Thursday, January 24, 2008

This Week's Library Favorites

It's Thursday already, and time for more fabulous kid library book reviews. The problem is that we picked a number of duds this time around. Alas. This is what happens when a kid lets her mommy browse the nonfiction to find books about the history of area missions and info on Groundhog Day. Tomorrow, I'll be letting Elise pick her own books and we're likely to have a few more winners.

A few favorite authors who surfaced this week bear noting, however.

Eileen Christelow
This author/illustrator's claim to fame is a collection of stories about five little monkeys. You know, the ones who jump on the bed, tease a crocodile etc. Thanks to Christelow, they also play hide and seek, wash the car, and try not to wake Momma.

Frank Asch
We originally discovered Asch because his book Turtle Tale was one of my favorites when I was a kid. His stories are gentle and simply illustrated which I like. Some of 'em are a little weird too, but generally I'm glad to see Elise happily clutching one of his creations when we are at the library. The thing that makes him over-the-top cool is his website, where he has read and animated some of his stories. Go check it out! That's what a wise turtle would do...


Linda said...

Frank Asch is also a favorite of mine. Have you seen his at least 20 year old work with a Russian author. It is in Russian and English with only one phrase repeated over and over--"Here comes the cat!" (which is also the title) called out by a mouse who appears to be warning the entire mouse community. There is a nice surprise ending and great illustrations.
Asch also has a graphic non-fiction about Alia, the librarian who saved the books of Basra just as the bombs were starting to drop. It is a little bit beyond Elise at this age, but you might enjoy it. (I think it is called "Alia's Mission" but I am not certain. Compares well to the picture book about The Librarian of Basra (I think that is the title) by Winter or Winters.
(I know a really great librarian would know the correct authors and titles but I don't have the energy to look them up right now.)

My favorite picture book authors (or at least some of them)--if you were asking--are as follows:
Anthony Browne who has beautiful illustrations with clever stories. My favorite for every overworked mother in the world is surely "Piggybook". Look closely at the illustrations here and in everyone of his books. "The Shape Game" is also a great way to introduce art. You may notice that I was inspired by this for one of the games I tried to play with Elise one day.

Margie Palatini has wonderful puns, some of which may be a little much for a four year old but you will enjoy them. Check out "The Web Files".

Lauren Child's Charlie and Lola books are a little less appealing when you realize how commercialized they have become but it is hard to top "I Am Too Absolutely Small for School" for humor and grabbing a child's worries about school.

Mo Willems is great. Love those pigeon books.

This is the year to read Doreen Cronin's "Duck for President."

If you want more of my suggestions and access to more information on books go to the Emerson School web site at and find the library under the programs header. There is a lot happening there, if I do modestly say so myself.

SWE said...

Thanks, Aunt Linda! We'll add some of these to our list for tomorrow's excursion. :)