In celebration of my new job (yay) and my book being on the 2016 Notable Books list (wait, did I mention that already?), I went out and splurged on some picture books. Then I forced Samuel to let me read them to him. He was very patient for a 17-year-old. Thank you, Samuel.
Here's our list, in order of preference:
1. Dragons Love Tacos
This is NOT the last book to read before bedtime, and it's too sophisticated for kids under two. But we both liked the silly humor and action. Our favorite.
2. You Are (Not) Small
This book is great for very young kids (as young as 18 months) all the way through early readers (five or six). It reminded both of us of Dr. Seuss's "Star-Bellied Sneetches," though not quite as action-packed.
3. Is Mommy?
Another very simple book, consisting essentially of asking whether Mommy is tall or short, pretty or ugly, nice or mean, and always answering in the negative. We can see how little kids would find this hilarious, but we can also see how some moms would find it mean-spirited. I told Samuel, "Never buy this book as a gift, unless you want to piss off the mom." He agreed. We are both just too damn nice for this world.
When I read this alone I thought it was such a great book because it's a sweet, simple metaphor for life. Reading it with Samuel, however, it's clear that little boys like us are unlikely to shout "Read it again! Read it again!" Not exactly high-adrenaline. But a good "final" bedtime book, if you don't want to buy that stupid rabbit-makes-your-kid-fall-asleep book.
5. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear
This is an interesting story, but too sophisticated for kids under four, and too many "big" words to be an early reader. It's a good choice for older kids who don't mind a book featuring a toddler, are interested in genealogy, and who still like Winnie the Pooh. In short, pairing it with a great illustrator was a smart move.
Thanks, Mr. Sam-Sam. You're a good son.