This post is a thank you. Thank you to all the people who have contacted me to share some of their favorite library finds. Thank you to my grandmother who sat beside my 10-year-old self and read aloud to me as I recovered from a long hospital stay. And for crying with me during the best parts. Thank you to my parents, especially my mom, who taught me to read. Thank you to Mo, Kevin, Jennifer, Rebecca and Weird Al and countless other authors for writing books that we love.
Disclaimer: all of the opinions I share here are my own or are a summary of my kids’ reactions. I have not been compensated in anyway to talk about these books except in giggles or requests to “read it again”.
Dear Mo Willems, we love the Duckling and the Pigeon and Elephant and Piggie and Trixie and even the crazy squirrels with their nutty jokes. And now we love you Because. This beautiful tale of how one spare ticket changes a girl’s life is a true delight. Honestly, I have written and deleted eight sentences trying to say more, but I can’t. Just do yourself a favor and read it. Just because.
Dear Kevin Henkes, we have loved you since the first time we heard the shiny quarters jingle in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, learned how to say Chrysanthemum, and shared Owen‘s blanket dilemma. Now we love you for writing about Chester and Wilson and how they open their hearts to a new friend who has her own way of doing things. If you haven’t enjoyed any of the Mouse books by Kevin Henkes, you should. They are fun, funny, and wonderful.
Dear Jennifer Fosberry, we just met you thanks to our friend Jessica who introduced us to My name is not Isabella and Alexander. We love these kids. We love their imaginations! As I’ve mentioned in the past, our daughter can never choose one thing to be. That’s fine. I’ve been in PR, medical research, teaching college, and now I’m a swim instructor as well as mommy. Do it all kids! And you can dream big just like these two. Bonus if you have a spunky daughter because Isabella is a series that introduces girls to trailblazing women who dreamed big. I know we’ll be checking them all out!
Dear Rebecca, Thank you for writing and illustrating these creative Owl Diaries books featuring Eva, her friends, and her whole “owliverse”. These are seriously cute books (that we’ve read totally out of order) written as diary entries by a plucky owl. The only thing I have to say that I don’t like is that Eva lists her mom’s cooking as one thing she doesn’t like. We try so hard to make delicious meals! It’s OK. I know Eva has more important things to worry about like, Meany McMeanerson and dressing up her pet bat, Baxter. Also, thank you for this opportunity for me to explain to my kids why a bat is not a pet for humans.
Dear Al, My brother is a HUGE fan, and taught me well. I knew the words to Amish Paradise and Just Eat It before I even knew what the original songs were. Obviously, Al Yankovic has the creativity to come up with another book about dreaming big and not worrying about what will you be when you’re grown. We had to read When I Grow Up on repeat until it was time to return it. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself, folks. This author clearly hasn’t.
Side story: My daughter recently finished her first year of school. I looked back at her “first day” picture when she wanted to be a “Manta Ray Swim Instructor” and her choice on the last day of school? “Dentist Mommy”. Excellent choices all around!
As always, feel free to let me know if 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 share what to look for at our next library visit in the comments.