“Edgar, finish your vegetables!”
“Nevermore!” quoth the tiniest little raven you’ll ever see. The literature-themed board book series BabyLit gets an even more adorable addition with this Edgar Allen Poe-inspired picture book. Edgar struggles through dinner, clean-up time, bath time, and bedtime stories, until his mama finally assures him that no matter what, she will love him “evermore”. Will you ever find a cuter introduction to important American literature? I think you know the answer to that…
Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams; Gibbs Smith Publishers; 16.99; 3-6 years old.
All of Triton’s mermaid daughters have special skills and interests, except for Minnow, who just seems to get in the way. Minnow asks too many questions, like “Why don’t crabs have fins?” and “Where do bubbles go?” But when Minnow finds a mysterious object, that tireless curiosity leads her on a journey to discover what it’s for, and maybe even to discover what it is that makes Minnow unique.
I love that where most mermaid books are aimed at pre-teens or teenagers, this sweet, beautifully illustrated story is for the younger set. It’s also nicely reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, without any of more “grown-up” aspects of the original story. Its simplicity, innocence, and fairy-tale feel make The Mermaid and the Shoe really stand out from the mermaid crowd.
The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell; Kids Can Press; 16.95; 3-6 years old
RARR!! Buddy the monster has his eye on some bunnies! But how can he eat them when they’re about to make delicious cupcakes? Or go swimming? Or go to the fair? Every day Buddy promises to eat them tomorrow. But Buddy may have forgotten the rule… you don’t play with your food! Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! is fun and colorful and hilarious in the way only Bob Shea can be. The headline implies that there will be more of these books, and I for one can’t wait!
Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food! by Bob Shea; Hyperion Books; 16.99; 3-6 years old
Got a curious grade-school gardener? How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti would be for you. The book discusses how various food items get from farm to table: bread, cheese, veggies, cookies, showing the process in picture book format with simple text that anyone can understand.
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti; Candlewick Press, 2013, $5.99. Ages 3-6.
Bear has a secret admirer. Not the kind that sends unsigned notes, but the kind that leaves him yummy treats every morning. When Bear wakes up, he finds a carrot on the rock outside his cave, and on each succeeding day, he finds more: first two carrots, then three, then a bunch, and even a flower. Bear busies himself in finding stuff to give back to his new friend, singing “I wonder who it is.” Each night he tries to wait to see who is coming by, but as hard as he tries, Bear always falls asleep. Until one night when he hears someone singing back. Could it be that he has found his new friend?
This book is another extra-special story from Daniel Pinkwater. We’ve loved his others books about bears in the past; this book is no different. Though the title is Bear in Love, don’t confuse it with yet another Valentine’s Day story. I think that the story is a sweet friendship story as well. It’s great for teaching a child to share with others, and it’s also a good story if a child is worried about having a friend that is different than he or she.
Bear in Love, by Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand; Candlewick Press; hardcover; $15.99; ages 3-6
Are you the youngest? The youngest sibling, cousin, friend? Well then you know very well that hand-me-downs have a story, a history, some carry a novel within them. You didn’t know that? Well then maybe this book will change your mind. All old clothes have been somewhere else before and withstood many adventures. In Mary Ann Hoberman‘s story, a brother and sister have fun imagining the adventures these clothes have been on, imagining adventures for them to have, and also imagining who will have the clothes next. Do you still think that your hand-me-downs are boring?
Not only do the clothes in this book have a story, but so does the story itself. Mary Ann Hoberman originally published I Like Old Clothes in 1976 with different artwork. Now, Patrice Barton‘s illustrations bring a new life to the story, showing different styles and fun in the clothes.
I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman; illustrated by Patrice Barton; Alfred A. Knopf; hardcover;$16.99; ages 3-6
Where do I begin describing this book? It is absolutely fantastic for kids and grown-ups, which is my favorite combination in a children’s book. “Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books.” reads the first page. Sound familiar? The book tells the story of Morris, whose life was turned upside down when a tornado blew his whole word apart and even scattered the words of his book. He wanders down a trail which leads him exactly where he needs to be: a library, or as the book describes it “An extraordinary building where many books apparently ‘nested.'” Here he finds it his job to nurse the books back to health and share their stories with the whole town. My favorite part here is how the illustrator, Joe Bluhm, has everyone in black-and-white until they receive a book, as we all know life would be very dull without books. Morris continues caring for the books for days, and months, and years, until his story is complete and it is time to pass along the stories to another.
As I mentioned before, I love books that can be read and loved by adults and children. I can see this book being given to a book lover (big or small) or to a librarian or teacher. Or, to someone whose story is ending, or someone whose story has just begun, or even to someone who doesn’t quite know what their story is yet.
The book accompanies an Academy Award winning short film which is definitely worth the watch after reading the story.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce; illustrator Joe Bluhm ; Atheneum Books for Young Readers