Lana Lynn Howls At The Moon (Rebecca Van Slyke)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Lana Lynn Howls At The Moon, written by Rebecca Van Slyke and illustrated by Anca Sandu, a tale of lamby rebellion.

While the other sheep may be content to spend their days grazing in the fields or napping in the shade, Lana Lynn longs for more. Her best friend Shawn tries to encourage her to follow the norm, but Lana Lynn can’t help her thirst for adventure. Sneaking off one night, she discovers a strange, furry blanket the farmer has left out (actually a wolf-skin). Donning her “wolf’s clothing”, Lana runs though the deep dark woods, howling at the moon and living her dreams. She’s so convincing, in fact, that a wolfpack invites her to run with them, then back to their den for dinner. Lana is excited… until she realizes what – or rather WHO’S – on the menu.

This is a strange little book; entertaining, but occasionally and questionably dark. Finding that an innocent squirrel and bunny – as well as her BFF Shawn – are on the dinner table, Lana grabs her pal and skedaddles (leaving the other two animals to be devoured, presumably). There’s also the glossed-over fact that, you know, Lana is wearing the SKIN of a dead wolf during her escapade. That’s not to say that the story doesn’t have its charms: the lesson in moderation, the adorable characters, the clever twist on the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” fable, and a SOLID pun in the form of Lana Lynn’s name. However, it may also lead to some rather uncomfortable questions for the unprepared caregiver. Still, JJ really liked this one, and honestly, I did too; it’s a fun mix of dark humor with an intrepid female protagonist at a good storytime length. Definitely skim this one first to decide if it’s right for your little reader, but for us, it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Baabwaa & Wooliam (David Elliott)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Baabwaa & Wooliam, written by David Elliott and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, a fun little tale of two adventurous sheep.

Baabwaa and Wooliam are very best friends who spend every day together. Wooliam is an avid reader, which is a strange hobby for a sheep, but Bwaabaa certainly doesn’t mind. Bwaabaa herself has a passion for knitting, a remarkably practical hobby for a sheep. After reading a story on pirates one day, Wooliam suggests that the two set out on an adventure, which Bwaabaa excitedly agrees too – so what if they are technically in a great square pasture surrounded by a rock wall? Not thwarted by the inability to, you know, actually go anywhere, the two are content to adventure by walking around and around their pen, working up a nice appetite in the process. When the two stop for a nibble of grass, they notice a third… sheep(?), this one with a pointy snout, sharp fangs, and a filthy pelt, and who bears an odd resemblance to a character from one of Wooliam’s books. Perhaps their adventure is just beginning after all…

Delightfully funny. Using a combination of sharp and ridiculous humor, the hilarious duo of Baabwaa and Wooliam lead the reader on an adventure filled with subtle yet increasingly entertaining turns. The absurdity is perfectly paired with the deadpan delivery of the text and wonderfully expressive character design, resulting in a tale that’s fun for readers young and old. The story has a suitably happy ending, and a perfect length for any storytime. JJ thought the sheep, especially their pun-tastic names, were hilarious, and I had a ton of fun reading this one aloud. A silly joy of a book, and Baby Bookworm approved!

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse (Mac Barnett)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, a delightfully weird fable about making the best of a bad situation.

A mouse is scampering through the woods one day when he comes upon a wolf – who promptly eats him. Trapped in “the belly of the beast”, Mouse bemoans his fate a moment, until he hears another voice telling him to hush, as it’s past bedtime. Shocked, Mouse finds that he is not alone in the wolf’s tummy: Duck, a previous meal of the hungry wolf, has made a lovely home in his new surroundings, complete with bed, fully stocked kitchen, and record player. In fact, he doesn’t mind having been eaten – now that he lives inside the wolf, he doesn’t worry much about getting eaten by wolves anymore. Mouse decides to stay as well, and the two new friends hold a party to celebrate, giving the wolf a terrible tummyache. And THAT’S when the hunter arrives…

If you’ve ever read a Barnett/Klassen collaboration before, you know that their stories are a little dark, a little odd, extremely dry, and funny as all getout, and this one is no different. Klassen’s wide-eyed characters are hilariously expressive (the climactic spread had me rolling with laughter), and while his use of dark/black space here – rather than his usual white space – can make the spreads confusing for very young eyes, it perfectly fits the tone and humor of the book and older readers will love it. The text and dialogue are filled with hilarious deadpan humor, and the ending has a wonderfully unexpected twist payoff. The length is great, and JJ and I both had a scream reading it. A hysterically twisted fable to share, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Wolfie The Bunny (Ame Dyckman)

Hello, everybody! Today, we read Wolfie The Bunny, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora. This adorable book tells the story of a little bunny and her very unusual little brother.

One day, the Bunny family comes home to find a bundle on their doorstep: a baby wolf! Mama and Papa bunny are delighted, but Dot is aghast: “He’ll eat us all up!” she exclaims. Still Mama and Papa Bunny care for Wolfie, under the untrusting eye of Dot, until one day when the two are at the grocery store and a big bear comes and threatens Wolfie. Dot bravely stands up for her little brother, and realizes that she cares for him more than she first thought, and decides that maybe having a little wolf for a brother isn’t so bad.

This book was indescribably cute! The story is sweet, full of unique voices and lots of fun to read, and the lessons it imparts are great for young readers: don’t judge someone by their appearance, stand up to bullies, and give your new little sibling a chance because you might grow to love them. The illustrations are great, and the length is great for baby bookworms. We both really enjoyed this one! Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Red (Bethan Woollvin)


Summer Reading Day 17: Today’s book was Little Red by Bethan Woollvin, a cool retelling of Little Red Riding Hood in black, white and red. The story is tried and true but with a bit of a twist: (spoiler alert) Red rescues herself. JJ loved the pictures so much! We definitely recommend it.