These are the books that BoyChild finds hilarious and worth reading and rereading this past week!
The Ravenous Beast, by Niamh Sharkey (2003): With folksy oil paintings for illustrations, images of cute little bite marks taken out of various edible and inedible things, you might think this is just an adorable book about various animals boasting about how hungry they are. Not so, my friends! Each progressively larger animal says he or she is hungry for one more item than the animal before (although this is not a cumulative book–each list is thematic and unique) until the Ravenous Beast–the first to proclaim his hunger–returns at the end to reiterate that he is the hungriest of all…and eats all the other animals (who appear with looks of shock on their faces as he announces by name each one he will eat). BoyChild said, “He eat all his friends?” Yep. Traumatized? No. “Read Rab’nous Bea’t ‘gain!” Like my mother said when I emailed her about his obsession, “Children are little ghouls.” Obviously, this author knows that and capitalized on it, and BoyChild can’t get enough!
Chu’s Day, by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex (2013): BoyChild brings me this book and says (what I always first mishear as “Tuesday!”), “Chu’s Day!” Then he plops in my lap and prompts, “Bad t’ings happen…” If this were a typical Neil Gaiman book, really bad things would happen (like Chu’s parents being kidnapped and locked in a snowglobe by an evil doppelganger with button eyes (Coraline) or there being wolves in the walls or something (The Wolves in the Walls)), but BoyChild is happy to describe all the “bad t’ings” that happen on the few wordless pages in the book: the train’s off its tracks, the balloons escape the blown-away circus tent, and the cars and trucks fall over. (The funniest time was when BoyChild just said, “Oopsie!” (much like Chu’s response to his sneeze) instead of describing the scene on the page where the library and the diner are shown being blasted by the sneeze.) I love the fact that Chu lowers the goggles on his aviator cap every time he thinks he might sneeze; it’s a subtle touch–one that BoyChild hasn’t noticed–but it gives hints of what’s to come for the savvy viewer. It’s a simple book in the vein of the childhood classic “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”, and with a baby panda as the main character, the enormous sneeze is just that much funnier!
What books are your three-year-olds loving? Share in the comments!