Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Library Trip

Finally! We have some fresh reads from the library. Now that Rascal is much more willing to sit through a book, I checked out a couple of books that Roo liked when she was his age. They are simply written, with engaging illustrations. When I sit down to read them to Rascal, Roo stops whatever it is she is doing, and comes over to listen too. So, I guess they're still favorites of hers even 3 years later. [As usual, all book cover photos are in the sidebar, for those of you who like to judge a book by its cover--literally! I know I'm one of those ;) ]

The first one is Blue Bowl Down: An Appalachian Rhyme. I can't remember how I first came across this book several years back, but I'm pretty sure it was purely a happy accident. One of those I-was-looking-for-a-different-book-when-this-one-caught-my-eye kind of thing.

It is a large book, with illustrations that fill each and every page in its entirety. When you read this one, it helps if you inject a kind of rhythmic, lyrical beat to the words as you speak them. Don't worry about how you do it, just do. When my husband reads it, he just reads it like he's reading any storybook. And the kids don't like it that way. They like the chant-like version they get from me. The book just flows better when you do it.

Regardless of how you read it, the sweet pictures of Mama and toddler making bread together is a comforting, homey scene. Every time I read it, I feel compelled to institute a regular bread making night in our weekly routine. I found the author's explanation behind the bread making tradition an interesting snippet at the end of the book.

My son's favorite thing to do when we read this one is to point out the playful kittens on the pages, as they are sometimes hiding! Overall, we find it soothing and calming. A great bedtime read-aloud.

Little House, Little Town is a bright and cheerful book. It follows the day in the life of a baby and the community in a busy town: turning on sprinklers, hanging laundry, running errands, riding bikes, climbing trees, and (as the book comes to an end) everyone heading for home and bed. I think my children like it because its pages are filled with familiar sights that they encounter in their own day.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear works so well on many levels: beautiful and humorous artwork, exciting and mildly suspenseful storyline, promotion of social values such as sharing. We absolutely love the adorable expressions on the sweet little mouse's face.

The next few books are geared more toward the 3-5 year old crowd, but my son will sit and listen to them too occasionally.

My daughter loves the My First Little House books. Unfortunately, our library doesn't carry all of the titles in the series. Of the ones it does carry, we have checked them all out at least once. This one, County Fair, was the last remaining book in the series that we hadn't checked out before. The reason being, it centers on Almanzo Wilder as a boy, not Laura Ingalls. My daughter is familiar and very fond of Laura, and I wasn't sure she would want to hear a story about this stranger named Almanzo. I was wrong. She enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as she enjoys the stories starring Laura Ingalls.

On next to the "Sheep books," as we call them. There are more than a few books in this series as well. Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep in a Shop, Sheep Take a Hike: they are all hits around here. My daughter just turned four and loves rhyming words in our daily round. So, since these books have rhyming text, she is a fan. Plus, the pictures are cute and the sheep are given such human facial expressions! Lots of detail and things to point out, which makes reading more fun for her and for me.

So, those are are latest winners from our library trip. The library is such a wonderful resource, it's a shame not to make full use of it! Going to seriously try to get back to making our trips there a weekly event.

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