Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Bag: January

I love our online library account. I log in to it daily to manage our lending, and one of the neat features is "History" which allows me to save what we've checked out. So, I'm going to start posting some of our faves from each month's book bag. Here's our January selection, with *** on the kids' extra-super favorite recommendations!

  1. ***The red lemon / by Bob Staake (very original with great illustrations & text)
  2. Disney's Winnie the Pooh's valentine / by Bruce Talkington
  3. Richard Scarry's The great pie robbery : and other mysteries.
  4. Mouse's first valentine / Lauren Thompson
  5. Cookies : bite-size life lessons / written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  6. ***How do I put it on? : getting dressed / story by Shigeo Watanabe
  7. Manuelo the playing mantis / Don Freeman.
  8. ***Your favorite Seuss / [compiled] by Janet Schulman and Cathy Goldsmith ; illustrated by Dr. Seuss
  9. Japan ABCs : a book about the people and places of Japan / written by Sara Hiemen
  10. ***Kallaloo! : a Caribbean tale / by David and Phillis Gershator (A fun twist on the Stone Soup theme)
  11. ***Alphabatics / Suse Macdonald. (Very cool "acrobatic" letters that morph into something symbolizing their sound)
  12. ***People patterns / by Nathan Olson.
  13. ***Trashy town / Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha (Stop! Throw it in, Smash it down, Drive around the trashy town... Please! Don't all kids LOVE this one?)
  14. ***Red is best / story, Kathy Stinson
  15. The seals on the bus / by Lenny Hort
  16. ***The lady with the alligator purse / adapted and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott (Who doesn't love this song? And, the kids love the silly illustrations.)
  17. Martin's Big words : the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. / Doreen Rappaport
  18. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel / story and pictures by Virginia Lee Burton.
  19. All the colors of the Earth / Sheila Hamanaka.
  20. ***Brave Irene / by William Steig. (This wee heroine has pluck, moxie... she's tough as nails, and clever too)
  21. Ask Mr. Bear / story and pictures by Marjorie Flack.
  22. ***Animals should definitely not wear clothing, written by Judi Barrett
  23. Mama zooms / written and illustrated by Jane Cowen-Fletcher.
  24. City 123 / Zoran Milich.
  25. ***Dim sum for everyone / Grace Lin. (Erik can't get enough of this dim sum lunch adventure)
  26. Cherry pies and lullabies / Lynn Reiser.
  27. ***The funny little woman / by Arlene Mosel (And, Madeline is fascinated by the "evil Oni" who capture the little woman simply to have her cook for them... "But, they have the magic paddle that does the rice cooking. Why can't they do it themselves?")
  28. Whose mouse are you? / by Robert Kraus

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hoe rooier, hoe mooier!

That's Afrikaans for the title of my latest fave book. I plucked Kathy Stinson's Red is Best off the library shelf last week simply because of the fabulous title, sure I'd found a treasure. And, I was right — about red, and this book. Red is my favorite color, and this little book is so very perfect. It captures the spirit of many of the little people I love, and with such lovely prose. I mean, who wouldn't be delighted by these lines: "My mom says, 'You wear pink barrettes with a pink dress.'/But my red barrettes make my hair laugh./I like my red barrettes the best."

And, perhaps, best of all, I happened to check out the 25th-year anniversary edition of the book with a couple entries written by the author (Stinson) and illustrator (Robin Baird Lewis). The note by Lewis, describing her motivation for her illustrations of the character, made me smile and laugh out loud because, in it I see my Madeline: "... that quintessential female child, 3 years old going on 30, who strides through her world with devastating clarity and confident insight. With not a little pity in her kindness, and full of generous enthusiasm, she is more than happy to explain it all, so that you can understand what to her is the obvious."

Stinson's opening reflects this character so well; "My mom doesn't understand about red." They've captured the wonderful spirit of a fun age, and the plucky kiddo you read this to will likely see themselves in these pages. Don't just check it out... this one's a keeper!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Be Boppin' Hip Hoppin' Jazz Readin'

Two favorites: one classic, Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka, and one new fave, Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler have Erik drumming a steady beat on his lap (or the book) as we read!

Charlie Parker is so fun to read, it's got a beautiful beat, and I've read it so many times that I couldn't even venture a guess as to the number! One afternoon I read it to a group of kids about 30 times. I don't really even need to actually read it anymore of course... which is handy for distraction, since I can "sing" it in the car, grocery, wherever we are...

And, Jazz Baby is a new favorite from the library, full of lively and fun illustrations, and another lyrical storyline that immediately had me toe-tappin' and living the music of the book. Wheeler's prose, I'm sure, will be my next Jazz tune to bop, be bop with Erik to! Do wop doo!

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