My four-year-old son received five books for Christmas this year: A Thomas the Tank Engine book, a Dr. Seuss Book, two Eric Carle books and Donut Chef. I let him choose one new book to read at his bedtime. He almost chose the Eric Carle kangaroo book because he also received a plush kangaroo for Christmas, but, in the end, he chose Donut Chef.
Donut Chef is a longer rhyming text picture book, so perhaps it was a mistake to make it the fourth picture book I read tonight -- Christmas night -- after a very long day. Normally, when I encounter longer picture books, I skim them; that is, just read what I need to in order to make the story work. With Donut Chef, I had to read every line. Every rhyming line was needed to tell the story properly. Every rhyming line is needed.
I first bought a Bob Staake children's book for the artwork. I love the artwork. I didn't really expect to like the text. I was pleasantly surprised, delighted, and mildly annoyed when I did like the writing in the first book. I'm no longer surprised. Now I buy the books because my son REALLY loves them. I know he likes the artwork, but he also really likes the text. He likes the text so much that when he received a robot today for Christmas, he stared quoting "Hello, Robots".
I buy Mr. Staake's books for self-preservation: If I do have to read a Bob Staake book to my son every day, and usually more than once a day -- which I do -- it is good if I have a few choices.