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What James Likes Best

by Amy Schwartz

Published by A Richard Jackson Book / Atheneum, 2003
32 pages
ISBN: 0-689-84059-4

Ages 2 - 5

For toddlers and preschoolers, venturing out into the world affords the chance to see and do new things, and to revel in the familiar. Both the exotic and the everyday 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 its own car to the county fair, and he and mommy walk to his friend Angela's house for a playdate. Each trip is described from a child-centered perspective, so that young listeners will revel 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?"--an open invitation for young children to comment on their own favorite aspects of James's outings. There is no dialogue in this appealing story, but Amy Schwartz conveys a lot about both James and his parents (a balding, spectacled dad perfectly willing to carry the pink-flowered take-along bag and ride on the kiddie-train; and a pageboy-cut mom who likes comfortable shoes and family gatherings) through their expressions, actions and reactions in the fresh, colorful art. CCBC Categories: Picture Books for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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