A while back, I reviewed some of the loveliest books I’ve ever encountered. They were a series of Kokeshi books by Annalore Parot, and they remain in heavy rotation in our bedtime reading sessions. It was this series that brought Chronicle Books to my attention, and I’m so thankful they’re on my radar now, because I find that their children’s books are well curated.
It’s like when you find a clothing store that suits your style – most of the books from Chronicle fit so nicely into our reading lifestyle. And since they’ve been knocking it out of the park with so many new releases this year, I thought I would do a mini reading round-up of some of our favorites.
This book, written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard is, hands down, one of the best read-aloud books I’ve ever come across. The first time we read through it, the whole family was screaming laughing at this roller coaster of a book, and it was the first book I threw in my bag when it was my turn to bring a book or two to read to Vivienne’s preschool class. My only word of advice about this book is that it’s so exciting, so fun, and so silly, that you’re best served beginning with this book in your nightly reading routine – lest you rile up your kids!
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, this inspirational story of a young girl in old China who yearns for more than what girls were usually afforded in those days. Ruby comes from a privileged family, but for her, this means that she can marry whomever she chooses. Ruby longs to go to University like the boys in her family, and her story is based upon the author’s real-life grandmother. This is an excellent story for young girls – it’s good to remember where we’ve come from. Not that I’m of Chinese descent, but hey, as an American woman, it’s good to remember that we’ve only had the right to vote since 1920. There are always strides to be made and barriers to break down.
Two friends, two dispositions, four words, and many hilarious twists and turns make up this book about a picnic. Written and Illustrated by Jeff Mack, Good News Bad News is nothing short of hilarious. It’s another great read aloud, and even better, can spark a game that goes beyond the book into your every day life. My daughter was thrilled to learn the concept of a turn of events, and now we enjoy re-telling things that have happened to us during our day in a “good news, bad news” style.
Bring the art museum to your bedtime routine with these gorgeous board books: Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, A Magical Day with Matisse, and In the Garden with Van Gogh by Julie Merberg,and Suzanne Bober. These books string together some of the most famous paintings of each artist with a little story, and are perfect for winding down little ones at bedtime. And just like a trip to the museum, there’s plenty of room for reflection on each painting, and discussion about the stories and details contained within each picture.
These four vividly colored books by Megan E. Bryant and Luciana Navarro Powell aim to teach early learning skills through dinosaurs. There’s Alphasaurus, the dinosaur ABCs, Colorasaurus, naming colors surrounding the dinosaurs, Countasaurus, number skills, and Shapeasaurus. We are *all dinosaurs, all the time* in our house, so these remain in heavy rotation at bedtime. We love the funky and silly illustrations and the idea behind these books, and of course, big props go to Dr. Scott the Paleontologist from the PBS series Dinosaur Train, because if we weren’t such huge fans of the show, we might be a little lost in how to pronounce names like Diplodocus and Giganotosaurus.
When you shop for books, you would do well to keep your eye peeled for more Chronicle releases. All of these were sent to me for review, some by request, some not, but since the new catalog just arrived in my mailbox, I’ll more than likely be back again with more suggestions for your night time reading routine.