Happy Plush Animals Day!
For many children a plush animal is their first baby gift and most likely their first friend (especially if they don’t have siblings). And in many classrooms, plush animals are Reading Buddies for young children just learning to read. Students pick up a favorite reading buddy and read aloud to them. Over the years, I collected some of my favorite plush animals to be reading buddies in my classroom. Many were ‘lost’ when students took them home for reading practice, Some were retired as they became to tattered and loved. (I think I must have gone through three or four Winnie the Poohs.) When I retired, the survivors came home with me and now adorn by office shelves.
There are so many new friends to make with new picture books to read. Here are just a few of my new favorites.
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma written by David Soman and illustrated by Jacky Davis (2014)
In her newest adventure, Lulu, the Ladybug Girl actually considers dressing up as someone other than Ladybug Girl for Halloween this year. She tries out a robot costume she made from a cardboard box, a movie star from the silent movies made from and old coat and hat, an octopus, an alien, a wallaby, even a vampire panda. Soon it’s time to go apple picking with the family and Lulu still hasn’t decided on a costume. She picks apples and pumpkins and thinks about dressing up as a scarecrow, a bat, or a pumpkin, but none of those feel right either. But when a little girl gets lost in the corn maze, Lulu whips off her coat and hat and reveals her Ladybug Girl costume. She takes the girl’s hand and leads her out of the corn maze. She is so proud of herself, she decides not to try to be anything else but who she is for Halloween… Ladybug Girl!
Llama Llama Red Pajama written and illustrated by Anna Dewdey (2005)
Lllama Llama worries when Mama is late coming upstairs to tuck him in at night.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus written and illustrated by Mo Willems (2003)
This is Pigeon’s first book and Mo Willems’ first ever picture book. Pigeon tries to convince the readers to let him drive the bus even though they have been given direct instructions from the bus driver not to let the pigeon drive the bus. Pigeon pleads, begs, whines, and has a mild tantrum, but the reader doesn’t give in. When the bus driver returns, Pigeon moves his sights to something else… how about a big eighteen wheel truck?
Olivia written and illustrated by Ian Falconer (2000)
Olivia is good at everything. She has a little brother named Ian who copies everything she does. She is full of spunk and an independent spirit. She loves to paint, read stories, dance, and play in the sand. She does not like naps.
The Gruffalo written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (1999)
Little Mouse is walking through the woods when he meets a few unsavory characters who want to eat him. To each one, Little Mouse says he is waiting for the Gruffalo. Fox, Owl, and Snake are scared away by Little Mouse’s imaginary creature. But then Little Mouse is confronted by a real Gruffalo. He convinces the Gruffalo not to eat him because he is so scary that all the other animals in the woods are afraid of him. To prove his claim he tells Gruffalo to walk behind him as they go through the woods looking for Fox, Owl, and Snake who run away when they see the Gruffalo walking with Little Mouse. Then Little Mouse scares the Gruffalo away by saying that he’s a little bit hungry too and his favorite food is Gruffalo Crumble.