We've been busy this month, but also at home more than usual, what with March Break and Easter weekend and everything else. which also means more storytimes in the middle of the day. Doesn't mean more varied stories, mind you, because like many kids, Pumpkinpie will ride it til the wheels fall off, or until I bring home something newer. Here are a handful that have, for better or for worse, been on repeat play at our house this month. Oh, my poor throat.
Unicorn Races, by Stephen J. Brooks, ill. Linda Crockett
This is one I received for a publisher's review, and as soon as she saw the sparkly, purple, unicorn-bedecked cover, she sprang upon it and claimed it. I like to preread things, but I didn't even get the chance. As it turns out, it is fine for a three-year-old, even if it was sent to me for older kids. It is awfully girly, which means she loves it and I wouldn't choose it, but will read it for her because it is not offensive, just not my style. Who am I to impose my style on her, anyhow, right? For the full review, take a peek over at Kittenpie Reads Kidlit. (This is, by the way, from a small publisher and not available through the library, though it is on Amazon, if you have a unicorn freak in your life! Links at Kittenpie Reads, as above.)
Mad About Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
This collection of six well-known Madeline tales had Pumpkinpie busy for a solid week at least - and stretched out storytime something fierce. Some nights it was all Madeline, all the time! But I do love introducing her to classics like these, and when she loves them, I will fully indulge it until the shine wears off. These are just as charming as ever, although the one about running away with circus gypsies is, um, a smidge dated, and sure to make you cringe a bit. No matter, they love it anyhow.
Cinderella Penguin, and
The Emperor Penguin's New Clothes, by Janet Perlman
These retellings of classic fairy tales are fun - they are pretty straightforward, with the occasional flightless waterfowl twist, like Cinderella's glass flipper. The illustrations are in a cartoonish style with enough details to keep Pumpkinpie hunting princesses while I read, and there are a few cute touches. Overall, I like that they are not too fluffy and princess-y, even while they stay true to the original stories.
The Little Mermaid, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's versions by Ian Beck
This was a tough call for me. Generally, I don't like adaptations - I figure when the kid is old enough to handle the real story, that's when they are ready to hear it. But with all the princess gear going around among her three-year-old set, mermaids - and the Little Mermaid according to Disney - are part of the package. We tried a Disney storybook I brought home, and she was not happy with it, nor was I. I read the original, and wasn't thrilled with the ending, in which she dies. So here it is - my compromise. it's close to the original in many ways, including the sea witch's solution of a dagger, but here it is meant for the prince's new bride. Like the original, she can't do it, and jumps into the sea. But the ending is a departure, and she returns to being a mermaid, having broken the spell with her decision. Using this version feels like a middle ground to me - kind of a cop-out, but not going fully Disney, either. If you're looking for something in between, it's a nice one, and has lovely illustrations that appeal to the girly without being too saccharine, to boot.
Lily's Big Day, by Kevin Henkes
When Lily's beloved teacher announces he is getting married, she is wildly excited. She has always wanted to be a flower girl. Trouble is, Mr. Slinger has a niece... Lily begrudgingly agrees to help the niece out, and ends up with her moment in the sun, after all, when she saves the day. As usual, Lily is a hilarious handful - since she's not your child - and a whole bouquet of fun.
Find these and other new favourites at your local public library!
Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.