We have read this book just about a million zillion times. The toddler insists on hearing it over and over again, to the point where I’m not sure if I love the author of this book or hate him with an all-consuming passion. The illustrations are whimsical and silly, though I have to admit it took a while for them to grow on me. They kind of remind me of MS Paint drawings circa the 1990s, with a sort of “I totally could’ve done it myself” quality to them, but after a few reads, I grew to appreciate the author/illustrator’s ability to tell the story through simple drawings and very, very simple text. This was a surprise hit because there are only two words to this book–“banana” and “please”–but they are done in a way that makes reading and listening to the book, very fun.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen (author) and Kevin Hawkes (illustrator)
This was a surprise hit not because it isn’t a good book–it is perfectly lovely with a timeless sort of quality to the story and the illustrations–but because it is a rather LONG book for her two-year-old attention span. For whatever reason the toddler really likes it and because it is such a nice story, I enjoy reading it too. She particularly loves the part where the lion sniffs the card catalog and the part where the librarian runs in the library (which, of course, is against the rules). We borrowed the book + cd version from the library, so that also provides a nice alternative to plonking the poor child in front of the TV when I need to get a little bit of cooking done.
(I’ve also gotten a subscription to High Five Magazine, and have found the free audio version to be a lifesaver on boring, stay-at-home rainy days.)