In addition to the board books I usually read my son, I’ve also been reading a number of picture books with him this month. Because he’s still only a year old, he doesn’t pay much attention past the first few pages, but I’m having fun revisiting some old classics. Now I know what he should be reading in the coming years!
Sandra Boynton’s Pookie books. My son received Let’s Dance, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton for his first birthday, a previously unknown (to me) new Boynton classic. In Let’s Dance, Mama helps Pookie dance the “Pookie Shimmy.” I think it’s very cute. My son likes the part where we march all around. I found another Pookie book at the library: What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? In this one, Mama tries to find out why Pookie is crying. Both board books feature Boynton’s typically cute and wacky illustrations.
George and Martha by James Marshall. George and Martha are best friends, and James Marshall’s story books show us what that means. They tell the truth to each other, even if it hurts; they respect each other’s privacy; they learn what it means to be friends. They are also hippos, and that makes the illustrations to these stories lots of fun. James Marshall wrote the first book (George and Martha) in 1972. Five sequels followed in the next 15 years. I loved the first one: the clever illustrations were imperative to the humor and plot of the five very short stories. The subsequent books, while equally ridiculous (i.e., humorous), didn’t charm me as much. You can also buy a book with all six collections of George and Martha stories.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. When Max is sent to his room without supper, he finds himself on a journey to where the wild things live. But, in the end, he longs to return to where there are people who love him and he returns to his room to find supper waiting. Sendak’s Caldecott-winning illustrations bring the “Wild Things” to life, yellow eyes and all. I have good memories of reading this book as a child and I look forward to introducing it to my son (when he’s old enough to remember it’s been introduced). But I wonder: was anyone scared by the Wild Things? They are rather “frightening” looking, and I wonder if children would be scared by the monsters.
The Monster at the End of the Book (starring Grover) by Jon Stone. My son has only begun watching Sesame Street (we didn’t have a television set while in Australia) and so far only watches for 10 minutes before walking away. But when I was reminded of this book, I had to revisit it. And I love it! On each page, Grover warns us not to turn the page because turning the pages will bring us closer to the end of the book. He’s scared because the title told him there is a monster at the end of the book. But, of course, we reach the end of the book and discover Grover is the monster. And he’s lovable and furry. I imagine older kids love the “don’t you dare turn the page!” challenge. My son, as I mentioned, didn’t get it much yet. Maybe in a few months.
What are you reading your child(ren) this month?