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Reading My Library

Friday, March 18, 2011

Progress Report - March 2011

My last progress report was in October so I'm thinkin' it's time for an update!

Goal set for reading all of the children's picture books in our library:

Monday, September 28, 2009. I'm over a year in now, and have realized that real life (three kids age 4 and under) does not set you up well for completing challenges quickly. We're just plodding along and this project will take me much longer than I originally anticipated. But I think that's ok! Having kids is a greater blessing than having a completed project!

Progress as of today's date:

I've read (according to the last name of the author) through the "A" section and am into the "Bu" section.

Total number of picture books read:

By my count, 948.

Average number of times I go to the library during the week:

Zero! I go once every two weeks. When I started this challenge, I was going to the library twice a week. Time and additional children have obviously changed things!

Average number of books checked out per visit:

I started reading more books IN the library and bringing home the books that I think we will really enjoy and that I will want to spend the time writing about. On average I would say I'm probably bringing home about 20 books a trip.

Favorite New-to-Me author I've discovered so far:

I think I shall leave it with Paulette Bourgeois, who was mentioned as my favorite on the last report. She penned the Franklin the Turtle books which we really have enjoyed to the point of adding some of her books to our home library.

Total amount of fines due so far:

I've lost count because I lost my library card and so we've been using my husband's card! (How incredibly bad is that?!) I'm going to guess we're somewhere in the range of $7 in fines, mostly because we've checked out videos that weren't returned in time and not due to books being forgotten. We can check out books for 4 weeks at our library, but videos for 2. This consistently throws me off and gets me in trouble!

And that, folks, is where I'm at!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Read Aloud Thursday - Eve Bunting

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word

To wrap up our perusal of Eve Bunting books, here are some additional titles we've been reading through.

I think I'd be a little remiss if I didn't mention Our Library, don'tcha think?

In this particular story, Raccoon and his friends are shocked to discover from their favorite library, Miss Goose, that their library is going to close. The library is sadly in need of repairs but there is no money to take care of these things and so they are going to have to shut their doors. This saddens the animals friends and spurs them onto action to raise money to take care of things like the roof and new paint. Several times over the friends rally around their library to support it and keep it open and functioning.

If you love your library, you will love this book.

Hurry! Hurry! is a good (and simple) spring-time tale, especially for toddlers. Chicken is running through the barnyard yelling for all of the animals to "HURRY! HURRY!" With only two words of exclamations per page (her pleas for the animals to hurry and their individual responses) this is a great book for kids age 1-3. What are the animals all hurrying to see?

Well, you don't expect me to spoil the book for you now, do you!?

I thought My Backpack would be a bigger hit with the boys than it turned out to be. In this story, Grandma sends a little boy a backpack so that he can "fill it with important stuff." The little boy goes around the house collecting things his family deems to be important (like brother's catcher's mitt and father's glasses) and heads outside to play. The family, of course, goes hunting for their missing items and discover them in the possession of the boy. All is forgiven and the more important thing is placed inside the backpack -- the boy! (His father ends up giving him a fun piggy back ride.)

Again, I thought this one would be more of a hit but I think the concept just went right over their heads. At any rate, no one responded to this book.

All in all, we had some hits and misses with the stack I brought home. Regardless, it's always fun to read through new titles and get a feel for what's out there!

Are you reading aloud with your kids this week? Hop on over to Hope is in the Word and share what you are reading, as well as find out what others are diving into these days. Thanks, as always, to Amy for hosting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Sampling of Bunting Books

I told you all that Eve Bunting was a rather prolific writer! She's offering plenty of blog fodder this week. Here are some additional titles to be aware of:

I put this book on my Amazon wishlist in hopes of someday adding it to our home holiday book collection. (Love the library but it's hard to wrangle holiday titles away in time to be read in season sometimes! I've started building our own home holiday collection so that we're never out of reading sources when special events and occasions roll around!)

In A Turkey for Thanksgiving Mrs. Moose is moaning because "everyone has a turkey" for Thanksgiving but the Moose family. Mr. Moose promises to bring home a turkey for dinner and he goes off in search of one, taking all of their fellow animal friends and Thanksgiving guests along. They do find a very fat turkey who, not surprisingly, does not want to join the group for dinner! Of course, as it turns out, Mr. and Mrs. Moose have no intention of putting the turkey ON the table. They just wanted a turkey as a guest to sit AT the table. A cute book to be sure.

Pop's Bridge is a fun and fascinating introduction to the history of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This story follows two fictional families whose fathers play a part in building the bridge. It's dangerous and exciting job, filled with care, excitement and imagination. Bunting includes factual information in telling her tale. Definitely a title to remember for history purposes.

