Izzy the Very Bad Burglar by Amy Proud is a fun take on the ageless truism that you can’t pick your family. Born into a family of famed burglars, Izzy, who by nature is actually a good person, doesn’t quite fit in. Burgle she must, but to assuage her painful conscience, Izzy and her friend Frog clean and cook and decorate for the robbed homeowners. They do such a good job that people seek out their services, including the burgling, which helps reduce their clutter. Young readers will identify with the “funny feeling” that comes when we do something wrong, and enjoy the creative way that Izzy and her neighbours find to make that feeling go away. Older readers might enjoy all this as well as the not-so-subtle message against consumerism.
When my husband saw My Amazing Dad by Ezekiel Kwaymullina in the kids’ room, he asked me if I had bought it with him in mind. A sweet nod to the unconventional, possibly unreliable father who is different from most other dads, but whose devotion to his children is never in doubt. Vivid illustrations by Tom Jellett reflect the dad energy emanating from the book.
The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings is such a great book to help very young children help identify, name, and tame the unwieldy nature of our feelings. A little girl helps a mixed up colour monster see that each of its feelings has a colour and a name with fantastic and clever pop-ups that will appeal to the child in all of us. The book closes with an unnamed tender feeling that is given the colour pink, and symbolized with flowers and hearts. Little kids get it right away, and it’s a perfect ending to a book of feelings that is meant just for them.
Emmy award winner Tim Noah hits it out of the park with Country Store, a story and 3 song CD collection. My kids loved the goofy, action-packed picture book, but they love the Country Store song even more. I’ve listened to a good bit of children’s music by now, and Tim Noah is in his element with catchy, country music that tells as good a story as any picture book. Lots to enjoy here.
In Watch the Birdie by Nancy Cote, a small but brave mouse helps a baby bird who can’t yet fly find a way back into her nest. And when it counts the most, the baby bird helps that little mouse right back. Bright and colourful illustrations accompany this tale of adventure and friendship.
When I asked my 7 year old what he thought of How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney, he said he loved it. When I asked why, he replied: “because [the crayons] worked together, didn’t give up, and it was funny”. In other words, the book is appealing because it portrays teamwork, resilience, and humour. I’m not sure an author could ask for a clearer kid endorsement.