5 picture books that could be the next 'Clifford The Big Red Dog'
If you go
What: "Clifford The Big Red Dog Live!"
When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10
Where: Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey
Cost: $20, $25, $30, $40, $53
Purchase tickets: Visit hersheyentertainment.com
Clifford the Big Red Dog. The giant, but lovable character is a hard one to forget.
His silly stories of going to the circus, his first day of school, his first Christmas and more fill dozens of story books for the amusement of countless children.
More than 50 years later, the entertainment continues as Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and their friends Cleo, T-Bone, Charley, Jetta, and Mac come to life on stage at Hershey Theatre. As the characters take the audience on a journey to Birdwell Island, the theater will be filled with singing, dancing and lots of laughs — something guests of all ages can enjoy.
With more than 126 million books in print, there's no doubt Clifford has become a literary classic for parents, teachers and children.
That got us thinking, what will be the next popular children's book? Here's what local librarians had to say.
"The Book With No Pictures" by B.J. Novak
This children's book — written by Novak, who played Ryan on "The Office" — is literally a book with no pictures. The idea is for children not to focus on the visuals, but instead on the funny sounds the reader makes when the book is read aloud, like "Blaggity-BLaGGITY GLIBBITY-globbity globbity-GLIBBITY beep, boop," Martin Memorial Library youth services librarian Laura O'Grady said. The book turns the children into the smartest ones in the room, while bringing the parents down to their level and making them look silly.
"Kids die laughing when they hear it," she said. "A fresh approach to the picture book is what's really popular right now."
"The Day The Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt
Children love the storyline of this picture book, O'Grady said. It's about a box of crayons that quit their job and have various grievances with the boys who use them. The book is accompanied by illustrations of letters written by the crayons.
"The next big popular children's books is going to be unique and something that we haven't seen before that speaks to children on their own level," O'Grady said.
"Little Blue Truck" by Alice Schertle
Any kind of vehicle is very popular right now with the little boys, Susan Nenstiel, Kreutz Creek Valley branch librarian, said. The book tells the story of a country truck that comes to the rescue in a giant traffic jam in the city.
"It's taking kids' love of vehicles and putting it in a story and giving the truck some human characteristics," Nenstiel said. "It's a gentle story, and a really nice read."
The book is so popular that Nenstiel said she often sees children returning the book when they come into the library and checking it out again before they go home.
"Little Blue Truck's Christmas" and "Little Blue Truck Leads The Way" are also popular, she said.
"Pete the Cat" by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Like Clifford, Pete is another popular character that seems to captivate young audiences, Ellen Helfrick, Collinsville Community Library branch manager said. He's a cat that never loses his cool no matter what happens. The first book in the series, "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes," was published by HarperCollins in 2010. Since then, several other "Pete the Cat" books and accompanying songs have been released, including the latest "Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues."
"It's a good one for parents and their kid(s) to be silly with," Helfrick said. "When you have a child that's not sure how they feel about reading, that's important."
"Waiting" by Kevin Henkes
Released just last month, Nancy Duncan, youth service program coordinator at Red Land Community Library, said she thinks "Waiting" could be the next popular children's book. It tells the story of five toys who live on a windowsill waiting for something to happen. One toy is waiting for the moon to rise, while another is waiting for the wind.
"It's a sweet story with clean illustrations," Duncan said, adding that it reminds her of another popular children's book, "The Tub People" by Pam Conrad.