Lions, lambs and a snoring grandma

I am going to try and post these every Thursday, but we’re from Wisconsin and we got a lot of snow this week. With high temperatures in the negatives, our library visit got bumped around. We needed a few days to digest all the books we picked out and decide which were our favorites. Again, these are the ones that were the most requested re-reads and made us laugh really hard.

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

This trio made us laugh really hard.

The Napping House by Audrey Wood was one of my favorites from childhood. The silly illustrations made us laugh, and the repetition taught my 4-year-old some new sight words. WIN! Leslie Patricelli ALWAYS makes us laugh, and learning a few words in another language was fun with Faster! Faster! (especially when the kids started telling my husband to go faster in Spanish as well). Although the classic tale of The Little Red Hen is not meant to be funny, my kids thought Byron Barton’s take was worth a few laughs when the farm animals faces showed their dismay when they didn’t get any free food.

It was letter L week at preschool.

The kids wanted lions and lambs for letter L week. Our librarian was busy helping several other patrons find books, so we decided to take this week’s challenge on ourselves. We grabbed a few of Nancy Shaw’s sheep books (Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep on a Ship, Sheep in a Shop, etc) for the lambs, and then found some lion books that we’d never read before. Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen actually caught my eye first because we love the illustrator, Kevin Hawkes. The lion in this book helps teach people that sometimes it’s OK to break the rules when there’s a really good reason. BONUS: Storyline Online from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has Mindy Sterling reading this one!

Don Freeman also wrote Corduroy

We love Corduroy a lot in this house. It’s a favorite bedtime book, so I was excited to find Dandelion by Don Freeman. This charming tale of being yourself was heartwarming and had wonderful vocabulary words. For example, the lion laughs “uproariously” and his mane becomes “unfurled”. Those are just delicious words, aren’t they?

If you’re going to read about lions, you need an elephant, too.

We picked up Encore for Eleanor by Bill Peet purely for the title. When we read the book, I got nervous a few times because Peet does not shy away from the macabre. For example, the retired circus elephant has to pass a leather factory on the way to her new home in the zoo. After a while, some of the pictures had a familiar feel, so I looked up Bill Peet. He was an artist for Disney’s earliest animated films. No wonder I felt like I was paging through something from my childhood. We will definitely be looking for more of Peet’s work in the future.

Have kids who like science or a dog who hates veggies?

We love science projects. Right now, the kids’ favorite involves a pan of baking soda, a cup of vinegar dyed with food coloring, and an eye dropper. We pick up a lot of STEM books because our son likes robots, cars, and things that blow up (help me), and our daughter likes to read about girls doing science or female scientists. Her favorite toy from Christmas is Farm Vet Barbie. She also told me she wanted to be a “scuba diving manta ray doctor”. SHE’S FOUR. I digress… Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes was a hit because it tells of a girl and her best friend who follow the scientific process for a school project. They ask questions, make observations, and find answers.

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.

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