You’re Finally Here! by Melanie Watt
Recommended Ages 4 to 8
Most of us hate to be kept waiting. It is especially hard for children. In the book You’re Finally Here by Melanie Watt, waiting has never been this fun. Watt has an in your face style where the book character talks to the child directly and openly, expressing their thoughts and emotions. At first, the bunny is extremely happy that the reader has arrived. The words are big and fill the page with welcomes and enthusiasm to meet the reader. Quickly things change as he asks “But Where Were You?” He then tells the reader how awful it is to wait. It was such a long time that he learned the accordion, gathered dust bunnies and the list goes on and on. This book got the attention of my four and five-year olds pretty quickly. They liked facial and spoken expressions as the bunny continues to expound on his dislike of waiting and how it is kind of rude. The next thing you know, he gets a call and starts to ignore the reader. The irony is not lost on the kids. They were vocal about his actions being not so nice, at the same time enjoying the silliness.
This story is presented in vivid browns, oranges, pinks and greens. It starts on the front of the book jacket and ends on the back. Watt uses every available space to share her art and her words with the reader. This is a fabulous book to read with a group because it held their attention from cover to cover. Additionally, it would work for one on one sharing because there are little details on some pages that children will want to explore again.
Whose Chick Are You? by Nancy Tafuri
Recommended Ages 2 to 5
A mother’s love is a theme that is never old. In the story Whose Chick Are You?, the farm animals are excited because an egg is hatching. The goose, the duck, the hen, the bird and their chicks watch and wonder as a new chick arrives. This chick looks nothing like the others, but in the end the Swan knows because it is her baby.This is an excellent participatory book for story time. As each animal comments, they make their distinctive animal sounds which invites the listener to make the sounds along with them. The pictures are large and very realistic. The earth tones and pastels of each panel boldly illustrate each interaction. The story is short and meaningful as a new life is celebrated by all, but intrinsic to the swan because her baby has arrived. I think of Nancy Tafuri as an excellent closer for storytime sessions. Her stories are short and written with lovely detail. They keep the children interested and involved with their exquisite simplicity.