It's Children's Book Week, sponsored by the Children's Book Council, so I've been heavier than normal into children's books this week with additional storytimes, "favorite book character" contests, and to cap it all off at the end of the week, a packed-program (with both girls and boys)... A Wonderland Tea Party! Have I mentioned yet how much I love my job?? :) So in honor of CBW and having done a drop-by storytime of Miss Erin's favorites, I thought I'd start sharing some of my favorite picture books here.
I won't go as crazy with this list as I want to, so this time I'll just mention my two FAVORITE author/illustrators. (The themed lists will come soon, don't worry! Patrons have come in asking about the "secret" Big Boy and Girly Girl Book lists I've been creating... hilarious!) Any story by Mo Willems or Jarrett Krosoczka! These two are pure genius. They have so completely placed themselves in the minds of children!
Willems used to write for Sesame Street and is the author of the "Pigeon" books about a belligerent pigeon wanting to do things he isn't supposed to do... sound like any preschoolers you know? ;) And the ones I love even more, Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny, Too. (And they are pronounced KAnuffle Bunny, thank you very much!) about a young girl named Trixie and her favorite stuffed bunny.
Krosoczka (who's name I can spell without looking!) has written one of my all time favorite picture books (and future DreamWorks animated film!!!), Punk Farm, about a barnyard band that holds a concert when the farmer's asleep (I'll leave just what song they play in punk rock fashion a surprise!) The equally awesome sequel, Punk Farm on Tour, follows the band on its first tour. These two stories had every child, adult, and even my coworkers watching! Check out PunkFarm.com for the audio and "punkfarmspace"! Their books are just great for boys and girls, no matter the age. And the more fun you have with the reading, the more fun your audience will! I had one year olds rapt attention for Knuffle Bunny!
Okay, so I couldn't help myself... one more that I just read today. The Little Red Fish by Taeeun Yoo. This is a special book... red fabric cover, amazing pen and ink illustrations and Yoo's story of a small boy, JeJe, following his grandfather to work in a library and the ensuing imaginative adventure of following his red fish through stories is so sweet! AND it speaks of the amazingness that is reading, imagination and going to libraries... the coolest place on earth!! :)
So none of these (except maybe the last) has any deep meaning, but they're stories. Creative, hilarious, well-written and they entertain, pure and simple. If you don't have any children, nieces, nephews, cousins or friends with kids, check them out yourself ;) And I promise a mix... more substantial reading suggestions to come ;)