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New to Our Shelves: Less than Traditional Kid Books

A few months ago a publishing company contacted me and asked if I would take a look at a few of their newest books.  As soon as I saw that one was written by Herve Tullet, I jumped at the chance.  In case you’re not familiar with Tullet, he’s the creative genius behind the massively engaging, and uber popular, Press Here. (This interactive book is one of my kids favorites – if you don’t have it, I’d highly recommend looking into it.)


With Doodle Cook, Tullet once again serves up an outside-the-box book full of quirky fun.  This time around it’s a coloring book masquerading as a cook book.  The “ingredients” are various types of doodles and shapes.


The “recipes” consist of step-by-step drawing directions.


And they’re to be cooked on the adjacent page.  What I like most about this activity book is that the recipes start the kids off with specific instructions (“draw four lines on the plate.  Make the lines nice and straight”) but also include lots of open-ended components to encourage creativity (“Garnish the kebabs with colors or patterns.  Finally, season your dish by scattering a few delicate strokes over the whole plate.”).


Doodle Cook is a big book too.  Not only does it have 20 different recipes, but it measures nearly 10″ x 14″ in size, providing lots of space for your littles to express themselves.  Click through for another great read, this one of the traditional story book variety.



Jonathan & Martha is an easy read in which two lonely worms learn the true meaning of friendship, cooperation and sharing.  It was written by Petr Horacek, recipient of The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Book Award for Silly Suzy Goose.


Along with the sweet and silly story, the vibrant illustrations and die cutting are captivating.  This is the kind of book I love having on our shelves.

Jonathan & Martha is one of those books preschoolers and bigger kids adore because mixed in with the sweet message is just a little bit of G-rated violence – the worms fighting followed by a bird pecking off their tails.  It sounds gory, I know, but the worms are hardly phased by it and carry on their merry way. Kids are fascinated by tales like these which aren’t all hugs and holding hands but, instead, trust them to to handle a little reality.


Do you have any favorite books a little more off-the-beaten path?  Please share your finds in the comments below.




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