Can I just say how much I love the Brownie and Pearl series written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Brian Biggs? Seriously. Brownie and Pearl Step Out was perfect for my birthday storytimes last month and the response from the kids, parents, and teachers was enough to catapult the book to my favorites list immediately.
The simple storyline made it perfect for toddler storytime at the library and it also worked for my preschool storytime at the homeless shelter. For my storytimes at the shelter, selecting books can be kind of tricky because many of the kids I work with are developmentally behind. Funny joke books go over the their heads, longer more involved stories are confusing and require too much sitting still, and the books that feature or focus on traditional living situations and routines are a hard sell. Due to the stressful experience the kids are currently facing the preschool at the shelter is focused on emotional and social development (which makes complete sense if you think about it) so I in turn focus on building and mastering early literacy skills at a lower level than I would with a traditional preschool storytime crowd. The Brownie and Pearl series is not "too baby" for them, but the limited text allows for interaction with the book that is meaningful. I also appreciate that there are no adults in the books--I know that might sound strange but for some of the kids I work with at the shelter adults aren't always the loving, supportive, wonderful people featured in many picture books.