Jumping back to another holiday title, we picked up Who Was Born This Special Day? in which each of the animals in the barn/stable are asked if they were born "this special day." Not I, they each in turn give answer. So who WAS born this special day?

Was it the child?
The child who lies in the manger bed,
the shine of the star high overhead?
Clouds filled with angels shimmering bright,
singing of joy this dear, holy night.
Who was born this special day?
It was the child.

We're randomly jumping about here, aren't we? On to the Sunflower House which is a really fun book for the summertime. A boy plants some tall-growing sunflowers and gets to play in the "house" that they create as they grow. He spends a wonderful summer underneath the blossoms and then, after sunflower season has passed, he collects the seeds which will be replanted so that there will be "sunflowers everywhere" the following year. Very fun story!


Monday, March 14, 2011

My Red Balloon, by Eve Bunting

My Red Balloon is the perfect companion book to The Father's Are Coming Home, by Margaret Wise Brown. (Linked to my review.) I had to mention this one as well.

In this story a little boy is waiting for his father to return from his Naval cruise. He promises his father that he will be able to spot him by the red balloon that he'll be carrying. This red balloon is very precious to the boy because it is the object which will connect him with his father, who he has not seen in some time.

A very touching story, obviously, and heart-felt. I know a friend who will love this and I post this for her - as well as a reminder to the rest of us that freedom isn't cheap and it doesn't come for free. Freedom involves sacrifice, like it or not. Any book that gives a nod to the armed forces of America gets a nod from me as well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

List of Picture Books by Eve Bunting

(This list discovered on the Fantastic Fiction website.)

The Two Giants (1971)
A Gift for Lonny (1973)
Box, Fox, Ox, and the Peacock (1974)
We Need a Bigger Zoo! (1974)
Lady's Girl (1974)
The Once-a-year Day (1974)
Say It Fast (1974)
Barney the Beard (1975)
The Day of the Dinosaurs (1975)
Death of a Dinosaur (1975)
The Dinosaur Trap (1975)
Escape from Tyrannosaurus (1975)
The Demon (1976)
The Ghost (1976)
The Tongue of the Ocean (1976)
The Creature of Cranberry Cove (1976)
Winter's Coming (1977)
The Big Cheese (1977)
Magic and the Night River (1978)
The Robot People (1978)
The Big Red Barn (1979)
Demetrius and the Golden Goblet (1980)
The Empty Window (1980)
St. Patrick's Day in the Morning (1980)
Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust (1980)
The Skate Patrol (1980)
The Spook Birds (1981)
Goose Dinner (1981)
The Skate Patrol Rides Again (1982)
The Happy Funeral (1982)
The Skate Patrol and the Mystery Writer (1982)
The Valentine Bears (1983)
Clancy's Coat (1984)
Maggie the Freak (1984)
Jane Martin, Dog Detective (1984)
Monkey in the Middle (1984)
The Mother's Day Mice (1986)
Scary, Scary Halloween (1986)
Ghost's Hour, Spook's Hour (1987)
Happy Birthday, Dear Duck (1988)
How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story (1988)
No Nap (1989)
The Wednesday Surprise (1989)
The Wall (1990)
In the Haunted House (1990)
Fly away Home (1991)
A Perfect Father's Day (1991)
A Turkey for Thanksgiving (1991)
Night Tree (1991)
Ride When You're Ready (1992)
The Wild Horses (1992)
Summer Wheels (1992)
Our Teacher's Having a Baby (1992)
The Day Before Christmas (1992)
Someday a Tree (1993)
Red fox Running (1993)
A Day's Work (1994)
Smoky Night (1994)
Sunshine Home (1994)
The Man Who Could Call Down Owls (1994)
Flower Garden (1994)
Night of the Gargoyles (1994)
Once Upon a Time (1995)
Dandelions (1995)
Cheyenne Again (1995)
Going Home (1996)
Train to Somewhere (1996)
Market Day (1996)
Sunflower House (1996)
I Don't Want to Go to Camp (1996)
Secret Place (1996)
The Blue and the Gray (1996)
Ducky (1997)
Your Move (1997)
I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert (1997)
Trouble on the T-ball Team (1997)
My Backpack (1997)
The Pumpkin Fair (1997)
Some Frog! (1997)
Twinnies (1997)
Moonstick: The Seasons of the Sioux (1997)
December (1997)
So Far from the Sea (1998)
I Have an Olive Tree (1999)
Butterfly House (1999)
Rudi's Pond (1999)
A Picnic in October (1999)
Can You Do This, Old Badger? (2000)
I Like the Way You Are (2000)
Swan in Love (2000)
Doll Baby (2000)
The Memory String (2000)
Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story (2000)
Who Was Born This Special Day? (2000) (with Leonid Gore)
Riding the Tiger (2001)
The Days of Summer (2001)
Jin Woo (2001)
Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas (2001)
Gleam and Glow (2001)
Peepers (2001)
Too Many Monsters (2001)
One Candle (2002)
Little Badger's Just-About Birthday (2002)
The Bones of Fred McFee (2002)
Girls: A to Z (2002)
Anna's Table (2003)
Little Bear's Little Boat (2003)
Whales Passing (2003)
I Love You, Too! (2004)
My Special Day at Third Street School (2004)
My Red Balloon (2005)
My Robot (2006)
Pop's Bridge (2006)
One Green Apple (2006)
Our Library (2006)
My Mom's Wedding (2006)
That's What Leprechauns Do (2006)
Baby Can (2007)
Hurry! Hurry! (2007)
The Baby Shower (2007)
Emma's Turtle (2007)
You Were Loved Before You Were Born (2008) (with Karen Barbour)
Mouse Island (2008)
Walking To School (2008)
Will It Be a Baby Brother? (2010)
Christmas Cricket (2010)
We Were There: A Nativity Story (2010)
Finn McCool and the Great Fish (2010)
Green Shamrocks (2011)
Hey Diddle Diddle (2011)
My Dog Jack Is Fat (2011)
Tweak Tweak (2011)

