Retold Fairy Tales and Cranky Kids: New Books for Younger Readers

three-triceratops-tuffThe Three Triceratops Tuff by Stephen Shaskan
Meet Stanley, Rufus, and Bob Tuff. These three husky boys are triceratops brothers. As our story begins, the trio are lumbering through the valley looking for food. When they encounter a valley loaded with luscious plants, they’re delighted — until they see the massive Tyrannosaurus Rex guarding it! Oh no! One by one, each brother goes clip, clomp, clip, clomp down the hill to face the mighty carnivore. This colorful retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff is funny, satisfying, and delicious to read. (ages 4-7)

crankensteinCrankenstein by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat
What happens when the cruel, hot sun melts your popsicle down the stick and all over your hand? What arises when your mom makes you a huge stack of pancakes, but the syrup runs out? What inevitably comes to pass when you have to wait in a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long line? Look out, it’s Crankenstein! Mehhrrrr! With fabulous glossy graphics and wisecracking humor, this picture book takes on the clenched-fist, tensed-shoulder, teeth-baring creature that lurks within all kids when they have a bad day. (ages 5-7)

mr-wufflesMr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
The great David Wiesner is back with another surprising and glorious picture book. The three-time Caldecott-winning author/ illustrator presents Mr. Wuffles! Mr. Wuffles is a large black cat with white-tipped paws and yellow eyes that narrow to a calculating slit. While his human tries to entertain him with rubber balls and cloth mice, Mr. Wuffles discovers a fleet of tiny, robed aliens who have crash landed in his house. As his oblivious owner cajoles him to play, Mr. Wuffles and the aliens wage a vigorous battle. Where the aliens seek refuge, who helps them, and how they escape make up this colorful and original tale of a seemingly ordinary afternoon in the life of a housecat. (ages 4-7)

cindersCinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett
Here is another new picture book from a master of the form. Like David Wiesner, Jan Brett is one of our best. In this lavish rendition of the Cinderella tale, she casts plump, resplendent chickens in a classic and wintery Russian landscape. As with all Brett’s stories, each page offers a rich array of details — gorgeous dresses, intricate interiors, and realistic animals. And though Brett’s visual prowess is out of this world, her pictures never overwhelm the story. With its snowy scenes and glittering gowns, this is the perfect holiday read. (ages 5-7)