Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bedtime Reading: 10/4

I see that the only other time I did this was just over a month ago. Since I doubt you folks care as much about books for kids as I do, that's probably about right.

Here's what I read to Thing Two tonight. (Thing One was reading one of the many things on his floor -- probably a Garfield collection or the DK guide to the Transformers.)
  • Taking Care of Mom by Mercer Mayer -- one of the endless series of "Little Critter" books, of which we have at least two dozen. They're not my favorite Mayer books (though the earlier ones are awfully good), but they're decent "message" books without being heavy-handed. This is a relatively late one (1993) -- after he simplified his art style (sometime in the mid-80s) but before he started doing the art on a computer (around about 2000, I think).
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper -- in a somewhat shortened pop-up edition. If there's anyone out there unfamiliar with this book, then I can only guess you didn't grow up in the US. A very very obvious message book, but it's a good message.
  • David Gets In Trouble by David Shannon -- third of the "David" books. The first one, No, David!, was inspired by the discovery of a "book" the author did in elementary school, consisting of pictures of himself doing things he shouldn't and the words "no" and "David" repeated over and over. The "real" version of the book is very similar, in an energetic, pseudo-childlike style. In this one, David's trying to explain himself and get out of trouble. All of these books are required for any parents who have young boys -- they'll love the books, and you'll recognize your own life far too often.
  • Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O'Malley, Carol Heyer, and Scott Goto. OK, so there are these two kids, see? One boy and one girl, probably about fifth graders. They have to research a fairy tale and present it together (presumably in front of a class, though we only see and hear them) but, well, they just couldn't agree. O'Malley wrote the book and does the art of the two kids; Heyer does the art for the girl's story and Goto does the boy's story. This is absolutely great, and, read out loud in appropriate "boy" and "girl" voices, can thrill up to a couple of dozen kids. It also stands with The Monster at the End of This Book as one of my favorite bits of metafiction for preschoolers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see more of your comments on kids books. There is a lot to wade through in the childrens section of the bookstore and I'm always happy for a recommendation. My son's recent fav is "Library Lion" - cute story and wonderful illustrations. I am now going to search out "Once upon a cool motorcycle dune" Thanks!

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