No More Yawning! written by Paeony Lewis, illlustrated by Brita Granström
I can’t say I’m a big fan of bedtime books where the child keeps getting out of bed or otherwise disrupting bedtime. They tend to make me feel more like the child needs more limits and parental authority. But this book includes yawning, and having yawning in a bedtime book is pure genius, because as the parent reads the book with the yawns, the child starts yawning and is soon ready for bed. In fact, it makes it a little confusing that the mother keeps telling the little girl, “No more yawning,” even though it is paired with all the other instructions like “No more kissing” or “No more singing” or “No more stories.” Yawn away, I say. Cute book and nice, soft watercolor illlustrations. Oh and good tips on falling asleep are included in the back.
Mrs. Muddle’s Holidays, written by Laura F. Nielson, illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
I’d so love to live on this woman’s street. The families on Maple Street celebrate lots of holidays including Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, and even Arbor Day. When Mrs. Muddle moves in she introduces the children to new holidays, such as the First Day of Spring and Earthworm Appreciation Day and the Garlic Jubilee. In November they rake leaves looking for presents the Leaf Fairy has hidden (I’m totally using that!). After a year of special holidays from Mrs. Muddle, the street gives her a holiday of her own. The back includes more information on holidays in general. I loved this book for its message of community, its celebration of nature, and its encouraging idea to make your own fun. The pictures are detailed and fun, and show a multicultural neighborhood. A great book for older preschoolers up to second grade especially in areas like Virginia where holidays are studied in the school curriculum.
Ladybug Girl, by David Soman and Jacky Davis
This book is adorable. I love Lulu’s ladybug outfit of red leotard and tutu, red spotted boots and wings, and antennae. Honestly, I was sold by the cover. On a day when Mom and Dad are working around the house, and her brother goes off to play baseball, Lulu has to make her own fun with her trusty dog Bingo. It takes some time, but Ladybug Girl finds a way to save the day for some ants and help an old crumbly stone wall. She goes through her unplanned, unstructured day knowing that she’s not little like her brother said. She’s Ladybug Girl! The illustrations are marvelous, especially when they capture the grumpy faces of Lulu and her dog. This book will be great fun for kids who feel “too little” like Lulu and kids who are proud of having grown up big. One of my favorites of 2008 so far.