Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
I fell in love with this book the moment I saw the cover. Picture books with tiny characters on page corners that make snarky, funny comments are my favorite. This story began by including that concept on its cover. The only downside is that the side characters can distract from the plot; I recommend reading the story first and the side comments later. The story builds on a hilarious and absurb premise: doughnuts are sentient beings who want to be chosen by humans that will eventually eat them. Arnie, although as alive as the other doughnuts, rebels from this true purpose. The journey of a doughnut from creation to a human’s mouth is descriptive, and the relationship between Arnie and his eventual human owner is heartfelt. The solution to the central conflict is funny and unexpected. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end, and hope that you will too. (Side Note: Arnie the Doughnut is also the central character of a popular juvenile fiction series.)
Lorenzo the Pizza-Loving Lobster by Claire Lordon
What happens when a lobster discovers pizza for the first time? He tells his friends and then tries to make his own. Unfortunately, ocean kitchens have ocean food and not pizza food. This book does not have a moral/lesson to learn…unless being adventurous about replicating food is a “lesson.” Even so, this was still a lot of fun to read. Lorenzo the Lobster and Kalena the Turtle are very cute, likable animals to read about. And pizza is delicious, so that makes the book appealing. If you are looking for something fun and somewhat nonsensical, this is definitely an excellent choice.
There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach
Restaurants often mess up their customer’s orders. This restaurant is no exception to that rule! From the very beginning this story acts as a parody. A young boy bikes his tricycle to a restaurant valet in the illustrations on the title and dedication pages. When he receives his food at the restaurant, there is something wrong with his order. There is a giraffe in his soup! And the classically snooty waiter refuses to see it. Each consecutive “correct” meal brings another new animal with it. How is this resolved? The ending is somewhat silly, but with the story’s animated storytelling and hilarious illustrations, it is easier to believe that the nonsensical ending could truly happen.