Reading rhymes and poems to your little ones is a brilliant way of broadening their vocabulary and showing them the rhythms and joys of wordplay within our musical language. You’ll have loads of fun reading the following new books. They’ll soon have you snapping your fingers and tapping your feet to their sweet soulful beat.
Miss Muffet is missing and Detective Blue must find her before it’s too late. With the help of his nursery rhyme friends, he’ll follow the clues to crack the case. Illustrated in a comic book format by Ted Arnold, young readers will enjoy spotting their favorite nursery rhymes hidden throughout the book. So they can sleuth like clever detectives too. (Ages 4-8)
His Shoes Were Far Too Tight is a beloved homage to legendary poet of nonsense Edward Lear. Masterminded by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by the wildly imaginative Calef Brown, it’s an absolute pleasure to read old favorites like “The Owl and The Pussycat” and “The Pobble Who Has No Toes.” Brown’s colorful and whimsical illustrations, coupled with Mr. Lear’s light-hearted verse, dance on the page. (Ages 4-8)
Zoozical is pure lyrical, physical, musical fun! When snowy weather descends on the zoo, the gloomy animals decide to put on a joyful performance to lift their winter doldrums. Marc Brown’s lively illustrations and Judy Sierra’s playful rhymes will have your kids reciting along. They’ll recognize quite a few familiar tunes that they’ll want to sing as though they were also a part of the zoozical extravaganza. (Ages 4-8)
Not Inside This House by Kevin Lewis tells the story of adventurous, young Livingstone Columbus Magellan Crouse who, much to his mother’s dismay, brings home wild animals she’d rather he kept away. David Ercolini paints the boy’s explorations in cool tonal hues that make us feel as if we’re along for the journey. (Ages 4-8)
A Funeral in the Bathroom brings new meaning to the term “potty humor.” Mark Beech’s fanciful illustrations, somewhat reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s, enliven the bathroom high jinx. I admire Kalli Dakos for finding so many different verses for such a small yet intimate setting. (Ages 6-9)
The Bourbon Street Band is Back, so come on down y’all for a listen to their sweet New Orleans jazz. Bobcat Bob is the lovable band leader who won’t give up when the music stops. His devoted band mates join him and other neighborhood musicians to sing until the rising sun shines on them again. Ed Shankman and Dave O’Neill’s book presents a moving tribute to the people of New Orleans who not only survive, but thrive no matter what happens to them. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation. (Ages 5-8)
Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust, Daily Candy, and Babble.