New picture books hit our shelves almost every day, and two of our new favorites show how good and diverse books for preschoolers
Our first pick is Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: A Lullaby, by Jane Yolen with warm and cozy illustrations by Kelly Murphy. The story follows a group of monsters home from school one afternoon (“Monsters creep,/monsters crawl/Over the meadow/And up the wall”) and through their evening routines. They eat dinner, take a bath, and eventually, after a bit of tossing and turning (or growling and gurgling, in Yolen’s rhyme), they finally drift off to sleep. This lullaby is short and accessible to toddlers and preschoolers, and the goofy and inventive monster shapes lurking everywhere in Murphy’s soft oil, acrylic and gel illustrations will delight monster lovers and impersonators alike.
For older children, we recommend Calef Brown’s Boy Wonders, which is the perfect book for any first or second grader who has discovered the question “why?” The main character in this book wonders about whether “paper plates and two-by-fours remember being trees” or if phones get annoyed if no one calls. Some of the text tries so hard to be silly it veers into the too abstract: “Do you ever wonder whether schools of narwhal have the wherewithal to play tetherball together.” So even though some kids will scratch their heads and other kids will tell you that narwhals swim in pods, not in schools, the overall message is a positive one for inquisitive youngsters. It encourages them to find out these answers by asking even more questions, ending the rhyme with a challenge: “any suggestions?” to encourage participation.
Look for these books and more at a storytime near you!