- The Goodnight Train by June Sobel; illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
- There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea by Jennifer Ward; illustrated by Steve Gray
The Goodnight Train: The Goodnight Train is a perennial favorite in my house for more ways than one. June Sobel has written a wonderful children’s story that takes you through the joy of riding the evening train toward dreamland. “Wheels are turning. Smoke drifts high, painting clouds up in the sky.” Meanwhile, illustrator Laura Huliska-Beith turns that enjoyable prose into humor, creating clouds the shapes of ice cream cones and even an elephant on a skateboard. As the train travels along, a little skunk avoids bath and bed, until he finally succombs to sleep along with the children.
JENNY SAYS: Little did I know when we originally bought this book we would literally read this book hundreds of times. Both my boys absolutely adore The Goodnight Train, as do I. (We’ve even bought them for friends who fell in love with this book, too.) Its subtle humor and rhythmic prose akin to a train making its way down the tracks is a wonderful way to end the evening with story time.
There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea: “There was a coyote who swallowed a flea. Plucked from his knee, that tickly flea. Yippee-o-ki-yee!” And boy does this coyote eat! Set in the Southwest, this book is a hysterical take on the old woman who swallowed a spider. However, this coyote manages to down a rattle snake, a hot chile pepper and even a cactus. Will this coyote ever get full?
JENNY SAYS: There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea is another favorite in our house. And personally, I get a kick out of reading the story and trying to keep up with the prose without running out of breath. Some nights, I even sing the tune to it. (Of course, that is optional.) Parents and kids will enjoy the comical take on a classic, transporting us to the dry Southwest and learning about the desert while also laughing at the pure silliness and fun of this book.