July 13, 2015
Where Are My Books by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Spencer loves his books. That said, as with so many book loving kids, he has his favorites. His bedtime favorite is Night-Night, Narwhal. After Mom reads it to him, he slips it back into place on is bookshelf ready for tomorrow night.
But when tomorrow night comes, his favorite book is missing. He tries to make do with Tenacious Todd but Todd is a toad and thus not entirely suitable for bed time.
Day by day, more of Spencer’s books go missing. The attentive reader will notice that as the books disappear from the shelf, other objects — flowers, nuts and bolts — take their place.
Spencer is bound and determined to figure out what is happening so he sets a trap. What he discovers is startling but he quickly finds away to make his books available to everyone who loves them while assuring that he still has Night-Night, Narwhal at bedtime. I know — that doesn’t really tell you what happened. But it is so offbeat and creative that I don’t want to ruin that page turn when all is revealed.
As a reader who can be a wee bit possessive of her books, I picked this one up as soon as I saw it on the library shelf. Where oh where are this poor kid’s books? As a parent, your first assumption may be that he needs to pick up after himself. As a former-kid whose mom used to clean up her room, my first assumption was that Mom might have been cleaning and weeding. Take a deep breath! Mom did not get rid of his books.
Ohi’s digital illustrations provide as many clues as to what is going on as the text. They are also light and cartoony and keep things from getting too dark when a very young reader might be worried or at least frustrated about the disappearing books.
As fun and creative as Ohi’s book is there are also very real elements. When Spencer can’t find his books anywhere, he blames his sister. As a result, Mom makes him take part in a tea party. His hang-dog expression in that particular piece is priceless!
Although this is a book about bedtime and bedtime books, it is upbeat and your young reader will want to tell you how he or she would have solved the problem. That may make this a bit sharing or story time book than a bed time book but it is definitely worth sharing.