Friday, August 26, 2011

More Books for Toddlers

A few months ago I found a clearanced DVD of children's stories put out by Scholastic at TJ Max (still available for quite a lot more here). 

Each story is under 10 minutes long, and it's great because C feels like he got to see a movie, and he's really only been in front of the TV for a few minutes.  Included on the DVD is The Paperboy, written by Dav Pilkey.  C loves it mostly for the dog, but to me there's something is so lovely and nostalgic about it (it could be that newspapers are rapidly dying, and with them goes the classic childhood job of paperboy).  Anyway, it's possible that much of the allure is in the masterful narration by Forest Whitaker and accompanying music bed, but the illustrations (also by Pilkey) are enchanting, so I suspect the book would be pretty great, too.  This is my favorite line: "...instead he is thinking about other things.  Big things...and small things...and sometimes he is thinking about nothing at all."  And this one, "All the world is asleep except the paperboy and his dog, and this is the time when they are the happiest."  There is something so innocent about it that I love, especially when it seems that children are growing up far too soon.  A boy, his dog, the moon and stars, and a boy's thoughts.  So sweet.

Incidently, The Paperboy won a Caldecott Honor Award.  Fun fact:  Some of the illustrations were inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's painting, The Starry Night.

Next up is Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (author of another good one, Sleepyhead) and illustrated by Jane Chapman (also an award-winner).

This one is a fun story about a group of animals that take refuge from a storm in a sleeping bear's lair.  They have a party, and the bear wakes up.  It's both adorable and fun to read.  C loves the mouse in particular.  Here is my favorite illustration:


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