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Reading My Library

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word

I regret to say that a little stomach bug has kept us out of commission this whole week so I'll be back next week for Read Aloud Thursday. In the meantime, you can check out what other people are reading by visiting Hope is in the Word.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Woodrow, the White House Mouse

I had not heard of Woodrow until my friend brought a copy of him when she came to visit us last week. Written by Peter and Cheryl Barnes, this small series of books is a unique way to introduce the young folks to politics. (Ok, after you get past the idea that you have to introduce your children to the world of politics, come back and read the post! Yes, I know.)

I hadn't yet read the book she brought when I noticed two other titles on our library shelves (purchased by one of the local political parties and donated with an inscription inside, no less!). I brought Woodrow for President and House Mouse * Senate Mouse home with me.

The books begin with Woodrow for President. In this "Tail of Voting, Campaigns and Elections" we meet Woodrow when he was just a young squeaker of a thing, whose parents believed he had great potential. Raised in Moussouri, he's a wholesome sort of fellow with a big heart and big dreams. We follow him from his race for Mice Mayor and then onto a governorship - as a part of the Bull Mouse Party (if you were wondering). All the basics of campaigns and elections are included and if you look carefully, you can find a Secret Service agent (also a mouse, of course!) in each illustration.

Moving on past the election we find Woodrow, the White House Mouse in which we are given a tour of the White House. Having been chosen by mousedome for the office of Mouse President, we meet up with him at his inauguration in which everyone is wanting to know about Woodrow. His favorite food? "Why, American cheese!" This book discusses how the president has to work with Congress and it talks briefly about bills and lows. It also gives a nice diagram showing how the president is over all other departments of government and you even get a nice feel for the White House at Christmastime. It's a pretty cute book, I have to say.

Lastly, there is House Mouse * Senate Mouse which proudly presents unto you "The Squeaker of the House and The Senate Mouse-jority Leader." The basic idea of this book is to communicate how our laws are made.

The stories are also all told in rhyme. So, for example, there is a basic explanation of how our Nation's system of law and order came into being:

"Our Mouse Founding Fathers," he said, "were so wise --
They founded our nation around compromise!
They wrote it all down in the Mouse Constitution,
So after much thought, I propose this solution:

We are city mice, country mice, large mice and small -
We like many cheeses - in fact, like them all!
But we're Americans first! So now, if you please,
Let's agree that American is our National Cheese!"
This is definitely a unique look at a rather unique (and special) nation. I would think it will be helpful to introduce the Bookworm(s) to as they get a little bit older and start figuring out the basic of idea of "President" and "White House" etc. I tried to explain it briefly but it's still a bit over our heads, I do believe. Still, it's nice to know of the resource and so I pass it along to you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime for another Read Aloud Thursday, hosted by Hope is in the Word.

We found a TON of books we liked this week and so I'm just trying to narrow this list down to share with you the very best of the best from our stack! (The B's are rich with treasures, apparently! Even authors who aren't talking about sea animals, illustrate them. It's like they know that octopuses give us unnatural highs or something.)

One book that we read aloud (and enjoyed for different reasons from one another) was To Everything, by Bob Barner. This particular picture book is based on the book of Ecclesiastes (from the Bible). At the end of the book there is a note from the author explaining his reasons for illustrating this particular passage from scripture. He explains, "My versions of the verse exist. I have chosen to illustrate those passages that I felt were most universal. The pages of this book are designed to convey the message that these events and the feelings they evoke are natural and that there truly is a season, a time, and a purpose for everything."

I found the book to be artfully thoughtful and tasteful. I was intrigued (especially given the fact that we read several other books by Barner that were in our stack and I didn't get the feeling that he was tied into scripture in a literal way). Anyway, very interesting and I'd love to ask him more questions about why he decided to illustrate this particular passage of scripture. If you ask Bookworm though, the answer is easy: Barner obviously wanted to draw a humpback whale and that is that. The page spread in which you can view the humpback whale (and the only page we have stared at for hours) says, "A time to be silent, and a time to speak." Bookworm speaketh quite a lot when viewing the whales. I've had to institute times of silence following the perusal of a half dozen or so sea life books.

