Heroes, pandas and really great art

Whenever we go to the library, my favorite part is when the kids go up to the desk in the children’s section and ask the librarian to solve their request of the week. I wonder how often the librarian on duty sees us coming, and thinks, “Uh oh, what are they going to ask this time?” Or if they look forward to us, and think “Challenge accepted!”

This week? Bears at the beach, preferably with boats. Can you tell what letter my oldest is studying in preschool?

Here is what we came home with:

Yes, we always come home with at least 10 books.

Here are a few that were big hits, and by big hits, I mean I’ve read them each at least four times in the past 48 hours.

Disclaimer: all of the opinions I share here are my own or are a summary of my kids’ reactions.

First, Be a star, Wonder Woman, by Michael Dahl. My daughter loved this book, but not for the obvious hero power. Actually, it was because the little girl persevered through a day at school and overcame struggles to make a picture for her daddy. To the crayon box!

Second, Chu’s Day at the Beach, by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex. Do you like Pandas? Do you like going to the beach? Do you like big sneezes? This one was laugh-out-loud funny. We had to stop reading this at bedtime because no one wanted to fall asleep after getting the giggles. NOTE: This was the one that the librarians suggested when our daughter told her the weekly crazy request.

From Bear With Me by Max Kornell

Honestly, for this third book, the art was the stunner. We loved reading this cute tale, but it was when my son wanted to touch the pictures as if to figure out how they were done that I knew we had serious book love. Author/Illustrator Max Kornell created a great story and amazing art for his first picture book. Bravo!

Is it warm enough for ice cream? by Violet Peto

Last, this book just cracks us up. Is it warm enough for ice cream? by Violet Peto is a very adorable book about nature and the weather. Both kids (preschooler and toddler), loved the images and surprised me with vocabulary that I didn’t know they had! However, we live in Wisconsin. It gets cold here, but that NEVER stops us from enjoying ice cream.

As a parent, I’m trying to give them a mix of ideas and cultures, new books and classics, so I grab some I want to read while they play/browse. Some I loved, but the kids didn’t ask to read again. Idea Jar by Adam Lehrhaupt was funny, but a maybe needed a true kindergartner+ to enjoy it. I loved Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs, but it was too long for the kids. They loved the giant tortoises, though. And Paula Bunyan by Phyllis Root was fun, but mostly because the kids like anything to do with Up North folklore and stomping through the woods.

Perhaps you’d choose to highlight other books from the stack? Or you know a book that falls in the “if you loved ___, then you’ll love…” category. Please let me know what to look for at our next library visit in the comments.

Join the Conversation


  1. I just came across this on Facebook and I’m loving reading it and your book recommendations! One book we really loved (and Oliver in particular) was “The Lumberjack’s Beard” we loved the illustrations, and the story was funny too.


  2. I love going through the Scholastic book orders, and requesting a million books. Yesterday about eight came in for my 4th grader; now I think I’ll be having a bunch come in for my preschooler 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chu’s Day at the beach was HUGE hit!! thank you for the recommendation. Today we have “Is it warm enough for Ice Cream” waiting for us to pick up!


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