Kid Lit with my Kidlet: School Library Edition

September 26, 2022 Kidlit with my Kidlet 1

What’s up, Bookworms?

I only want to discuss children’s books right now, so that’s what I’m going to do. Perhaps one of these days I’ll finish one of the many half written blog posts on books I’ve read for my own enjoyment, but until that sounds like fun to me- kids’ books it is! As I mentioned, my dear sweet Sammers is now in Kindergarten, which means that he gets a trip to the school library each Wednesday. It’s a fun experiment, because when we go to the public library, he’s distracted by the play area so I tend to hunt down books I think he’ll enjoy. At school, though, it’s all on Sam to choose. Here are the first three books he’s brought home, and my insufferable thoughts on them. 

The very first school library book Sammy brought home was Barney Backhoe and the Big City Dig by Susan Knopf. It’s a book about John Deere construction vehicles doing construction things. Perhaps I’m just THAT Central Illinois that I know enough about large equipment manufacturers to have any associations with them, but when I think John Deere, I think of the iconic green color. When I see a yellow construction vehicle, I think Caterpillar. I did some googling and found out that apparently John Deere has their own trademarked shade of yellow, which is NOT THE SAME as Caterpillar’s trademarked shade of yellow, but whatever. Backhoes don’t have eyes or mouths either, the paint colors are truly the least of my worries here. This story is alright. I mean, a backhoe wants to dig at a big construction site but keeps getting delayed. It turns out all the delays he encounters help the construction site even without Barney’s direct digging assistance. It’s your standard “boring things are still important” life lesson for kids (in case the Bluey episode wasn’t enough.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t rhyme, it has no quippy dialogue, and there’s frankly nothing particularly fun or different about it. If you child is interested in construction vehicles, I’d steer you toward the Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site or Diggersaurs books before I’d recommend Barney Backhoe and the Big City Dig. If you happen to be a John Deere employee or otherwise rabid John Deere fan, though, this may be one you’d like to add to your library. 


Next up was Goodnight, Grizzle Grump by Aaron Blecha. A grumpy grizzly goes in search of a nice quiet place to hibernate but keeps getting woken up by the noisy wildlife all around him. Eventually he finds a cave and gets his revenge on all the noisy animals with his extremely loud snores. This book was a definite improvement on Barney Backhoe, but we are connoisseurs of fine children’s literature in this household. So much so, that I have read a number of books regarding animals and their hibernation quests. Goodnight, Grizzle Grump, while cute, is not my top pick for hibernation books. That honor belongs to I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep by Dev Petty. I, a full grown adult with a college education (in subjects wildly unrelated to biology, in my defense) was unaware that frogs hibernate until I read I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep . It is both educational and hilarious. 

Finally, we have arrived at Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Scott Magoon. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Katie, are you going to tell us about better kids’ shark books you’ve read now?” It may surprise you, but no, I’m not! This is, actually, the best kids’ shark book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read several kids’ shark books. Sammy told me he chose this book because he recognized it as one they had at his old daycare center, but I was thrilled when he brought it home because Ame Dyckman wrote one of my all time faves from Sam’s bookshelf, You Don’t Want a Unicorn! This book is funny and offers plenty of opportunities for the intrepid caregiver to make silly voices during the read aloud. Practically perfect in every way. No notes. I will be seeking out more Ame Dyckman next time we head to the public library because I enjoy these books as much as Sammy does. Apparently this book has a sequel!

I shall keep you apprised of Samuel’s library choices in the future, my friends. ALSO, we have a SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR coming up and I am VERY EXCITED. Believe it or not, could use another cup of coffee right about now, so I’m going to take care of that. Stay safe out there, Bookworms!

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