What James Likes Best

by Amy Schwartz

For toddlers and preschoolers, venturing out into the world affords the chance to... read more

For toddlers and preschoolers, venturing out into the world affords the chance to see and do new things and revel in the familiar. Author/artist Amy Schwartz understands that everyday activities can be sources of immense satisfaction and delight. That’s how it is for James, the little boy featured in these four brief stories. James takes a bus ride with his mommy and daddy to visit “the twins.” He takes a taxi with his parents to visit his grandma and auntie. The family takes a rental car to the county fair, and he and mommy walk to his friend Angela’s house for a play date. Each trip is described from a child-centered perspective. Young listeners will delight in each of James’s experiences and observations, from the purple car his grandma gives him and his auntie’s funny hair to the catalog of fare at the fair: corn on the cob, cotton candy, and pretzels. At the end of each brief story, the author asks, “And what do you think James liked best?” Schwartz’s wonderful narrative extends an open invitation for young children to interact with the story, whether picking what they think James most enjoyed, or naming their own favorite aspects of the little boy’s outings. The clean-lined, colorful art conveys terrific details about both James and his parents (a balding, spectacled dad perfectly willing to carry a pink-flowered bag and ride on the kiddie train, and a pageboy-cut mom who likes comfortable shoes and family gatherings). Winner, 2004 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 2–5)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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