Once a week I would like to highlight a book, series, or author that I think would be a great introduction to your child. So, first up is a favorite of my children: Bill Peet. His first books were published in 1959 with over 30 added to his credit before his death in 2002. With beautiful illustrations done by the author himself, the books are often told in rhyme that makes the words flow off the tongue naturally which makes for great read-alouds. No matter if the books rhyme or not, his stories come alive in his illustrations with often very silly characters. Some of my favorites include:
The Wingdingdilly: A dog no longer wants to be a dog, thinking his owner would much rather he be a grand pet like the horse down the road. When a witch casts a spell on the dog causing a rather unusual transformation, he realizes that maybe he was cut out to be a dog after all. And seeing his master search for him convinces him that he made a terrible mistake. Alas, a visit from the witch makes all right again.
Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure: A bald lion goes into depression at his misfortune, but his friends come to his rescue. Collecting crocodile tears for a special cure, his friends watch and wait and wait for a miracle hair growth. After awakening from a deep sleep they soon discover that their cure has in fact worked…and worked…and worked! The poor lion needs a special visit from Barber Baboon to tame his wild mane.
The Caboose Who Got Loose: Katy Caboose doesn’t like being a caboose. She is set free and goes on a journey only to discover that life could be much worse. All ends well when an accident works to her advantage and she discovers a new life with unusual friends.
Bill Peet’s books will entertain parents and children alike. Even my older son will listen when his brother gets a story. The books are long but can be read in 10-15 minutes. Due to the rhythm of most of the stories, they are best for read-alouds.