(This is a slightly nebulous theme which allows me to include some great new books. Although it could also be titled "being ourselves and being together")
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
A brand new book with warm illustrations and a simple rhyming scheme which links together everything and everyone in the world. It's an inspirational read, just in time for the holidays.
Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
Jeremy never plays outside with the other children from the neighborhood, so when he draws a very demanding monster who comes to life, he has to rely on his own wits to get it out of the house. A book about tackling your inner demons and about joining the group to save yourself, from yourself. I also think that this book gives children the opportunity to see an abusive relationship where one party is unequivocally monstrous.
On a lighter note, that's the funniest hat I've ever seen a monster wear.
My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk
From the dream team that brought us the classic Chugga Chugga Choo Choo is a truck related story with some sneaky counting and off kilter rhythms. Fun all round.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
A little boy discovers a small patch of green growing in the city and helps it along until the city is full of garden and gardeners. Crisp modern illustration, with a fantastical twist and a simple storyline make this one of my favorite new books of 2009. It's actually the story of the Highlands railway, a disused railway track in NYC which has been converted to a community garden.
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Duck decides to ride a bike and show off to all the other farm animals. Their responses are complex, they say moo, or squeak, or oink or maaa, but they think something different and then they do something else entirely! It's difficult to know what other people really think, but it's easy to have fun playing together.
The songs will be “This is Me” by Laurie Berkner, "Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes" and "Old Macdonald"