Welcome to What We’re Reading Wednesdays – WWRWed: Preschool Book Reviews
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We didn’t read nearly as much this past week as we usually do. Sometimes the kids are too busy playing to want to read during the day (which is fine!) and if our bedtime routine gets rushed, the time spent on evening reading gets cut short. We never miss a day of reading all together, but it seems like we had a lot more 20-minute days than 45-minute days this week.
Do you find that your reading time (either your own or with your kids) gets pushed down on the priority list sometimes? How do you feel about that?
Here is this week’s brief, I-Have-No-Literature-Degree peek at what we’re reading.I-Have-No-Literature-Degree #picturebookreviews #WWRWed Click To Tweet
Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep* by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by Debi Gliori
Oh, this is such a sweet book. There is one other Willa book, Tell Me What It’s Like to be Big, which we’d found at the library ages ago. The kids loved that one so I was really happy to find Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep*. Willa shares a room with her big brother Willoughby, and is having trouble going to sleep. She’s tired but restless, because she’s afraid she might have a bad dream. She asks Willoughby to tell her something happy, and he sweetly and gently points out lots of reassuring things for her to think about. He ends by telling her that the morning is waiting for her to wake up, which is what makes the morning happy. Willa decides she’s ready to sleep after all and Willoughby tucks her back into bed after promising that he’ll be right there when she wakes up.I sigh with contentment each time I read this book to my kids. #picturebookreviews #WWRWed Click To Tweet
Willa’s sweet facial expressions and her loving relationship with her big brother make me sigh with contentment each time we read this book. The author, Joyce Dunbar lives in England, and I’m not sure this book is in print in the U.S. If you are in the U.S., check your library. It’s worth the hunt!
The Featherless Chicken* by Chih-Yuan Chen
Chih-Yuan Chen is a Chinese illustrator from Taiwan. I’ve had a bit of a difficult time finding out how many books he’s written/illustrated, partly because the English Western spelling of his name seems to vary. I’ve found five English translations of his works, including Guji-Guji*, our introduction to Chen. Like Guji-Guji, The Featherless Chicken* tells a story of learning to accept yourself as you are. Our hero is born a featherless chicken. One day he notices several other chickens who have colorful, artful (if somewhat odd) feathers. They won’t play with a featherless chicken, and our poor hero is very sad until something amazing happens. In the end all the chickens discover they aren’t so different from one another after all.Feathers or no feathers, we're more similar than we are different #picturebookreviews #WWRWed Click To Tweet
Like many of the books we read, this one has subtleties that the kids don’t quite get on the first reading. One of the joys of re-reading books is the look on their faces when they look more closely at the chickens’ “feathers”. I’m not sure they fully understand the lesson of the book, but we talk about it each time, discussing how important it is to look past someone’s feathers.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale* by Mo Willems
This was the first in a Knuffle Bunny trilogy (although I had no idea there were two others until I went to Amazon to get the image for this one!). Mo Willems hits the mark again with this exciting tale of pre-talker Trixie and her desperation to communicate with her parents.
Trixie goes on an errand with her daddy to the neighborhood laundromat, and takes her beloved Knuffle Bunny. On the way back home, guess what Trixie realizes is missing? Her inability to communicate her problem results in chaos. The first time we read the book, the boys (4 years old) didn’t notice the clues about where Knuffle bunny might be. On subsequent readings though, they were able to track our dear bunny and giggled wildly about what poor Trixie was trying to tell her daddy.Where is Knuffle Bunny?!?!? #picturebookreviews #WWRWed Click To Tweet
Most of Willems’ books feature simple, hand-drawn line drawings that are beautifully expressive. This book takes a different approach, superimposing colorful characters onto sepia toned photos taken in Brooklyn. At the end of the book Willems gives special thanks to the 358 6th Avenue Laundromat, which provides the setting for the denouement of the story. This blog post gives step by step directions for following Trixie’s trip to the laundromat in the real-life neighborhood where it the pictures for the book were photographed. How fun would it be to do that with your own kids?
What are you reading to your preschoolers this week? Let me know here and/or in a tweet with hashtag #WWRWedWhat are you reading to your preschoolers this week? #picturebookreviews #WWRWed Click To Tweet
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