1. Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity - On first reading I just didn't think this lived up to the original. On a second, closer look, I fell in love. The middle of the night phone call, the details in the illustrations. . . but I'm still frustrated that I have to change the way I pronounce "Knuffle" when reading the first book if I want to keep Trixie's voice consistent.
2. Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon
I was singing the praises of How I Became a Pirate as my favorite Pirate Book for kids. And now we have a second one. How can you not love anything illustrated by David Shannon?
3. The End by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Richard Egielski
What a delightful book! And one you probably won't mind rereading as often as kids are likely to ask for it. The story is told backwards, so for younger listeners a second reading is a must. The Sendakian illustrations charmingly depict giant tomatoes and a dragon afraid of bunnies. See, it has a Buffy reference, how could it be anything but wonderful?
4. 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
I shared this with a lot of second graders last spring. They loved it. Not only is the main character mischievously unrepentant for stapling her brother's hair to his pillow or writing her George Washington report on beavers - she has a thing about beavers - but the illustrations are fully as mischievous as the text.
5. Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy MacLennan
I was hoping to use this Friday for the first time. Turns out I have a meeting and will have to relinquish story time. I'll have to wait to see if the kids agree with me, and enjoy the rhythm and rhyme.