Children’s Library: Novelty Books

Children’s Library: Novelty Books

March 16, 2011, Epoch Times

Pages popping with surprises to delight young readers

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When story time needs a twist (say, when your “reading” aloud each book from memory or your 2-year-old is reaching for her tattered and torn copy of Goodnight Moon again) a novelty book can serve to inject just the right new energy into the mix. For more experienced young readers, these books can redefine what books can be.

The marketplace is flooded with pop-ups, lift-the-flap, sound-enhanced, and other forms of what are wholly categorized as novelty books. Here are a few standouts that young readers are sure to find entertaining.

The Crocodile Blues by Coleman Polhemus (Candlewick Press)
Published in 2007, this nearly wordless story features silhouetted illustrations that introduce the “reader” to a man, his cockatoo, and their quirky adventures with an egg-turned-crocodile. The story seems almost set to music as each page reveals another surprising turn in the story. Each picture is worth a thousand words!

The Fantastic 5&10¢ Store: A Rebus Adventure by J. Patrick Lewis and Valorie Fisher (Schwartz & Wade Books)
An old five-and-ten comes to life in this “rebus” story—the classic form in which pictures are used to represent some words or word parts, creating a puzzle of sorts that readers can solve in order to “read” through the story. Beginning and experienced readers alike will delight in successfully uncovering the many unusual happenings inside this quaint store on Pumpkin Street. Published September 2010.

The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Numbers Book and The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Alphabet Bookby Robert Crowther (Candlewick Press)
Under each number and letter of these lift-the-flap books are simple illustrations introducing the most basic building blocks of learning to young readers. The representative pictures are revealed in creative ways: the owl under the letter “O” opens and closes his eyes, for example. The numbers count from 1 to 20 and then by tens to 100, managing to reveal that number of creatures behind each sum. Educational and delightful, these are a home run within their category. Published July 2010.

Good Night Little Bunny by Emily Hawkins and John Butler (Templar Books)
This newly released “changing-picture book” is perfect for the youngest audience, depicting the story of how Little Bunny overcomes his fear of the dark with the help of his forest friends. The sweet illustrations feature baby animals gently transforming with the lift of a flap or by simply turning the page.

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