It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Most of us probably remember reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. In the original, charming tale, depicts a little boy trying to appease a mouse with a cookie, and then a glass of milk, on and on, until the story comes full circle and the mouse asks for another cookie. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was followed up by several more in the same vein; If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Dog a Donut, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, and more. These books are all super fun for preschoolers and early school-agers, but they’re still a bit much for my toddler to sit through.
I’m here to tell you that even if your little one is still very squirmy and hard on books, you can still enjoy the charming artwork and storytelling of Numeroff and Bond. The first time we encountered one of these Mouse board books was in the form of It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! It’s time for Mouse to decorate his pumpkins. He paints faces on four pumpkins, and each is a different emotion. Then, his friend, Dog, joins him, and the two have even more fun together.
The story is very easy to follow, and the pictures are just as charming as those in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. This is one of Monkey’s favorite books to read over and over. I like to ask her where Mouse is on each page, as well as quiz her on the emotions depicted by the various pumpkins. There are also a few chances to count all of the pumpkins. Since Monkey likes this book so much, and it gives us so much to learn in such simple pictures, I’ll give this book a five egg rating. If you want a charming board book for fall, this one is a great pick. It will keep your little one learning while they play with Mouse and Dog.
Numeroff, L., & Bond, F. (2012). Its pumpkin day, mouse! New York, NY: HarperCollins .
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The Hallo-Wiener, by Dav Pilkey
In our home, we love seasonal and holiday books. Anything to celebrate the current season, and share some giggles over, is always welcome. Halloween can be a little tricky to find good books for. Some books focus way too much on candy, while others focus on being naughty. I once had to read a Halloween book with the most annoyingly anti-climactic ending ever to not one, but three, classrooms of preschoolers. We nearly started a little, baby riot. This book, however, will not disappoint.
The Hallo-Wiener is a charming, ridiculous book for Halloween. It was originally published in 1995, but is widely available now, because of the popularity of its author (and illustrator), the great Dav Pilkey, of Captain Underpants fame. We used this for a special Halloween storytime at one of my libraries (actually, Ariel did this one with me), and I was so excited to find it in board book form at my local supermarket. The Hallo-Wiener stars Oscar Myers, a puppy (“half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long”) who is looking forward to trick-or-treating with his classmates, until he sees the embarrassing costume his mom made for him. But, being a good dog, Oscar wears the costume, endures the teasing from his peers, and ultimately saves the day and regains his dignity. The illustrations are rich, spooky, and silly, all at once. Be sure to look for the little details Pilkey has loaded into each picture; they make the story even funnier. This is a fun, lighthearted read, especially great for fall or Halloween. Monkey loves nearly every story with dogs in it, so we’re big fans.
I think Hallo-Wiener is a solid four-egg book. The adults in our home love how clever it is, but Monkey just wants to point at the dogs. She'll sit and listen to most of it, but it isn't a book that she's asking me to read, so I know it isn't one of her favorites.
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Pilkey, D. (2014). The hallo-wiener. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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