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Reading My Library

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!


  1. Thanks for these reviews, Carrie. I've never heard of Bob Barner, and both of these titles look interesting. So does Going on a Journey to the Sea ...

  2. I'm with Lisa--I'll be keeping my eyes open for Bob Barner in the future!

    Great (themed!) post, Carrie! ;-)

  3. These look like beauties. I'm intrigued by the idea of 'To Everything.' Going to look for that one!

    I clicked the link for Free Range Parenting. Definitely sounds like a book to get you thinking.

  4. I'm going to try to find To Everything to read this next week. Great post. All of these books look good. Gosh, I love to read.

  5. The Bob Barner books love super good -- I'll have to order some for my library.

  6. Bob Barner's books do look colorful and visually very interesting. The B's do seem rich with treasures! :)

  7. A fishy wish book we love is:
    The Fish Who Could Wish by John Bush, illustrated by Korky Paul
    Told in rhyme with a nice message about appreciating yourself for who you are and not trying to be just the same as everyone else.

  8. Thanks for the reviews...I will be on the look out for Bob Barner!