Terrible Storm by Carol Otis Hurst, illustrated by S. D. Schindler.
This is the story of two of Carol Otis Hurst’s grandfathers who grew up near one anther and were friends since boyhood. They couldn’t have been more different. Walt is outgoing and happiest when in a crowd while Fred is quiet and enjoys being home alone working on projects. Then a blizzard hits and Walt finds himself alone in a barn with only cats and farm animals for company while Fred is stuck in an inn filled with all sorts of people. Both of them are horrified by where they are trapped. Even as old men they still reminisce about the terrible storm.
I so enjoyed this book with its old-fashioned feel and great quiet sense of humor that is present in every picture. The use of almost comic-like panels really emphasizes the juxtaposition of the two men and their discomfort with their predicament.
Add this to your snowy story times, especially if you are sharing stories with kindergarteners or older. They will appreciate it more than preschoolers.
Silly Billy by Anthony Browne.
Anthony Browne is one of my favorite picture book authors. He has a wonderfully skewed perspective and his art is unique and great fun.
With Silly Billy, Browne introduces Billy who is a bit of a worrier. He worries about everything while trying to fall asleep. And I mean everything from hats to shoes to giant birds. Even though his father and mother try to reassure him, it doesn’t work. Then when he is staying over at his grandmother’s house, she gives him some worry dolls. And they work at least for a little while, until Billy begins to worry about the dolls being worried. In the end, Billy solves that problem and moves on with a lot fewer worries.
The text and illustrations work well together, as they always do in Browne’s books. His deep colors work especially well when contrasted with the almost colorless worry pages. The blissful pictures of Billy fast asleep are perfection.
So many kids carry worries around with them and this gives a creative solution to dealing with those overwhelming worries. Pair it with Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes, and you have the start of a bibliotherapy session. Just kidding! But they do make a nice pairing.
I have found an incredible resource for reading lists for kids that feature lists by genre, read alikes, recommended read alouds for all ages, themed lists, and much much more. atn-reading-lists simply rocks! They are now a wiki, so that everyone can help contribute to and update the reading lists. This is definitely a place to have bookmarked if you are creating your own lists for your library. What a resource!