Just thought I'd share a few of our summer favorites! Happy reading!
Eating the Alphabet and Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert. Never in a million years would I have expected these books to be such a massive hit in our house. They are classic concept books, featuring Ehlert's bright, simplistic illustrations, and while the idea of an alphabet book parading fruits and vegetables and a book about planting seeds seems straightforward enough, the actual subject matter is a bit obscure. Purple bearded iris rhizome? Rutabaga? Kohlrabi? Delphinium? Yet somehow, A has become completely infatuated with both books, has memorized Eating the Alphabet, and asks for them all. the. time.
I Know a Rhino. Not the most compelling little book in the world, I Know a Rhino has its own little charm. It's about a little girl's collection of stuffed animals, and how she imagines them to come to life. The pages featuring the giraffe and brown bear are particularly adorable. Even though I brought along a mountain of books on our recent vacation, it was this one, and only this one, that A wanted to hear.
Moo Hoo. This particular book is probably my least favorite of all the ones that have become obsessions of A's. Illustrated by Mike Lowery, who also illustrated another favorite, What Can A Crane Pick Up, it's about the friendship between a cow and an owl, disrupted by the arrival of kangaroo. The phrase "Moo hoo" is repeated on every page, which is, to be honest, grating for me but incredibly humorous for A. I think he also recognizes Lowery's illustrations, because of his love for:
What Can a Crane Pick Up. Since we're talking about Moo Hoo, I figured I would also share this book, which we have had for quite some time but is still frequently requested by A. Considering that A loves anything construction/vehicle-related, it's a perfect fit for him. The book is about cranes and the myriad of things they can pick up, including library books, kites, and planes, all topics of interest for A.
Potato Joe. I picked this up on our last library trip, and it's a winner. We've been reading quite a few concept books, so any time I see one that might give me a break from endless readings of Chicka Chicka 1-2-3, I grab it. I love the pictures of fat, brown, potatoes on each page, accompanied by a sing-songy rhyme that isn't the least bit annoying.
Laura Numeroff's collection: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie + If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and If You Give a Dog a Doughnut. To be honest, these books have never been my favorite. They are ubiquitous at school book fairs and usually very popular in elementary school classrooms, so I really shouldn't be surprised that A is completely into them. I originally owned the collection pictured here, but picked up the other two used when I saw how much he loved them. I think I might have grossly underestimated the usefulness of Numeroff's books. She has tapped into something interesting with the "if-then" scenarios-none of the items are complex (in fact, they range from things as familiar to kids as apple juice to bubbles) but the kids are still asked to remember them from page to page. That's why I don't feel the least bit bad when I pick up If You Give a Cat a Cupcake for the hundredth time-these books might not be what will be remembered in children's literature fifty years from now, but A is undoubtedly learning something from them.