I think it’s important for kids to explore the darker parts of their inner nature in the safest place possible—books. I’ve been trying my hand at these subversive-style stories, but with a heavy dose of comic relief. The combination of danger and humor is irresistible to kids, as evidenced by the popularity of today’s featured books. Another element these books have in common is misbehavior on the part of the “victim(s)” in each story. So who is really the bad guy(s)?
The two “must-study” masters are, of course I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT, both written and illustrated by Jon Klassen.
CARNIVORES written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat
MONSTERS EAT WHINY CHILDREN by Bruce Eric Kaplan
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS by Mo Willems
Julie Hedlund is an award-winning children's book author, founder of the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge, blogger, and a regular speaker at SCBWI and other industry events. Julie contributes to Katie Davis' Brain Burps About Books and Children's Book Insider.