Here are 8 fast recommendations from my children’s bookshelf to yours in no particular order:
- If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur written by Linda Bailey & illustrated by Colin Jack: This is a cute and playful text about what to do with your dinosaur. It is marked for ages 3-7; my 3 year old loves it. The illustrations are bright and colourful and they add nicely to the humour and fun of the story.
- The Magic Tree House Series written by Mary Pope Osborne: This is a fantasy series recommended for children 5-8 years old, however we started reading the series off-and-on at about 4 and my son enjoyed it. There are a few illustrations within the text (illustrations by Sal Murdocca) and they add nicely to the imagination. The story follows a brother and sister, Jack & Annie, on adventures connected to a Magic Tree House and books. There are over 50 books in this series (we have not come close to reading them all), and it is my understanding that they are broken into groups. The first group includes books 1-28 and involves a character named Morgan Le Fay, the second group starts at book 29 involving the character Merlin the Magician.
- The Squickerwonkers written by Evangeline Lilly & illustrated by Johnny Fraser-Allen: This is a rhyming text involving puppets and magic. It is a bit dark, and is recommend for ages 5-8. However, it is another of my 3 year old’s favourite reads. The story details several puppets and the wicked behaviour that characterizes them. For example the first couple of puppet we are introduced to are “Papa the Proud” and “Mama the Mean” and we go on to see guilt, greed, arrogance, and so on. It is a cautionary story set on a child’s stage with brilliant illustrations.
- The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland (Author & Illustrator): This is a cute story for 3-5 year olds about the importance of sharing. It is set up through 4 animals trying to cheer up a cranky bear. The illustrations are cute and whimsical. This is a board book.
- The Pout-Pout Fish written by Deborah Diesen & Illustrated by Dan Hanna: This is one of my favourites, I find it to be a very entertaining read. It is recommended for ages 3-6. It follows a sad pouty little fish who in the end realizes he is not a sad pouty little fish but something more, something bright, happy, and cheerful! I ask my boys when they look a bit down if they are “…a pout-pout fish with a pout-pout face…spread[ing] dreary-wearies all over the place” (Diesen). Sometimes is turns the situation around, sometimes I get the response, “Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuuub” (Diesen). Cute little story with light fun illustrations.
- Tickle Time by Sandra Boynton (Author & Illustrator): This is a great little story designed for having fun and eliciting laughs. The illustrations are light and playful. This is a board book. Boynton has a number of great children’s books, another story of many on our shelf is Spooky Pookie.
- Giggle written by Caroline Jayne Church (Author & Illustrator): Recommended for ages 0-3, this cute little book is happy and full of smiles. It comes equipped with a little push button that makes a delightful giggle sound.
- The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! written by Jon Scieszka & Illustrated by Lane Smith: A twist on the classic story of the 3 little pigs, this versions is told by the wolf who pleads his innocence in a crime of misunderstanding. It is a funny story and the illustrations add wonderfully to the text. Recommended for ages 3-8.
By Shari Marshall – 2016