Welcome to the Third edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.
May We Sleep Here Tonight – Written by Tan Koide & illustrated by Yasuko Koide
May We Sleep Here Tonight is a story that begins with three mice who are hiking in the woods and get lost in the developing fog around nightfall. They soon come upon a cabin, and after wondering if it would be okay to seek shelter there, they step inside to find it uninhabited and settle in. Soon after, while the three mice are tucked into bed, two rabbits who had similarly gotten lost in the fog drop in to join them. Furthermore, this little group is soon added to by the presence of three lost raccoons who knock on the cabin door. The story hits its peak when a big scary monster descends from the fog and enters into the cabin, frightening all of the animals who are cozy in bed, but it happily turns out to be Mr. Bear, the friendly bear who lives in the cabin and often hosts lost animals before feeding them hearty stew. Unlike a lot of other children’s books which are illustrated in water colour, this one is drawn in pencil which some great use of shading and soft colouring. This book was quite scary as the bear entered, however, the happy ending ultimately teaches our children about perception and how our minds can play tricks on us.
Laurence’s Water Wings – Written by Leone Peguero & illustrated by David Pearson
Laurence’s Water Wings is a story about children and their individuality. It begins with Laurence waking up and realizing that he is on school holidays. As his two brothers, sister and parents begin to pack their things to go on a family holiday, Laurence puts on a pair of water wings despite being politely told that they are going to the bush and he will therefore not be requiring them. Throughout their entire trip, despite suggestions from his brothers and sister to remove the water wings, he keeps them on. When they arrive home his parents surprise him with the swimming pool they had constructed while on holiday, and still wearing his water wings, Laurence is the first one in the pool. I like this book not just because of the soft water colour illustrations in which colours smoothly bleed into each other, but because it teaches our children that it’s okay to be different. If Laurence wants to wear water wings, let him wear water wings.
Paddington Bear: In the Garden – By Michael Bond & illustrated by Michael Bond
Paddington’s Garden in one of the many stories in the Paddington Bear series. This particular story was published in 2002, but various Paddington Bear stories date as far back as the early 1950’s, and the longevity of this character is testament to the strength of stories such as this. Paddington’s Garden is set in an affluent residence in London, and after Mrs. Brown, the mother of the house, spies Mr. Brown working very hard to maintain their large garden, she suggests that he delegate sections of the garden to their two children and Paddington. After feeling a little tired and overwhelmed with the initial gardening, Paddington uses his allowance to purchase some gardening supplies. However, on his way home he leaves his jar of marmalade at a construction site and after returning he finds that in its place rests a large pile of concrete. After, convincing the site manage to dig up the concrete and recover his jar, they find it was not there but rather on a wooden platform that had been elevated. Unhappy that his now dried concrete is wasted, Paddington saves the day by buying the dried pieces of concrete off him and using them in his garden display.
What I love about this book in particular is that there is lots of text that guides the story, and it doesn’t just rely on the images to look nice and engage your child. This particular edition of Paddington Bear teaches children about being creative in order to solve problems, and is a story best suited to children who have mastered basic reading and are ready to move onto more in depth stories.
Stay tuned for the fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!
You can purchase these books at:
May We Sleep Here Tonight – http://www.bookdepository.com/May-We-Sleep-Here-Tonight-Tan-Koide/9780689832888