Some Picks for Little Ones

If you don’t have kids under the age of 6, then stop reading right now. I’ll be back soon with adult fare.

If you do have kids… I thought I’d devote a post to my favorite new children’s books. I have three year- old twins, and here are a few books that I look forward to reading at bedtime.

LlamaLlama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney. I never thought I’d rush off to the bookstore to buy a book for toddlers the day it came out, but I did. When I learned that there was a sequel to the adorable Llama Llama Red Pajama, I had to have it as soon as possible. Red Pajama is about a little llama who won’t go to sleep, and Mad at Mama is about the same llama’s frustration at a day of shopping with his mother. Both books are a lot of fun to read – simple rhymes that kids can follow but clever enough to please the parents.  And the drawings are great too – little Llama’s anger and frustration, as well as his tenderness toward his mom, are beautifully conveyed in Dewdney’s simple drawings. My girls love these two as much as I do.

Knuffle Knuffle Bunny Too, by Mo Willems. This is a very recent addition (a gift from great-Aunt Jan), and I immediately fell in love with it, especially the drawings. Basically, imagine black and white photos of the Upper West Side with the characters drawn in over them. And a good plot too: a little girl and her classmate accidentally go home with each other’s stuffed bunny. They each awake in the middle of the night, realizing they have the wrong bunny, and make their dads trudge to Columbus Circle to make the swap that same night. This book is a sequel to Knuffle Bunny, which we don’t have.

T_rexT. Rex Trick or Treats, by Lois Grambling. We read this at Halloween but it’s so cute it can entertain year-round. T. Rex doesn’t know what to wear for Halloween, but his dinosaur friends are dressed and ready to go, so they convince him to go out as a frowning dinosaur (his smile is evern scarier, as it shows off his teeth). The page where he’s shown trying on a bunch of costumes – a ballerina, a cowboy, Groucho Marx glasses – gets me every time (see left).

HobermanThe Seven Silly Eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman. I have no idea how this book got into our house, but it’s a good one. The rhymes are fun to read and my girls really like it. However, its plot is a little bit depressing – a mom of seven picky eaters gets progressively more exhausted and defeated as each of her children is born (culminating, of course, in twins). The ending is uplifting and I ultimately like the book a lot, but the piles of laundry scattered around and the mom’s longing looks at her unplayed cello may hit too close to home.

Would anyone like to share other new favorites?