Caspar Babypants (otherwise known as Chris Ballew from the band The Presidents of the Untied States of America) and Kate Endle, according to myth, were making art and music when Kate started to reminisce about when she was little and would dream of playing with the creatures of the forest and following them to their homes at the end of the day. Caspar took the words she was saying and wrote them down and added some music and it became a song (which is available as a free download with purchase of this book), and then they added some more words and some of Endle’s beautiful art and it became My Woodland Wish, which is beautiful like the full woods, and like the sight of wild creatures, will delight the kids. It is a great book for bedtime but equally a good anytime book for beginning readers as the subject matter (animals in the wild) is interesting and the vocabulary just right for those who are not quite ready to read alone but also don’t need much prompting, with rhymes and rhythms that flow easily and are not forced (that is struck into the mold of the metronome), but have a natural speech-patterned feel to them. Endle’s art also fits the book perfectly and is that just right blend of color and pattern which will enchant the eyes of the youngest audience as well as draw in the older kids as they search for the animals and narrator among the lush terrain.
But My Woodland Wish is definitely a book you would not want to leave in the hands of the younger toddlers; it is more for the 3 and up set (or any age past the love-to-hear-and-feel-paper-rip age). For your youngest readers (or read-to-ers) Endle and Babypants have created Bunny Rabbit In The Sunlight, a board book that is full of eye catching illustrations and text that is deceptively simple but chock full of alliteration and assonance and consonance to create a continuity of sound that carries page to page thru the book such as “Goldfish swimming in the shimmer light/Croaking frog in the lantern light”. Bunny Rabbit In The Sunlight is a great book to give to the little ones as well as to read to them for a bedtime tale.
Both these books make for a great reads for your little ones and are sure to show them that even in this world of toddler iPads, there is great art and entertainment and imagination in a well made book.
Copies of both books were provided for review.