Several big authors have released some excellent stories for your little ones. Read on for our reviews on Jan Brett, Mo Willems, Jon Klassen, Michael Ian Black, and Susanna Reich.
Mossy by Jan Brett (suggested ages: Kindergarten - 2nd grade)
Mossy the turtle loves the beautiful garden growing on her back, but she's not the only one. One day while Mossy looks at her reflection in her favorite lake, Dr. Carolina scoops Mossy up from the wild and brings her to exhibit at her museum. Dr. Carolina's neice, Tory takes a liking to the little turtle and notices that Mossy is not happy. In the end, Tory finds a solution to make both Mossy and the museum visitors happy. Jan Brett carefully crafts a unique tale of captivity and the joys of the wild. I love how Brett introduces more complex vocabulary with elegance, the definition evident in the picture and the context.
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (suggested ages: Kindergarten - 2nd grade)
Jon Klassen presents his second story, along with all the deadpan humor of I Want My Hat Back. We follow a tiny fish who has just stolen a perfectly-fitting blue topper. As he swims away to find safety, he is most certain of his success but the listeners see the close pursuit of the thief's very big victim. A perfect example of an oblivious narrator that can't possibly predict the ending, although the readers and listeners certainly can. This type of narration is perfect for building a delightful experience around reading because children can develop pride in predicting the ending when the narrator certainly cannot.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems (suggested ages: Kindergarten - 2nd grade)
Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. As they prepare for a day out, they tidy up their house, make their beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. These preparations are most certainly NOT to lure in an obnoxiously curious little girl. Oh no, certainly not. A fractured tale, children should be familiar with the original tale in order to understand Willems' ever-popular wayward humor.
I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black (suggested ages: Kindergarten - 2nd grade)
Even the cover of this picture book is hilarious! Black really hit it on the nose this time with the perfect introduction of a bored girl, trumped by an even more bored potato who thinks children are particularly boring. Well, the little girl will have none of that, going to great lengths to prove the potato wrong, performing tricks and using her imagination. Little does she know that she's been relieved of her boredom. If only we all had a disgruntled potato to help us in times of boredom.
And Miss Kelsey's new favorite... Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich (suggested ages: Kindergarten - 2nd grade)
A charming introduction to the wonderful Miss Julia Child through a picky eater: her cat! Minette is surrounded by the delicious cookings of Julia yet nothing beats a nice, fresh mouse. Given leftovers, "Minette might even take a nibble. But, of course, mouse and bird were much preferred." "Besides the cat's antics, the text also describes the markets, cooking smells, and ambience of Paris so well that it is easy to see how Child was inspired to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (School Library Journal).
Other than the delightful writing style sprinkled with French phrases (pronunciation guide in back), the artwork is the truly magnificent attraction. A lovely, soft story that can provide a nice divergence from the over-the-top humorous children's books in our collection.