Good Night Like This– Mary Murphy ; Candlewick
This book is just right for babies and toddlers. The way baby animals go to sleep is revealed by half-pages. Rich night-time colours and thick lines create the mood. A good choice for bedtime storytimes at the library or at home.
Alan’s Big Scary Teeth – Jarvis, Candlewick
Get a laugh in storytime when this big scary gator gets his dues—his false teeth will make kids roar with laughter. Bright, fun illustrations in a simple retro style fit well with this story of cooperation and getting along.
If I had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle ; illustrated by Cale Atkinson. Tundra
You want a magical pet, but there are problems. This funny rhymed tale is filled with charmingly fantastical illustrations and great vocabulary. The practical heroine of the tale considers the many reasons to stick with a fairly normal pet.
Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Atheneum
If you have a group of storytimers who appreciate Jon Klassen-style humour, grab a copy of this book to share. What does a hungry lion do? Eat, of course! Or does he? This book is quite clever, and the illustrations match the tone perfectly. I’m keeping an eye on this book, which demands repeat readings.
Rock-a-bye romp by Linda Ashman ; illustrated by Simona Mulazzani.; Nancy Paulsen Books
A new take on an old rhyme, accompanied by folk-art inspired illustrations. The illustrations are fun, colourful and playful, making them a great choice for toddler storytime. Add in the rhymes and new vocabulary and you have a solid storytime choice.
I want a monster by Elis Gravel, Harper Collins
Another “unusual pet” story, this would pair well with If I had A Gryphon reviewed above. After she’s convinced her father she can care for a pet monster, a girl uses her guidebook to do so. This is great for a writing exercise: it is a fun story with a “Would you like to Adopt a Monster” prompt at the end. Easy to read and engaging, lots of details in the illustrations. Have kids writing and drawing when you share this in the classroom.
….and a middle grade novel to recommend:
Raymie Nightingale by Kate Di Camillo ; Candlewick
I don’t usually recommend novels here, because this is a storytime-based blog. But when a book like this one is sitting on the shelf, I have to do what I can to get it into the hands of readers. If you know someone who likes good characters, a quirky plot with deeper issues underpinning, strong female characters, and a couple of heroes, this is just the ticket. You know you are in the hands of a great storyteller with Kate DiCamillo, and so you just dive in and let the story happen. This tale of three girls and a summer friendship is an easy read, and one that will stick with you. So what are you waiting for? Find out who Raymie Nightingale is. Find out why she wants to learn to twirl a baton. Meet her friends Beverly and Louisiana and find out why they want to break into Building 10. The book is chock full of humour and heartbreak, both in just the right measure.