Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $6.99)
It's like someone asked Micah how the perfect book should go. Animal noises, catchy rhymes, AND the protagonist and hero is a TRUCK. I'm on my way to memorizing this one, and Micah is too. He has reached the point where he can fill in the rhymes when he knows a book, even if the word isn't in his active vocabulary. So much fun!
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $6.99)
Sheep in a Jeep features tongue-twisting short rhyming lines, plus a BROKEN TRUCK. Micah says "Boo hoo!" in the saddest, most sympathetic tones. What's not to love?
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins (Random House, $4.99)
Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum! Rhythmic nonsense plus monkeys: perfect for my musical son.
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik (1920-2012), illustrated by Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) (HarperCollins, $3.95)
We lost two bright lights in childen's publishing this year. Little Bear is an enduring classic, and Micah loves both the illustrations and the story. Early readers are awesome for toddlers, because the limited vocabulary helps them to follow more complicated story lines.
Listen to My Trumpet by Mo Willems (HarperCollins, $8.99)
I have been WAITING and WAITING for the day Micah would learn to appreciate the GENIUS synergy of Elephant and Piggie. THAT DAY IS FINALLY HERE. Any and all are wonderful, but we particularly like Listen to My Trumpet because Micah has a trumpet-playing grownup friend. The ridiculous trumpet noises are a fun read-aloud challenge.
Jennifer Woodfin, March 2013