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Reading My Library

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Library Trippin'

Enthusiastic about my new reading goal to read all the children's picture books at our local library, I swooped in and managed to carry about a stack of 35 books thanks to my husband whose long arms could haul them away. (I came home and got a bag big enough to tote the books to and fro for the future.) Excited and curious to see what books were in this Mystery Stack, (I didn't bother to look at titles or anything while at the library. After all, the goal is to "read all" no matter what!), I devoured them all in short order.

Because part of the challenge includes reading aloud to my three year old, I skimmed the books first and selected the cream of the crop to read to him. I am a huge proponent of parents previewing the books and materials that their children read and listen to. I'll say that a lot around here. This experiment will not be a case of handing over any and every book to the little ones. Rather, I plan to read them all, in total, first and then Grab the Greats to share.

Indiscriminate reading is unprofitable to the mind. - Latin Proverb
Bookworm1 was polite enough to put together his puzzles nearby while I started browsing. Occasionally he'd pipe up, "Did you find one for me yet?" Periodically I would answer in the affirmative and he would come leaping up to the couch to join me.

I personally began the journey with Anansi Finds a Fool, by Verna Aardema.

This is an Ashanti tale about a lazy man named Anansi. He wanted to go into the fishing business but find someone else to do all the work. His plan? To reap the profits and rewards of being a business owner. He was off to find a such a fool to work for him. However, wives are apt to click their tongues at husbands that they don't understand and Ashanti's wife was no different. She told her friend Laluah about Anansi's grand scheme and Laluah told her husband, Bonsu. Bonsu then took it upon himself to try to beat Anansi at his own game and try to get Anansi to do the hard work to catch fish while Bonsu reaped the rewards.

A modern day tale would look like this: One blogger has a fantastic idea and talks about it to another blogger. The second blogger decides to beat the first one at their own game. What ensues is total chaos where no one is happy because everyone is out for themselves. When I first had this idea to read through the library, I checked online to make sure no one else was doing it already. I couldn't find anyone so if you are out there and you are doing this - I apologize. I wasn't stealing your idea. I really didn't find you! And if you are out there and you think that you'd also like to read through your library, join me in the games. No need to fight about it least we end up like Bonsu and Anansi. Only their wives were laughing in the end!

Best loved books from Bookworm in this stack:

Off We Go!,by Beverley Abramson

I must say that Off We Go! really has no real story to it (at all). Each page spread cleverly rhymes and the book is filled with pictures of children jumping, leaping and generally having a fantastically great time. I was asked to read this book no less than five times, but I stopped him after the fourth read, begging to be allowed to move on with the stack. Anyway, if you have a child who likes to run and leap and splash and tumble then Off We Go! should be on your list of library books to check out.

Bookworm1's second choice was much more appealing (to me).

Friend frog,by Alma Flor Ada

This is the story of a little field mouse who desperately wants a friend. He finally makes one in a rather self absorbed frog but it all turns out in the end. I love the way illustrator Lori Lohstoeter illustrated the mouse. Quite the cute little character. For a mouse.

Best loved books by Mommy from this stack:

The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story, by Leone Adelson

This book I intend to add to our home collection so that we can read the story of Purim and the surrounding celebrations on a yearly basis (and I won't have to remember to check it out from the library in time to be relevant to the calendar!). And yes - this will be a severe problem here . . . I know that I will find lots of books that I want to own for ourselves! Well, so be it! I can't fight everything, least of all The Great Book Obsession.

Extra! Extra!: Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest, also by Alma Flor Ada

Wonder what it would be like to be subscribed to the newspaper that informs you of what is going on in fairy tale land? Well, grab this book! The headlines read: "Mysterious Plant Causes Alarm" (aka Jack and the Beanstalk) and "Unusual Race" (aka The Tortoise and the Hare). There are ads for a Rhyming Contest and Cooperative Farming (aka The Little Red Hen). Charming and clever book. Loved it!

Have you been Reading Your Library lately? Drop a note and let me know what you've found! I'll look forward to reading it myself soon!


  1. I'm just curious. Can you do a post about your library? I don't mean where it is or the name of it. But some pictures of the children's section and a count of the picture books.

    I've learned that All Libraries Are NOT Created Equal. I guess I'm wanting to see how your library "stacks up" (get it? ha!ha!) to my library. :)

    Also, have you explained to the children's librarians what you are doing?

  2. I love it! I love it! I love it in all its beautiful random-ness!!! (Even though it's not random--it's alphabetical!)