Which New Release Are You (& Your Kids Most Excited About?)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Again! Again! Again!

Every parent has at least one picture book that they can close their eyes and read word-for-word without looking at the page.   It's a book that you've read again and again and again.  You've read it every day and every night for 6 months and your kiddo still demands more.  To me, the true sign of an excellent picture book is that while you may openly plead for a new bedtime story you are secretly thrilled to get another chance to read it. 

We've had a few of those in our house over the years.  I'm Dirty written by Kate McMullan and illustrated Jim McMullan was a favorite of my son.  He was at the height of his truck phase when we discovered this tale about a day in the life of  a backhoe loader.  This funny picture book has it all -  a sassy and witty narrator, some counting, fantastic onomatopoeia and a really dirty truck.  The illustrations are engaging and clever.  Jim McMullan manages to make the backhoe loader both tough and adorable at the same time.  It's easy to pick this book up again and again.  You won't be bogged down in tricky text that makes your tongue twist itself inside and out.  It's a fun, quick read that you'll be happy to open back up and start again at the beginning.  The good news is that this husband and wife team have similar books about a tug boat (I'm Mighty) and a garbage truck (I Stink) and a race between a train and a race car (I'm Fast) so if your little munchkin loves this collaboration as much as mine did you've got a few new titles to add to your nightly repertoire. 

My son has graduated to chapter books but fortunately for me my daughter is still firmly ensconced in the world of picture books.  She isn't as picky or demanding with her picture book choices.  Generally she's happy to hear anything we want to read but when she does latch onto a book it is with gusto.  The first book she fell in love with was also written by a husband and wife team.  It was The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear written by Don and Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood.  This sweet book is delightfully illustrated.  You can not help but fall in love with this little mouse who is desperate to keep it's lovely strawberry from falling into the paws of a big hungry bear.  The text and the illustrations are made for each other.  The Woods have created many enduring childhood classics such as The Napping House, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and It's Duffy Time! but The Little Mouse is by far the most cherished and favorite one in our house.

Every day I have folks ask me for books that were their kids favorites.  It's always fun to hear what a kid will claim as their own.  Picture book writers and illustrators have a true knack for tapping into what kids love and crave.  They pull them in with their clever words and illustrations.  They bring everyday objects to life and turn animals into unforgettable characters.  They craft the very first books your children will fall in love with.  Reading and rereading and rereading these stories is an important part instilling a lifelong love of  books.  Plus it's a surefire way to get a little snuggle time in.  Enjoy the time when your kids still fit into your lap and turn those pages together, count together, laugh together, read together.  Just try to steer them to books that you love as much as them.  Because while you can read a book with your eyes closed you might miss out on the best parts.

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