McElligot's Pool by Dr. Seuss
This classic Dr. Seuss, published in 1947, is one of our kid’s all-time favorites. While fishing in McElligot’s (teeny tiny) pool, Marco imagines all the super-amazing things that he might catch if he’s patient. “I might catch a fish with a long curly nose. I might catch a fish like a rooster that crows. I might catch a fish with a checkerboard belly, or even a fish made of strawberry jelly!” A hilarious read, true to Dr. Seuss’ enduring themes of big imaginations and optimism.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Re-live the fairytales you loved as a child—Chicken Licken, The Really Ugly Duckling, The Tortoise and the Hair, and others. Wait, those aren’t the stories you remember? But they are, only sillier. (Sidenote: To abide by the "we don’t use the word ‘stupid’ in our house” rule, we change the title to “Crazy Tales.”)
Trixie Ten by Sarah Massini
Trixie Ten has nine (annoying loud) brothers and sisters. She longs to get away from Wanda One, Thomas Two and the others for some peace and quiet. When she takes off, she finds out the rest of the world is just as loud—and she feels very lonely. Soon enough her nine siblings notice she’s gone and bring her home where she happily drifts off to sleep, feeling lucky to be just where she is. “It’s just as noisy as usual. But that’s the way we are.” Our kids identify with the loud-sibling theme and dig the Ed Emberley-inspired thumbprint illustrations so much, they’ve been making their own Trixie Ten creations.
We Love Each Other by Yusuke Yonezu
This little board book makes a super sweet valentine for a baby or toddler in your life. (And our preschoolers still pull it off the shelf.) With a message of “love," it introduces color, shapes and animals in a charming way — with vibrant, happy illustrations die cut to reveal surprises. While most of the board books in our library have now been passed on to younger cousins, this one will stick around.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . . BLORK. Or BLUURF.” And that’s when the belly laughs begin. Our kids find it hil-AR-ious. If you’re an adult, and you come to our house, they’ll try getting you to read it to them. And it’s probably more imaginative and hysterical than any kids’ book you’ve ever read. Yay for originality!
Maude, The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton by Lauren Child
The Shrimpton family is a crew of exuberant, oddball characters who stand out from the crowd — except Maude, who’s more of a wallflower. When Maude asks for a goldfish for her birthday, her over-the-top family gets her a tiger instead. But things don’t go quite as the family expects. (Tigers, as it turns out, get ferociously hungry.) Maude is a kid-friendly take on the quirky, dark humor of the The Royal Tenenbaums — reminding us that dysfunctional families are the most entertaining kind. And sometimes blending in is a useful trait.
Alphabetics by Patrick & Traci Concepción
This ABC book’s subtitle, “An Aesthetically Awesome Alliterated Alphabet Anthology,” pretty much sums it up. Captivating illustrations and semi-outrageous tongue twisters like “Yvette the yuppie Yeti yodels a yearnful yawn after finishing a yard of fro yo in the Yukon” get our kids giggling. And it leads to some rad vocab lessons. (Glossary in back for parents who need a hand.)
In the latest free DIY from the Wee Workshop, kids can make their own Halloween-inspired books.
The workshop was tested with a group of wildly imaginative kids at the Cooper Hewitt’s Harlem Design Center, and includes a fill-in-the-blanks story, instructions for DIY stamps and inspiration for stamping your own illustrations.
Download the Hallowee Spooky Story Wee Workshop right here.
When you're done, share your creations at www.facebook.com/weesociety.