Duck on a Bike by David Shannon (2002)
David Shannon is known for his exaggerated, sometimes un-becoming illustrations of chara cters in his children’s stories. Yet in this story, his unique style begets animal characters with human-like personalities, with “Duck” being the story’s main protagonist. The story is written from the perspective of farm animals, who do something quite comical at the story’s end. This is a silly and creative story which young children and parents alike will enjoy reading together. It is especially charming to hear the audio recording narrated by Walter Mayes.
Never, Ever Shout In a Zoo by Karma Wilson (2004)
In this charming story for preschoolers and older children, a little girl learns what happens when a child shouts in the zoo. The story is somewhat rhythmic, with different animals appearing in turn, and each appearance ending with the refrain: “and don’t say I didn’t warn you.” It is a silly way to illustrate to children the need to follow rules because, at least in the zoo, “if you don’t, anything can happen,” as the author writes. Children know that animals cannot really behave as they do in the story, but they sure have fun pretending that they do.
Emily Castilla is an avid reader and mother of three. She has been informally reviewing children’s books for the past six years.