It is time to look at the silly and the absurd. As an adult, I do love an absurd picture book. But you know what? Kids tend to love them as well. Not all kids, mind you, but I can usually count on these books getting a deep giggle from someone in the crowd. I’ve found a few new ones this year that fit the bill.
Perhaps my favourite absurd book so far is I am Bat by Morag Hood. A bat, portrayed in lino-cut prints and bright ink, loves cherries. Do NOT mess with his cherries. Or is it pears this bat most loves? Hard to tell, but the simplicity of the art and text are just right for me. And you may know a toddler or two who have similar characteristics as Bat. Or a few adults?
It is not difficult to find a bit of the absurd in a Mac Barnett book. This may be the sweetest absurd book of the year. I Love you Like a Pig is a silly, playful book that may leave you wondering what it is like to be a lucky as a window, but that’s ok. Because sometimes, being silly is just what we need. Playful cartoon illustrations fit the mood .
Two gorillas dare each other. The biggest dare results in the demise of one gorilla. I dare you to eat a tree. I dare you to read this book to a group of grade 2 kids. Funny, absurd, and that’s all I’m going to say. Read it and see. Oh yes, the title is I dare you, by Reece Wykes.
Two more books, both just plain silly, might fit into this category. Give me back my Book is a fun little jaunt with two um, things. A rabbit? A monster of some sort? They fight over a book but make up when a bookworm steals the book. Book lovers will have fun with this one. The other is There’s a Monster in Your Book — this one is what I call an “app book” — if this were an app, the book characters really would move when you tip the book to the left or wiggle it. But since it is paper, your imagination has to do the moving. Still, these are fun to play with in storytime. Just be sure the kids you share it with are old enough to know the monster doesn’t REALLY leave the book and hide in their room….