Left to their own devices, my two middle children (boys ages 4 and almost 6) would come from the library with an entire bag filled with books about Star Wars, Superheros, Cars, Ninjago, and so on. I try to make a concentrated effort to find interesting picture books for the boys’ library book basket, and then collect my list of a few favorites to share once every couple months.
We spent most of December reading Christmas books (maybe I’ll write about those during the Christmas season next year?), and then shortly after Christmas and into early January we were busy with travel, winter flu bugs, and other distractions (and hence took fewer trips to the library)….so most of these titles are ones we’ve read within the past month or so.
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee. A boy has his heart set on a pet rhino and brings one home…only to find out that experts say rhinos can only pop balloons and put holes in kites. But, there may just be a time when that comes in handy! This one was definitely laugh-out-loud funny and enjoyed by both boys.
Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is another story about an unusual pet. Beware of telling kids they can bring home a purple elephant if they ever find one — because then it may just happen! Ollie makes a great pet and is loved by the whole family — except for the cat…and the family’s downstairs neighbor who really does not appreciate the family’s dance parties with their pet elephant! An evil plan by the cat and the neighbor sends Ollie packing, but this story ends up with a warm, fuzzy happy ending. The boys liked it, but I think I may have enjoyed this one a bit more than they did.
17 Things I am not allowed to do any more by Jenny Ofill is another laugh-out-loud funny title. We really liked 11 Experiments that Failed by the same author and we were excited to run across this one at the library. It did not disappoint! The main character of the story has lots of ideas of interesting ways to torment her brother, make school more interesting (“I am NOT allowed to write book reports about beavers any more!”) and generally exasperate everyone around her.
Grandpa Gazillions Number Yard by Laurie Keller. We’ve enjoyed several books by Laurie Keller. I think her illustration style is a lot of fun — there are lots of details to look at. This story about unusual uses for numbers was probably most enjoyed by Mr K, our preschooler. One of my favorite parts of this book was finding Arnie the Donut (main character of another book we enjoyed by Keller) among this books illustrations.
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Adam Rex. I was tipped off to this book by Amy, and I thought it was a pretty clever story. One day Chloe gets lost in the woods on the way home and encounters a lion. Or that’s what the author wanted Chloe to find. Instead, the illustrator thinks a dragon would be so much cooler, so that’s what he drew instead. The author and illustrator become characters in the story and Chloe is caught in the middle as they try to decide how things are going to turn out in the book. Like I said, I thought it was clever, but Mr E’s reaction was, “Why do they keep talking about themselves. I wish they wouldn’t do that!”
Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska: Another title I heard about from Amy, this story is kind of funny and philosophical all at the same time. A girl is wondering about what infinity is like, and asks the opinion of people she knows. I thought some of the answers were kind of funny…though I don’t know if they were really supposed to be taken that way! My boys, who are always trying to one-up each other, often say they have “infinity” of something or even “10 bazillion infinities” of something, so they enjoyed this book quite a bit.
A Monster is Coming! by David Harrison, Illustrated by Hans Wilhelm. I don’t usually find “easy reader” sorts of books to be all that interesting or memorable, but this one was an exception. I thought this cute story about exaggerated rumors of a coming “monster” was pretty interesting given its limited vocabulary.
Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks, Illustrated by Sue Hendra: We definitely like books about monsters around here. What do these monsters like to eat? Apparently trees, rocket ships, and tractors are on the menu. My kids have definitely been told to “eat their trees” at the dinner table if they are shunning their broccoli. And readers of this book might quickly notice the similarities between the trees these monsters are eating and the trees some kids like them are eating at the end of the book.
Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages by Marla Frazee. Ok, I’ll admit that I chose this one because I wanted to read it, not because I thought the boys would enjoy it. Though the three older kids did end up finding it funny. This humorous “instruction manual” for babies just learning to toddle seemed appropriate given our little guy’s cautious forays into the world of walking. I tried reading it to Baby J…he quickly realized there were no textures or flaps for him in this book, and slid off my lap for some walking practice.
I’m linking up with Read Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word!