Two new picture books have found their way into our book stack, which includes lots of board books, in the past week. They are Foxy by Emma Dodd (HarperCollins, 2012) and Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney (Knopf, 2012).
Foxy initially caught my eye since the title of the book is the same as my neighbor’s son’s nickname. In fact, since he’s six years old, I lent him my copy before I even read it to see what he thought of this first-day-of-school-jitters tale. He liked it and was able to read it aloud smoothly and independently. Once he returned it, I liked Foxy since Foxy is a magician whose magic tricks to help little Emily get ready for the first day of school sometimes go awry. In addition, the message Foxy sends to nervous Emily is that making new friends (at school) doesn’t involve magic. That’s the kind of reassurance all kids need. Essentially, it’s a way of reminding kids to just “be yourself, always.” (That’s a little advice one of my elementary school teachers wrote in my fourth grade yearbook. It’s stuck with me for a long time!)
This is one books I know I will read to my daughter when she prepares to start pre-school, Kindergarten, and even first grade. So why read it to Isabelle now? Well, it’s simple. The illustrations are fabulous!
Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket is one of those stories with universal appeal. It’s the story about a young bunny who has a blankie that is dirty and needs a washing. Have you ever waited for something you needed to go through the washer and dryer? You know when it seems to take an eternity to get an item back that you need. Well, that’s what this book is about, but it’s from a child’s (or rather a young bunny’s) perspective. It’s a well-written, simple story that will spark personal connections and empathy with the main character.