Last month I did a post sharing Ten Recent Favorites from Baby Bookworm (Almost 3). That post was well-received, so I've decided to try to make this a monthly feature. Here are eight titles that have sparked requests of "Again!" recently, in no particular order (though I can tell you that her favorites right now are numbers 6 and 7 below).
1. Louis the Tiger Who Came from the Sea, by Michal Kozlowski & Sholto Walker (Annick Press). Back in 2011 I reviewed this, saying: "I recommend Louis the Tiger Who Came From the Sea for preschoolers and early elementary school kids, or anyone looking for a laugh. It would make a good classroom or library read-aloud, with engaging illustrations and delightfully dry humor." Baby Bookworm definitely misses some of the humor in this one, but she still loves it. Whenever we see a tiger in another book now she says "like Louis". (See Making Connections Between Books and Day to Day Life)
2. Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt). Ella Sarah Gets Dressed is a delightful picture book (we have it as a lap-size board book) about a little girl who knows exactly what she intends to wear, despite the best efforts of her family members. When her friends show up for a tea party as elaborately dressed as she, Ella Sarah is shown to have made the right choice. I think it's pretty clear why my almost three year old daughter, who is just learning to dress herself, enjoys this one ;-)
3. Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen & Scott Magoon (Candlewick). I reviewed this one before reading it with Baby Bookworm, and in truth I didn't expect her to "get it" for a while. But she greeted her very first read with peals of laughter, as being followed around by four little fuzzy bunnies caused embarrassment for a big, tough dog. This one is a little bit longer than many of the books that we read, but remains a favorite. And it's one that my husband and I think is quite funny, too.
4. How Many Jelly Beans? by Andrea Menotti & Yancey Labat. I reviewed this one last year, saying "If you are looking for a book for preschoolers that conveys the concept of large numbers, How Many Jelly Beans? is an excellent choice. It's bright and creative, and the foldout section (displaying a million jelly beans) is a wonderful surprise." I also warned of the "risks of tearing of the pullout section", and that fear has been proven out in our household. But we keep plenty of tape around. Baby Bookworm talks about this book all the time. She doesn't understand the numbers past about 20, I don't think, but she talks about Emma and Aiden and their dog as though they were real. And she adores the fold out section.
5. The Fox in the Dark by Alison Green & Deborah Allwright (Tiger Tales). In my review of this one I noted that while I found the illustration style a bit distracting, it was a nice text for reading aloud. This has continued to be true. It's one that Baby Bookworm will ask for, especially in the evenings. She loves to chime in when we get to the page where the fox in the dark shows up on the rabbit's doorstep. I've found (for good or ill) that a number of the book's rhymes stay in my head between readings. Honestly, it's one that I've come to appreciate more and more over time.
6. Corduroy by Don Freeman (Viking). Corduroy was a book that I had put on my Amazon wish list before Baby Bookworm was born. We received a copy from a dear friend back then, but for whatever reason (an abundance of books, I suppose), I only introduced it to Baby Bookworm recently. As I had hoped, she fell head over heels in love with Corduroy on the very first read. She feels so strongly that she's compelled to interact with the book. On the page where "no one ever seemed to want a small bear in green overalls" she always chimes in with "I do!". She also likes to pretend that she thinks that our stairs are a mountain. Such a happy thing when your child cherishes a book that you love. (In contrast, Where the Wild Things Are fell completely flat - I have put that back away until she's older).
7. Soup Day by Melissa Iwai (Henry Holt). Soup Day is a book that I would probably not have picked up on my own. Baby Bookworm selected it on our recent library visit, and we have read it dozens of times since. It's a fairly simple story about a girl and her mother making soup on a snowy day. They go to the market for vegetables, they cut them up, they mix everything together, etc. It's one of those books that packs in a lot of education. There is counting and color recognition ("three long orange carrots, four smooth tan potatoes", etc), shape recognition ("the celery and onions become tiny squares"), and examples of following the steps in a recipe. I think it may be that Baby Bookworm is at an age in which she likes to cook with me herself, and she likes to test her own knowledge. So this book works for her. She'll miss it when the time comes to return it to the library.
8. Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin (HarperCollins). I have a review pending of this new picture book, about several monsters who love to "scribble, scribble, mix, dance, and wiggle." The book starts out with several monsters in primary colors. They then do some mixing, to color several smaller, gray monsters with secondary colors. Baby Bookworm identifies with the smallest gray monster, who has the chance to be purple snatched away from him (though he gets rainbow coloring as a consolation prize). She will bring this book up in conversation, reminding us that "the little one wanted to be purple."