Yesterday I found my new favorite children’s book. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees is an adorable story about Gerald, the giraffe who can’t dance like the other animals in the wild. Gerald’s inability to participate in the annual Jungle Dance makes him a bit of an outsider. Think Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer–who wasn’t invited to play in any reindeer games.
With the help of a wise cricket, Gerald learns that he can dance, he simply needed to find the music that worked for him. And when he does find his music, Gerald does back flips. He even strikes a pose reminiscent of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. No, really…it’s in the book. And of course, in true storybook fashion, Gerald gains acceptance from the other animals.
Giraffes Can’t Dance is a wonderful board book for young children, and brings with it a message for all of us. Find your music….and Dance!
One of my favorite books to read to my children is How Do I Love You? Written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, this wonderful book is about a parent’s love for a child. Inspired by the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love You? is a charmingly illustrated and sweet way to spend time with your little ones.
And it doesn’t hurt that it’s a board book. Because I gave birth to two lightening fast page rippers, I’m a sucker for a board book.
I wonder what it says about me that many of my favorite books for my children center around going to bed…
Good Night Little Bear-A Sleepy Time Tale by Veronica Vasylenko is a short and sweet tale about a variety of animals as they go to sleep. As with many children’s books, it rhymes and flows nicely. A fun addition to any young child’s library.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault is an excellent addition to any little one’s library.
What a fantastic book that makes the alphabet the center of its catchy rhythmic story. My children even repeat letters as I say them sometimes. And even though every child is a prodigy in their parents’ eyes, I’m pretty sure they don’t get the whole alphabet thing quite yet.
But it’s a great place to begin. I found myself singing the story to them from day one!
Cars and Trucks and Things that Go
It must be said that this is one of the childhood books I remember most. I can recall making a beeline for the card catalog and heading right for Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. My older brother and I used to make a game out of who could spot the “Goldbug” first. We would turn page after page, shouting and pointing at the “Goldbug.”
As soon as our little page ripping kiddos get a handle on their book vandalism, Cars and Trucks and Things that Go is coming to our home. But for now, we have board books and a version of Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe that is about 3 pages long and doesn’t seem as thorough as Mr. Carle may have intended.
Eight Silly Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Steve Haskamp. This book is one of my favorites. It’s playful and so cute. But maybe not right before bed!
Eight Silly Monkeys by Steve Haskamp
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, is a wonderful book about a mother’s unconditional love.
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
Maybe everyone knows the classics, and I just wasn’t paying attention when that conversation was happening. Perhaps I will find myself in the same position as the 85 year old North Dakota woman who reviewed a new restaurant in town called the Olive Garden.
So, let’s simply consider this a running collection of fun, cute and amusing books that your child or a child you know might like. Some may be obvious classics, but then I guess they are classics for a reason.
Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (2008) ages 4 and up. I have read this to my 1 year olds. I wonder if this is the equivalent to taking a 10 year old child to an R rated movie…oops.