Welcome to What We’re Reading Wednesdays – WWRWed: Preschool Book Reviews edition!
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I take my four year old twins to the library every week and we seem to come home with more and more books every time. Since our library has a 3-week checkout policy, the books can stack up fast. Thank goodness for the good ol’ Interwebz, where I can look up what and how many books I have checked out and how many were actually due two days ago (although that doesn’t distress me nearly as much as it does Amy Lynn Andrews!).
We signed up for the library’s summer reading program, where you keep a log of how many minutes per day you read (or are read to), with a goal of a minimum of 15 minutes. Ha! I say, Ha! I can not imagine my boys letting me get away with reading to them for only 15 minutes. Writing down the amount of time we spend reading is eye-opening. I sometimes worry that I’m not a good enough mom ( #MartyrMom alert) because I don’t read to them enough. I’m checking out our log and thinking that maybe it’s ok to only spend an hour a day reading to them.
I’m always on the lookout for books that my kids will love and that I like enough not to audibly bitch and moan about on the request for a 10th reading. Each week I’ll give you a brief, I-Have-No-Literature-Degree, peek at what we’re reading.I-Have-No-Literature-Degree book reviews for preschoolers Click To Tweet
The Book With No Pictures* by B.J. Novak
Does the name B.J. Novak sound familiar? If you were a fan of the American version of the television show The Office, it should. In addition to playing the character Ryan he was a writer, director and executive producer for the show.
nerdy fangirl aside: Novak grew up with Office co-star John Krasinski, aka Jim Halpert.
It’s not surprising to me then that this would be a weird, amusing, silly, hilarious book. I saw someone else mention The Book With No Pictures* on their blog (and oh how mad I am at myself for not remembering which one! If it was you please do let me know so I can credit you!) and was intrigued. I immediately reserved it at the library. When I picked it up, both boys looked at it in disgust and declared that they hated it and did not want to read it. Being the #GentleParenting person I am, I forced them to sit down and listen anyway. By the second page they were mesmerized and when we got to the 7th page (there are only a few words on each page) they were dissolving into peals of laughter.If you love saying BOO BOO BUTT really loudly, you'll love reading this to your kids. Click To Tweet
If you don’t mind saying silly, nonsensical words in funny voices, you won’t mind reading this to your kids. I think the joke of the narrator being forced to read every word page – no matter how crazy – would work even better for slightly older kids.
Press Here* by Herve Tullet
After 2 1/2 years, my kids still LOVE Press Here*. It’s a very interactive book that could work well for kids from 2 to probably 5 or 6. The book begins with an image of a yellow circle and the instructions “press here”. When you turn the page you’ll notice a transformation and further instructions.What will happen if you 'Press Here'? Preschooler book review Click To Tweet
Dots will appear, disappear, change colors and move in unexpected ways. You’ll be told to shake the book, blow on the pages, press dots of certain colors and lots of other fun things, culminating in a frenzy of clapping and page turning before – whew! – things get back to normal and you are invited to do it all over again.
Smash! Crash!* by Jon Scieszka
Just as I was approaching the checkout desk at the library last week one of the boys ran up to me waving Smash! Crash! and asked if we could take it. It had a picture of a couple of trucks on the cover, so A&R wanted it. No problem. We’ve read a hundred truck-themed books, what’s one more?
Well it was just awful. Awful. Awful.
Ok, I realize this is a negative reaction probably more appropriate to something like O.J.’s If I Did It, but I was certainly dismayed by the message this book sends. The writing is terrible, the characters do really crappy things with no consequences, and there seems to be no point to the story at all.This picture book went straight into the library's book return. Click To Tweet
The main characters in Smash! Crash!*, Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan, are unpleasant and the illustrations (by David Shannon, Loren Long, and David Gordon) reinforce how obnoxious they are. They aimlessly wander through town, gleefully destroying everything in their path. They are downright mean to some of the other truck characters. When Cement Mixer Melvin tells them he can’t play because he’s working, the two bullies converge on him and force sand and water into him until he bursts. The next illustration shows a dejected Melvin, covered in cement while Jack and Dan just say, “Uh-oh. Got to go” and speed off.
This book promptly disappeared into the library’s book return.
I Will Take A Nap!* by Mo Willems
I think we’ve read this book 20 times in the two weeks we’ve had it. I’m not kidding. Mo Willems is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His stories are silly enough to keep any kid amused but have plenty to keep grownups laughing too.
Gerald is feeling tired and cranky and decides that what he needs is a nap. It seems like Piggie is not going to give him any peace, but like all of Mo’s books, there is a fun twist.Semi-spoiler alert: My kids can't stop saying, 'I'm a floating turnip head!' Preschooler book… Click To Tweet
Semi-spoiler alert: My kids can not stop going around the house saying, “I’m a floating turnip head!”
One of the things I love about I Will Take a Nap!* is that the main character is not only willing to take a nap, he demands that he be allowed to take one so that he won’t be so darn cranky. You’ll be seeing lots more Mo Willems books reviewed here!
What are you reading to your preschoolers this week?
pssst… There are affiliate links in this post denoted by an asterisk (*). See my disclosure policy here.