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.
Sugar Plum Fairy Tea
What: Meet dancers from the Boston Ballet, decorate cookies, and munch on ladylike snacks.
Why: Tiaras? Tutus? Say no more.
When: Sat., 11 a.m. (Also Dec. 3 & 17.)
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common, 10 Avery St., Theater District (617-574-7100). Reservations (required) to 617-574-7184. Adults and teens, $48; children, $35.
Frog Pond Skating Rink
What: Bundle up your ice princess for a spin across the ice.
Why: The Belgian waffles and grilled cheese bar deserve a perfect ten.
When: Thru Mar. 18, 2012.
Where: Boston Common, 84 Beacon St. (617-635-2120). Adults and teens 14 and up, $5; children 13 and under, free.
Thanksgiving Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village
What: Get the scoop on Native American traditions, mingle with costumed historians, and see what was cooking in 19th-century kitchens.
Why: Turns out pumpkin pie was a favorite even back in the day.
When: Thurs.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge (800-733-1830). Adults, $20; children, $7; under 3, free.
Photos: Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers; Courtesy of Little, Brown Books; Courtesy of Abrams Books