I was growing weary of reading all of the same stories on our shelves at home, so we went to our wonderful local library. This afternoon we read six of our newly discovered library books. It was a close tie between two books for the storytime favorite. While it was a close vote, What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift narrowly won over Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman.
What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift was very well-received by all three kids (ages 9 months, 6 years, and 8 years old). My kids adored the vibrant colors that were featured throughout the book. Equally well-received by my kids were the flaps throughout the book. As a parent, I particularly appreciated the fact that this book featured very durable, thick flaps as opposed to the typical flimsy flaps found in many board books.
This book is twelve pages long and has six flaps. The pages features bright colors, bold patterns, and a variety of animals. The are approximately 107 words in this book. The book tries to introduce some very basic facts about llamas which I appreciate as a mom. Courtesy of this book all three kids now know what a “cria” is.
This book is slightly on the longer side for a baby; however, my 9 month old did fine finishing this book. In fact, we have read through it three times.
The second contender for our favorite afternoon discovery was Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman. This twelve page book contains colorful, adorable illustrations. Despite being only eighty-three words long, this book manages to tell a cute story with an important life lesson. In this story, the monsters make sure they include a shy monster who is not participating in their monster dance party. As a parent, I really appreciate books that include lessons about good values. I highly recommend this book for infants and toddlers.
In addition to our two favorites, we squeezed four other stories into our afternoon story time.
- Pet the Pets by Sarah Lynn Truly was a cute, interactive flap book that my son really enjoyed. All sixteen pages featured bright colors and adorable cartoon animals. Eight of the pages instructed the reader to complete different tasks such as scratching the sad puppy behind his ears. This book would be highly enjoyable for a toddler who understood more of the story. The only negative for me was the fact this book had thin flaps that my baby would readily destroy if given the opportunity.
- I’m Grumpy by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. This was the first board book I have seen in our reading journey that is in the comic book style. This eighteen page book features bold illustrations in the classic comic pane style. The book tells the story of a grumpy rain cloud and a cheerful sun. I appreciated the fact that after the cloud upset the sun, he made an effort to make things right. I would recommend this book for children ages 0 to 3.
- Oink-Oink! Moo! Cock-a-Doodle Doo! by Jennifer Sattler. This twenty-two page board book was a joy to read to my son. It featured classic animal sounds that are fun for a baby to hear. Another aspect of this book that I valued as a parent is the inclusion of questions to ask your child at the end of the book. The last two pages ask the child to match the animal sounds with the nine animals that appeared in the book. This would be a wonderful way to enrich your reading session with a toddler or young child.
- The Pigeon Loves Things That Go by Monday Willems. My two oldest are obsessed with anything and everything written by Mo Willems so I knew this board book would be popular in our house. The book did not go over particularly well with my 9 month old though. This ten page book features the classic more muted color palette that is characteristic of Mo Willems’ books. I would still recommend this book for anyone whose children love Mo Willems’ books.