Baby Happy, Baby SadMay 05 2009 | 22:35:37 | No Comments

You can only stomach so much Green Eggs and Ham – unless you’re two, then it never gets old – but I’m well into my 30s so I’m always pretty stoked to find a good new children’s book to bring into the mix.

A new crop of talent is staking its ground in the children’s book landscape so long dominated by the likes of Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle.  It’s a good time to be a new dad.

Mo Willems is hit or miss, but when he’s on it’s pure gold. Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, for instance, is a clear winner.  Other pigeon books in the series don’t always measure up.  My Friend is Sad is one of a new Willems series featuring the new Piggie and Elephant duo (occasionally joined by a wise squirrel). This looks to be heavily in the rotation for some months to come.

The award, however, goes to Leslie Patricelli.  Nothing tops Yummy Yucky or No No Yes Yes except maybe her tour de force Baby Happy Baby Sad.  These board books are just the right length for the short toddler attention span, and just the right size for little hands and budding imaginations.  It’s only natural for our kids to imagine themselves as the baby protagonist in these juicy canvases with ultra saturated colors and friendly, thick black lines.

Honorable mention to Byron Barton.  I don’t know if girls would be quite so excited about the Boats / Planes / Trucks trilogy, but our two boys have a whole new appreciation for transportation thanks to Mr. Barton.

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