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Reading My Library

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday - Poetry

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordWell, we've been looking on our own home bookshelves in honor of National Poetry Month. This is what we've read this week (well, if you don't to define them as poetry, at least they all contain rhythmic language patterns!):

About a year or so ago I was ecstatic to find a Merrigold Miniature copy of Fun at the Beach, by Gloria Trachtenberg. I remember having a copy of this book when I was a little girl and the illustrations by Dagmar Wilson are still fresh in my memory. Bookworm1 hadn't really connected to this title until we pulled it out this week and he noticed that the older brother in this book is wearing a shirt with an anchor on it.

In this book a family of four is headed to the beach to spend the day playing and relaxing with one another.

"Summertime is here at last,
The sun shines every day,
And Mother says, "We'll pack a lunch,
Then off to the beach to play!"

The illustrations are so classically 1950's and I adore it. I still remember the giant yellow duck flotation device and I remember staring at this book for hours on end. It's so cool to find books that you had when you were little, don't you agree? Now just to preserve it throughout my children's childhood! I don't want to lose this book again!

I've talked about Baa-Choo! before but it's worth a mention again because it's such a repeat read around these parts. And since we acquired this book as a gift from our local library - I think it's worth mentioning around here! At a children's party event at our library, each child was given the opportunity to choose a free book to take home. Bookworm1 selected Baa-Choo! by Sarah Weeks and I have to admit I was rather speculative. However, it has stood the test of time and we have read it over and over and over again! Turns out it was an excellent pick!

Baa-Choo! is the story of a little sheep who cannot get his sneeze out. He has all of the animals on the farm trying to help him in various forms and fashions. Sam the Lamb has got the "ah" but not the "choo" and so this sneeze will never do.

"Can someone help me, help me please,
to find the ending of my sneeze?"

It's really quite a cute book.

Lastly, we pulled out Seven Little Rabbits which I had forgotten that we had and that we had never read before. In this book by John Becker we meet seven little rabbits who are going on a walk to toad's house. Only they never quite make it, each becoming too tired and so they end up hunkering down at mole's house. I love the patterns in this book and it's really a great read-aloud.

The running refrain is as follows:

Seven little rabbits
Walkin' down the road
Walkin' down the road
Seven little rabbits
Walkin' down the road
to call on old friend toad.


It's just a very interesting read because of the sounds and rhythms it produces. It also makes quite the excellent spring-time read! We've enjoyed it.

Those are our rhyming reads for this week. What have you been reading?

Do share over at Hope is in the Word!

***

I wrote about another poetry book we're reading through over at Reading to Know. To hear what we thought about Mother Osprey, follow the link trail! ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tickle Monster, by Josie Bissett

First, I do want to say that we've never done the "monster" thing because that's too scary. I personally am not a fan of being scared and I see no point in scaring my children unnecessarily.

About a year or so ago, Jonathan (my husband), introduced Bookworm1 to the Spore game wherein you get to create creatures of various interesting designs with quirks and funny behaviors. (We call it "The Creature Game.") Bookworm1 was an instant fan and so instead of using the term "monster" - we say creature. Creature is a much more approachable word and doesn't instill fear. On the contrary, it gives off more of a funny connotation of design and imagination.

I make a point of reading through the library stack first (most of the time) and I caught Tickle Monster, first. I opened it up, curious as to what I would find inside. Instantly I knew it was one we had to read.

Bookworm1 had wandered off into the other room and so I carried this book to where he was and called out with the opening line in a loud and I'm-going-to-play-with-you foreboding ;) sort of voice!:

"I COME FROM PLANET TICKLE, YOU SEE, I'M A MONSTER, BUT NOT THE KIND YOU MUST FLEE. I"M THE HAPPIEST, SILLIEST, ZANIEST KIND. MY TALENT IS TICKLING, I THINK YOU'LL SOON FIND!"
Then I laid this book down and used it as my "tickle guide." Bookworm1 erupted into laughter which continued on for the length of this book. It was a blast! I think we may just have to add this one to our home library.

As for the word "monster"? Well, Bookworm1 asked me what a monster was and I told him it was another name or a word for 'creature' and that answer completely satisfied. No fuss, no muss, no fear. Just a laughing and ticklish good time.

The illustrations in this book are done by Kevan J. Atteberry and he keeps things light and happy. The monsters creatures look cute and cuddly and fly around in a flying saucer. They creep along the ground and sport huge grins. The book also ends on a friendly note that we moms and dads can identify with:

Whew! That's enough. I'm exhausted from laughing. I've had so much fun, what a great time we're having. But now I must leave - find my coat, grab my hat - Planet Tickle is calling; it's time for my nap.

This book isn't meant to simply be read. It's designed for fun interaction and we're having a marvelous time with it.

I don't know what your position are on monsters. I've explained mine. But still, we are really enjoying Tickle Monster a great deal.

As an interesting side note, apparently there are Tickle Monster Mitts available to go along with the book. I think plain fingers do the job quite well but it's an interesting idea, to be sure! Check these out:


I have to say that if I knew of a friend who didn't mind monsters, I'd be tempted to gift them with this book when their kids hit toddler stage when playing tickling games is all the rage. As for us, we'll keep reminding Bookworm1 that monster is another word for creature and we'll keep having fun!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Barefoot Books - Publisher Highlight

My latest stash from the library included a great many titles from Barefoot Books. We've collected a few Barefoot Book titles for our own home library and I'm delighted to be able to explore more of their line through our local library. Since libraries don't really let you search for books by publisher (that would be crazy, admittedly, and I might be the only person who would ever use such a feature!) then I would point you to the Barefoot Books website to see what they offer. THEN go browse your library catalog and see what you can dig up!

