Thursday, June 23, 2016

Not sure if the kids love them...but I sure do!

My home life is a little chaotic at the moment, so I thought I'd throw out a fun and lighthearted blog post today.  I think it is fitting considering most libraries are doing Summer Reading Programs right now.  If you've never participated in one, I highly recommend it.  You get PRIZES...for READING...which, if you're reading this, you would probably be doing anyway!!  I see this as a win/win thing.  (okay, library propaganda over with...kind-of)

One of the fun parts of my job at The Library is leading our preschool story time every other week.  I would do it every week but my boss enjoys it just as much as I do, so we share the responsibilities.  I get the privilege of pouring through probably 20 kids books on a theme, and generally pick out 3 to read aloud to a herd of preschoolers.  This is actually pretty easy for me most weeks.  Does it rhyme?  Check.  Is it funny?  Check.  Not too long?  Check.  Please dear Lord tell me it doesn't include a pirate...and I'm going to be forced to throw my best pirate voice out there to the dismay of parents everywhere (if you have ever heard me do "pirate", you understand).  My three little pigs sound like the Green Jelly song...and I can do the Gingerbread Man from Shrek okay...but that is about the extent of my voice work.  I digress...

I think I can safely and fairly easily put together my "Top 5" kids books for your consumption. The children may not like them, but I seriously loved them all.  Chances are they made me laugh my ass off.  And hey, shouldn't us parents get to enjoy Story Time too?

Okay, if you know me "in real life" you may have heard me talk about this book before.  Hell, I may have forced you to read it...or sent you pictures of it from my cell phone.  Meet Lily the Unicorn...the creation of Dallas Clayton.  I think preteens and teenagers could learn a lesson from Lily.  She is exuberant and excited, loves new things...and can't wait to make new friends.  Then she meets Roger the Penguin, who is afraid of anything new.

Yes, I'll concede to the reviewers who say the pages are a bit busy, and hard to read out loud to little kids.  Personally I just pick a couple of the words to read out loud...we edit books for story time regularly, mainly due to length.

But I just LOVE this book.  It tickles me pink...just like Lily.  Maybe I like it so much because I have a little in common with her...I am excitable and I get a little crazy and overwhelming at times.  But really, I think this book has a good message about accepting the differences in people...extroverts and introverts alike.  Life would be incredibly dull if we were all the same.  (bonus giggles for Dallas Clayton's author photo)


I love Mo Willems' books. The simplistic drawings are cute and they are all really humorous.  But I REALLY love Elephant & Piggie. Gerald and Piggie are best friends who look at things in completely different ways...proving that opposites do indeed attract.  In this book Gerald is planning for a car ride...because he's a planner, and Piggie is gathering their supplies.  Then they realize there is a giant stumbling block to their trip. 

It is possible to get little kids SUPER stoked when reading an Elephant & Piggie book.  They can usually recognize how things are going to go wrong, and anticipate them with mega giggles.   I think these are perfect examples of friendship, in a way that kids and adults can both appreciate.  I believe there are at least 25 books in this series, this is just the most recent one I read! 


This book changes up the whole "dog and owner" relationship, and I guess my feelings for it probably stem from the passionate love affair I have with my own canine, Bella (you can stare at her beautiful mug over on my About Me page).

I'm My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein is about a dog who is his own master.  He refuses to follow the rules, is his own boss, and does what he wants when he wants to.  He fetches his own slippers.  He rolls over when he wants to, etc.  But then he gets an itch in the middle of his back that he just can't reach.  Do you see where this is going??

The illustrations are in a cute watercolor style, which I really enjoyed.  And any kid, even one without a pet at home, can recognize how different this dog is.  I was grinning ear to ear through this entire book.  Check it out, especially if you have a dog at home. 


How to Pee by Todd Spector, M.D. requires a sense of humor.  I personally think some reviewers are lacking in that area.  Is this book probably going to contribute to messes in the bathroom?  For sure.  Are there going to be messes regardless?  Absolutely.

This book is basically filled with imaginary stories about ways to pee in the toilet.  Superhero style involves a cape.  There is also cowboy style, rocket style, etc.  It even includes peeing outside, which fascinates boys from 2 to 100! 

This book just cracks me up!  I honestly can not imagine using these ideas when actually potty training your kid.  But as far as entertaining a recently potty trained child?  Absolutely!  Kids tend to have better sense of humor than most adults.  They will get the joke, I'm pretty sure.  And hey, there's even a version for girls


Burger Boy by Alan Durant is hands down my favorite kids books.  I don't know why I love this book so much, but it literally had me laughing out loud in my office.  I read it out loud to my coworker.  I told my friends about it at a 31 party.  I described the entire book to my book club posse, laughing the entire time. This is my sort-of humor.  

You know how parents would say "eat too much of it, and you'll turn into it"?  Kind-of like, keep your face like that and it'll freeze that way?  Well...this is one of those books.  Little boy eats too many burgers and he turns into one...and is basically chased by the entire town, for one reason or another.  Chaos ensues...of the variety that is apparently made just for me.  Between the football team and the dogs, I fell in love.  

I laugh every time I see this book on the shelf.  I honestly don't know what it is...but reading it out loud is so much fun.  If you have little kids at home, read them this book.  As you're doing it, just picture me in my little office surrounded by chaos, laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair! 


We'll call this book an honorable mention.  As a military wife, with two kids, working in a library on a military installation I can tell you there are very few good military kid books out there.  Most military kids books are all about deployments, and if you read them during Story Time, all the moms will tear up and glare at you.  They will hate me.  They are filled with daddy seeing the same stars as you do, virtual hugs from across the world, and mommy crying on the telephone.  These are not happy books!  Do they serve a purpose?  Absolutely...but the military is not exclusively deployments.  We are on a constant quest for a kids book that highlights the good aspects of military life. 

So this book entered my life last year, and I was overjoyed.  The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas is a great book.  My kids have grown up watching NORAD track Santa Clause.  Heck we will take a peek, and they are 18 and 21 now. 

This book has military members of every branch, ethnicity and gender doing incredibly cool things to help out Santa.  How cool is that?  It is told in the traditional Night Before Christmas style, but filled with bombastic military fabulousness.  Even if you are not a military family, you should check out this book at Christmas.  It will give your whole family an idea of the military that doesn't involve wars and deployments.  It would be a great supplement to watching Santa online through NORAD.  Plus it would make my military family incredibly happy. 

Okay, so no Fassy or alcohol...instead children's books.  This just proves I am an incredibly multi-faceted woman. 

Our family is being restructured a bit in the next week, so I will apologize in advance if I don't get a post up every other day.  We are sending Thing 2 off to college, and this momma will be a mess.  So if you have little ones that these books are targeted towards, hug them super tight and enjoy every messy second of their childhoods.  And let me know if you have any favorite funny kids books for me to look out for! 

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