UrbanSitter asked Susan Kundhart, children’s book buyer for Book Passage, an independent book store in Corte Madera and San Francisco, CA, to share with us some of her favorite new children’s books with us. Enjoy!
You Were the First, by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, $17.00, ages 2-5.
Plenty of new-sibling books aim to persuade young children that they will learn to love the new baby, or to take comfort in being able to do things the baby cannot. This lovely new picture book from a beloved author affirms every child’s feeling about a new sibling: Hey, I was here first! “You were the first to cry. You were the first to smile. You were the first to lift your head, to look at the trees and flowers and sky.”
How to Train a Train, Jason Eaton, $16.99, ages 3-7.
Lots of kids are obsessed with trucks and trains, but these kids love trains so much they keep them as pets. Written like a manual for pet ownership, this helpful book gives advice on selecting, naming, training, and caring for your new friend. The illustrations showing full-size engines rolling over on command and snuggling in for a bedtime story contrast hilariously with the straightforward “instructions.”
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, $17.99 Kate DiCamillo, ages 7 up.
From a true genius storyteller comes the story of Flora, who resuscitates a squirrel that has been sucked into a powerful vacuum cleaner. The squirrel awakes with superhero powers: he can fly, he has super-strength, and he even writes poetry on a typewriter. Newbery-winning Kate DiCamillo’s own super-power is, in the squirrel’s words, to “make the letters on the keyboard speak the truth of the heart.” This human-animal friendship ranks with that of Charlotte and Wilbur.
Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon, $17.99, ages 4-8.
If anyone can make a case of head lice fun, it’s David Shannon. He humorously captures and normalizes the panic, embarrassment, and tedium of this common school affliction. Even the mom’s reactions—first panic, then phantom head-itch, then mountains of laundry—are perfect.
You can visit Book Passage any time online to purchase the above books or just browse their fantastic array of staff picks, new book analysis, and other juicy tidbits most avid readers can’t get enough of. Happy reading!