September 12th Books

 Last week we had some good books.  We read Meet Kirsten , another of the American Girl books.  Stella really enjoys them, and I have to say that I do too.  I think she liked Kirsten because of her hair color, blonde, just like Stella's.  I have to admit that becoming a mother has made me much more emotional.  I cried, and laughed at myself for it.  Eh, at least Stella's learning empathy, for me if not the fictional characters we're reading about.

We read a neat book called Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin It was a fun introduction to some instruments as well as what to call a group of musicians based on their number (soloist, duo, trio, etc).  Bruce liked the cats on each page the best, but Stella and I enjoyed the artistry of the pictures,.

Pumpkin Soup was probably Stella's favorite. At least it was the most read book of the week!  It was a cute tale of a duck, cat, and squirrel who lived happily together in the woods making pumpkin soup, until they didn't.  It's a neat story about friendship.

Next up is Acorn Magic , about a boy, his neighbor, and the "magic" of acorns which was actually more about learning to look and pay attention to your surroundings.  I liked it, it was a good story, but it was not the most loved story this week.

And finally, This Quiet Lady .  Neither Stella nor I cared much about this book.  It was a simple book, cute.  But it was boring.  A little girl showing pictures of her mother.  It just felt... anti-climactic.  It wasn't bad, just not for us.  And usually I love stories like that!

What are your favorite kinds of books?

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Where's Wallace and More!

One of the books we got as a prize from the Library's Summer Reading Program is Wheres Wallace?   By Hilary Knight. We have enjoyed this book so much!  It is about a little Orangutan whose keeper talks about going places and then somehow Wallace escapes the zoo and the keeper has to go and find him at whatever location he happens to have chosen.  But it also is a matter of finding the little guy hidden in the picture on the page!  We liked this one alot. It was written in the late 1940's and is therefore clean, and fun in it's pictures and words.  Total bonus! I have learned to love Hilary Knights illustrations.  In addition to this one, he illustrated the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books that we loved!

We also got The Quite Contrary Man . I liked this one too.  Actually, I liked all the books we picked as prizes.  This is a true story, or at least based on a true story of a man in new england in colonial days who spent a year in prison because, essentially, he refused to shave his beard.  It'sa a fun book with fabulous pictures!

We got The Mitten by Jan Brett.  I'm sure I've said this before, but I am a huge fan of her work.  The story of course is old, but the pictures and scene setting are absolutely fabulous!  I can't recommend it enough. Read anything by her, you won't be disappointed!

And finally a fun little book called Blue Chicken .  Bruce and I really enjoy this one.  It's a simple story, great pictures, and I have always loved when the book is about a book.  It's fun to watch animals come alive like they do in this book.  Fun fun fun!

What books have you added to your bookshelves lately?

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The Books of 9/6

Last week we read some really good books.  I enjoyed them all, and so did Stella.  What a rare treat!

 Starting with the least favorite this week was Liberty's Journey .  It was a cute story about the Statue of Liberty.  I expected it to be about her journey to the U.S.  It wasn't.  It was about her picking up her skirt and trekking to the west coast!  Cute, good, but on a week full of good books, it was the least read!

Then Something's Happening on Calabash Street .  We really liked this one, about a street fair where every family made a traditional dish from their culture and shared it at a street fair.  The only thing I wished it had, was the country of origin for each dish.  Most of them I could figure out, but some... I needed a little more info.  There are 13 recipes in the back of this book, so you could make the dishes yourself if you wanted!  Some of them looked really good.

Meet Samantha was next.  I introduced Stella to the American Girl books with this one last week.  She enjoyed it.  It's a great early chapter book.  My goal is to introduce each of the "girls" in the next few weeks.  This was fun and I forgot how much I enjoyed them.  The historical facts in the back of the book were more fun for me than for her. But she enjoyed the story.

Our favorites this week were The Jester Has Lost His Jingle , which was a fabulous tale of finding laughter even when you don't really feel like laughing.  It was a great story with a rythmic, rhyming text and fun pictures.

 And Last but not least, the most read book of the week was West Texas Chili Monster .  We had so much fun with this one.  The somewhat old-fashioned, definitely Southern language of this book, combined with the bizarre idea of an outer-space monster consuming all the chili was a blast. Stella even adopted a phrase from the book, though it did take a little teaching for her to be able to use correctly!  We loved this book and how fun it was.  The pictures were great, the story better!  It's one I wouldn't mind having on our bookshelves permanently!

What did you read your kids this week?

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A short break and a long "week"

Sorry for my brief blogging hiatus!  I had very good intentions of blogging several times last week, but an unexpected death in the family and subsequent trip to Florida threw a wrench in my plans. You know, "The best laid plans"... and all that.  In any case due to our trip we kept our books for an extra week.  I am glad we had good ones, and a few extra!

 We finished the last Mrs Piggle-Wiggle book this week.  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm .  Just as fun as the rest were and I think that this was the best one next to the first, that is.  There is relatively little magic in this one.  The animals are all a little too human, but not to the point of talking, except for the parrot, And the cures are all situational.  Giving them a taste of either their own medicine or the consequences of their actions.  Still, both my Kindergartener and I enjoyed all 4 of these books, and I think they will be ones we'll revisit in a few years when she's reading on her own!

We had Moosekitos : A Moose Family Reunion , a funny book about a moose family vacation and the longest "moostache" ever.  We had a Christmas book with the same moose last year and enjoyed it as well.  Fun stuff.

 Princess Lulu Goes to Camp   was Stella's favorite of the week.  A spoiled little princess gets sent to camp to make a friend.  It's a little rocky at the start, but she does make a friend, and the conclusion is that "no princess should be without one."  Not a bad moral, but it's not really a great book.  Stella, the four-year-old Princess-wannabe thought so.

I picked up the wonderful Sarah, Plain and Tall this week too.  We read it all in one day.  It's a simple, easy read.  It had some heavy themes that I had forgotten about, but is a fabulous story nonetheless.  Told from the perspective of a young girl, Anna, maybe around 12 years old, whose father placed an add in the papers for a wife.  Sarah comes to stay for a month to see if she would want to come and marry Anna's father.  The story is delicate and wonderful.  We read the first 7 chapters in one sitting.  We were both absorbed in the story.  This is another one that I hope we revisit when the kids are old enough to grasp some of the heavier themes.

Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas had me laughing from the title forward.  It's just a clever little story of how things can escalate when we don't stop to make sure we have all the information.  It doesn't end with a neat and tidy resolution of the feud either, but suggests the beauty of what could be.  I liked that too.  We only read this a few times, but I wish we'd read it more!

The last two we didn't read much either.  Bruce enjoyed Moo in the Morning more than Stella did, but it was geared a little more for the 2 year old set.  Stella called it the noises book, and it was.  City vs Country noises.  And how the noises in the country can seem just as loud because of their unfamiliarity to the city trained-ears of a boy and his mother.  Fun for the little guys and if you have a noise or animal lover... so a boy.

And finally Hurry Up and Slow Down .  This was a cute take on the tortoise and the hare.  The little rabbit is all "hurry up hurry up," right up until nap time when the tortoise who cares for her is ready to sit down with a hot cup of tea.  Then it's "read me a story" and a race through it and then it's "slow down"  when it's the tortoise who is hurried!  It was cute and as the mother of two who still nap (or at least have quiet time) it was a familiar story.  We did all enjoy this too.

What are you reading to your little ones?

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