I saw Kit Allen's Slide, Already! recommended on Elbows, Knees, Dreams. It's about a boy who eventually tries going down the big playground slide, despite all his nervousness, and ends up loving it. It isn't actually a favorite of mine in terms of the illustrations, or the story, really - I'm never quite sure whether it's an example of a kid being encouraged by his friends to venture out of his comfort zone, or an example of a kid who feels like he can't say no to the pressure his friends are putting on him to try something he's not comfortable with - but Basbusa loves it. The plot is simple enough that she can narrate it to herself, and she seems to totally understand the feelings of the little boy as he edges his way higher and higher up the ladder, each time increasing the numbers of "oh no"s in his "Oh no oh no oh no!" She also likes looking at all the different children and pointing out the tallest, the girl with pigtails, and the little boy who always goes down the slide upsidedown. Plus, it's about board-book-sized, which Basbusa always prefers, since it's so much easier for her to handle than a full-sized picture book.
What shall we do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? was another favorite this week. I chose it partly because Basbusa likes babies, and partly because we're likely to have a boo-hoo baby of our own joining the household later this year insha'Allah, so I figured it would do no harm to introduce a few examples of what life with a baby looks like :) The story is simple - baby is crying, and each of the animals in turn has a suggestion for what to do to console him. Basbusa likes being able to predict what each animal is going to suggest, and being able to predict whether it will work or not. She also likes saying "معلش, يا نونو" ("there there, baby") when the tears continue, and she likes looking at all the odd foods the animals bring when they think the baby might be hungry. Another fun read.
We got Dig Dig Digging out of the library partly because a new pharmacy is being built down the street and there are lots of fascinating big machines for us to watch, but also because it is one of the very few board-books left in our local library that we haven't already read! Actually, though, I'm sorry we didn't choose it sooner, because Basbusa really enjoys it. The illustrations are colorful and detailed, with lots to talk about in addition to the machine featured on each page. We look for people wearing helmets, or look for the animals (birds, a rabbit, a ladybug and a worm) in the field with the tractor, or the different kinds of trash-cans in the page with the garbage truck. Plus it was a good vocabulary-builder for both of us, because I didn't know most of the words for these things in Arabic before we started reading this book! (I'm still not sure of one or two of them, actually - does anybody know if ببور الزلط is really the right word (in Egyptian dialect) for a road-roller?) I thought the text was pretty disappointing, but we just ignored it and talked about the illustrations in Arabic instead. That's what we do with all books in any case, unless they rhyme in English or unless the language is particularly fun.
Hide-and-Seek Duck was a used-bookstore find. The story is not too exciting - Duck and Rabbit are playing hide-and-seek, and Duck is looking for Rabbit - but the nature illustrations are lovely. There are all kinds of little details to look for and admire, including lots of insects and plants that we can look for in real life when we go out for walks. Definitely worth the $0.59 we paid for it!
If you'd like to see what books other people have enjoyed with their children this week, please see the link-up at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.