Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Maybe… is hilarious

Maybe… by Chris Haughton, (Sept. 2021, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536220247

Ages 3-7

A mother monkey warns her three little ones against going to the mango tree. There are tigers lurking! As soon as Mom leaves, you know what happens. The three rationalize, rationalize, rationalize: “Hmm… maybe… maybe we could just¬†look at the mangoes. That’d be OK. Right?” Naturally, looking at the mangoes leads to getting closer… closer… This hilarious story about pushing boundaries will make kids and grownups alike laugh out loud in recognition. The suspense keeps readers turning the pages and makes for a fantastically dramatic readaloud that will make your listeners gasp if you play it along with Haughton’s expert pacing and theatrical pauses. Chris Haughton’s digital artwork is bold and dramatic, with expressive monkeys whose blue and green coloring stand out against the brightly colored backgrounds. Sharp-eyed readers will see the murky outlines of the tigers lurking in the background, just like Mom said.¬†Every single Chris Haughton book is a storytime hit for me; this joins the ranks.

Maybe… has a starred review from The Horn Book. Download a free activity kit at publisher Candlewick’s website.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Don’t Worry, Little Crab! An adventure awaits!

Don’t Worry, Little Crab, by Chris Haughton, (April 2020, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536211191

Ages 3-7

Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a very tiny tide pool, but head out to see the ocean one day. Little Crab is SO excited, tic-a-ticking and splish-splashing over the rocks, across the pools, and through the seaweed, but when they arrive at the ocean, it’s VERY BIG. Little Crab is nervous, but Very Big Crab is there, assuring that all is well. The waves WHOOSH! over the two, and Little Crab is very nervous, but together, the two brave the waves and discover a colorful, beautiful world under the water! One of my favorite picture book author-illustrators, Chris Haughton never fails to capture humor and tenderness in his books, and Don’t Worry, Little Crab beautifully explores the relationship between a caregiver and a child. We’re there, gently guiding, always protecting, and encouraging our little ones to be brave, because we’re standing with them.

I love this book for storytime. It lets me use my We’re Going on a Bear Hunt sound effects and movement: the tic-a-tic of crab claws over rocks; the splish-splash as they move through tide pools, the squelch, squelch of stepping through ooey, gooey, seaweed, and – biggest of all – the WHOOSH! of the waves as they rise over the two crabs. Use your voice, use your body, really get the kids invested in the storytelling. It will be amazing. The digital illustrations are shades of blue and green, with a riot of vibrant color greeting the crabs as they arrive at the ocean floor. Absolutely wonderful for storytime, cuddle time, and any time. Candlewick has a free, downloadable activity kit with coloring sheets! Make art for your fridge!

Don’t Worry, Little Crab has starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus.