I think the current favorite book at our house is Little Mouse by Alison Murray. At least if you count current favorite as book read most often. Ruth has fallen in love with this sweet story of a little girl, about her age (4). The girl’s Mommy likes to call her “little mouse” which the girl points out is kind of silly. Because the girl is also not little, but tall. And strong. And brave. Each page shows the girl with a different animal representing the way she feels inside. So she is a giraffe or a lion or a whale or a bear. The illustrations have a clean graphic feel and manage to convey a lot of emotion with fairly simple pictures. Each page includes a tiny mouse to find. There is a lot for a four year old to like in this book. I think Ruth does see herself as big and brave and strong. But I think what she likes best is also my favorite page: the last one. The little girl is ready for bed and all snuggled up with Mommy and admits that at the end of the day it isn’t so bad being “quiet and cozy, cuddly and dozy, Mommy’s little mouse”.
Ruth has enjoyed another recent library find almost as much. If Little Mouse appeals to her sweet side, this one appeals to a different darker side. That Is Not a Good Idea is typically Mo Willems. Funny and slightly twisted but with an underlying kid appeal. A fox and chicken meet in a town and the fox invites the chicken to go for a walk. The chicken accepts. Each page with words has a black background and white words giving it a silent movie aesthetic. After each fox-chicken interaction the chicken is getting closer and closer to its doom there is a page showing a chorus of chicks shouting “That is NOT a good idea!” Similar to the classic There Is a Monster at the End of this Book, this one is great fun to read aloud and interact with. I heard Ruth reading it to herself several times. And like “Monster” there is a twist at the end of this book that kids will find hilarious.