Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Noah's Ark and Jamberry

I am always looking for ways to make the bible more accessible to my children. I am also always looking for good Christian children's books. Unfortunately, I haven't had a ton of success in this area. However, I think Lucy Cousins hit a real home run with her retelling of Noah's Ark. We own the board book version, and all three of my children (ages 4, 2, and 6 months old) love it. The story is told very simply without using too many words to overwhelm the little ones, and the pictures are vibrant and very childlike. Despite that this book appears to be aimed at very little ones, Isla still loves it and reads it to herself and asks me to read it to her quite often. I would definitely recommend this one!

Another book I would highly recommend is Jamberry by Bruce Degen. I have probably read this book hundreds of time. There were a few months there where Joe would ask me to read it to him multiple times a day. I actually have the entire book memorized. "One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry. Hatberry, shoeberry, in my canoeberry..." I could go on, but I may have violated a copyright already. Despite having read this book enough times to memorize it, I still have not tired of it. It reads like a well written poem, and it is fun to say. The meter is quite captivating, and the author maintains it well throughout the book. If it has a storyline, I would say it is about a little boy going on a berry adventure with a bear. But again, it is more of a poem than a story. The illustrations are endearing and remind me of Huck Finn / Tom Sawyer. This is another book that all three of my children enjoy, despite their age gap.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss has been a family favorite for a long time. It was probably the first book that Isla ever really latched onto, bringing it to us to read again and again before she could even talk. As one-year-olds, both my children loved this book and continued to love it past their second birthday. It is a simple book, with great rhymes and a captivating rhythm, that is just long enough to hold a little one's interest. The noises Mr. Brown makes are fun and great practice for children who are still learning how to talk. There is something magical about Mr. Brown. The illustrations don't excite me at all, but the text is so great that even after three years of regularly reading it, I still have fun sharing this book with my kids.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Interrupting Chicken

I cannot say enough good things about Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein. It is about a Daddy chicken trying to read a bed time story to a little chicken. The Daddy chicken keeps picking out fairy tales. Just as anything bad is about to befall the characters in the fairy tales, the young chicken interrupts the story and retells it so that she saves the characters from danger. The whole idea of the book is adorable, the story is well written, and my four-year-old loves it. I could read this book one hundred times, easily.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Blue Truck

Today, I am posting about another one of my son's favorites, Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.
This is a well-written book both Joe and I love about a little blue truck traveling through farm country that comes across a big, self-important dump truck stuck in a mud puddle. Despite having been snubbed by said dump truck only moments earlier, the little blue truck decides to do the right thing and help the big truck out of the puddle. Encouraged by the little truck's example, the farm animals all join in and help the truck out. It is a pleasant little story about the importance of treating others well and what it means to be a good truck/person. Mommy likes it because of it's great folk art style drawings, and because the rhythm and rhymes with which it is written make is easy and enjoyable to read. Joe likes it because it is about trucks that say 'beep'.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Pea

Tonight, Joseph and I read Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, which is currently his book of choice around here. For the past four or five days, I have read it to him at both nap time and bed time. It is a story about a little pea who does not want to eat his candy for dinner, but finally agrees to in order to get dessert. It is just the right length for a two and a half year old, with enough text on each page to keep Joe interested but not too much to overwhelm him. The story is pretty cute, if you don't overthink it -- like how is it that, if two peas could reproduce, they would only have one offspring, and how do they do anything without hands, and wouldn't a pea eating spinach be kind of disturbing (unless it would be like us eating cows...). What makes this book for me is the adorable illustrations, and what makes it for Joe is the sounds little pea makes as he eats his dreaded candy, yuck, blech, plck, and pleh.