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Reading My Library

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I took my oldest to the library this morning to quickly unload and reload the bookbag. This time we hauled home 47 books with the assurance from the librarian that this was not at all unusual. Her record is checking out 100 books to one particular patron. I, however, do not have that large of a bookbag and if one hand must be available to guide my son with, then I am limited as to number. We walked away with 47 books this time.

The most interesting little note that I've stumbled across so far was inside of Catch That Goat!,by POLLY ALAKIJA.

This is a Barefoot Book which is a company I am very familiar with as offering most excellent story choices from a multicultural perspective. Since we have a multi-cultural family, this is something I have definitely taken note of. Truly, they have some pretty awesome books!

In case you are wondering (which I would assume you are!) it is a story involving a young girl who loses her goat in a market place. It's quite a crafy and clever little goat who ends up with various of the merchant's merchandise before he is finally caught. The story also involves counting down from 10 to 1 making it rather catchy and entertaining on many levels.

At any rate, the copyright for this book is on the very last page, instead of the very first as you would normally see. It is copyrighted 2002, by Polly Alakija with the following note:

"The moral right of Polly Alakija to be idenfied as the author and illustrator of this work has been asserted."
So don't forget it. POLLY ALAKIJA wrote Catch That Goat!.

More to come soon!

The adventure continues......... whee!!!

(This is a picture of my oldest and I at the pumpkin patch this past weekend.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: First Stack, First Book

This is the first stack of books that I grabbed at the library to start me on my callenge to read all of the children's pictures books at our library -- from A to Z! (That's right! Every single one!)

Join me on my journey! Grab a book (and a small child if one is handy) and enjoy!

Reading My Library
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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!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Checkin' Out Books

I confess it right now - I've fallen out of the habit of going to the library. When I was younger, my mom was responsible in making sure we were driven to the library to pick our selected books up and then driven back when said books needed to be returned. She also took care of the pets in such a way that I thought having a dog was a wonderful, easy and delightful thing - until I grew up and got one of my own (and no longer lived with my mother)!

Dogs and library books are good things for moms to take responsibility of.

It turns out that I wasn't very responsible when it came to dogs (I gave up when the little puppy refused to grasp the concept of potty training and I ended up finding him a loving home with more patience and less carpet). Nor was I remarkably responsible when it came to returning library books on time. When I first moved away from home, one of the first things I did was go to the local library and get a card. I felt like I belonged to my new community. I was struggling financially at the time and did not have the resources to buy books. Instead I needed things like snow tires and, well, food. I made a regular habit of borrowing things from the new library. The only problem was, I would forget to return them in a timely manner. I had checked out 3 movies one weekend and then failed to bring them back for a period of some days after their due date. It was then I discovered that they charged $1 a day as a late fee on non-returned videos! At that time I had a choice - pay the fine and continue to use the library or eat and resign myself to re-reading the books currently on my and my roommate's bookshelves. I chose the food. It seemed wiser back then.

Eventually I married and, as a large percentage of married couples do, we had children. My husband has fond memories of growing up and making weekly or semi-weekly visits to the library. Yes, I had those same delightful memories but I had been scarred by the overdue fines experience. Plus, who wants to lug kids around all over the library in search of books? I was thinking that I'd rather just build up a home library but that carries its own type of expense.

Then I met Amy at Hope Is The Word. She used to be a children's librarian and she was and is forever talking about the glories of her library. Being a good blogger myself already, I felt as if I were lacking in some ways and so I eventually started taking my toddler on library outings. It wasn't as bad as I remembered (and my local library gives you a grace period if you don't get the books back exactly on time which works to my great advantage!). I've grown bolder and braver, checking out more and more books as the weeks have gone by.

The other night I was reading some library books aloud to my 3 year old son, whom I affectionately refer to as "Bookworm1" online. The thought occurred to me that it could be really fun to make it a personal project to read through the entire Children's Picture Books section of the library. I dared to voice the idea aloud to my sympathetic husband, Jonathan, who still has his limits. He looked at me for a minute and said, "That's an interesting idea" which, for Jonathan means, "OH WOW, THAT SOUNDS SO COOL, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO THAT!"

One new blog later, I'm fully committed. I'm doing it. That's right! I'm making a plan to read all of the Children's Picture Books at my local library and I invite you to join me in my journey.

Grab the button for your own blog or facebook page:

Reading My Library
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Then subscribe by e-mail or feed reader, and feel free to tag along............I'm goin' in (and praying it doesn't cost me too much in fines)!

What I'm Doing

The plan:

Read through all of the Children's Picture Books in the children's section of our local library.

The goal:

To work my way from A to Z.

The reality:

Books will be checked out by other patrons and I'll probably miss a title or two (or 10 or 20). However, I'll have still hit the majority which will number in the 10's of thousands. New books might be added to the library's collection after I've read through a particular letter of the alphabet. C'est la vie!

The organizational process:

To go in and check out books in sections. At our library, the books are organized alphabetically by author and so, for starters, I went in and grabbed the first 35 books to begin with. I checked out all of the books that had been sectioned off from between the first two bookends starting at 'A'. At times the librarians might think a bit of library vandalism is going on. I eliminated the need for the bookends with my first haul. This will happen section by section, row by row until I have made my way around the room, from Aardema to Zunshine and whoever is in between. I'm sure I shall make lots of new friends (and perhaps might develop a few mortal enemies!)

The idea:

To read the fun books I find with my children.

The time frame: However long it takes. I anticipate this will be a 1-2 year project. I would definitely prefer to finish in a single year. But I'm a mother of two little ones and they take priority around here!

The joy:

In saying WE did it - our family!

The friends:

YOU! Grab a button, subscribe in a million possible ways and occasionally stop in at your local library and explore their shelves!

Reading My Library
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Who I am

I'm a SAHM to two little boys, aged 3 and under 1.

I am a wife to a pretty fantastic guy who created this website for me because I asked. He tolerates (and loves!) me, my obsessions and the book piles around our house. (To clarify- I don't think he particularly cares for the book piles all over the house so I work to keep them contained.) Here is a picture of Jonathan and me:

I have a passion for reading which is really unhealthy at times, or so I'm told.

However, I've always subscribed to the following philosophies:

Beware of the man of one book.
~ Anonymous ~

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn,
~ Joseph Addison ~

Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.
~ Joseph Addison ~

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

(I had to look up who Joseph Addison was. He made so many brilliant statements!)

It is well to read everything of something,and something of everything.
~ Lord Henry P. Brougham ~

My favorite authors are C.S. Lewis and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Please withhold any statements of illwill towards either of those most excellent story tellers if you would.

I'm a Christian and everything I read and process goes through that filter. I love everything that I do, unless it involves being kept in a confined space for more than thirty minutes or involves listening to someone chew with their mouth open. I'm not perfect but I follow someone who is and I invite you to journey along with me through faith, family and, of course, books!

What I've Read

This post is a placeholder for my book list... coming soon!