Fish Wish was another treasure in the bag and is also by Bob Barner. The idea behind the book is to have the young reader imagine what they would do if they were a fish. The young boy in this story decides that he would like to wake up on a coral reef with dolphins swimming over head and sea turtles gliding by. I know a young boy who would wish for very much the same thing but alas, he was born human. (Ironically this would be the same boy who refuses to put his face in the water, eliminating the possibility of a calm swimming lesson given at the local aquatic center.) However, he is happy to gaze longingly at the octopus tentacles. This book was AMAZING! It truly "has it all" when it comes to ocean life. We are happy, happy, happy with this book!

And on that note about the sea, we also found Going on a Journey to the Sea, by Jane Barclay to be quite the delight. (There's a sperm whale in it, if you must know, in the tippy top right hand corner on one page spread.) This book is told in rhyme and documents a young boy's journey to the seaside with his sister. I have a feeling that their parents were all about Free-Range parenting for the adventures that they had within these pages. (I've seriously got to read that book and see what all the rage is.) At any rate, this was a lovely tale of a sibling set who actually get along and have a wonderful day together by the seashore. We both liked this one.

I think we'll keep this post sea themed for today as that seems to be the general state of things around here.

I really DO recommend Bob Barner books to children ages 2-5 especially. I think his use of bold colors and simple sentences has huge appeal. And my goodness. All the man needs to do is draw an octopus for us and we don't even need words! (Whoever thought of the Nemo story was pure genius.)

Can't wait to see what everyone else is reading aloud to their kids these days!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Future Marine Biologist

The author of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Judi Barrett) wrote two books which we adore, but not for the stories (at all).

Animals Should Definitely Not Act Like People and Never Take a Shark to the Dentist (and other things not to do) were HUGE hits around here. But the premise of both of these books went right over our heads and sailed into next week. The reason for liking them?

In Animals Should Definitely Not Act Like People - there is a picture of an octopus which is humorously attempting to play baseball. "Look mommy!," said Bookworm1, laughing, "He's wearing a HAT!"

Never Take a Shark to the Dentist says it all. There is a shark picture. And the shark has lots and lots of teeth.

The end. Thank you very much.

Teeny Tiny Ernest

Teeny Tiny Ernest is a series of books by Laura T. Barnes about a miniature donkey who is teeny, tiny and very, very small. When we meet him, he doesn't like being small and spends the majority of the book trying to make himself either feel bigger or be bigger. He grows increasingly frusterated until Travis, the resident farm horse lets him know that no one else is worried about Ernest's side but Ernest. In fact, no one really notices how small Ernest is at all! With these words, Barnes sets the tone of the whole series:

"Who you are comes from the inside," explains Travis. "It's how nice you are. It's what a good friend you are. It's how you treat others. And, most important of all, it's what's in your heart."

Illustrated in a gentle fashion by Carol A. Camburn, I thought the Ernest series was rather charming. I was glad to discover them at our library. They have a very peaceful feel about them and there are plenty of adventures to choose from. Other books in the series include:

* Twist and Ernest - a rather snobby horse named Twist joins the farm and discovers that he has a pesky friend in Ernest - like him or not! But Ernest's enthusiasm for friendship eventually wins the horse over and they relax into one another.

* Ernest and the Big Itch - Chipper the bird thinks an earthquake is destroying his house when he looks down to find Ernest using the bird house post to scratch a very big itch. Upon introduction, Chipper offers a myriad of suggestions to take care of the itch and they finally stumble on a solution that helps both of them out.

* Ernest's Special Christmas - This particular title won a Benjamin Franklin Award. In this book Ernest takes care of a good friend (and saves the life) of Chester the old plow horse. In the end, Chester rounds up all of the donkeys to bring old Chester in from the old. It's kind of a sad tale, even though it has a positive outcome. Everyone has "tears of joy in their eyes." So it's a great Christmas read, of course!

* Ernest and Elston - Nobody likes Elston the rooster because he wakes them up all the time. Elston is feeling a bit low when Ernest, our favorite little miniature donkey comes to cheer him up. Ernest assures Elston that his unique gift and abilities to wake everyone on the farm up in the morning is "what makes [him] special." In the end, all of the animals realize how much they need Elston.

