Something Silly

As our November Picture Book Month draws to an end, I would just like to observe that 2104 has been a good year for very silly stories. Children love a giggle, and these books are great for curling up with someone small for read aloud fun.

Let's start with No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Read this to the very youngest, whose own vocabulary may consist largely of "No no no!" A patient mother chases Baby all over the house trying to persuade him that it is nap time. Baby can think of plenty of things he'd rather do instead. Clap, sing, get a drink, etc. The dialog is completely at the toddler level. Yaccarino's retro-feeling illustrations have a lively palette that matches the manic mood.

Now let's consider Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin. This may be the truly silliest title I will list today. The far-fetched but charming premise is that when bubbles pop, they do not disappear, but turn up in a special place called La-La Land, whose residents are easily frightened monsters. Based on his unfortunate experience with bubble gum, one of the monsters has persuaded the others that bubbles are dangerous. It takes a calming narrator, with help from young readers, to empower the monsters to use their teeth, horns and claws to attack the fragile invaders. Perhaps this book could be used to encourage youngsters to confront their own fears, but really I don't think Rubin has anything that serious in mind!

Froodle by Antoinette Portis, appeals to kids' love of imitating animal noises. The catch here is that, starting with a small brown bird, the critters get bored with their usual sounds and start speaking very creatively.  The crow starts out stiffly resisting the changes, but in the end even he can't resist joining in.

Now that we're heading into holiday craziness, take a minute or two now and then to read to your kids!

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