I like books with stories that have a clear beginning, middle and end, but my guys get drawn to books that explain things. They love this one by Richard Scarry called “What do People Do all Day?” that has these random tales about animals building roads and the bread making process and how someone got their tonsils out. Some stories connect and some just come out of nowhere. The guys like that we can read out of order and start the book wherever they like. (It’s a perfect book for kids who like to be in control, I think.) As they get older it seems like it is harder to find books for boys.
And then I was recently sent this book called “Monsters under Bridges” by Rachel Roellke Coddington that comes out this week:
I flipped through it and I liked the pictures. I found that it has an interesting way of mixing facts about local bridges with mythical monsters in a way that I think you learn something about lots of bridges in the northwest. But it didn’t really have a story and I couldn’t really get into it. I actually put it aside.
But then the guys saw it on my desk and made me read it to them and re-read it. They liked the funny pictures and the imaginative characters. They like that they know the places in the book. (The book is centered on bridges in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) I actually heard them talk about some creatures called sneaches that I know we read about while they were playing with their legos. They like the idea that the monsters have a zoo under the Fremont troll. We’ve driven there three times since receiving the book and I’ve noticed that they’ve been more interested in bridges when we drive or when we’ve taken the Seattle light rail. Go figure?
So maybe it’s not the book I would choose, but I don’t think I’m the intended audience and this whole process has reminded me that my guys and I are different and they might not always like the things I like and I might not always like the things they do. If you have boys in the 4/5/6 age range this might be the perfect book.
(PS. yes, I was given a copy of Monsters under Bridges for review and I was not required to write anything, and these opinions are my own. Just like my kids opinions are definitely their own, obviously.)