Again, this is a super cute series with absolutely nothing objectionable about it. Clean good fun with a little bitty donkey. Definitely seek these out! They are worth the time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Matters

Robin Ballard is a children's author and illustrator who is, quite frankly, rather hard to gather information on. I can tell you that she attended the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City and now lives with her family in Switzerland.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of her books, initially, but our library had a whole stack of them and so I thought I'd just as soon point them out to you in case you ever find yourself in need of them. For dealing with life and family issues, I thought Ballard handled material such as divorce very tastefully. Some children's picture books scare me with how much detail they put into the story telling. In my opinion, Ballard's illustrations are warm and inviting and present an idea or concept in such a way that allows the adult reader of the book to explain however much or however little detail they would like to the child that they are reading to. Because of that, I feel that these books are worth a little (or a lot of) notice. I appreciate them because they give authority to the parent or adult reading the book to the child and the author herself does not assume a role of familiarity with the child. Instead she provides a tool. THAT, I think, is the nicest thing that Ballard could possibly do for children going through life changes. I found absolutely nothing objectionable in a single title and appreciated her for her simplicity. Check out her titles (if you need 'um):

Gracie (No image available) - Gracie has two homes. One with her mother and one with her father. She misses each parent when she is away from them, but feels loved in both places.

Good-bye, House - A young girl and her family are moving away from the only house she has ever known. She walks through the house saying good-bye to rooms and memories.

My Day, Your Day - A young child is learning about what it is like to go to school and live a separate day (away) from their parents. While mommy/daddy are off at work, the child is engaging in other activities with other children. They come back together again at the end of the day, but they have separate activities.

When I Am A Sister - I'll assume this one is self explanatory!

I Used to Be the Baby - A young boy gets a baby brother who can't really play just yet and cries a bunch. He reminisces about the things he used to do and the way he used to be treated when he was a baby. And he learns to accept and help out his baby brother, engaging in the role of the big brother instead.

Really, I do think these books are quite tasteful and I liked them. Definitely worth looking into when any life change is happening in a young child's life. Two thumbs up from this mommy and a thank you to Robin Ballard!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime for another Read Aloud Thursday, hosted by Hope is in the Word.

More Randomness, just like Amy likes it!

First up - one we didn't like: Where the Forest Meets the Sea, by Jeannine Baker. The message of this book is that the the acres of wet tropical rain forest wilderness are quickly disappearing and the question the book asks is "How long will we have them?" I personally didn't really get into this book and that had to do mostly with the phrase "a hundred million years ago" and since I think that people who use that phrase when attempting to date the earth are speculating a bit, I tend to ignore books such as these. So why am I mentioning this book at all here? Because of the artwork which is just astounding and amazing. Jeanne Baker created a bunch of collages to illustrate this work. The reproductions that appear in this book are roughly the size of her originals and are crafted using modeling clay, papers, textured materials, preserved natural materials and paints (and probably a few other things as well). This book is amazing to look at. Obviously Baker has incredible talent and I enjoyed browsing this one more by myself than I did trying to read it aloud as a story to Bookworm1. Very intriguing book. I just had a hard time with the method by which the message was communicated.

Hide and Snake, by Keith Baker, on the other hand, was a multi-requested re-read. Not that there is much to read in this book. It's more about finding the snake which Baker artfully wove in and out of picture scenes throughout this book. It's a high art-like I-Spy-ish sort of book. (Do you like my description there?) Very, very cool and the snake is both tricky and easy to find at the same time. We had races to see which one of us could find the snake first. Lots of fun, lots of laughs and four thumbs up from this corner of the blog-o-sphere.

Horse lovers- stand at attention! I give you (if you haven't seen it already) SENECA, by Karen Lee Baker. I honestly didn't know if Bookworm1 would go for this book, but we read it anyway and he really liked it. It's about a girl who wants a horse and finds one which she, you can correctly assume, names Seneca. This book basically just discusses the basics of caring for a horse and it gives you information in a nice, calm story telling manner. I'M not a horse lover but I always dreamed of riding. I have friends who are horse lovers therefore I know that I am not one. They have little girls and I am OH SO TEMPTED to buy them a copy of this book, but at the time of this post it's $49.85 on Amazon so I'll just keep my eyes peeled for used copies. When I find one (or some) I'll be snatching them up. This book was awesome!

Lastly, we read and (both) enjoyed The Story of Little Babaji, by Helen Bannerm. As a note of interest, Helen Bannerman wrote the original story that this was based on in 1899. The original title is "The Story of Little Black Sambo" and is quite politically incorrect. An Amazon.com review credits illustrator (and the person I assume also adapted this story?) Fred Marcellino as cleaning this book up and making it acceptable for modern readers. I haven't read The Story of Little Black Sambo** but I can take a guess at the title as to why it would be criticized by today's audience. Whatever the history, this particular edition of the book was quite cute. It is about a little boy who is given a fine new outfit by his parents and struts off in his new clothes to take a walk through the jungle. A number of tigers approach him, threatening to eat him and, as a trade for his life, he offers them the various new items of clothing. Bookworm1 liked the tigers, their teeth and the way they all started fighting over the clothes in the end, to the point of distraction where Babaji was able to retrieve his wardrobe and went home safely.

