I realize that little ones aren’t usually my department, but I’ve read three brilliant books lately and I thought I’d share. Just in case you have Christmas shopping still to do…
When Santa Was A Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Sweet and funny, and the kind of holiday book you can read over and over to your kid without throwing up. (A category smaller than one might think.) As a baby and then as a young child, Santa shows some unique traits — a love of chimneys, for example, and a passion for building toys. His parents make all sorts of guesses for his future. They’re wrong, of course, but the fact that the reader knows more than Santa’s parents is part of the fun.
Bug in a Vacuum
By Melanie Watt
Again, a picture book that’s designed just as much for the parent as it is for the preschooler. This poor housefly sucked into the vacuum cleaner goes through each of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief before achieving paradise. Which sounds rather awful when I put it like that, but the book is hilarious. Trust me.
By Dan Bar-el
In this chapter book, Audrey learns about her upcoming trip to the slaughterhouse and, with the help of her farmyard friends, hatches a plan to save herself. But that’s beside the point. The book is funny and wise and the sort of story that could solve all the world’s problems if only everyone would read it. So not only should you buy it for your favourite elementary-school student, you should also buy it for your great uncle who says the UN should build a wall around Syria, and for your aunt who starts every sentence with “I’m not one to gossip, but…” And then you should buy an extra copy for yourself. It’s that good.