Max’s Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells is perfect for the springtime holidays. Someone (maybe the Easter Bunny) has left a chocolate chicken in the birdbath! “I love you!” Max says to the chicken. He’s ready to chow down, but his big sister Ruby (who’s kind of like the fun police) insists that they hunt for painted eggs. Whoever collects the most can claim the chocolate chicken. Ruby find eggs of all colors and patterns, but poor Max only finds mud, acorns, and ants, so he decides to run away with the chicken and eat the whole thing! This is an adorable story of sibling rivalry, and I guarantee you will fall in love with Max, the young and foolish title character.
Matt Faulkner’s A Taste of Colored Water is an engaging story about an important issue. When Abbey Finch informs Jelly and LuLu that she saw a fountain of colored water in the big city, they decide they need to see it for themselves. It’s probably just one of Abbey’s crazy stories, but what if isn’t? Can you imagine a fountain of water all the colors of the rainbow? And probably the flavor of assorted fruits! So they decide to tag along the next time Uncle Jack has to drive to the city. But Jelly and Lulu live in the south during the civil rights movement. And the “colored” sign over their fountain of water, is just part of the unfair Jim Crow laws popular there at the time. It’s an unfortunate discovery for them to make. Being children, they wonder “what color does a person have to be to get a taste of colored water?”
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child is perfect for fussy eaters (which rarely a child is not. I remember when I was young I told my parents I never wanted to eat chicken again. They continued to serve it on a regular basis, but told me it was lobster. I thought it was delicious). Charlie has to take care of his little sister Lola tonight, but when dinner time rolls around she has a lengthy list of foods she will absolutely not eat. Charlie plays along however–if Lola won’t eat carrots, perhaps she would eat orange twilgets from Jupiter? She won’t eat mashed potatoes, but will she try a cloud fluff from the top of Mount Fuji? Find out in this hilarious story.
The Usborne Book of Night-Night Stories by Sam Taplin and Francesca di Chiara is a delightful collection of tales to tell your sleepy child. The most wonderful thing I could think of after an exhausting day would be to be tucked in and read to. Most children love to lulled to sleep by the soothing voice of their caregiver. This book tackles traditional bedtime themes of the moon, wanting to stay up instead of sleep, lullabies, explaining natural phenomena, and dreams, all told with familiar and adorable animal pairs of elephants, lions, penguins, and polar bears, among others. All of the stories are tabbed, so that your child may locate his or her favorite.
Who is Melvin Bubble by Nick Bruel is a very clever book that might help introduce your child to the concepts of identity and perspective. Melvin Bubble appears to be a regular kid. But who is he really? If you ask his dad, he’ll say he’s a chip off the old block! If you ask his mom, she’ll ramble on about his messy room. If you ask his friend Jimmy, he’ll say Melvin is the coolest ever because he can whistle through his nose! But don’t stop there–ask his dog: “Woof Woof Arf Woof,” ask his teddy bear: “He really likes hugs!” Ask a talking zebra, or a magic rock, or even Melvin himself. They’ll all have something different to say. Because a person can be significant for multiple reasons, and everyone has a unique opinion.
Love the Baby by Steven L. Layne, with pictures by Ard Hoyt, is the tale of one bunny’s transition to big brotherhood. He’s very happy when mom and dad come home with the new baby, but not for long. Soon mom is rocking the baby in his chair! Nana is singing the baby his song! Dad is building a tower for baby with his blocks! And everywhere he goes people are asking him to help love the baby. So he pretends to love the baby. He’ll tickle him, but not on the tummy. He’ll read to him, but not from his favorite book. Until one day he’s tired of pretending he’s not jealous of all the attention the new baby is getting, and runs up to his room. But that night, the baby is crying, and when big brother goes to comfort him, he realizes he really does love the baby!