Kids’ Book Corner: We ♥ Books

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“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.” — B. F. Skinner

It’s never too late for your children to fall in love with reading.  Young readers will ♥ these bright and funny February titles about love, friendship, art and a very special birthday.

DownloadedFile (1)George Washington’s Birthday: A Mostly True Tale by Margaret McNamara, with illustrations by Barry Blitt celebrates the life of America’s first President and the transformative power of birthdays: “When George Washington went to sleep Friday night, he was six years old. When he woke up on Saturday, he was seven. It’s my birthday, he thought. Happy birthday to me.” McNamara and Blitt give us the Father of our country when he was a child, a wise and serious child who was home-schooled, was interested in the weather and good manners, was very tall, and very cranky because, in the story his family has forgotten his birthday. Adults will recognize Blitt’s wry and stylish illustrations from the New Yorker, and kids will simply enjoy the energy of  this comic tale. 6 and up.

DownloadedFile (3)Janet Schulman’s 10 Valentine Friends with cheerful illustrations by Linda Davick is a fun twist on ordinary counting books.  A chunky board book small enough for toddlers, the simple story shows how 10 diverse friends celebrate Valentine’s Day by making cards for each other. I like the way girls and boys are included in the story and the way Valentine’s day become a celebration of friendship: “A dinosaur card, thinks little Pete,/my pal Max would find real neat.” The rhymes are uneven, but kids won’t care. 3 – 5 years.

DownloadedFile (4)I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder is a sweet introduction to haiku just right for Valentine’s Day.  Inside are haiku about snow angels, alphabet soup, and love—between friends, a child and his mother, and a pet for its family.  Synder’s illustrations have a nice simplicity, too.  4 and up.

DownloadedFile (5)Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates is about another kind of love—the passion for creating. You’ll remember Dog from Dogs Loves Books, which told the story of Dog’s bookstore. Now Dog receives a blank sketchbook on which he draws a door, opens it, and enters a world in which his sketches come to life. Readers 4 and up (and their parents) will return again and again to this brilliant adventure.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.