As a side note, I reviewed a completely different version of this story over at 5 Minutes for Books. I'm grinning just thinking about how far the tale was stretched to market itself to the likes of Texans and cowboys and girls everywhere.

To read more about Little Britches and the Rattlers (as well as some other Texas tall tales) click on the title - and enjoy!

** Ah ha! There was also a copy of Little Black Sambo at the bottom of the library back and so now I HAVE read it. Apparently it caused some to cry foul, not so much over the story itself but because of the illustrations drawn by Bannerman, depicting Sambo in a way that was less than desirable. In our library's edition of Little Black Sambo there is some history of the story and the book at the back which was interesting to read. I don't think anyone has really every objected to the story, but definitely to the illustrations. Babaji was a kinder and more expected native Indian name, apparently and not quite so alarming. It is really interesting to hear the story behind the story in some cases - this being one of them. Somethign tells me that Little Rattler is by far the less offensive of the three options. ;)

Have you been reading books aloud to your kids? Well, Read Aloud Thursdays at Hope is in the Word is a perfect time to share of any particular titles- especially those that you obtain from your local library. Care to share? I hope you'll consider it and let us all know what you've been reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Violin

And now for the non-wordless part:

Little Rat Makes Music, by Monika Bang-Campbell is perfect for little children who think that they would love to play an instrument and make beautiful music but simply lack the self-discipline to put in the long hours of practice required to do so! Little Rat thinks he would love to play the violin - until he tries. Frustration over not being able to make it sound pleasant, he lacks the desire to practice. (I'm sure there are many parents as well as many children who can identify with this issue.) This book concludes with some perseverance and enjoyment of the music Little Rat eventually learns to produce.

Cute book and, in our case, extremely relevant. Only we gave up after a month. Still - we tried. And at 3 years old, trying was about all I was hoping for at this point!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Challenges and Lockets

I haven't mentioned it around these parts but one of the other awesome children's book challenges going on right now is being hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. It's the Children's Classics Mystery Challenge.


Ever feel like revisiting some of your old friends like Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys,Encyclopedia Brown, etc.? Well now's your chance. To learn more about this contest, start by CLICKING HERE.

As added incentive to participate, the team is also hosting a giveaway of five sterling silver lockets. They look like this:

How's that?

Well, click over HERE to 5 Minutes for Mom to discover how you can sign up at 5 Minutes for Books and follow the trail until you correctly enter and (*whew*) win one of five of these beauties from Emma Parker & Co.

Even if you'd rather not participate in this particular challenge itself (although it's a great way to read aloud to your soon-to-be-tweens) you can still enter the contest to win the locket. For details on that, visit 5 Minutes for Mom to find out how. (It's really easy. Browse Emma Parker & Co. and leave a comment at 5 Minutes for Moms saying which piece is your favorite.) How hard is that?

The pot is merely sweeter if you are also having fun reading these books with your kids - or even by yourself!

Planning Ahead (Valentine's Day)

Yes, I know we just came off Christmas. And yes, I know I'm about a month away from Valentine's Day. However, we really didn't have any picture books in our household for this particular holiday and I figured I'd better plan ahead a little bit so that I'll have something on hand with which to explain what the day revolves around.

There are lots of good things about utilizing the public library.

However, there is one bad thing: you have to race and beat out every other mom in town to get to the holiday picture books in time to make good use of them!

For the past two years, every time I go to the library to pick up a picture book focused on the holiday-of-the-moment, they are all checked out. So, I've pretty much given up any hope of using the library system to supply our holiday book reading requirements. Instead, I've been building up our own home library for easy and sole access.

That all said, since I'm reading through my library, I'm coming across holiday books as I go. Now that I'm in the month of January, there are plenty of fall holiday titles available to me. I can read anything I like about Halloween or Thanksgiving - and now I can even read about Christmas!