The thing that I would say Barefoot Books does best is offer a multicultural reading experience. Since we are an adoptive family, we've paid extra attention to trying to find books with illustrations that show families and communities with ethnic diversity within the features of the illustrated characters. People of all colors appear in Barefoot Books - but not in a manner that is obnoxiously over the top! Instead, you open a Barefoot Book and it just feels natural and normal. For us, this is important.

Barefoot Books was created by two mothers and their mission, if you will, is stated thus (taken from the Barefoot Books website:)

Barefoot Books began with two mothers who wanted their children to have books that would feed the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet. Today, we are a world-wide community of writers, artists, storytellers, musicians, and others who are committed to providing timeless stories and captivating art that can help children become happy, engaged members of a global society.

Some of our favorite books from their line are their books with singalong CD's. Our top favorite is The Animal Boogie:

Fred Penner provides the beat for this fun tune about animals you would find in the jungle.

We also have enjoyed their Port Side Pirates! book (which I've written about before) with its ongoing refrain:

Oh we go this way, that way
port side, starboard
over the deep blue sea!




(On this one, we purchased the book without the CD and so we make up our own tune when we want one.)

Barefoot Books offers any number of reading and learning experiences, and no, I'm not being paid a penny to say any of this! I just really appreciate the books that they publish and the efforts they put in to making the world seem a little smaller in a manner that suits our family well. This week you'll see some of their specific titles pop out and I'll point out when something is a Barefoot Book. This is one of those companies where their look is so distinctive, it's easy to spot them with a little practice.

To get going on your Barefoot adventure though, I'd check out their website and if your library is any bit as good as ours, I bet you'll have a lot of luck finding what you are looking for!

Friday, April 9, 2010

National Library Week.....

Since I DID make it to the library last night, I'll have plenty to say next week! If you don't often make it to your library (guffaw! You probably wouldn't be on this site unless you are a regular library user!) then next week might be a good week to check out what's going on at your local library!

Our local library is pretty good about hosting all kinds of events for the community. They host regular story times for all ages. We've attended children's parties, activities, music and magic shows and a variety of other things. A few weeks ago, we had a chance to pop in and see the huge model train exhibit that was set up a few weeks back. Here are a couple of pictures from that:


For my little Thomas fan, this was a fun treat!

What are some fun activities and events that your library has hosted? What kinds of things are you most likely to attend with your children? I'd be curious to know!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday - Poetry Edition

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordHey there everyone! Ok, so it's been quiet around here. We've had a lot of guests come through lately and so I haven't made it back to the library. That's my goal for today - get a new load! Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, we've pulled from our home shelves in honor of National Poetry Month. I reviewed a few new poetry titles at Reading to Know today and then scoured our own book shelves and read through the following two books with the Bookworms:

We received a copy of First Poems of Childhood from a dear friend back when Bookworm1 was more of a young sprout than he is now. I had forgotten about it and found it tucked away between some Thomas the Tank engine books. Out it came and we sing-sang our way through this particular book. We were given a 1967 edition of this book and it has a nice, classic feel to it. It includes poems by George MacDonald, Robert Lous Stevenson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I feel like we definitely got a little Poetry Education from reading this.

Truthfully, some of the words are above Bookworm1's head but I am of the opinion that it's a good thing to read above a youngster's reading level every now and again. It aspires them to greater reading heights when you do so! Our favorite poem in this book was "The Table and the Chair" by Edward Lear which caused a few giggles and snickers. The idea that tables and chairs can go out on an afternoon stroll was quite silly and appealed to our funny bones.

Speaking of funny bones, one of our consistent favorite reads in this house is Aaron Zenz's The Hiccupotamus. I've had a delightful time getting to know Mr. Zenz and his remarkable children through their blog Bookie Woogie. If you've not yet met them, I'd encourage yourself to high tail it off and make an introduction!

The Hiccupotamus is silly, silly, silly. As Bookworm1 is rather prone to hiccuping, we'd actually quote from this book quite a lot.

"There was a hiccupotamus who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus and every time he got'emus . . . He'd fall upon his bottomus."

It's a really fun read about a bunch of animals who are trying to help the hippo get over a bad case of some hic-hic-hiccups! In the end, the hippos is relieved of his malady but the other animals fall prey to this particular annoying ailment. I think this is a topic most of humanity can identify with at some point or another and, particularly, Bookworm1. So we enjoy it.

At any rate, these are two of our top suggestions for Books to Find At Your Local Library in Honor of Poetry Month. =) Do you have any suggestions for us?

Are you playing along with Read Aloud Thursday? Don't forget that Amy at Hope in the Word has relocated her blog so follow this link to update your browsers and participate in Read Aloud Thursday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

in lieu of everything else

I was taking am taking a self imposed blogging break to celebrate a week of Easter with my family.

Today, as you know, is usually the day that I post my Read Aloud Thursday post. Amy @ Hope is in the Word has her post (and today she's talking about Benjamin's Box which is a book we are making good use of ourselves this week!). My activities today are a little different.

I DO have a Read Aloud Thursday post but it's up over at Reading to Know today. You can CLICK HERE to see it.

In addition, in honor of April Fool's Day, I'm hosting a slew of giveaways over on my main site - Reading to Know.



I have a complete set of Mysterious Benedict Society books to giveaway.



I also have a complete set of the Strictest School in the World series to giveaway.

These two series are some of my FAVORITES! I'm of the mindset that everyone should own a copy of these books for their own home library (because they are seriously good stuff!) and so I hope you'll pop on over and check out what I'm sharing at Reading to Know. Later in the day there will even be a giveaway from Sleeping Bear Press which is a favorite children's book publisher of mine. So keep a look-out! =)

In the meantime, I'll be back here next week with another load from my library.

Happy Easter, all!