Seven books today, most of them Christmas presents for Baby Joel, since Elaine is now old enough to have graduated from picture books. This doesn't mean we don't still love to read them. You are never too old for picture books. But the person they are being given to in Elaine's family these days is now her brother.
Elaine's favorite was How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton. It's written as a manual for the person who gets a train for a pet. How to take care of it and what it will like to eat. Absolutely adorable and appealing to those from (at least) 6 to 71.
Brown Rabbit in the City by Natalie Russell was charming, gentle and short. The brown rabbit goes to visit his friend the white rabbit who lives in the city and she wants to go here and there and everywhere, to a cafe for carrot cake, shopping, and up and down the streets. She wears out brown rabbit who isn't entirely satisfied with the visit.
Unfortunately I failed to write down the names of the other books, but one that we particularly liked was about a hippopotamus who felt he was too inconspicuous among his fellow hippos and who takes off for a visit to the city. Troubles ensue but he finally makes his way home and is much more content, although he likes telling long stories to his family about his adventures.
Ordinary Oscar by Laura Adkins is about another creature who wants to make his mark (or in this case his slime trail.) Oscar is a snail who is granted three wishes by a fairy god-slug or something. I don't recall the details. But I couldn't forget the gaudy outfit Oscar wishes for, nor how out of place he is when a bird comes after him and he wishes himself bigger than the bird. Much bigger. What will he do with his third wish? Will he ever be really outstanding?
Another good book the title of which I can't recall is also about trains (you will recall that Elaine's father is a railroad engineer and she is very interested in and knowledgeable about trains.) This story shows a slow local train moving along, passed by a freight train, which in turn is passed by a passenger train. Finally the passengers on that train board a high-speed train and we arrive in the modern station in no time.
The book I liked best, I think, is by Aaron Becker and is called Journey. It's about a girl who wants to play but everyone in her family is too busy. So she takes her red crayon and draws a door in the wall and off she goes. She starts out in a hot air balloon and then draws a boat and floats into a fantastic castle filled with water where she rescues a purple bird who then rescues her. No words at all. None needed.
The last book I can't recall at all except that it had a brown cover with no pictures on it, and endpapers that were blah.