Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Delighted!

I can't believe that I've gone this long without reading the Freckleface Strawberry books by Julianne Moore! I've known of them for awhile, but today at the library, they jumped off the shelf at me, and I'm so very thankful. They are delightful. A spunky, sweet heroine who learns to love herself, freckles and all (I love freckles). And, this little gal reminds me of my sister, Shannon. Well, really she's my sister-in-law, but since I don't have a biological sister, I claim her as my sis.

Like Freckleface Strawberry, my sis is all grown up and still has gorgeous freckles, and red hair. And, also like this heroine, she's a tough cookie who knows how to handle a bully.

In addition to the great stories in these books, the art (by LeUyen Pham) is brilliant. Lively, fun, energetic, emotive—and the heroine is a snappy dresser too!

My kids, and my nieces I think, are going to need these books in their personal libraries! Hooray for being unique!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Bag: December

Sufganiot, rugelach, Christmas, Chanukah, and Ramadan stories, lazy babies, talking crocs, trains, planes and an all-girl swing band... we found some real treasures this month! We learned quite a lot about how different cultures celebrate the holidays, and read some wonderful historic literature for kids. Faves highlighted below:
  1. Under the Christmas tree / by Nikki Grimes ****Beautiful illustrations and poems. Love this!
  2. Chanukah lights everywhere / Michael J. Rosen ****A nice Hanukkah book for preschoolers. Simple but beautfiul.
  3. The Night of the Moon : a Muslim holiday story / by Hena Khan ****Gorgeous illustrations, and a great introduction to Ramadan.
  4. Lazy little loafers / Susan Orlean ****Funny! Great book from a big sister's point of view (about her new baby brother).
  5. A baby born in Bethlehem / by Martha Whitmore Hickman
  6. Melrose and Croc : a Christmas to remember / Emma Chichester Clark.
  7. The Polar Express / written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg ****The classic and beloved Christmas story... Trains, adventure, Santa, can't go wrong...
  8. Amelia and Eleanor go for a ride : based on a true story / story by Pam Munoz Ryan ****LOVE this one!!
  9. Five little firefighters / story and pictures by Tom Graham
  10. Strega Nona's harvest / Tomie de Paola.
  11. Happy birthday to you! / by Dr. Seuss. ****We read this on our kids' birthdays every year. A fab tradition.
  12. Sweethearts of rhythm : the story of the greatest all-girl swing band... /Marilyn Nelson ****LOVE this! Another war-time girl-power jewel.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Satisfaction!

Finally! A satisfying version of Goldilocks. My kids love Goldilocks, and it is one of the tales that I tell them, rather than read, since I can embellish at will. However, Ruth Sanderson's version of Goldilocks beats any I've come up with because at the end Goldy shares the blueberries that she picked in the woods (which is how she came upon their house) with the bears by making blueberry muffins with them! And, the recipe is included at the end of the book.

Even better, the muffin-baking occurs after Goldilocks has helped clean up the mess that she's made of the bears' house, and apologizes for her amazingly bad lack of manners! I think this is one reason that my daughter is enthralled with the story of Goldy—she's appalled by her rude trespassing, thievery, and destruction. Madeline was very satisfied with this story. And, the combination of the clever new twist on the tale, and the absolutely gorgeous illustrations put this on my favorites list too (obviously, since we've had it out from the library since October... due back in mid-January)! Check it out.

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