Here are more children’s books that can be found in the Lennoxville Library, great for daytime or night-time, bedtime or playtime.
Night Monkey, Day Monkey tells the story of two friends. One sleeps in the sun and wakes up to play at night. The other pops awake as the moon goes down, to spend fun times in the brightness of day. Sometimes, one awakens the other and they explore their different worlds.
Day Monkey learns about the strange things that go on in the moonlight. “Stop!” said Day Monkey. “Listen to that! They’re sawing the tree into logs.”
Night Monkey laughed and said, “Don’t be daft, it’s only a chorus of frogs.”
The next day, Day Monkey pokes his friend awake and takes her on a tour. Night Monkey is astonished at what she sees: “Look!” said Night Monkey. “Moths wearing make-up! Why are they in disguise?” Day Monkey laughed and said, “Don’t be daft, they’re beautiful butterflies.”
Night Monkey, Day Monkey, is by Julia Donaldson (with pictures by Lucy Richards). It has solid cardboard pages for little fingers to grab hold of.
How about learning to count in French? Mon Premier Livre de Nombres (filed under “Pre” in the stacks, for its title), asks “how many”? “Combien y a-t-il d’araignees? Combien y a-t-il de chiens?” There are bees, berries and boats to count, horses and carrots and, yes, monkees. Your wee one will learn to count up to 20, and discover words for animals, clothes and what’s what during a day in the park.
For a completely different sort of story, try Goggles!, by Ezra Jack Keats (1969). It’s a beautifully illustrated children’s book that’s a step up from the first two in vocabulary and artwork.
Two little boys, Archie and Peter, discover a cool pair of goggles. But the bigger boys next door are bullies, and demand the booty.
The little kids, however, have a loyal dog as an ally, plus their own smarts, and a secret hideout. Can they hoodwink the bullies? Read it and see.
All these books are filed under a red dot, suggested ages 0 to 2 (though Goggles might be best for kids who are a tiny bit older – the vocabulary is much harder!).
Next, blue dot books, suggested ages 3 to 6.
You might need Archie and Peter’s specs when you’re on the lookout for beasties. When Billy Bixbee discovers his dragon, it’s just the size of a kitten. Still, the grown-ups can’t seem to see it at all! Even when the dragon grows bigger… and bigger… and bigger…. You see, according to mother, There’s No Such Thing As A Dragon. It’s written and illustrated by Jack Kent (1975). Still, “By noon the dragon filled the house. Its head hung out the front door, its tail hung out the back door, and there wasn’t a room in the house that didn’t have some part of the dragon in it.” Yikes!
But still, mother says there’s no such thing as a dragon. And Billy has to somehow fix this problem…
From the very big, to the very little: Busy Little Mouse, written by Eugenie Fernandes and illustrated by Kim Fernandes (2002), takes us to meet all the animals in the farmyard, one by one. “The timid little sheep tries to hide away underneath a friendly cow. What does the little cow say? Moo! Moo!”
Next, try another delightful red-headed Stella adventure, as told by Marie-Louise Gay. When Stella Was Very, Very Small (2009) is another Gay book that will grab a child’s imagination as much as that of their parent. “When Stella was very, very small… every night before going to bed, Stella listened to the trees talking. They told stories about holding up the sky with their branches and tickling the bellies of the smallest clouds.”
Gay is a Quebec author who has found success in more than 15 languages; she’s sold more than 1 million books. Her work is not to be missed.
Good Reads will finish off this week with a bit of history — the Underground Railroad smuggled escaped American slaves to freedom in the mid 1800s. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story From The Underground Railroad, by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson (2007), tells the story of one slave, a boy named Henry Brown. We don’t know how old he is — and neither does he, since slaves weren’t allowed to know their birthdays.
Henry is given away to a new owner, a white man who beats him when Henry makes a mistake. This is the story of Henry’s life and losses, and the story of how the Underground Railroad helped him run away to the northern United States, where there was no slavery.
– Eleanor Brown, September 30, 2011