4 Picture Books to Share with Baby Bookworms
- Carrie Callaghan
- November 4, 2015
These play-tested titles are all ready for reading and snuggle time.
In case anyone’s feeling nostalgic about childhood, let’s get this clear: It’s hard to be a kid. In our house, it’s particularly evident that it’s hard to be a preschooler. Emotions curdle in an instant, attention is always in insufficient supply, and other children are, sometimes, H-E-Double-Hockey-Stick. Especially if those other children happen to be one’s siblings.
But even for readers whose literacy consists of pointing at pictures, books can be a solace. We’ve particularly enjoyed some new books that highlight how, sometimes, it really is nice to be alone.
- Britta Teckentrup’s engaging Get Out of My Bath (Nosy Crow) doesn’t tiptoe around elephant Ellie’s irritation when some interlopers splash into her tub. Little readers will have fun tipping the book this way and that to “create” splashes that manifest in the glossy illustrations on the next page, and they’ll laugh when Ellie sucks all the water into her trunk. It’s the only way to convince those uninvited guests that the party is over! And, luckily for Ellie, she can squirt it all out and have her bath to herself once again.
- The sweetly-drawn Dog in Lerryn Korda’s So Cozy (Candlewick) settles down to his own warm bed, only to be joined by a parade of other animals looking to share in the snuggles. Fortunately for Dog, Mouse comes along to disturb the rest, leaving just the two of them to cuddle up for a snooze together. The entrance-and-exit pattern makes this book easy for pre-readers to memorize and recite, and it has become a bedtime favorite here.
- Sometimes, especially at night, being alone is scary. That’s what Girl discovers when she scampers off during hide-n-seek with her friend Dragon in Barbara Joosse’s Evermore Dragon (Candlewick). Her hiding spot is too good — both for herself and her “very biggle” dragon, and she’s left terrified. Just in time, in a sweet resolution, Dragon finds her. The rhymes in this sequel to Lovabye Dragon take some getting used to, but the quirky, misshapen illustrations by Randy Cecil and the comforting promise of friendship “evermore” make it a fun story to share.
- It’s hard to beat blasting off in a rocket or going on a dinosaur safari with Bizzy Bear (no Jurassic Park accidents here). The easy rhymes fall into a gentle sing-song that will capture most any toddler, and the bright illustrations compel little fingers to move the sliding panels up, down, and around. The Bizzy Bear series (Nosy Crow), now a few years old, promises to be a popular favorite. In fact, our kids adore these interactive books so much that Bizzy Bear Dinosaur Safari by Benji Davies is currently in the Book Infirmary after sustaining injuries in a vicious tug-of-war.
Which perhaps begs the question of whether it’s better to enjoy these alone — as Ellie might prefer — or with a friend. It might be hard to be a kid, but I’ll bet you can’t find a single preschooler who won’t want to curl up on an adult’s lap with one of these books.
Carrie Callaghan is a senior editor at the Washington Independent Review of Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, Silk Road, the MacGuffin, and elsewhere. She lives in Maryland with her family and two floppy cats. Follow her on Twitter at @carriecallaghan.