Friday, February 02, 2007

Da Count - If You Give A Man A Kid's Book

If you give a man a kid's book,
He'll want to read it
And when he's done he'll like it so much
He'll ask to read more
So you'll have to take him to the library or book store
(And so it goes)

I love being a father; I absolutely adore my son. But I also rather enjoy many of the side-effects of being a dad. Like getting to read children's books. They're so much fun, I can imagine that I might continue to read them well after Alexander has gotten older and moved on to young reader or young adult novels.

One of our current favourite series of books to read lately are by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond and in the "If You Give" series of books. They started with, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, then If You Give A Moose A Muffin and If You Give A Pig A Pancake. There are several more great books in the series and they're all a whole lot of fun. There's also some online fun based on the series too, where you can learn more and get info about the latest books in the series.

The basic premise involves the various distractions and the "one thing leading to another" elements of life that all begin with the simple act of doing something or giving something to a cute little animal. Each story follows the fun and madcap adventures of a young boy or girl trying to keep up with the constant demands of their new friend, and typically ends the way the whole thing began. It's a device that works beautifully again and again through slightly similar yet uniquely told stories.

Alexander loves reading them over and over, and I love reading them with him. I think an important element for a kid's book (apart from the critical marriage of great story and wonderful illustrations) is the book's re-readability. Kids usually go through an "AGAIN!" phase with things they enjoy, so it's important to find something in which "AGAIN!" is not tiresome for the adult.

And these books are certainly "AGAIN!" material. And I urge you to go check them out. You'll certainly count them among the important and worthwhile things in your life.



Anonymous said...

Mark, Let me be the first to say it. (hopefully that is anyway)

Maybe it's time you tried writing a children's book?

Melodie Norman Haas said...

I love the "If you give a.." series. I always enjoyed reading it to my kids when I was a nanny!

I have had many suggestions to be a children's book writer since I adore children and I love to as the person above me suggested, may I suggest you write a book for probably already have LOL

Happy Friday!

Mark Leslie said...

Taki, Ameratis, you two are so cool. Know why? Because I just finished producing a kid's book for my Godchild (one that she inspired) - it's called "A Horse Named Cow" and I'm giving it to her this weekend. (It's even signed by the awesome illustrator, Kimberly Foottit)

I haven't yet sent it to a publisher -- I just had a single copy produced for her as a 6th birthday gift.

And yes, I WILL be writing a book for Alexander one day too. It's inevitable . . .


lecram sinun said...

Wonderful count! One of my counts a while back was on Enid Blyton's "Faraway Tree" series... loved it as a child and still do!


lime said...

may i say in all seriousness that the love for alexander that comes pouring out thru theis blog on a regular basis is a very beautiful thing to me and affords a bit of healing every time i read it. thank you.

and this series is definitely a good re-read one. knowing your sense of humor may i also suggest 'parts' by tedd arnold. it's gross but abssolutely hilarious. my boy limelet LOVED it.

and for the record, i STILL love picture books and other young kiddie lit

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I'd heard of one of the books but didn't realize that it was part of a series. Thanks for sharing something that I can now share with my grandkids.

Zephyr said...

I love these books! Last year my daughter's 4th grade class had to write their own books based on this same concept... she wrote and illustrated "If you give a horse a hotdog". Too bad it can't be published along with the rest of the series... lol Soon enough, you can get Alexander to write HIS version. :)

Moosekahl said...

If You Give A Moose A Muffin is the namesake for my blog. I actually have several Moose based children's books...I also have my own collection of general children's books that I love to read in my adulthood. Helps keep reality real :)

Rainypete said...

My favourite thing about my kids' books is that my limited brain can follow along nicely.