She has also written many novels, a play, a few chapter books as well as some non-fiction works. To see a complete list of Eve Bunting Books, click on the link!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bookworm1's Favorite Bunting Books

There were so many Bunting books upon our library bookshelves that I didn't even bother bringing all of them home. I filled up my back chalk full of her books and then read a ton of them while I was at the library itself. I confess I'm kind of on Bunting overload. The ones I did bring home, I brought home because I thought they'd be particular hits with my boys. Bookworm1 (age 4) enjoyed the following:

Mouse Island tells of Mouse who lives alone on an island. He's not necessarily lonely - at first. But then he starts thinking that it might be nice to have someone to do something with. One day a storm blows through and there is a shipwreck off the coast. Mouse spies something in the water that needs some rescuing and he bravely brings it shore. It turns out it is a cat! Due to the fact that Mouse rescued Cat, Cat agrees not to eat Mouse. As you might guess, they end up becoming friends and enjoy one another's company.

Little Badger's Just-About Birthday is very cutely illustrated by LeUyen Pham which made this book particularly fun for mommy to read as well. (I do love cute and cuddly looking animals - I confess it!) In this book Old Badger wakes up Little Badger with a just-about birthday gift of a "big, bristly, dry-as-dirt pinecone" for them to play with together. Little Badger is excited to celebrate his "just-about" birthday with his friends, celebrating the fact that he was born just about this particular (and unnamed) time of year.

As it turns out, all of his friends are celebrating their "just-about" birthdays as well! Why, it's even Old Badger's just-about birthday. Why? Because it's spring, of course! This is never mentioned and so Bookworm1 didn't quite catch on. But it's a cute story and definitely one to add to the line up if you are reading/studying seasons of the year.

There is a series of Badger Books including Can You Do This, Old Badger? and Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas. If you like one title - check out the others!

If you know of Bookworm1's love of sea creatures, you can feign shock and surprise over the fact that he enjoyed Whales Passing. The illustrations in this book are beautifully done by Lambert Davis who lends a certain majestic feel to these Orca whales.

In this story a boy and his dad are whale watching on the coast. This book generally explains how whales migrate. The father and son speculate on how the whales communicate with one another and they watch them surface and spout. Not much I can say about this book, really, except that if your child is a lover of ocean animals - check this book out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Perfect Father's Day, by Eve Bunting

Mothers and fathers will get a kick out of A Perfect Father's Day. The idea behind the book will fly right over the children's heads, which is exactly as it should be.

For Father's Day Susie is going to take her father out for the day on the town. He offers to drive. She chooses the restaurant. He offers to pay. She decides they'll go celebrate his day and play at the park. He tags along with her, pushing her on the swing and climbing on the playground equipment. On their way home, she tells him about the "surprise Father's Day cake" which Mommy is making at home. He acts surprised.

NOT surprisingly, my kids didn't get the humor which Bunting pokes at Susie's attempts to celebrate her father. However, any one who has either been a kid or a parent will understand that the message of this book is not about the special gifts we might give to fathers and mothers on their special holidays, but it's about spending time and sacrificing for the ones that you love.

A simple message, told in tongue-and-cheek fashion that is sure to be a hit.