I've come up with a personal reading challenge. Every library visit, while the lovely ladies and fine young gents play with the puppets and the doll house, I browse the book flyers. "Ooo, that looks good," I think. "I should look for these books sometime," I tell myself.
Finally I decided I'd better just get on the stick and actually read some of the books I've been "Ooo"-ing over, starting with Great Read-Alouds, Ages 3-5. A few books on the list we've already read together: The Mitten by Jan Brett (I wrote a review of The Mitten here); Corduroy by Don Freeman; a Poohsticks favorite, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats; The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson who wrote and illustrated the Harold and the Purple Crayon books; and one of my very favorite read-alouds, Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel.
Our first new-to-us book from the Great Read-Alouds list:
The Lion and the Little Red Bird, Elisa Kleven. I fell in love with this story the first time I read it to the fine young gents, and they love it too. A little red bird follows the lion trying to discover why the lion's tail changes to a different color every day. The mystery of the lion's tail has a simple reason that isn't completely predictable. Absolutely charming, The Lion and the Little Red Bird has beautiful artwork-- lovely collage illustrations-- and the story is wonderfully written.
The Paper Princess, also by Elisa Kleven was on the shelf next to The Lion and the Little Red Bird, so this book came home with us too. A little girl colors and cuts out a paper princess and they become fast friends. As the little girl tries to decide what to use for hair for her princess the wind blows the paper doll away. The paper princess finds her own hair and has other adventures as she tries to find her way back to her girl. Another sweet story with a charming conclusion. As in the story of the lion and the bird, the illustrations for The Paper Princess are perfect. The gents pulled both books off the shelf nearly every night. I've enjoyed reading these stories so much that I renewed them both so that we can read them for a couple more weeks.
I'm looking forward to checking out more of Elisa Kleven's books. In addition to being lovely read-alouds, they'd make perfect reading and looking for an art unit on paper art and collage. More about Elisa Kleven, including teaching activities and information about her art and stories at her website: http://www.elisakleven.com/