Spring Picture Book Roundup
Check out RKR’s latest picture book recommendations -- perfect bedtime stories for you and your kiddos to enjoy!
DINI DINOSAUR by Karen Beaumont, illustrations by Daniel Roode
Dini Dinosaur was playing outside in the sand and the mud and dumped a bucket over his head! Now he is filthy and in desperate need of a bath, but every time he gets in the tub he forgets to take an item of clothing off! This is a perfect book for reading aloud with fun rhymes that children will delight in finishing: “Silly Dini Dinosaur! Don’t you know? You have to take your pants off…back you go! As Dini works his way through shirts, pants, hats, shoes and more, the joyful rhymes continue. When Dini is finally all clean, after an inspection from mama dinosaur, of course, it’s time for jammies, stories, songs and a good night’s sleep.
Be prepared for giggles at Dini’s silliness, and requests to read this one again and again as children familiarize themselves with the lovely cadence and word play. Encourage young readers to repeat the rhymes that appear on every spread to give them a sense of mastery and you may find them “reading” this back you!
Daniel Roode’s illustrations, created digitally, are bright and cheerful, and Dini and Mama make a sweet pair. This will be a charming and comforting read for the younger picture book set. Recommended for ages 2 - 5.
THERE’S A BEAR ON MY CHAIR by Ross Collins
A small mouse is furious to find a large bear sitting on his chair in this hilarious picture book by Ross Collins, author of The Elephantom and graduate of the Glasgow School of Art. The poor mouse tries everything he can to remove the bear - pushing, giving him a mean glare, trying to distract him with free food, jumping out of a box to scare him and more - and yet the bear sits on. Only when the mouse gives up and disappears does the bear leave, curious to see where the subject of his antagonism has gone. The final spread finds that the mouse has taken up residence in the bear’s house - an ending sure to cause fits of laughter and a sequel.
Full of simple, fun rhymes, the book also offers up excellent opportunities for language expansion with more complex words such as lure, unaware, endangered and more. Children will find the mouse’s antics extremely amusing and adults will too. Overall it is a silly, lighthearted story and Collins’ illustrations match the tone perfectly.
THREE BEARS IN A BOAT by David Soman
Dash, Charlie and Theo are playing at home when they break their mother’s favorite blue seashell. Afraid to tell the truth (their mother is a bear, after all), they set off on an adventure to find a replacement. An old sailor tells them where they might find a new shell, but it evades them even when they are sure they are in the right place. As they tire of their journey they begin to fight amongst themselves, blaming each other for the accident, until a great storm forces them to work together to find calm seas and the way home. Only after landing their boat back on the shore of their home island and realizing that the right thing to do is to tell the truth to their mother do they find a replacement shell. Suddenly, the sailor’s words, “if you look in the right place, I reckon you’ll find it” become clear. Mama is angry with her cubs, yet loves them all the same, and cooks them a warm dinner, but sends them to bed with no dessert.
Dash, Charlie and Theo are brought beautifully to life with Soman’s watercolor illustrations and their voyage is filled with characters and places both whimsical and wise. The storm mimics their brewing anger well, and the power of honesty is an important lesson that doesn’t feel heavy handed. A longer picture book, this is recommended for readers aged 3 and up.