We’ve asked Camille DeBoer [local mom of 3 and co-owner of Pooh’s Corner... a 35 year old independent children’s bookstore] to share great kids books with us each month. This month she shares picture books to read aloud.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (by Sherri Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, Chronicle Books) is the bedtime story you’ll wish you had thought to write. This gently rhyming read-aloud tells the tale of five favorite construction trucks getting ready for bed after a long and busy day.
Against the bright golds and yellows of the work day, the vehicles are introduced doing their special jobs and as the rich illustration shifts to deep blues and purples, each truck gently settles down…sometimes a bit reluctantly…for a well deserved rest to the satisfying refrain, “Shhh….Goodnight Goodnight.” Think of this new preschool favorite as a contemporary alternative to the ubiquitous Goodnight Moon and don’t assume it’s only for boys!
Today, Maybe (by Dominique Demers and Gabrielle Grimard, Orca Books) is one of the most beautiful picture books I have read all year and it has the story to back it up. A little girl, who lives in the forest with her bird, is waiting for someone and though she is not sure who is coming or when they will arrive, she is content and patient.
A series of visitors knock on her door aiming to do her some harm or whisk her away (you’ll recognize their ilk from traditional tales) but they are not the one she is waiting for. Bringing to mind a gentler version of Ogden Nash’s Isabelle, she cleverly but very graciously sends them on their way until, at long last, her patience is rewarded.
Today, Maybe is a contemporary story with the look and feel of a traditional fairy tale gorgeously rendered and is a pleasure to read aloud.
Any list of great picture books to read aloud is incomplete until you get to Bill Peet. In our house, we have been reading Bill Peet books for years and he is the one author whose books I have acquired in 3’s so each of my kids can have their own set. Imaginative stories, whimsical text, fantastical characters, and…this is key…looooong stories.
When you tell your kids they can have one book before bed, they will pick Whingdingdilly and 27 minutes later you still won’t mind. Orvie Jarvis has a dog named Scamp who is feeling a bit put upon and inadequate. Scamp runs away, finds a witch who will grant his wish to be something greater, and deals with the very unexpected consequences. Boys and girls alike enjoy Bill Peet stories and they are particularly nice to use when reading to several children of varying ages so you may be spending 27 minutes on one bedtime book, but all the kids can pile on and listen together!
You can find these titles and more at Pooh’s Corner in Breton Village Mall