I'm tempted to say that since I'm a month out from Valentine's Day I might just run across a few books about hearts and flowers as well and that may very well be the case. However, I expect that the following book is pretty much on the shelf year round:

A Sweetheart for Valentine, by Lorna Balian was original published in 1979 and you can absolutely tell. The people in the village of St. Valentine are surprised to find a bawling baby girl in a basket left upon the steps of the village hall. She's a rather interesting creature, being something of a giantess than no one knows how to care for. They can't even make her CLOTHES! So they build a tower of flowering bushes and she has to live in it.

They name the baby Valentine and she grows up so big and so tall (and so 1979 nude) that, of course, it's hard to find a husband for her. But oh how she wants to get married! Finally one day a giant stumbles into town (literally) and the two naturally fall in love and get married. Of course, they can't marry off Valentine in her birthday suit so they cover her in flowers (if you were wondering . . . which I was).

Bizarre book!

I think we won't be reading this one aloud but it certainly was an interesting read for me!

In the meantime, I'm definitely on the hunt for books on Valentine's Day to add to our home collection.

Any suggestions? I'm all exposed 1978 ears!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Comment Challenge

I've linked up to the Comment Challenge hosted by Mother Reader, for bloggers who blog about kidlit (and other things). I figured Reading My Library rather qualified for that category and it's nice to spread the comment love around a bit! So count me in!

Want to join in? Go HERE to sign up and find out more about it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Farm Picture Books

In our stack this past week we discovered a few farm related picture books and so I figured we should just lump them all together here. I'll probably update this post in the future with any other farm-related titles we find while on this journey so that I have this post for easy reference purposes.

Of course, if you are going to introduce a child to the concept of a farm, what better place to start than at the very beginning? Little Rabbits' First Farm Book, by Alan Baker, is quite adorable AND informative. (So really, how could you possibly go wrong?) In this book our little...warren? colony? fluffle? of rabbits are arriving on a farm in the early mornings to lend a hand (or a paw?) to the other animals. They arrive as the rooster is crowing and help to feed the chicks. They fill up the pigs' trough and take the sheep out to the fields. Illustrated in a soft and rather fluffy way, you just want to pick up each animal one by one and squeeze them mercilessly (because they are cute, of course). Each page also has a "Did you know?" box which points out facts such as pigs live in sties, tractors pull machines called plows and cows are milked twice a day, etc. Again it's just the whole cute and informative theme of this book that gets me and I thought it was adorable. Alan Baker has a whole series of books based on little rabbits and every title we picked up was a winner. I'll probably talk about these books in a separate post.

For something a bit more unusual, you've got to check out The Farm Team, by Linda Bailey. I do have to say that although we read this book, and I smiled because of the creativity involved, it really wasn't our thing and it was a bit above our heads and reading levels at this time. But the premise is downright awesome and I didn't want to pass up a mention of it because you might find it so clever that you'd hate me if I didn't mention it. This book is all about hockey. And all about the animals on Stolski's farm who are pathetic hockey players but desperately want to win the Stolski cup back from their arch nemesis, The Bandits. The Bandits are a team comprised of stray dogs, weasels, skunks and other nefarious creatures that you'd rather not see on your farm. Generally pesky things, they play a really mean game of hockey and The Farm Team is desperate to beat them and win back the famed and elusive Stolski cup. Really, this book is kinda cool. I liked the concept a great deal, even if we didn't really get into it. Maybe later (I hope). Very clever.

Lastly, one we were able to enjoy (as it is right at our 3 year old reading level) is Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!, by Ivor Baddiel and Sophie Jubb, which is about a baby rooster who can't figure out the right phrase to use to wake up the other farm animals. Every morning he wakes up and tries something different. Is it Cock-a-Doodle Moo! Moo! or Cock-a-Doodle Oink! Oink!? A wise old owl finally tips him off to the idea of waking up in the morning and seeing what might just come naturally to him. Finally he lands on the right phrase and the farm animals begin to wake up on time. This is a silly book and since we're into silly, this was a hit!

More to come, I'm sure....

In the meantime, is there a particular farm-related picture book that you and yours enjoy? Leave a note! I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime for another Read Aloud Thursday, hosted by Hope is in the Word. Thanks to another library trip, I'm ready to launch into the B's!

I love our method of collecting books for this challenge, which I've shared before. But because we have some new readers and subscribers (*Carrie waves hello*) I'll repeat a little. I don't ever pay attention to what I'm putting in the bag. We just dump it out when we get home and peruse the bag's offerings. It kind of makes things a fun surprise (although occasionally I have to snatch up books that I'd rather not read aloud before they are seen by the little people).

