Our hero is a sweet little bear, who one day chances to come across a red balloon. (Why are they always red? If you don’t have “99 Luftballons” in your head, you are not as old as I am.) The bear is enchanted by the simple pleasures of playing with a balloon, and proceeds to show his new playmate his home.
Now that my kids are six, I can look back at their toddlerhood with a nostalgia born of the security of time and distance. This book was a little bit of an unexpected gut punch.
Little e is a cute little letter who knows he is a hero; after all, he comes from a long line of distinguished Es.
Now if only he can prove it. He has his cape at home and dreams of being a hero, but at school no one pays him any attention. Probably because he doesn’t have much to say.
Violet Shrink, by Christine Baldacchino, and illustrated by Carmen Mok, is really a parents’ how-to manual masquerading as a children’s picture book, but not to worry, kids will appreciate it too.
Mónica and Hannah have a new teacher, Miss Shelby, and they have more in common with her than they think. Mónica is from Bolivia, and misses her grandmother, and the hummingbirds they fed together in the backyard. Hanna is from Israel, and misses the way the wind whooshes through the desert, and the tortoise that lived in the sand dunes outside her house. Together, Mónica and Hannah form the Homesick Club
This book is a fantastic leap into the mind of a young child burdened with her older sibling’s doom-and-gloom predictions for the future. Upset, they go to grandma who assuages their fears and shows them that beyond all the predictions of bad things lies the possibilities of good things.
Another book in the bedtime-for-little-kids genre! Another good book I should add. A very patient and imaginative mother (why is it always a mom?) [Editor’s Note: Because books about fathers are rarely published.] goads her fiercely independent daughter to bed. The scene is familiar to anyone who has tried to coax an unwilling child of their own to bed.
On one particular night, a little firefly, struggling to learn to fly, happens to land on his hand. She has tried and tried to fly but has been unable to accomplish this goal. Seeing the little firefly in his hand, the boy confuses her for a star, and we soon realize that the story is in fact about this special little firefly.
Arlo the lion is exhausted, but just can’t fall asleep. As he struggles to sleep, he meets Owl, who shows him a beautiful song that she sings when she has trouble sleeping. Can that help Arlo? Does the song help him relax and prepare himself for bed?