Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What We Found At The Library, #2

Lauren's Favorite: Duck On A Bike, by David Shannon

When I look for books that I think Lauren will enjoy, I usually try to pick at least one with lots of simple animal noises and straightforward pictures. This one fit the bill perfectly, and she really liked it. An adventurous duck gets ahold of his owner's bike one day and parades around the farm showing off his skills. Each animal he passes has some comment about his silly biking, along with the requisite MOOO! or NEIGHHH! or MEEEOW! Since Lauren knows the animals by the sounds they make, she had a great time with this story. I did need to paraphrase a tiny bit in order to keep Lauren's attention between animal noises, but not much. There's a definite similarity to each page - the same sequence of events keeps happening over and over - and that repetition was nice for her. The illustrations kept me giggling, and the ending was so cute and surprising. Bonus points for this one being liked by Mia and I as well - a definite family favorite.

I was inspired by Emily's post a while back about her family's homeschooling project for the seasons, and tried to find a book on the subject for us to check out. We're still a little young for most of the really technical books I found, but this book about the months of the year was adorable. It's all told in a rhyme that goes with the song "Sing a Song of Sixpence" and Mia went back and forth between wanting me to read her the verses, or sing them. The feelings of each month - and the seasons they reside in - are very well captured with the illustrations as the piglets play at the beach, rake leaves, or have a thanksgiving feast, among other things. We read/sang through this book many times, and will look for more like it in the future.

This Heavenly Mama's Favorite: A Froggy Fable, by John Lechner

This book struck a chord with me. I am so routine and control-oriented that I fear I'm missing all kinds of wonderful surprises by not breaking out of the mold more often. And I fear my children are missing out sometimes, too. In A Froggy Fable, a home-loving frog gets upset by the changes taking place in his little pond and disrupting his life, until something happens that forces him to get out of his rut. From then on, he learns to accept and even appreciate changes. A lesson I'd do well to internalize, which would probably benefit Mia as well (besides just being a fun little book.) Both the artwork and story are very simple and clean - easy to digest for preschoolers and mamas alike. I'm so glad we stumbled upon this book.

This Heavenly Daddy's Favorite: Madeline And The Bad Hat, by Ludwig Bemelmans

Last time, Justin got somewhat upset when he saw that I hadn't included his favorite library book. He reads Mia's bedtime stories more often than I do, so it's only fair for his thoughts to be represented here, too. One problem? I forgot to ask what his favorite was this time around, so I'm making an educated guess here. I can say without compunction that Justin is a Madeline fan. He loves France, and has been enthusiastic about describing to Mia some of the famous places depicted in the Madeline books. He reads them with the correct French accent when warranted (something I love him deeply for - his willingness to abandon grown-up pride and really get into story time with his daughters) and makes the stories really fun to listen to. I believe Madeline will always have a special place in Justin's heart as he watches our girls grow up. We've been reading about her and watching her on DVD for so long that I really think 'Madeline' will become synonymous with 'When The Girls Were Little.'

So that's it for our latest Library Finds. