With two of my grandchildren discovering the joy of reading in this kindergarten year, I am especially tuned in to fun, new picture books with simple repetitive lines that can reinforce reading over the summer break . Here are a few of my favorites that I grabbed from the “New Books” section of our public library, one of my frequent hangouts.
“Never Ever” by Jo Empson: A cute, pigtailed little girl and her beloved stuffed bunny takes us through this story of the imagination as she begins with the declaration, “Nothing exciting ever happens to me! Never, ever! Humph…” Passing through the apple orchard, grasslands, wheat fields, and river she is oblivious to a flying pig following her, gorilla beneath her feet, lion among the grass, and turtles as her stepping stones. The repetitive phrases “never, ever, ever, ever” provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to repeat and “read” this story with an adult. Roar! Yuck and MMMmmmm…yum add some punch to each encounter with an animal.
“Splat! Starring the Vole Brothers” by Roslyn Schwartz: These loveable rodents set out for their stroll when a pigeon flies overhead and “SPLAT,” drops a white mess on one of the mole’s head. “Tee hee, ha ha, ho ho” ensues as the other brother finds this hilarious. The pigeon’s droppings continue to be slug to others with a “Who-hoo” and a high-five until the two have a mishap with a banana peel but realize it is the best protection from future droppings!
It’s not easy to write a fun, silly, and engaging book with few words but both of these books are on the mark for making summer reading a favorite activity.