This month's children's book reviews are written by Stephanie Bujak, Children's Librarian at the Cecil B. Moore Library, who loves to share chapter books with her son.
Some preschoolers are ready for chapter books, but picking one that will keep their interest without being too scary or causing nightmares can be difficult. As parents we tend to go back to our old favorites like Charlotte’s Web - but... the pig dies and that discussion is not a bedtime discussion. Here are a few books that are approachable for preschool bedtime reading – they are fun adventures without so much drama and excitement that sleep will be delayed.
Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
This is a sweet adventure with improbable twists and characters that will make you smile and laugh. Oliver Crisp is only 10 years old, but as the son of explorers his first 10 years have been busy and exciting. Oliver is excited to go home and settle down – but his parents disappear while exploring some islands near their home and Oliver sets out to rescue them. When he sets sail to find his parents he meets a grumpy talking seabird, a nearsighted mermaid, and even a living island named Cliff. Oliver and his crew set out find his parents and along the way encounter a wicked sea captain, an army of monkeys, and a rotten island.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly
Ralph S. Mouse and his family live in a knothole in a hotel and he has seen many families come and go. When Keith and his family check in, Ralph gets a chance to explore and see beyond the second floor on Keith’s toy motorcycle.
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1) by Mary Pope Osborne
This is the first book in the Magic Tree House series. We get to meet Jack & Annie and discover a tree house that somehow magically transports them back to the time of dinosaurs. Follow along as the children try to get back home and figure out the mystery of the Magic Tree House.
The Day of the Dragon King (Magic Tree House # 14) by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Tree House books don’t have to be read in number order – previous events are mentioned in a prologue – but each book can stand on its own. In this book, Jack & Annie travel to ancient China to try and save a famous story before the book-hating emperor can destroy it.