In My Library Tote: June Children's Book Reviews and Recommendations

Since summer started, Jona and I have been making weekly trips to the library to attend the evening storytime. It's a fun way for us to spend time together, and Jona is like a kid in a candy store picking out new books to take home each week. So this month's list has a few titles that I may not have chosen, but ended up being hits for him.

{June children's books}






{Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar} I checked out this audiobook on CD to listen to in the car for our Dallas trip and Jona adored it. Wayside School, mistakenly built with the 30 classrooms stacked on top of each other, is filled with all kinds of characters. There's Sharie, who sleeps through class and falls out the window, and Todd, who has to leave early on the kindergarten bus because he's always getting into trouble, and their beloved teacher, Mrs. Jewls, who is convinced that her students are so cute, they must be monkeys. I loved this book as a child and we all enjoyed listening to the audio version.

{The BFG by Roald Dahl} Before picking up The BFG, I'd been striking out with chapter books for Jona. Ones that I loved (such as Matilda) he couldn't quite get into, and others he lost interest in before we could get very far. When he requested "a book about a giant" for our next read, I was glad to be able to give him just that--The Big Friendly Giant. I had never read this Roald Dahl classic as a child, so it was fun to read it together. 

{The Lego Adventure Book: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs, and More! by Megan Rothrock} Well, if you guessed that Jona selected this title, you're right. He is completely Lego-obsessed, wanting to build all things Lego, watch all things Lego, and even READ all things Lego. I'd be okay if he scaled it back a notch, but this book was pretty cool. For one, the Lego narrator is a girl, which is pretty kick-ass to me. She takes you on an adventure all over, where you can see, step by step, how different things (cars, buildings, a huge dinosaur) are made. If you have a Lego lover, they will enjoy this one!

{Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall} A blue crayon is mistakenly labeled as "red" and he can't seem to please anyone. Some think if he just pressed harder he could be red, or maybe he could practice drawing strawberries just one more time! Finally, when he and others realize that he's actually blue, they discover that he is exactly how he is supposed to be. This is such a clever, entertaining story about acceptance. We loved it.

{Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Tolon Brown} Kindergarten is starting soon, but Monkey is worried about not being ready. What if he doesn't like the snacks? What if he doesn't make friends? Jona pulled this one off the shelf on a recent library visit, and it was an amazingly perfect pick for him considering he will be starting kindergarten next month. He struggles with anxiety in new situations, like a lot of children, so the more books we read about overcoming fears, trying new things, and more specifically, about kindergarten, the better. He enjoyed it, and we may have to re-check this one out next month.

{After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat} We all know the story of Humpty Dumpty, but what happened after? And what was he doing on that wall anyway? In this clever, humorous follow-up to the classic nursery rhyme, we learn that Humpty is an avid bird watcher, but after his accident he is faced with a debilitating fear of heights. Will he be able to face his fear so that he can get back to doing what he loves most? Jona and I both loved this one.

{Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst} I remember reading this classic book as a child, and I thought that Jona would like it as well. Nothing is going right for Alexander. He woke up with gum in his hair, and his day continues to get worse from there. Maybe, he thinks, he should move to Australia. While Jona didn't love Alexander quite as much as I remember loving it as a child, it was a great way to start a conversation about feeling frustrated.

Have you read any good children's books lately? 

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