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Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, March 2, 2018

LiBEARians, Private Eye Monkeys, and Other Funny Picture Books

By Jan Pease

This may or may not be secret information, but I can’t stand it when people refer to the library as “liberry” and to me as a liberrian.     So that makes a new book by Alison Donald, “The New LiBEARian,” both irritating and funny. This begs the question: if the person sitting at the librarian’s desk looks and sounds like a big bear, will Story Time ever be safe again?

Two more very funny books that were written by Steve Sheinkin incorporate time travel, famous historical people, and general silliness.   In the first, Abraham Lincoln escapes from his book and 1860 and pursues his dream of being a professional wrestler.  “Abraham Lincoln, Pro Wrestler” is the title to look for.  The second book is “Abigail Adams, Pirate of the Caribbean.”    Imagine what would happen if the famous First Lady got tired of doing chores at the White House and ran off to join a pirate crew. By the way, all three of these books use the idea of characters escaping off the page of books as a plot device. Is it something in the water?

“Baby Monkey, Private Eye” is a Brian Selznick mixture of picture book, beginning reader, and  graphic novel.  Mr. Selznick experiments with combinations of text and pictures and ties it all together  into a cohesive story.

“When Sophie Thinks She Can’t,”  by Mollie Bang, is the third book about a little girl named  Sophie in the series that started with “When Sophie Gets Angry—Really Really Angry.”   Ms. Bang writes books that help books that help children deal with feelings and frustrations.  She is a favorite author of mine.  I like the message in “When Sophie Thinks She Can’t,” which is that having difficulty solving a problem doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.  It just means that  you can learn to solve that problem, in math or in life.

“Be Brave, Little Penguin,” by Giles Andreae, is a sweet story about a little penguin with a big
problem.  Pip Pip is afraid of water, so he can’t swim in the ocean.  Maybe he needs to read “When Sophie Thinks She Can’t!”  Of course, his mommy helps  him be brave enough to jump into the sea where his penguin instinct takes over and he swims like a pro. 

Finally, I have to tell you about “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car.”  Kathy Dopirak wrote this little book that fits perfectly with the tune “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  A car says good night to all his vehicle friends.“Twinkle, twinkle little car, How you love to travel far!”

I love picture books!  If it’s been awhile since you shared a picture book with a child, borrow a book, borrow a child, and enjoy what happens when you put the two together.  See you at the library!