How have we been missing Daniel Pinkwater all these years? I've mentioned his NPR book selections, and yet my almost-second-grader and I did not get around to reading any of the author's own picture books until last week. Our loss, because they're wonderful!
In a way, though, I am glad. Like the late Bill Peet, Pinkwater is a prolific writer, and now we have so many books to look forward to. Two of the titles that my son has liked the most so far concern polar bears with a taste for muffins: Irving and Muktuk and Bad Bears in the Big City. Irving and Muktuk can be more than a little sneaky in their quest for treats, even when they have day jobs. Written with a quirky sense of humor, the books are fun read-alouds. (Be prepared for reading them over and over.) We'll need to look for Bad Bear Detectives and Bad Bears and a Bunny to keep up with their other adventures.
Also splendid is an older book, The Big Orange Splot, illustrated like the above two in vivid colors by Jill Pinkwater, who is married to the author. A neighborhood begins to change when a seagull accidentally spills orange paint onto someone's roof. Change for the better? For the worse? You'll have to read and see, if you haven't already.
There are some eighty Pinkwater books in all, so we've just begun this particular reading journey. What's your favorite Pinkwater tale?