By Brooklyn author Emily Jenkins, and Los Angeles illustrator Chris Appelhans There are a lot of perks to being a toddler wrangler. I eat crackers in the bed and pretend the crumbs are from my messy 3 year-old. I skip out on social events when I'm too tired because we "couldn't find a sitter", and best of all, I get to say I completed reading an impressive 8 books this week (because they were all 24 pages and beautifully illustrated).

Adam putting newborn Sabrina to sleep with his screenwriting. (No Wifi...believe me, I freaked and asked).

Our daughter Sabrina is obsessed with books. Her father is a professional wordsmith so it's no surprise she's a big fan of storytelling. (Lately, she's been telling "tall tales" of her own. And each time she fibs, she asks in earnest, "Is my nose growing?")

Sabrina's favorite bedtime stall tactic (and she has many) is to pretend she's her preschool teacher reading and "must" get through the enormous stack of books by her side. She fans out the pages to share the illustrations for her class of stuffed animals to admire. If it's a book she hasn't memorized yet, she'll read it in gibberish and explain that she's reading it in Spanish. Remind anyone of Eloise at the Plaza or Olivia the pig much?

We've always celebrated the children's books in our home. In a world of excess where we overshare, and over-talk, and over-explain everything, I'm always blown away by the thoughtful and economical choices made in children's books. So I figured in this new year, when I'm trying to focus more on the things I LOVE, why not kick off 2017 with the brand new monthly series: "What's On Sabrina's Shelf"?

Since Groundhog Day is coming up (Feb 2nd), and most of us won't be watching Bill Murray with our young kids, I figured this would be a great one to feature:


Publisher's Summary:


From a heavyweight author-and-illustrator duo comes a delicious tongue twister of a picture book that features a little round greyhound and a little round groundhog. With very spare, incredibly lively language, this is an entertaining read-aloud, with two amazing—and oh-so-adorable—characters at its heart.

When a greyhound meets a groundhog, wordplay and crazy antics ensue. The two animals, much like kids, work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another. (Around, round hound. Around, groundhog!) The pace picks up (Around and around and astound and astound!), until they ultimately wear themselves out.

“Jenkins’s masterful text is deceptively simple.” —NPR on Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins

“Appelhans, whose career up to now has been in animated films such as Coraline, is a revelation.” —Booklist, Starred, on Sparky!, illustrated by Chris Appelhans

What are the favorites on your kids' shelves?