— would fall asleep. I laid her down in her crib and slipped out the door. The whir of the sound machine, a soft susurrus in the background.

Five Favorite Picture Books

Reading: it builds empathy and increases language development. Beyond those two benefits, it’s also a wonderful form of entertainment. We value reading in our household and we read to our daughter on a daily basis. Though, I usually write about books that I’m reading; I thought I’d mention a few current favorites and get some recommendations in return.

 

Roar!

 

tiger-roars

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Premise: A tiger in a Victorian-era city is tired of the stuffy life he and his fellow animals lead.He wants to be himself. He wants to go wild. What happens when social conventions slip?

Artwork: Simple and reminiscent to early video games. There’s an 8-bit quality that’s really wonderful.

Reasons to love: Good message and kids like to roar along with Mr. Tiger.

 

More Tigers

 

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski

Premise: A little girl doesn’t want to go to bed. She and her parents talk about how different animals sleep.

Artwork: Gorgeous. I’d love to frame a print and hang above S–’s bed.

Reasons to love: Guides kids through the bedtime process. Teaches kids about animals. Doesn’t force the issue of sleep.

 

Bunnies vs Parents

 

bunnies

The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds by Marisabina Russo

Premise: Three little bunnies keep getting up in the night and interrupt Mom and Dad with their noise.

Artwork: Adequate.

Reasons to love: There’s an escalating pattern of bunnies not being asleep. Phrases like, “Looks like the bunnies are not in their beds” and “Goodnight, goodnight, sleep tight,” are popular hooks.

 

Get Up and Move

 

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Premise: Examples of how different animals move.

Artwork: It’s Eric Carl, so if you like his artwork, it’s good. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I don’t really like his art. Maybe, it’s slowly growing on me.

Reasons to love: Gets your kids up and moving and learning about animals.

 

Mystery

 

Snatchabook by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty

Snatchabook by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty

Premise: A little beastie called a Snatchabook is stealing everyone’s books. Eliza Brown solves the mystery.

Artwork: Warm, detailed, and gorgeous.

Reasons to love: Teaches a love of reading and compassion to others.

 

These are a few of our current favorites. What books should we check out from our library?

Favorite Kid’s Book: The Sheep of the Lal Bagh

sheep-lal-baghThe Sheep of the Lal Bagh is one of those books my mom read to me as a child that I loved. There’s a sheep that eats the grass in a park in beautiful patterns. However, he’s slow at his job of trimming the grass. Eventually, the sheep’s replaced by a lawnmower and no one is very happy. Can you guess what happens next?

Picked up a used copy from Abebooks for our daughter.