I’ve been pretty upfront about my love of picture books, right? As a mom to three young children and as a preschool teacher, I’ve been immersed in the world of picture books for over fifteen years. Some are all about the stories, while the illustrations of others are what stand out the most.
And then there are the books that are all about the characters. When a character becomes beloved, authors will sometimes indulge their young audiences with multiple books featuring their favorites. Unfortunately, that isn’t always a good thing, and there have been some characters whose frequent appearances in unoriginal sequel after sequel have made me cringe. But let’s focus on the positive! Here are two characters my children and I adore, and they both appear in new books out this spring.
Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis introduced a young girl named Lulu with definite spunk. In her red tutu and spotted wings, she becomes Ladybug Girl and her confidence grows. Simple but relatable storylines appear in each of the Ladybug Girl books. Though I haven’t seen the newest book, Ladybug Girl and Bingo, it’s on our list for summer reading. Lulu and her dog Bingo are going camping, and my family just so happens to have a camping trip scheduled for July. Perfect timing for us, and we look forward to enjoying a new story with a delightful character.
Ready to really laugh? Well, let me introduce you to Mo Willems’ Pigeon. Here, in avian form, is the quintessential preschooler– excitable, enthusiastic, impatient, emotional, and often hilarious. We met him nine years ago in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and I’ve loved him ever since. Seriously, you can’t not have fun when you read his outbursts which our family has dubbed his “freak-out” pages. They are in each of his five subsequent books, of course, and they never get old to me. His most recent appearance has him in a book that doesn’t even feature him in the title… a fact that does not go unnoticed by him! The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? is our new favorite read, and it gave me the opportunity to introduce the word incredulous to my own children and to my students. This one is another Pigeon winner!
Do you have any picture book characters that you and your kids enjoy reading again and again?