Since I once was a very young reader, I am offering a Saturday morning post that might help children and younger young adults (and especially parents and grandparents of the same) find some really good reads. Today I have picked two books that function as read-alouds or read-alones.
The first, I encountered volunteering at a primary school (ages 4 yrs. to second grade) in Alvin, Texas. When I read the title aloud and offered the cover with, yes, a pig high in the treetops, the first graders I was with broke out in “silly giggles.”Then I found a discarded library copy (Does anyone know where the Koennecke Library is?) in a box of books I bought at a garage sale in my neighborhood. Do Pigs Sit in Trees? is written by Jean Zelasney and illustrated by Mr. Stobbs. (There’s bound to be a story behind that pseudonym!) In the children’s literary tradition there is often a young animal looking for his/her mother. Various animals suggest to little Quinton, a piglet, where his mother might have gone. All Quinton knows is his mother is nowhere to be seen, and he’s hungry! After searching around the farmyard and forming laugh-out-loud images of his mother in ridiculous places, he finally finds her in the cornfield’s mud with all his brothers and sisters happily munching away. The anxiety of the piglet and the satisfactory drawing of the family snuggle at the end make delightful reading and a jumping off place for kids to discuss with Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandad the times they have felt anxious.
All kids seem to like dinosaurs, and Dinosaur Poems by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel is a wonderful book for the “read-to-me-Mommy” demand from a little one. Since T-Rex seems to be hands-down the favorite, his poem comes first:
“Tyrannosaurus Rex was a beast
that had no friends to say the least.
It ruled the ancient out-of-doors.
and slaughtered other dinosaurs.”
Other types of dinosaurs are treated equally humorously, but let me skip to the last–Seismosaurus.
“Seismosaurus was enormous,
Seismosaurus was tremendous,
Seismosaurus was prodigious,
Seismosaurus was stupendous.
Seismosaurus was titanic,
Seismosaurus was colossal,
Seismosaurus now is nothing
but a monumental fossil.”
And so goes life….I predict giggles and the learning of and love for big words out of this one.