Thursday, March 31, 2011

Read to me

Reading time.  For my little ones, it's one of their very favorite times of the day.  Snuggled right up against me, reading their favorite stories.


The only trouble is, as much as I love this special time, some days I feel like I just can't bear to read through "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "Brown Bear Brown Bear", or "The Snowy Day" one more time.  Those three are quality books with richly drawn/painted illustrations and fun storylines.  But there must be more out there!

Last week, we set out to the library with one goal: to find Non Fluff children's books (i.e.: ones that look like they took about 2 seconds to write and illustrate; ones that include licenced cartoon characters; ones that seem to be devoid of all character).  With help from the very patient children's librarian, we went home with a nice fat stack of books, and now storytime has been refreshed!

So.  I figure that if I've been looking for this sort of children's books, you might be too.  I'll be doing occasional, brief reviews on some quality books we've found especially enjoyable.  If you have children's books that you love as well, please share in the comments, or link to your own blog post about it!

Bedtime for Frances:
Bedtime for Frances (Trophy Picture Books)

Frances is a little badger who just can't seem to fall asleep.  Through a funny and clever dialogue and pencil/watercolor illustrations, our children learn how to have self control along with Frances and stay in bed, even if they are not sleepy.

A Baby Sister for Frances:
A Baby Sister for Frances (I Can Read Book 2)

When I was little, I used to check the vinyl audiobook version to listen to on my mom's old turntable, and it was my absolute favorite.  Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was the oldest of a growing number of little brothers and sisters, but this book was always a gentle, comforting reminder that I would never be replaced.


All that Fanny wants in life is to have a Barbie-esque doll, but her mother refuses, feeling that it is "a bit too much for a little girl".  Throughout the storyline, Fanny decides to handmake her own doll, and learns how much more special it is to have something that is made by hand.

Fanny & Annabelle:
Fanny & Annabelle

Fanny finds some money outside and learns the importance of honesty and having a clear conscience as she works through the moral trouble of what to do by writing an adventure book starring her doll.

Pancakes, Pancakes:
Pancakes, Pancakes!

This book was a little hard to follow for my younger two, but Sparky and Max really enjoyed it.  The story takes the reader through the journey of food, farm-to-table, and creates an appreciation for what we have in our pantry, and how it got there in the first place.

Tomorrow: pictures of some spinning I've been doing!  I'm not sure I've ever spun 2 lbs of the same colorway before, so hear the story and see what I've been up to at the beginning of tomorrow's Link-tastic Friday!


Heather Waddell said...

The list that came up off the top of my head is:
Voices in the Park (best for older kids, but you could read the parts one at a time to the younger kids for an ever-changing story)
Any book by Stephen Kellog (especially The Mysterious Tadpole and How Much is a Million)
When Sophie Gets Angry, Very Very Angry
The Big Orange Splot

Emma said...

We like "Zin Zin Zin a Violin" by Lloyd Moss, about ten instruments in a chamber orchestra. The video version of this one is also well worth checking out of the library, since it includes original music so kids can hear what each of the instruments sounds like.

"Iggy Peck, Architect" by Andrea Beatty, illustrated by David Roberts is also great. The Art Deco-style illustrations are lovely, and the story is funny (though with a bit of drama) and fun to read.

We're just starting to explore Robert Munsch stories. There are four "Munschwork" collections that I think each have five stories in them. The stories are smart and funny with enough substance that my three-year-old and I usually have many discussions about them long after the books have been closed.

Elaine Taylor said...

When Sophie Gets Angry, Very Very Angry is cute, as is Zin Zin Zin a Violin. Farmer Brown Shears his Sheep: A Yarn about Wool is cute.

For your older boys have you read the Flat Stanley books? It's a great idea/project to start.

Also check books by Tomie DePaola. He has TONS of stories out there that different ages can handle. He himself is unique and great when it comes to correspondence. My older daughter sent him a letter for his birthday with her classroom and got a reply. I individually sent letters with my younger kids and they also got letters back.

If you're ever in the NorthEast the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum is in Amherst, MA. We always have a blast there. Original art, a library with storytime, and an interactive art gallery.

Rachel said...

I love the weekly trips I take with my kids to the library, and I'll have to keep my eye out for some of the books you recommended (especially the Eric Carle book). My kids are at two very different reading stages, so it's hard to make recommendations. We mostly seem to leave the library with books about dogs or trucks :)


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