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Bedtime Report #4

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but we have some fun books to share. Our camping plans a weekend ago were scrapped by tornado weather, so we pitched a camp inside AND two picture books we'd been waiting on arrived. If you haven't read anything and everything by Dev Petty and Ame Dyckman, you should! Also, I was thrilled with the illustrations by Ana Aranda and Eda Kaban, neither of whose work I think I've seen before. I mean, seriously, check out that moth and butterfly! And the wolf shadow and the faces on those kids! What's not to want to page turn? Ame's a whiz at telling a completely humorous off-the-wall story that kids will love while slipping a stealthy but important inkling of a message inside. Think spy-ninja-squirrel stealth! So's Dev for that matter (see I Don't Want to be a Frog, which I've recommended before, I think).

That's my youngest youngling, Quinn, chilling in the background.

So, among our bedtime recommendations this week are Moth & Butterfly, by Dev Petty and Ana Aranda, and The New Kid Has Fleas, by Ame Dyckman and Eda Kaban. (They're also loads of fun to follow on Twitter if you're in the Twitterverse.) The kids also wanted to read some other favorite Ame so we ventured to the library for a few others, two we'd read before and two we hadn't: Dandy, ill. by Charles Santoso; Horrible Bear! ill. by Zachariah OHora; You Don't Want a Unicorn! ill. by Liz Climo; and the one we read most, Read the Book, Lemmings! also ill. by Zachariah OHora. (Quinn was shouting Geronimo! all week.) Best pro-literacy book ever! Really!

"I highly recommend jumping into it," says Jumper.

"Me, too," says Me Too.

"Ditto," says Ditto.

What else? On the dark but delightful side, we read The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by the dynamic duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Every book illustrated by Klassen is worth a look and more, in my opinion, and we love Mac Barnett's edgy humor. Also, books about getting eaten have been trending in recent years. Notice that? Seriously. From sweet little dinosaurs named Penelope to irascible dragons named Theodore to the aforementioned Frog and everything in between!

Speaking of Theodore, we did also read I Will Not Eat You, by Adam Lehrhaupt and Scott Magoonan, an all-time favorite bedtime book. It's just fun. Try it.

Mo Willem's Elephant & Piggie books are always favorites, and we read two we hadn't before this week: Listen to My Trumpet! and Can I Play Too? Neither disappointed, but I have to say that the second wins out as our favorite. Quinn especially loved it! And bonus, we found a book by another dynamic duo, Mo Willems and Dan Santat, that puts a cleverly fun twist on the Elephant & Piggy stories: Harold & Hog Pretend For Real!

We also finally read one we've been meaning to read since it came out weeks ago. It's a longer read but well crafted with gorgeously fun illustrations and an important point: Coyote's Soundbite: A Poem for Our Planet, by John Agard and Piet Grobler.

There's also this wonderful video in which you can draw with the illustrator Piet Grobler:

Finally, in the chapter book department, the kids and I are almost done reading The Carver Chronicles: Dog Days about a young sir who confronts a weeklong challenge of dog-walking his aunt's Pomeranian, navigating fierce school bullies and a fiercer big sister, dealing with his not-always-reliable bud, and figuring out a variety of things along the way. It's pretty cool, and the kids ask me to keep reading when I'm ready to put it down each night. (Update: Finished!)

Check out the covers of all the books mentioned below ...

Whoops! I forgot the Frog cover, so how about a cool video read-aloud?

You gotta love Frog.

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