Since we’re heading out on a road trip on Friday, we had to return three weeks worth of picture books to the library today. Understand that, on average, we check out about 20 items from the library in a given trip, and some of these are mommy-sized books. Today, our library books overfilled two reusable grocery bags, and I opted to return them in the outside slot because my arms were going to break from holding Sailor, both bags, and a purse.
So, this list doesn’t contain every book we checked out for those weeks. Mostly just the highlights. However, I am including my first Terrible rating in this post, just so you know not to waste the space on your library card checking it out. Seriously, it was that bad.
Top of the Pile
Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman
If you’ve read (or own, as we do) Chickens to the Rescue, you will find this book hysterically funny. So funny that my husband and I couldn’t read anymore. I’m not sure if it would be quite as funny if you hadn’t read the first book millions of times, but that’s not a problem, since Chickens to the Rescue is awesome. Continue reading
I don’t know about other parents out there, but I am particular about the picture books I like to read. I don’t like mushy sentimental books with no substance, but I also don’t like plodding through a plot that’s been used a bunch of times. I like picture books that are innovative, funny, ironic, and aesthetically pleasing to adult eyes as well as children.
And I don’t like having to read the same books over and over, which is why we are regular patrons of our local library system. But how to wade through the unwashed masses of children’s picture books is a mystery to me. I heard from my more writer-ly friends that it is exceedingly difficult to publish a picture book, but I have a hard time believing it because it seems like some pretty lame stuff gets out there. Sometimes a book looks great but turns out lame when we actually read it. (Can’t read it before checking out because I’m trying to wrangle children.) Or I’ve been looking at some book on display for weeks thinking how dumb it looks, and when we finally check it out, it’s a hit. (Turns out librarians have pretty good taste.)
Anyway, my current picture book obtaining routine includes a lot of different things to get us out of our comfort zone and finding new books which might be hidden gold. First, we pick some easy readers for Monkey to practice his reading on. Possibly we visit the folk tale section to pick up some classics. Some non-fiction on whatever concept Monkey is interested in this week. And a few board books for good measure. Then to the general picture book section, which I will from now on refer to as the stacks. Lately, I’ve been picking some sort of book topic and go through a random section of shelves looking for books about bunnies. Or trains. Or the alphabet. (Usually the alphabet.) I pick up 3-5, so that we have a good chance of finding something not annoying. And then Monkey usually grabs a few books on his way out.
All this is to say that we read a lot of very random picture books. My goal with “Library Hits” is to review them for anyone searching for good picture books, and also to remind me of what we’ve read in case I want to find it for other toddlers in my future. :D Here are my thoughts on the books headed back to the library this week. Continue reading