What We're Reading, April 2019
Reviews and Thoughts on There’s a Bear on My Chair, Poor Little Rabbit, and Triangle
To mix things up a bit, I’m going to start posting regular blogs where I share and review some of the favorite books we are reading, discovered on our weekly library trips. Happy reading!
From our most recent haul of 15 books, three titles have risen to the top—as in, read-these-every-night-or-I’ll-throw-a-fit status. The books:
There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins (2015)
Poor Little Rabbit by Jorg Muhle (2017)
Triangle by Marc Barnett & Jon Klassen (2017)
1. There's a Bear on my Chair
First, There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins. This rhyming tale about a mouse who has his favorite chair taken over by an unwelcome bear is fun all around. Not only is the rhyme perfect, but it is unique in that every rhyme is based on the same sound—“air.” Think bear, chair, hair, underwear…you get the picture. The fun tables-turned moment at the end always elicits a chuckle from my almost 2-year-old, it cracks me up every time. As author-illustrator, Collins does a great job with the illustrations—they are so simple, and yet so much expression is packed into the faces and body language of the characters. The pictures truly do move the story along as much as the text. As a writing exercise for myself, I would love to use this book as a mentor text, it would be a great opportunity to work on my rhyming skills and have some fun in the process.
2. Poor Little Rabbit
The next favorite is Poor Little Rabbit, another author-illustrator number by Jorg Muhle. This is a short and sweet read, but unique in its interactive component. As little rabbit gets hurt, needs a bandaid, and needs comfort to get back to playing, the text involves the child in the process—from blowing on the scrape, to wiping away his tears, to brushing the dirt off little rabbit’s clothes. My boys adore these little pretend actions of helping little rabbit feel better, and the sneaky backdoor is that the book also helps them better understand a) how to calm themselves when they are hurt, and b) how they might help a friend (or brother) who gets a scrape. Fun and a lesson in one cute little package? Yes, please!
Finally, we are loving Triangle by Barnett & Klassen. This book tells the story of Triangle, who sets out to play a sneaky trick on his friend Square. At the end, the tables seem to have turned, but then the last page asks a question of the reader—“but do you really believe him?” My boys seem to love having the book ask a question of them, essentially giving them the power over how the story ends. This is ingenious, and makes an already adorable and beautifully-illustrated story irresistible to the reader. One thing unique about this book is the simplicity of the characters—Triangle is literally a triangle with legs and eyes, and same for Square. That Barnett and Klassen were able to tell such a compelling story with such simple characters is inspiring. When I grabbed this title at the library, I noticed it was just one in a series, so I definitely know we will be heading back for more!
One thing about regular library trips is that each week there’s a new set of favorites to discover! Until next time, keep reading! 😊