Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reading List

Since we have been lame and haven’t done anything creative or fun the past few weeks (other than lots and lots of unstructured play) I thought I would post our reading list.

We finally started going to story time at the library again – they took a break for the holidays, and... well, maybe I forgot to start going again. But we’re going now! We actually went to story time straight from pump class at the rec center (I went to the pump class, the kids played in the daycare). We’ll probably make it our Thursday routine – pump class, then story time. Going to the library every week keeps me from getting overdue fines. Ahem.

After story time we quickly picked out a few books. Usually I look up books before hand and have them reserved so I can avoid the kids area at the library (if the kids get over there, they usually don’t make it back to the car without a fuss). Since, as I’ve said, I’ve been kind of a chump about planning stuff, we braved the kids section after storytime, and the kids picked out some books.

Here are their picks:

Basically this book is just a bunch of pictures of things you might see in the city. It shows the parks, the buildings, the trains, the busses, the nightlife (the G rated version, of course), and other great colorful pictures. The artwork is childlike and joyful, and the main girl (a little curly redhead) can be seen in each picture. The words are simple. Each page has the inscription “Wow! City!” at the bottom of each page (replacing “city” with whatever is shown on the page – bus, train, people, lights, etc). After a while, Little E caught on and started “reading” the book, too. Both the babies loved it.


This book is about a little girl who has tried everything to fall asleep (warm milk, etc) and decides to count sheep, but the 108th sheep can’t jump high enough. The book is cute, but I think the concept was a little lost on Little E, who doesn’t really understand “counting sheep” – but maybe this book will be the thing that introduces that concept to him. We talked about it at the end, when all the sheep are gone (after the little girl wakes up) and he said, “Where are the sheep?” The illustrations are simple and black-and-white, with the numbers printed in a deep red. I probably enjoyed it more than the babies did. (Have you noticed that I call both my kids babies, even though Little E is almost 4? I just can’t help it! They are – and always will be – my babies)

This book was a simple counting one with flaps. Each page says “How many ___ do you see?” and then you count them, then you lift the flap and there are more groups of things (representing the same numbers) and it says something like “How many other groups of ___ can you count?” This one was a good one for Little E, because he likes to count, but doesn’t have a real concrete idea of what numbers actually represent. We’ll be working on that a little more in the coming months, probably using Anno’s Math books. (more about that later)


I heart Tommie dePaola. The first book I ever read that was illustrated by him was The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, which I believe my 4th grade teacher read to us, and then was on sale in the Scholastic Book sale thing they have in elementary schools, and my parents bought it for me. This book was only illustrated by dePaola, not written by him, but the words hold the same profoundness. I have always been enchanted by American Indian (is that the proper term?) traditions and stories. I find their way of life simple, beautiful, appreciative, and understanding. This book (I Love You, Sun) speaks to the tree hugger in me. I want my children to learn to appreciate the earth and all the beautiful creations of our Father in Heaven. This book does that for me.

Baby E loved this one. She basically loves books. She’s always asking me to read her books. Book after book after book. Part of me loves it. And then the part that needs to do the laundry and the dishes and go grocery shopping can’t wait for Vince to learn how to read so that he can read books to her some of the time! This is another flap book, with a cute little rhyme about things that baby likes to do. Simple, solid color illustrations for baby (even those Baby E is nearly 2... not babies, I have to keep reminding myself). The first page shows baby bouncing on mommy’s lap and says “Bouncy baby, bouncy lap” then under the flap it shows the baby clapping and says, “baby likes to clap clap clap.” The rest of the book follows suit with baby splashing, dancing, waving bye-bye, etc.

I don’t know what little girl didn’t read Misty of Chincoteague growing up. I loved those books. This book actually has a letter from Marguerite Henry (the author of) Misty in the front cover, because Susan Jeffers sent Marguerite signed copies of this book. Little E and Baby E liked the pictures of the ponies, but I think they didn’t really understand the story. It took me make to my Misty days and made me itch to go pick up those books again. I’m pretty sure I have Stormy: Misty’s Foal downstairs, but I think I checked Misty out from the library as a little girl. Perhaps I’ll read them to the E’s. We’ll see.

So there you have it. Our completely random book choices for this week. Next week I’ll try to be a little more cohesive. But first I’ve got to get my act together with planning themes. I found a really great new blog that I love. I will be posting more about that tomorrow!

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