|This week's best picks|
We just took these books back to the library the other day, and we've had a blast with them. Both of them come quite highly recommended both from me and from E. So shall we dive in with our synopses?
Again! by Emily Gravett is an absolute gem. Seriously: I may just buy every book this woman writes. She has a hilariously enjoyable sense of humour: the sort of thing that children and their parents reading the books will be able to appreciate. In this story, a rowdy little dragon is settling down for a bedtime story with his mum. There's just one problem: he'd happily drag out storytime forever and never go to sleep! I love how Gravett handles the little dragon's eventual frustration when his cries of, 'Again! Again!' cease to be heeded. A brilliant story for any parent whose tolerance for repetition has been worn out during storytime.
Freight Train by Donald Crews is very minimalist; not just in terms of the illustrations, but the number of words, as well. This is definitely a great book to start for younger toddlers: even 12 months doesn't seem too soon. But the illustrations, while simple, are lovely, and they're a great help for older kids who are either A) learning their colours, B) in the midst of a train obsession, or C) both. Any guesses which of those describes my little monster? Ethan has loved this book: everything from shouting 'Train!' to get me to read it for him, to pointing out the different cars, and shouting, 'Gone!' when the train disappears off the page at the end.
Another recommendation I'm throwing in is for The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen (respectively of A Series of Unfortunate Events and That's Not My Hat fame). This book taught Ethan the concept of what the dark is. He now gleefully points it out every time the bathroom light is off, or we drive through a well-shaded country lane, or go into our windowless front hallway. And the best part is, he's so busy being chuffed that he can identify and name the dark that it's never occurred to him yet to be frightened of it. Jon Klassen's illustrations are adorable, simple, and effective, and Lemony Snicket's personification of the dark makes it a brilliant character in its own right as it interacts with little Laszlo: a boy who is, at first, afraid of the dark in his big, creeky house.
|Laszlo confronts the Dark.|