Day 9 (Week 2, Day 2)Poor Xander...he was awake at 3am this morning and so he couldn't quite stay awake until storytime tonight! Not entirely sure how I managed it either having been awake since then with him...
Luckily Josh (also exhausted from an early-but-not-quite-that-early start!) was up for another three stories before bed, so we've not faltered in the Picture Book Challenge yet!
1) Star Wars Rebels: Rebels to the Rescue! - Disney
Josh is in a proper Star Wars Rebels phase at the moment, which in all honesty is a pretty awesome phase to be in (have you seen the finale of Season 2?!), and he went straight for this as his first choice tonight. I hesitated briefly, part of me wondering if this is a true picture book compared to everything else we read, and then quickly decided that yes, if he wants to read it and enjoy it then of course it counts. Obviously, the biggest draw of this type of book is the sounds far more than the story, but it's nice to vary things up a bit, and we had the soundboard version of The Gruffalo two nights ago so visited this style before.
Picking up a book featuring your children's favourite characters from TV or films is always a great way of getting them excited about reading, and could be the solution if you've got a reluctant reader. Whether it's retelling a story they've seen on TV or telling a brand new one, it's fun for them to revisit the characters on bright colourful pages like this, and a stepping stone for further reading.
I couldn't find any author or illustrator beyond 'Disney', hence the sparse credit above!
Chris says: Having a soundboard always gives the kids something extra to do while we're reading, and when it's Star Wars it's always going to be fun for them. Though, as I'm sure all parents know, you do try to avoid bringing these out too often...it can get a little repetitive!
Josh says: I liked having all the sounds to go along with my favourite Star Wars things, like lightsabers and Tie Fighters.
2) Pirates in Pyjamas - Caroline Crowe (Author) & Tom Knight (Illustrator)
A lovely rhyming tale of the fun pirates have when they all go to bed, with plenty of different types of pyjamas for children to laugh at. There's even a bit about a pirate's bare bottom - what's not to like?! It's bright and colourful (particularly the pyjamas themselves!) and it's a wonderfully fun visual style to go along with a wonderfully fun idea! Let's just hope that Josh doesn't get ideas of swashbuckling in his pyjamas tonight having read it just before he went to sleep!
Chris says: I love how bright this is for a story taking place at night! No wonder pirates are a grumpy lot if they stay up all night having playfights. This is marvellous fun!
Josh says: I liked when the two boys were playing pirates because that what I do like to do with my brother.
3) Penguin Problems - Jory John (Author) & Lane Smith (Illustrator)
There's so much that's perfect about Penguin Problems that I really could go on and on and on about it. It's definitely one of the best picture books of 2016, and I've pestered (subsequently grateful) colleague after (subsequently grateful) colleague into reading it too. It's the absolutely hilarious tale of a penguin who is dissatisfied with everything he comes across, whether it's the cold of Antarctica or noisy penguins, a do-gooding walrus or too much snow. I laughed and laughed at the bit where he tries to find his parents (I realise as I write this how uncaring this sounds...), and where he dismisses the advice of the walrus almost immediately. I love grumpy animals, and the illustrations to go along with this really do make the penguin seem extra grumpy. It's another brilliant example of a book that will make adults laugh as much as their children.
Chris says: It's got a grumpy penguin who complains about everything - there's literally nothing not to love! The length of the inspirational speech the walrus gives, only to be immediately dismissed, is genius, as are the reactions of the penguins that are mistaken to be parents. This is just perfect for me, let alone the kids!
Josh says: I liked when the penguin said that everyone looked the same and couldn't find his parents (N.B. Again, I promise, it's not as uncaring as it sounds!).
So, to summarise Day 9...
An evening full of rebels - the Rebels from Star Wars Rebels launching a rescue mission; rebellious pirates having fun in their pyjamas; and a grumpy little penguin rebelling against Antarctica's social conventions (I know, I'm stretching with that last one but I assure you it fits if you look at it a certain way!). All three are full of fun to get your children excited about reading, and Penguin Problems in particular should keep you laughing through the next few years.
Here's hoping Xander manages to stay awake tomorrow so he doesn't miss the books for the third evening running!