September 20, 2010
Are you familiar with Mo Willems? He writes picture books for the very youngest children to those in primary grades and beyond and for their parents, who will enjoy his sometimes gentle and sometimes boisterous humor.
If you haven't read it, you will roar over Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. It's the original and best of a short series which includes; Don't Let the Pigeon stay up Late, and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog.
The Pigeon, his nemesis the Bus Driver, and the bus itself are drawn with easy and immediately recognizable child-like illustrations. Although Pigeon's pleas to drive the bus turn into whining, then a tantrum, his desire is never fulfilled. He reminds me of a toddler who has finally mastered walking wanting to push (or drive) his stroller everywhere! Most toddlers are luckier than the pigeon--they, at least, get the chance to drive their small carriages.
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed is another favorite by Willems. I also love "Elephant and Piggie", two friends whose activities and conversations are marked by mishap, misunderstandings, and ultimately, loyalty and liking. Each book is broken into a few short chapters so we get several gags in each book. The pictures are simple and the jokes just keep on coming. Please try: I Will Surprise My Friend, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Elephants Cannot Dance!, I am Going, and Can I Play Too?.
Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale won a Caldecott honor a few years ago. Knuffle Bunny and its sequel are also great books for children and parents.
Checkout, or place a hold on one of Mr. Willems' titles. Your family will enjoy them.
Blue Ridge Branch