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Reading My Library

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Franklin the Turtle (Read Aloud Thursday)

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime again for another Read Aloud Thursday post over at Hope is in the Word!

I had never looked into Franklin the Turtle prior to this week and so I was delighted to find us up to the Bou's in our library section so that we could test drive this little turtle. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I found myself perfectly delighted! I like Franklin Turtle. Oh yes, yes, I do! Furthermore, so does Bookworm1 so it's a mutual thing.

I like Franklin for a number of reasons:

1. It is a longer picture book than we're used to reading, but short enough to still keep Bookworm1's attention. There is a solid story involved in each of the Franklin books and so I find myself being entertained right alongside Bookworm1.

2. The illustrations by Brenda Clark are bright and cheerful.

3. Franklin is part of a solid family with good moral values. When he is disobedient, I thought that his parents dealt with him reasonably. (I can't stand book characters who get away with murder and their parents accept their foul behavior as a fact of life, a.k.a., Cailou.) Franklin's parents hit the mark more times than not and so this mommy is satisfied.

4. The Franklin books deal with subject matters that are familiar to kids. For example, Franklin tells lies (and deals with the consequences), has a baby sister (that he is excited about), celebrates Christmas, and has a messy room (that he has to clean up.) Bookworm1 was able to connect and identify with Franklin very well.

In fact, even if we weren't familiar with the topic of choice for a particular title - take Franklin Goes to the Hospital for example - there was a message in the book that we could take hold of and talk about. For instance, in Franklin Goes to the Hospital, the doctor tells him that being brave doesn't mean you aren't scared. Being brave means doing something even though you are scared. We've talked a lot about that subject matter in this house and I like how clearly this particular Franklin title spelled out bravery in a manner that my three year old could grasp. This title turned out to be particularly handy in light of the fact that the day we read the book, we landed in the doctor's office thanks to a food allergy and Bookworm1 was called on to be very brave himself! I referenced the book the same day we read it and it settled him down because we had talked about bravery! You can't beat an experience like that with a book!

Bookworm1 likes Franklin because:

1. He's a turtle.

2. He's cute.

3. I don't know why, really. But I do know that he liked Franklin because many of the titles we brought home have been requested re-reads.

We've been reading a lot of Franklin the past few weeks. In fact, I've been delaying taking them back to the library so that we could enjoy them for a longer period of time!

Fun books with quality stories and no objectionable messages. I can't see any reason why we shouldn't go crazy over Franklin. And so I kinda have . . .

(I know he is a television show now but no, we haven't seen it. To learn more about it, you can visit the Franklin the Turtle website.)

In the meantime? Well, you might just find me picking up Franklin books from time to time to add to our growing home library.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lovin' on the Little Ones

I like books that affirm love to children. I've labeled such books "Love and Kisses" on this site so if you go to the side bar and look under that label, you'll find books that share this theme.

Reminding our children that we love them is an important job, a big job, and sometimes a very overwhelming one! Books that help aid us in doing so are worth a mention in my book (pardon the pun) so here are a few I was delighted to find in my library bag this past week:

I Loved You Before You Were Born, by Anne Bowen is told from the grandmother's perspective. It's a book that will make perfect sense to any grandmother out there who is fit to burst with pride over her little grandbabies. It affirms to the grandchild that the grandmother was happy to hear the news of the new person's birth and expresses eager anticipation to meet the grandchild.

"Even before you were born,
I was your grandma
and I loved you."

When Bookworm1 was born I asked both of his grandmother's to write a letter to him that I could put in his scrapbook. They both expressed the same sentiment to him. (Given the fact that my mother-in-law died a few months after his birth - having a letter around to assure him that he was oh-so-very-loved is extremely special and important!)

Heart in the Pocket, by Laurence Bourguignon tells the story of a baby kangaroo who never wants to leave his mother but wants to stay close to her pocket and her heart. She tempts him with adventures beyond the pocket but he won't go. Finally she explains that no matter where he goes, he will always be in her heart which is not, by the way, in her pocket.

It's a story of exploration and affirmation of love from the parent. No matter what the child does or where they go - their parents are not going to forget them and there is an unconditional love for the child.

Definitely a winner of a book if you're looking for a special way to say "I Love You" to your young reader - especially the one who is a bit tentative about leaving your side. (I have one of those but I can't say that I mind it! I like having my kids close to me!)

For what they are worth (which, I think, is a great deal) here are some fun books for you to enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

For The List Makers in Your Life

Some books are almost better suited for adults. Know what I mean? Some picture books are better understood and appreciated by the adult reader than the kid. I'm not talking about inappropriateness here. I'm talking about good, clean fun that strike a chord with the more mature reader of the book who has some additional life experience under their belts.

Take Wallace's Lists, by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik for example. This book was made for my husband and myself. Truly.

Wallace is a shy mouse who lives on lists. He makes lists for everything. The "to do" list, a list of funny words, a list of things he hates, etc. Life is a set of lists.

Albert on the other hand doesn't do lists. At all. He just lives by the seat of his pants and enjoys thrills and adventures. Furthermore, he frequently changes his mind about what he might like to do in any given moment.

Wallace thinks he might like to go on an adventure but, of course, some kind(s) of a list will be necessary in order to do so. Albert would rather not make lists. Albert sets out to take Wallace on an adventure that does not involve a list.

"I changed my mind," Albert boasted.
Wallace was dumbfounded.
"Changing my mind is an adventure," Albert explained.
"I don't like adventures," said Wallace.
"An adventure can be anything. Anything that isn't planned for."
"You mean anything that isn't on a list?" asked Wallace.
"Exactly!" said Albert.
"Do you ever use a map?" Wallace continued. "I have lots of maps!"
"I don't need maps," said Albert, "because wherever I go, there I am."

Seriously!?!? This book should have been included in our pre-marital counseling sessions! This book is so US! One of us grew up on lists. One of us might have, but doesn't really remember. One us likes to know exactly where we're headed. The other is content to drive about "aimlessly" with a cup of coffee later in the evening, just to relax and listen to music in the car.

Can you guess which is which!?

This book is AWESOME! Polar opposites meet up and become friends and ultimately realize that they need each other to balance one another out! One needs to explore and have fun, just for the sake of doing it. The other could stand to be a little more organized about life in general.

I don't think Jonathan or I are the extremes of Albert and Wallace from this book - but it definitely casts a humorous light on our basic tendencies.

I didn't even bother reading this one to the Bookworms. I just enjoyed it for myself. Some picture books are made just for this purpose - and Wallace's Lists is one of them!