Remember this box from last week? It was the greatest delight to find it sitting outside my door one day when I came home from work. Would you like to see what was inside it?
Books! Children’s books, to be exact, for the ‘alternative’ family. You may recall I sent up a plea for children’s books recommendations for the nontraditional family a couple weeks ago. You all came through with some great recommendations — thank you! One reader in particular, author Annette Simon, was kind enough to suggest her own book, Robot Zombie Frankenstein! Considering the mother/baby for whom I was looking is super into zombies, Annette’s book sounded perfect. Little did I know that when Annette offered to send me a copy of her book (yes, please!), she also got in touch with the good people of Candlewick Press and asked them to send me more ‘alternative’ kids’ books. And boy, did they deliver!
Robot Zombie Frankenstein! is the perfect book to read with your silly, giggly young un’. It’s quirky, vibrantly illustrated and just a load of fun, especially if your kids were born in the Waking Dead generation and have absorbed some of the zombie references from our culture. What I love most, though, is that it’s perfect for young children; it says ages 4yrs-8yrs, but I think 4 and below would enjoy its off-the-wall humor, too. I’d been looking and looking for alternative books for younger children and it’s really slim pickings. So, thank you so much, Annette!
Also in the box was:
Otter and Odder by James Howe, illustrated by Chris Raschka, about an otter who falls in love with a fish.
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, which I’m sure you’ve seen by now, about a guppie who swims away with a bigger fish’s hat.
Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families, by Robie H. Harris and Nadine Bernard Westcott, which uses simple language to teach kids about different families and that, “whoever is in their family, they’re perfectly normal and wonderful.”
Finally, a chapter book for older kids (or kids at heart) called The Infects by Sean Beaudoin. This one looks fun, though maybe a little too scary for me. It’s about a group of juvenile delinquents who go on a character-building camping trip in the wilderness and have to employ all their horror movie resourcefulness when their counselors turn into a pack of flesh-eating zombies.
I keep calling these books ‘alternative’ children’s books, but what does that even mean? Honestly, I think the kid that watches My Little Pony on repeat would enjoy these just as much as the kid that has a skull and crossbones mobile hanging over their bed. Thank you so much, Annette and Candlewick, for introducing me to so many delightful new books.
On a related note, I’m curious: what are some of your all-time favorite children’s books?