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A Bevy of Bambino Book Reviews

Great Bambino Books

What I learned from a writer’s class is that children’s picture books are harder to write than it seems like they should be!

The Kissing Hand

bambino books

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The classic, A Kissing Hand, was the most touching of the books I found when I researched prize-winning picture books for a class assignment. It is a classic, published in 1993 about Chester Raccoon who did not want to start school. His mother gave him the most unusual going away memento that any loving mother could give.

Audrey Penn took years writing this book as she observed the way raccoons interacted with each other. You can read that story in the book as well.

She has other books in that series proving to me that if you get a good thing going, keep it going. Several of these books have been translated into Spanish as well.
When you get hooked on Chester, it’s like Dr. Seuss was for children in my day, you have to get them all. Like any classic, the price has held up well, and I don’t see too many of these in used bookstores.
When I gave the Kissing Hand as a present for my friend’s granddaughter, her daughter picked it up and hugged the book. “This was MY favorite book.”
As a writer, you may not realize that once you have written your book, it develops a life of its own.

Other Books for Pre-Schoolers

Several other books appealed to me in the picture book section of the bookstore.

mommy's monster

Mommy’s Little Monster by Dawn McNiff, illustrated by Kate Willis-Crowley will capture your heart, too. Tiny Troll’s mom is going to a party without him.  You should see his look, and even more, his toys!  Mommy gets ready, and if you’ve ever wondered what a troll does to doll herself up, wonder no longer.  She even slimed her scales!  Wait till you see her purse!

In comes Mrs. Hagi, the babysitter. Tiny Troll’s poor toy slug slammed against the wall. The reader knows Mrs. Hagi will do fine when Little Monster smells warm mudmilk from the swamproom. After the party, his mommy came in to kiss him good night, “her bristles smelled of mold again.” Read to see what she brought him back!

Green Crayon

Mommy’s Little Monster comes with its own set of baby clothes.

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bambino books

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit, another favorite of mine by Drew Daywalt illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, had me in stitches. Duncan liked to color. The crayons had some complaints. They each wrote him a letter. Tired Red needed a rest after Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  Purple expressed his irritation with Duncan’s out of the line coloring. Peach, peeled bare, wanted clothes.

Could Duncan solve their problems in the last picture in his book?

Duncan's solution

You will just have to do what I did. Can’t you just imagine an older woman’s shoulders shaking as she tries to laugh quietly in the children’s bookstore?

The Crayons also have a sequel and some products.

Finally, No David

David probably lives in the corner.
No David's nose

No David! by David Shannon a Caldecott Honor Book, appealed to me but my husband thought it was too stupid for publication.  Sorry, David.  He probably didn’t want to fess up to being just like David as a kid.  The text is inane, but the drawings, complete with David’s finger in his nose made me laugh.

Each of these books cost over $10, but if you’re buying gifts, this is the best bargain.
Preschoolers all love stickers, so here is the perfect gift for them.
Or you can watch a YouTube at no cost.

So what books are your favorite children’s books that you and your kids have enjoyed over the years? Please share this review with someone looking for children’s books.

If you have a link to a review, share it in my comment box. I’ll come visit your blog and dribble some ooey, gooey comments in your comment box.

To win books of your own, or sign up for my newsletter for readers and reviewers, click on the image below.

bambino books

My old blog with a new name. Tagline: Blogging and Traveling Near and Far

2 replies »

  1. “Z is for Moose” is a wonderfully funny ABC book. And I love “The Day the Crayons Quit.” I also love “How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans.” One of my fellow blogger friends has a wonderfully illustrated book about the woman who pressed to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. It’s called “Sarah Gives Thanks,” by Mike Allegra. The story is true and inspiring. When I read it to kids at library time, they don’t end us discussing Thanksgiving, but how things have changed for women since the mid to late 1800s. As a widow with five young children, she overcame many obstacles to achieve her goals.

    I heard David Shannon speak at a conference, and he explained that the “No, David” books stemmed from his childhood and his mother’s response to all of his antics. Children LOVE these books because it’s what they hear from the adults in their lives all the time. They respond to the emotional truth that’s contained in those few words and amazing illustrations. David drew the illustrations with the drawings he did as a child in mind. His mother sent him the book he drew as a 5-yr-old that became the first “No, David!” book.


    • What an awesome story! I personally loved the story enough to buy it, but the text is not challenging – for sure! The drawings make the story! I’m going to check out the other books you have suggested. Thank you SOOOOOO much for your wonderful comment. You made my day!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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