There are times when you are tired, but the kids still want you to read to them. There are also times when they want several books, but you need them to go to bed soon. For those times, it’s great when you have quick books that are still cute, fun, and engaging.
Harry Is a Scaredy-Cat, by Byron Barton was a favorite of mine and my brother when we were younger. This is a simple, quick story about a boy who is called a scaredy cat by everyone, and he is afraid of everything. Then he goes to the circus, and after several surprising things happen, he gets home and shows his parents and friends that he isn’t a scaredy cat, he’s an acrobat! (We all loved that last line!) From a current-day perspective, it isn’t really nice to call people a scaredy-cat, but the general theme of the book is more about a child who overcomes his fears, and while there is name calling in the book, everyone changes their tune by the end. I love it, and my kids really liked it.
Stanley Goes Fishing, by Craig Frazier is a gorgeous book. This is a simple, brilliantly colored, and engaging book about a man who goes fishing. He starts to fish in the stream, but all he catches is a boot. Then he sees that the water and the sky look the same, so he starts to fish in the sky! He catches brightly colored fish after fish, and soon his buckets are overflowing. He releases the fish back into the stream, and then “It had been Stanley’s best day of fishing ever… and the fish’s too.”
Bubba and Beau, Best Friends is by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Arthur Howard. If your kids like babies and puppies, they will enjoy this sweet book divided into four very short “chapters”. Bubba is a crawling baby, and Beau is a young puppy: “It didn’t take long for Bubba and Beau to become Best friends. For one thing, they both went around on all fours. They were both keen on chewing.” The storyline is gentle and cute, and we love the illustrations, which are by the same person who illustrates the beloved Mr. Putter and Tabby books.
My Buddy, Slug is by Jarrett J Krosocza. I picked it up because we have a family friend who loves slugs, and I’m glad I did. This is another short story, but this one is about a boy who has a slug friend who talks too much. We might know some people like that here. When the boy (Alex) becomes tired of having his slug friend around all the time, he tells his Mom he’s sick of Slug. Slug overhears this, and stops talking to Alex, and stays away from him. As the days go by, Alex becomes upset – he is reminded of when he lost a friend because his friend moved away, and he feels lonely without Slug around all the time. They make up at the end, of course, and Alex remembers how much fun Slug is, even if he does talk all the time!
All four were quick and fun books that all three girls (ages 3, 6, 8 ) and their mother loved. We recommend them all!