As if you didn’t already look forward to bedtime, five new books you’ll want to read — with or without your kids.
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp
Marcel the Shell (a YouTube phenom with more than 12 million views) tries out life as a children’s picture book protagonist. The dreamlike illustrations and his quirky personality (his dog is a piece of lint) make him one of our favorite kid lit newcomers.
The Listeners/These Train Tracks, by Breathe Owl Breathe
From the band Breathe Owl Breathe comes a children’s book that time forgot. A canvas-covered volume features two stories illustrated by reproductions of woodcut prints that start at each end of the book and meet in the middle, where you’ll find a seven-inch record of both narratives recorded as indie-folk songs.
Birdie’s Big-Girl Dress, by Sujean Rim
DailyCandy’s illustrator emeritus publishes her second children’s book about a precocious little girl who likes to dress up. It’s the perfect bedtime tale for moms and daughters who know their way around a dressing room.
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers
Little Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, so naturally he throws his shoe up after it. When his shoe gets lodged in the branches too, an unexpected cast of projectiles (a cat, a ladder, a fire engine) follows. Read-out-loud fun at its best.
Eli, No, by Katie Kirk
Try to resist the bold graphic illustrations in Kirk’s debut children’s book. But it’s the toddler tough-love lesson — “No!” doesn’t mean we love you any less — that has us stealing one last snuggle before lights out.
The Thanksgiving Story
What: Listen to Glee Mania’s Miss Sue recount the history of the holiday, and then stroll through Frying Pan Farm Park (ages 2 and up).
Why: Show your little pilgrim it’s not just about mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
When: Fri., 11 a.m.
Where: 2709 W. Ox Rd., Herndon (703-437-9101). Adults and children, $4.
What: Check out miniature trains chugging along a festive track and hang with Santa.
Why: Carve out some time for a streetcar ride (sorry, no stops at the North Pole).
When: Sat.-Dec. 18. Sat. & Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum, Northwest Branch Park, 1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville (301-384-6088). Museum admission, adults and children, $4; under 2, free; museum admission with trolley ride, adults, $7; children, $5.
HO, HO, HO
Christmas at Mount Vernon
What: Watch a chocolate-making demonstration, take a peek at the gingerbread house, and tour George Washington’s decked-out digs.
Why: Who needs Rudolph when Aladdin the camel is in town?
When: Fri.-Jan. 6, 2012. Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon (703-780-2000). Adults and children 12 and up, $15; children, $7; under 6, free.
Photos: Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers; Courtesy of Little, Brown Books; Courtesy of Abrams Books