When I decided to do a Christmas based C Reads at the beginning of December, I had to remember to go back to do the non-Christmas based books we also picked up during that time. Now let’s hope I remember them!
Baby Swap by Jan Ormerod and Andew Joyner is pretty cute. A girl is tired of her baby brother, and so when left alone with him (side bar: WHA?!?!?!), decides to trade him in at a nearby baby store. After test driving a few other babies, she decides her own brother is just perfect… d’awwwww.
Captain Jack and the Pirates by Peter Bently & Helen Oxenbury is a lilting rhyming book, but I’m pretty sure that C didn’t quite get it. The words describe a pirate adventure, and the pictures show kids at the beach. Obviously, they are playing pretend, but she never really took to this book too much and I think that it was too grounded in reality.
A Bedtime for Bear by Bonnie Becker and Kady Macdonald Denton is sweet — a bear is very particular about his bedtime routine, but his house guest disturbs it… until he realizes how disturbing his particularities actually can be, at which point he welcomes his little friend warmly to help ease his fears. The illustrator is originally from Winnipeg, which I always find neat.
Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H. A. Rey isn’t your typical alphabet book. Yes, there is “A… Apple” type stuff, but it focuses more on Curious George learning to form words from the alphabet, which was really neat (albeit a long book! It actually cues you to take breaks along with George). A little over C’s head at this point, but she still liked trying to spell.
I Am Small by Emma Dodd is the sweetest little book you will find in this list today. It’s geared quite young — we got it for M — but it is one of those heartwarming books you hope any of your kids wants to read it. A small penguin compares him/herself to the world, which is big, but ultimately learns that with his/her parents’ love, s/he can feel huge.
Wake Up Rupert by Mike Twohy was on repeat here. Possibly because you have to try to crow really loudly, and what kid doesn’t like to disturb their younger sibling’s sleep with a great crowing? It’s about a rooster who realizes how important his job of waking up the farm is, even if it means getting up early, because no one else can do it quite right.
Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch and Michael Marchenko was my favourite of the set. In classic Munsch fashion, the kid in the story is the one that has to control the terrible antics of the parents, this time with a mother giving birth at the zoo instead of the hopsital and bringing home the wrong baby. Super fun.
Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen was not as bad as I thought. I was really worried about getting a baseball story when I have little love for the sport. Turns out that’s ok — this one is really about physics and space travel. Baseball just happens to be at the beginning at the end. As happens in all books about a kid saving the world from an asteroid headed for earth using a robot he built in his backyard.
The Peanuts Movie: Charlie Brown is Not A Quitter by Maggie Testa might have been better had we seen the movie. Instead, it’s a somewhat clunky retelling of what is likely just a portion of the story line. But in the end, everyone loves Charlie Brown, as always happens. Right?
Spot the Puppy In the City by Alexandra Koken and Joelle Dreidemy got the least love at our house. Maybe it was because it was borrowed along with the majority of our Christmas books, maybe it was the book itself. I honestly can hardly tell it and another one of the seek and find books we had a while ago apart.
Puppy by Keith Graves was a fun read. It seems to borrow from comic book formats, which are really big with C right now, in telling the story of a caveboy who finds a “puppy” and adopts it as its own.
Charlotte The Scientist Gets Squished by Camille Andros and Brianne Farley probably would win the award for this set of books from a pedagogical yet entertaining slant. Charlotte the Scientist has too many siblings and they get in the way of her experiments. Using the scientific method, she experiments on how best to stop being squished. Its sweet because it shows how much she ends up realizing she loves her siblings. It also provides additional ideas of experiments to follow and the opportunity to share them online. Obviously, that last part was above C’s head quite a bit, but it was fun for her to see a hypothesis somewhere other than Dinosaur Train.
Mr. Nervous and the Pirates by Adam Hargreaves was on repeat. For both girls. Ok, the first few pages on repeat for M, since she didn’t have the attention span. It’s half about Mr. Nervous overcoming his nervousness, and half about people around him learning to be nervous, and concludes with Mr. Nervous no longer shaking with nervousness but with rage. Not sure it’s the healthiest book to be reading children, but between the gold leaf (imitation, I have no doubt) and the general Little Mr / Little Miss book premise, it was popular.