Dewdney, Anna. Llama Llama Red Pajama. New York: Viking, 2005. 30 pages.
"A bedtime story. A good-night kiss. And Mama Llama turns of the light. But is everything all right? NO! At least, Baby Llama doesn't think so. . . .And soon his whimpers turn to hollers. It's an all-out llama drama! Until Mama returns to set things right." (description from the book jacket)
Overall review: **** (four stars)
- Fun to read aloud. Naturally, children's picture books are meant to be read aloud by the parents, and it helps when the words and rhymes are genuinely fun to say (especially as small children, when they really like books, want them read aloud quite often).
- Illustrations. The illustrations are simple but enjoyable, sometimes depicting multiple scenes on one page, such as Mama Llama downstairs and Baby Llama upstairs.
- Good story. It is important for kids to know (especially as they get older) that their parents often have other things that they need to do, and just because they are not with their kids all the time does not mean that they don't love and care about them. I imagine that most parents will sympathize with Mama Llama's plight of trying to get things done after she has put Baby Llama to bed, until Baby Llama throws a fit.
- I find myself unable to think of any weaknesses for this book...hmm.
I heard about this book from a friend who bought it for another friend's baby. When my mom and I came across it at the store, I naturally had to stop and look at it. I actually stood there in the store and read the whole thing aloud. The book is a true pleasure to read (just try saying the phrase "llama drama" without smiling). The book isn't too text heavy, which means that it does not take too terribly long to read (which is good for busy parents at bed time). The illustrations beautifully compliment the text, which is perfect for the children who can't read yet. Just for fun, keep an eye on the changing expression on Baby Llama's stuffed animal throughout the story.
It can be difficult to create children's books that appeal both the children that listen to them and to the parents that read them, but this book does it admirably well. I haven't actually had the pleasure of reading it to a child yet, but once I do, I might add comment about it's appeal to children. All in all, a fun and adorable book.