This time, we discovered a book in our bag for which there is no picture of the cover art available online! It's called The Christmas Lamb and it's by Anne Baird. This is all the information available online:

Author: Anne Baird
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication Date: 1989-07-01
Language: English
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0688077749
ISBN-13: 9780688077747
Product ID: EPID1244646

It is a story about a little lamb who desperately wants to be a part of the Christmas festivities but thinks you have to be Santa or a reindeer to be EXCITING to children. At the end of a weary day, our little lamb finds a manger nearby a church where he decides to rest up. Yes, you can assume he finds a place to be enjoyed by children after all! This is a super cute book and we both enjoyed it very much, coming off the heels of Christmas (and some of us wishing it lasted all year long - but I can't identify which one of us that is)! If you can find a copy of this book, it's definitely worth a read. Quite the pity it's not easily found anymore.

This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch: A Book About Children Around the World, by Edith Baer is probably an EXCELLENT companion to How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World excepting I haven't read Apple Pie and therefore I cannot say with certainty. However, This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch also takes us on a journey around the world where we learn about what other people eat. In rhyme, of course. From Texas, USA ("Just a little further west, Sue likes tasty tacos best.") to Morocco (where "every day's a couscous feast") - this is a really cool book. It's illustrated by Steve Bjorkman and his style reminds me of my friend, illustrator Paula Becker to some extent. It is not really detailed in its drawing (so it was hard for me to explain to Bookworm1 what couscous was and looked like!) but the people are friendly and charming to look at. Loved every single thing about this book!

We also rather adored Karen Backstein's retelling of The Blind Men and the Elephant. The story has an exotic setting and is about six blind men who hear tell that the local prince has just received a new elephant at his palace. They've never known of an elephant before so they make a trek to the palace to try to figure out what it is. Each one takes a turn feeling the elephant but the problem is that they only each feel one certain part of it. One man feels the elephant's side and says "an elephant is like a wall." One man feels the trunk and declares the elephant to be "like a snake" and so on and so forth, each man walking away with his own interpretation of what the elephant is. The prince then appears on the scene and tells them that the elephant is like all of these things, but that they've each only experienced a part of what an elephant is, but not the whole. He offers them a ride and they all agree that that is the best part of the elephant. However, I rather liked the message of the book. We can each only see parts of this world in our lives. Being a Christian myself, it reminds me not to judge too quickly or make assumptions at what God is working out in my life and in the lives of others. He, (being God and all), can see the whole and bigger picture. His plan is greater than my own. This book was a good reminder of that for myself which I talked a little bit about with Bookworm1. He mostly just enjoyed the fact that it was a story about an elephant though. We would both recommend this title.

The last two books we read aloud this week were My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World and When the Silliest Cat Was Small, both by Gilles Bachelet.

The concept of these books was interesting. A man owns an elephant that he thinks is a cat. However, the execution of the idea sort of fell flat for both of us. I had to explain it was a silly book, even though we could both tell that it was. Frankly, we were both confused. "Mommy, look at that silly elephant! It looks like a cat! And what one looks like a cow!" The story lines themselves don't really reference the fact that the man in the book is off his rocker so you feel as if you are half expected to just assume the book's silliness or assume that someone is honestly trying to pull one over on you. Again, it would have been a cute concept but we rather prefer Peanut (click on title to see our earlier notes) to these two books.

All in all, I'd have to say that this particular library bag has been filled with some good reads. I love coming home and discovering fun stuff. It's kind of disappointing to lug over 30 books home with you and discover only a couple that you enjoy. It's much more exciting to dump the bag out and not know where to turn first!

So, what have you been reading? A good way to share where you've been with your kids (in book world, of course!) is by participating in Hope is in the Word's Read Aloud Thursday postings. I hope you'll consider joining in!

Monday, January 4, 2010

One more for the A's!

We're not scared!

It's just like goin' on a bear hunt except for giraffes, elephants, rhinos and, of course, a LION in it!

This book was a huge hit and went through many requested re-reads.

We're Going on a Lion Hunt, by David Axtell

Check it out!

Friday, January 1, 2010

L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge, 2010

This is what is going on over at my other reading site, Reading to Know:

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

If you haven't read Anne of Green Gables with your kids, it makes an awesome read-aloud and gives you a good reason to participate in the challenge!

Consider it?