There are sometimes new books that are immediately recognized as instant classics. This summer, we have been fortunate to greet the publications of not one but two new classic picture books for kids. They are by familiar authors and feature well-loved characters. Great fall back-to-school book gifts and read alouds for the children you know and love.
I Will Take a Nap! (an Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems
Gerald the elephant is tired and cranky–and he knows it. He tells his dear friend Piggie that a nap will surely improve his mood, so he settles down for one. You won’t be surprised to learn that Piggie disturbs everything, leading to increased agitation from Elephant. Hilarious illustrations show Elephant with red-rimmed eyes, and both characters have very telling facial expressions. A wonderful dream sequence creates a story within a story. Another winner for this terrific duo!
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Duncan’s crayons are a communicative bunch; they always let this kid know how they are doing and what they need, and this time, it’s in a form of colorful “postcards from the edge.” These lost or injured crayons let Duncan know where they are and how to rescue them–or that they are on their way home even as he is reading their card. There’s Maroon crayon, writing desperately from beneath the sofa cushions, broken in two when Duncan’s Dad sat on him. Pity poor Turquoise: his head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together. My personal favorite is Pea Green, who ran away because no one uses him or likes his name. (He changes it to Esteban the Magnificent.) A great tale, well-illustrated, with humor and savvy for both kids and adults. I might even like it better than the original!