Children's Book Reviews

OWTK – Monthly Book Suggestions for May 2006 – Chris Raschka

My wife and I introduce books to our daughter that look interesting and have a great story behind the images. We do not specifically follow the recommended ages and thus we tend to have some longer, more wordy books available for our little girl. She, in turn, has responded by being able to sit through a longer word based book without getting bored. We are confident that introducing longer books at an earlier age can and does help develop elongated attention spans. That being said here are two great books involving illustrator Chris Raschka that would be ideal for a toddler of any age. The first is called The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka. The story is wonderful as told by a little girl in her voice who is visiting her Grandparents one weekday. It is a decidedly fun book but also touches on some complex emotions for little kids (and adults at times!) such as being happy and sad at the same time when her parent’s return from work to scoop her up and head home. Raschka’s illustrations are terrific and compliment the story perfectly. The second book is another by Chris Raschka called Charlie Parker Played Be Bop which tells a brief “tale” of the great sax player nicknamed Bird. Raschka uses a rhythmic text that when read aloud mimics the rhythmn of Be Bop Jazz. Your child should love the crazy words and non-words Raschka uses to make jazz sounds emerge from your mouth and the paintings are again, wonderful. While the reading of this book aloud and in rhythm may be difficult or seem strange at first this short book is perfect for your little ones. Playing a Parker record to further illustrate the sounds and rhythmns is an excellent way to bring this great music into your home.


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