In My Library Tote: Surprise (and Not-So Surprise) Preschool Favorites

Sometimes I pick up a book for 4-year-old Jona and I know immediately that he will love it. Books about dinosaurs, construction, or anything by Mo Willems are always a safe bet. However, sometimes I bring one home thinking it might end up in the dreaded "pile of ignored books" and I'm surprised to find out that Jona loves it and wants to read it again and again. We encountered a few such surprise favorites this month.

{Surprise Preschool Favorites}

{A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle} Hermit Crab has outgrown his shell and needs find a new one, but how will he make it feel like home? He makes his way around the ocean, adding to his shell until it is just right.
     Preschooler approved? Yes. I was surprised at how much Jona enjoyed this one. He's not a big animal/critter lover but something about this story really appealed to him.

{Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall} Jabari is totally ready to jump off the high dive. Really, he's not scared at all. But maybe he needs to do some stretches first.  And he may need a minute or two to decide what kind of jump he's going to do. Maybe he should just wait until tomorrow.
     Preschooler approved? Oh yes. Jona is a reluctant swimmer so I think he really identified with Jabari, who didn't want to admit he was afraid. We talked about how brave Jabari was for (spoiler alert!) jumping, and we compared it to times that Jona has been brave. And beyond all that, Jona also loved the part where Jabari makes a big splash. :)

{Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie} Thunder Boy Jr. does not like his name. He loves his dad, who's called Big Thunder, but he hates being known as Little Thunder. He wants a name that represents something he's done, like Touch the Clouds or Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth.
     Preschooler approved? Yes, Jona loved this one. He loved all the names that Thunder Boy Jr. came up with, and we had a good time coming up with names that he would choose, like Eats All the Pizza.

{Who's on First? by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello} The classic comedy sketch becomes a picture book, with Rabbit and Bear reenacting the ballpark scene.
     Preschooler approved? Very much so. Jona loves anything to do with baseball, but I thought the comedy would be a little over his head. I'm sure that it was, but he still cracked up like crazy when we read this (just about every night).

{A Not-So Surprise Favorite}

{Dino-Racing by Lisa Wheeler} Dinosaurs and car racing combine in this colorful, rhyming book. The dinosaurs battle it out in drag racing, off-road racing, and stock car racing events.
     Preschooler approved? This one was a no-brainer. Cars AND dinosaurs? I knew right away that this one would be a hit with Jona. And apparently so did he, because this is one he grabbed off of the display.

Have you discovered any surprise favorite picture books lately? Are there any picture books you loved as a child that surprised you? For me, one of my childhood favorites was this tiny little book called Ah Fu about a Chinese river boy. I don't know what it was, but I LOVED that book! 

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