Thursday, March 31, 2011

Read to me

**Attention to family who might be reading: yes, my birthday is indeed coming up (on Easter this year!), and if you would like to find the perfect birthday gift for me, please look no further than my Modcloth wishlist.  Or a Modcloth gift certificate.  Either would be swell.  Thanks a bunch.  :-) **

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 Andrew and Elijah 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.


a.susie said...

I hear you. As much as I love Dr. Seuss, dragging my tongue through "Cat In The Hat", "Horton Hears A Who", and "Green Eggs & Ham" every single week got kind of tedious.
I love the Frances books. Jordy is liking Beatrix Potter lately, as well as the simple Little Golden Book, "Scamp". Hunter and I started "Voyage of the Dawn Treader", but we haven't gotten very far. Little Man goes for Curious George. Then there is this little old book we have, one of the "Gordon the Engine" books, with dialuoge so dry...I don't really understand the appeal...but all three of the kids have been insistent that we must read it often! Yikes!
We like sing-song books like "Ten In A Bed", and "Ten Little Monkeys".
Also immensely popular are two Little Giant books called, "Red Rhino" and "Green Bear". Something about pretending to find Red Rhino's red balloon just really works for them.
And of course, "Madeline"!

Jill said...

Read aloud was a special time spent with Greg & Keith. They liked "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel " and Richard Scarry books. Some of the best memories as they got older were reading the "Little House" series and "Old Yeller." I remember reading nonsensical books of poetry to them by Shel Silverstein:

Celeste said...

Robert McCloskey books were a treat for us both--Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine.
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Celeste said...

I also want to recommend Charlotte Zolotow in case you haven't heard of her. Our favorite of her books was "The Seashore Book", and I think I'll always keep it on the shelf to remember the times we read it together, it was that great. Here's a link to her books so you can see more about them.

Dani Greer said...

You need new books - and with coupon code LPPGREEN at checkout you'll get 25% off. Sofia's Dream is sweet, and Your Fantastic Elastic Brain would be good for the older kids, too. Highly recommended by moi. ;) Who works for them. Also, do you know about a virtual library for $20/year? Very cool - LPP books are there, too.

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