Author Showcase : Lois Lenski

We love Lois Lenski’s books. If you don’t recognize these books from your own childhood it’s because even though they were written in the 30’s- 60’s they have long been out of print . In the last decade they have been re released and thank goodness they were. The author was well loved in her lifetime and received both the Children’s Book Award and a Newbery Medal. My son knows where her books are on the bookshelf in the library and immediately finds them every time we go.


Cowboy Small is a cute cowboy book for the younger set. We have the board book edition and it’s been loved for a long time at our house, although since our return from the Calgary Stampede it’s been read constantly. The text is simple, the drawings are charming and the book covers all the basics of what a cowboys does day and night. My son loves that Cowboy small has a guitar, and is pretty fond of the part when he gets bucked off a bronco as well.

policeman small

Policeman Small was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Policeman Small is about a policeman in a simpler time, a time that is perfect for little readers not looking for the reality of what police work is, instead looking for something simple. A big hit with young toddlers, my son enjoyed this book well before he was 2 and still does years later.

little auto

The Little Auto Originally written in 1934 and although cars have changed the basics are the same and are all covered in this little book. The basic care and maintenance of a car to also what to do if you have a flat tire are all addressed. The pace of the book is slow but your child won’t loose interest instead the slow pace is perfect and leads to the a clam and happy story time. My son giggled at the part of the book where Mr. Small drives past a horse and buggy, he of course has little understanding of a horse as anything other than a farm animal!

the little airplane

The Little Airplane I have been around airplanes all my life and I learned more about them from this picture book than I have from anywhere else before. To say this book is detailed is an understatement , it goes step by step how a prop plane works, and what a pilot does during the flight. The retro pictures are both a favorite of mine and my son’s, they take you back and make you feel like you are in another place and time. This book will be too long for young toddlers, there is a lot of text.

The Little Fire Engine

The Little Fire Engine is a simple little book about a fire engine that goes to put out fires. Nothing special but every time my son sees it at the library he won’t let it go. In 6 months we’ve taken it out 4 times. I think the bright retro illustrations and the simple text is what makes it so appealing.

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  1. says

    I had completely forgotten about Lois Lenski! My grandparents used to have a battery powered car for the grandkids that they dubbed “The Little Auto” 🙂 I will need to look up some of these books on our next trip to the library.

  2. nikki says

    Just looked these up Saturday at the library. We only have 6 (in two three-book collections) and only the old editions in two colors. Still, the stories are so relaxing and the drawings are soft and friendly. We read all 6 tonight and my 3.5y/o calmly enjoyed each one 🙂 . Thanks!


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