Children’s Book Review: Daniel’s Grr-ific Stories!
Daniel Tiger (a.k.a., “D. Tiger,” according to our three-year-old) continues to be a hit around here. I expressed some skepticism two-and-a-half years ago toward a tiger replacing Mr. Rogers (see here). And of course no one could ever fill those shoes and that sweater. But Daniel Tiger–both the character and the show–has turned out to be pretty awesome.
Yes, we enjoy the show. And the music is a favorite soundtrack at home. Last year our three-year-old (then two) got the toy trolley and some character figurines for Christmas.
I wonder whether the franchise has been slow to merchandise since heavy consumerism isn’t exactly a Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood value. However, I have wished on numerous occasions for D. Tiger books to read to my daughter. Now Simon & Shuster and The Fred Rogers Company are releasing a slew of volumes for children.
Daniel’s Grr-ific Stories! (6 of Them!)
One such release is the surprisingly affordable six-book boxed set: Daniel’s Grr-ific Stories. It includes six short stories (22 pages of story text in each) with full-color illustrations:
- Welcome to the Neighborhood!
- Daniel Goes to School
- Goodnight, Daniel Tiger
- Daniel Visits the Doctor
- Daniel’s First Sleepover
- The Baby Is Here!
As with the show, each book uses an interesting (and, let’s admit it, cute) narrative to help children deal with the many and diverse feelings that life throws their way.
Daniel is a big helper with the new baby–he helps get her room ready, holds her when she’s born, and even helps change a diaper! Smoother sailing then one might expect when a new baby comes and shakes up a family dynamic. (This may be one reason Honest Toddler does not like Daniel Tiger.)
The books are true to the show, which is nice–you’ll see, for example, familiar songs here:
Daniel is not sure what he’s going to do at the sleepover. He sings, “When we do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do!”
Daniel and Prince Wednesday have a pajama dance party and brush their teeth together, but then Daniel gets scared:
Now it’s time to turn out the light and go to sleep. But wait! There is a great big shadow on the wall. It looks scary to Daniel! What could it be?
But, lest you worry our own child should get scared, the authors are on it:
Daniel remembers, if something seems scary, “See what it is. You might feel better.”
Sure enough (spoiler alert), “It’s just Mr. Lizard!” It was only a stuffed animal.
“When we do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do!” comes up, too, when Dr. Anna sings it to Daniel in his check-up. Nothing to fear. He’s growing stripes just as he should!
All six of the books are of the quality you’d expect. (Though, be advised: they’re paperback.) Your kid may want you to read all six before going to bed, but one or two or three will probably fill 10–15 minutes easily enough. There’s a lot of good content here.
The illustrations are well-done, too:
Plus, A Super-Cute Growth Chart
Also included in the six-book box is a full-color growth chart parents can put on the wall. It starts at 17 inches (so you hang it 16 inches above the floor) and goes up to 59 inches. Daniel, Miss Elaina, Prince Wednesday, O the Owl, and Katerina Kittycat are all there cheering for your growing wee one. A nice touch is that at three parts there is, “Now I’m big enough to _” that you can fill in.
Where to Get It
Here’s what the whole thing looks like:
For how much is here, both the list price and the discounted price on Amazon make it easily worthwhile.
Thanks to the good folks at Simon & Schuster for sending the boxed set for review, though that did not influence my opinions.