What’s New on My Nightstand, Wednesday Edition: “The Teacher’s Pet,” by Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Zachariah OHora; “I Love My Grandma,” by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Emma Dodd; “Goodnight, Numbers,” by Danica McKellar, illustrated by Alicia Padron
This one isn’t coming out until June 20, but keep it in mind: “The Teacher’s Pet,” by Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Zachariah OHora (Disney-Hyperion Books, ages 3-5, 40 pages, $17.99).
Mr. Stricter and his students are breeding tadpoles. Once they’re grown, they can keep just one for a classroom pet, he tells them. But… pets and classrooms have a way of getting interesting. Bruno, their pet, (“Isn’t he adorable?” Mr. Stricter asks) smashes, crashes, farts, has allergies and maybe isn’t the best classroom pet. And he doesn’t really look like a tadpole at all. What?!?
How can the students break it to Mr. Stricter?
Funny story, one that will be great for a classroom or library read-aloud, of course, but will be a good one, too, for parents and kids of all ages. (Not limited to ages 3-5.) The ’60s-style art is whimsical and pretty. An engaging picture book.
Speaking of pretty art… “I Love My Grandma,” written by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Emma Dodd (Disney-Hyperion Books, 2016, ages 3-5, 32 pages, $17.99) is another lovely picture book. It’s a rhyming book, with great, big vivid pictures in soft colors. “I go ’round to her house to play/And sometimes we just chat all day.” (Love.) A sweet tribute to the special relationship to grandmas and their grands.
Alicia Padron illustrated Danica McKellar’s latest math/picture book, “Goodnight Numbers” (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017, ages 2-5, 32 pages, $16.99). (Winnie Cooper from the television show, “The Wonder Years,” yes, that’s who wrote this :) She acted, and then she went off to graduate summa cum laude in mathematics from UCLA, go, go, go, Winnie!) Absolutely charming picture book, which will comfort the littles as they unwind for the night, while teaching them basic math concepts.
The art is precious, Padron did a beautiful job. The “frames” within each page are an extra nudge with the math. (The number 7 page, for example, “Goodnight, seven days. Goodnight,whole week. Goodnight, seven teeth so clean they squeak,” for the words, but you also get a cat toy with seven baubles attached, a picture on the wall with seven strawberries, seven buttons on mother’s skirt, and so on. Clever. That kind of repetition enforces the counting, the memorization, and the comprehension of math.
All for now! Enjoy your day, wherever you are.