10.14.2011

Feature Friday: 10 Best Read Alouds (continued)

So far I've posted about 6 of my favorite picture books for reading aloud with kids:
1. THERE ARE CATS IN THIS BOOK by Viviane Schwarz
2. No, David! by David Shannon
3. DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK! by Michaela Muntean and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
4. Anything by Mo Willems
5. The Book that Eats People by John Perry and Mark Fearing
6. Dirty Bertie by David Roberts

And now for #7 . . .

7. The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black and Peter Brown


Michael Ian Black is probably best known for being a comedian, so when he started writing picture books it came as no surprise that they were funny. But I've been blown away by just how funny kids find them to be, especially The Purple Kangaroo. Whenever I pull this book out of my book bag the kids say things like "I like that one!" and "that one is funny!". I've done quite a few readings of this book now and the kids never seem to tire of it. They like how the book breaks the fourth wall by having a monkey (humor gold!) talk to them directly and that this monkey claims to be able to read their mind. Every line of text fits perfectly and the absurdity of the book is brilliant.



Peter Brown's illustrations, though, are what take this book from being "good" to "pure awesomeness." The illustrations have perfect pacing. The cartoon-like expressions of the characters make it easy for kids to identify. The sketchiness of the lines makes the illustrations more accessible for kids because they can relate their own styles to it. The separation of styles between the "real" monkey and the imagined kangaroo is great. Anywho, there are all sorts of artistic choices that make the illustrations such an awesome complement to the words, but the basic point is that kids love it.