Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Bookworm: Why so serious?

 
We're at it again!  Welcome to Bookworm – our new monthly blog featuring all kinds of book reviews. We'll cover oldies but goodies, new releases, picture books, chapter books, lots of different themes and so much more.  Reading is so important and we hope this blog can help you find books that are just right for your kids. Our introductory review of 3 silly books for little ones is by guest blogger and local mom, Sarah Sawler. Happy Reading!
 
School’s out, the beaches are full, and the marshmallow roasting sticks are out. Summer’s no time to be serious- just ask your kids. If they’re anything like mine, you’ll be lucky if you get any response at all as they zoom by to play on the Slip n’ Slide with the kids next door. But what about those rainy days, the days when there’s no one home to play with, or when it’s time to settle down for bed? Find the right book and there’s no reason for the fun to stop. Read on for three super-silly books that will have your kids shooting lemonade out their noses.
 

 
Shark vs Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld
Reading level: Ages 4-8
 
Ever wondered who would win a battle between a shark and a train? Probably not, but Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenfeld have put some serious thought into it. Shark and Train are put to the test as they compete in pie-eating and burping contests, games of hide and seek and giving carnival rides (guess who wins that one?). A hilarious and imaginative story with illustrations and dialogue to match, this book will have your kids pitting Shark and Train against each other in ways only they could think of. And there’s nothing wrong with encouraging a little imagination.
 
 
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Reading level: Ages 3+
 
Just about everyone has gotten something stuck in a tree- a Frisbee, a cat, a kite… This is exactly the dilemma that Floyd finds himself in at the beginning of Stuck. But Floyd is a determined fellow, and not one to let a small setback like that ruin the fun. He does what anyone would do – throws stuff at it. A lot of stuff — and it all gets stuck up there with the kite. By the time he gets his kite back, there’s a shoe, a ladder, the family car, a couple of firefighters, and a saw (to name a few items) stuck in the tree. Of course, Floyd does what any kid would do when his kite finally falls — runs off to play. The firefighters are still trying to figure out how to get down when Floyd falls asleep. Accompanied by Oliver Jeffers’ quirky, trademark illustrations, this book is guaranteed to leave your kids giggling.
 
 
 
13 Words by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman
Reading Level: Ages 1+
 
This book is absurdity at it’s finest– not unexpected in a picture book written by the man behind A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is the story of a bird who has been given the task of painting eleven ladders (in 10 colours). Why? We never find out, but he’s not happy about it. To cheer him up, his roommate, a goat, drives off to buy the bird a hat from a baby who owns a hat store. The story wraps up with the bird and the goat eating cake while being serenaded by their friend, a mezzo-soprano. The colourful and whimsical illustrations manage to keep pace with the randomness of the text. Not only will this book keep your kids entertained, but it will also expand their vocabulary by introducing them to useful words like despondent, haberdashery, and panache. It might even entertain you a little bit, too.  
 
So on those days when the wind is howling, the rain is falling in sheets, and you’ve run all out of glitter, googly eyes and construction paper, pick up these books for a little bit of silly summer fun.
 
 
Sarah Sawler lives in St Margarets Bay, N.S., with her partner and her two boys. A love of reading has inspired her career in magazine and web writing, as well as her upcoming blog, Between the Lines, which is expected to launch in September 2012.