Please check out the new, expanded site which still has all your fantastic books for children 6 and under….but includes 6 and up, YA and adult. :)
I’ll admit it. I love reading books aloud that require using different voices for the characters. Granted, I could do this with any book, but some give me excellent raw material. Enter in Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. Who would have thought a simply-written series of books about a toast-loving pig would have both me and my kids giggling with delight?
Chris Van Dusen’s bold, bright renderings of Mercy and the people who love (and hate) her make this series something between a comic and a chapter book.
I have written about Steve Jenkins before. I love his work. Why? This book made my kids scream. Every page offered a new thing one should ‘never do’ (like smile at a monkey) and why one should not. Every suggestion for protection is true and backed by amazing animal facts. My kids asked after every page if each of the animals lived in Indiana ( hey-built in geography lessons, too!) so they wouldn’t accidentally touch, poke, or smile at the animals in the book.
This book follows a mama lemur who is trying to find her baby in the rainforest. My middle child loves this book because I encourage him to guess if the eyes peeking through the pages’ holes are those of the baby lemur, Jazzy. With each turn of the page, I was able to introduce new jungle animals to him until we finally reached the happy reunion of mama and baby Jazzy.
I mentioned The Friend, the first book I read by Sarah Stewart, on here a few months ago. It made me cry. Yesterday I read another of her books which did the exact same thing. In fact, my husband walked in, saw me crying and read the book for himself. Stewart’s husband, David Small, offers poignant pictures in this simple story told through the letters of a girl living away from her family during the 1930′s. When she is sent to live with her uncle, a baker in the city, she is determined to make the stern man smile. She finds a secret place where she can plant the flowers she loves and with the held of new friends, makes it beautiful.
If you’re looking for an uplifting, beautifully told story, I recommend The Gardener.
Wyeth’s Something Beautiful really is a beautiful book. Chris K. Soentpiet’s realistic pictures show a young girl’s search for something beautiful in her inner city world. In her search she learns how others are able to find beauty in spite of the hard life and harsh surroundings of the city.
This was a fantastic way to introduce the idea of beauty in simple things: a piece of fruit, a smooth stone, a smile and helping others. I hope to reintroduce this book as my children grow and are able to grasp the idea of beauty on different levels.
I’ve mentioned Graeme Base before as an author who does more in his books than just write a cute story and pair it with illustrations. He always goes beyond the simple story to a deeper meaning and his pictures invite you to observe more than what your eye initially sees.
Such is the case with Jungle Drums, a story about a warthog who thinks he and his fellow warthogs pale in comparison to the other jungle animals with their feathers and stripes and spots. When he receives a pair of magic drums that will grant his wishes, what happens is a feast for the mind and eye.
This delightful ABC book has made it into our library bag several times now. We don’t own a dog, but all three of my children love them. Horenstein’s playful pictures of dogs in action not only gave us new words for each letter, expanding the kids’ vocabulary, but we also got to see how many different types of dogs there are out there. Arf! Beg! Catch! opened up all sorts of conversations about the different sizes, hair types, ears, teeth and abilities found in the world of dogs.
Ok. So we’ve read a lot of the pigeon books.
But The Pigeon Wants a Puppy is my favorite to date. Why? Pigeon says all the right things when it comes to wanting (but not understanding what it means to have) a puppy. And then when he encounters one….it’s super. Added bonus: what he wants next.
This book cracked us all up. Through quirky illustrations , Thomas shows a group of friends making a cake. At every step Duck pipes up with his idea of what cow would like. The others look at him like he’s crazy (and the way I read his voice, so did my kids) but that didn’t stop Duck. He’s pretty sure he knows what cow wants and persists until the end–with hilarious results.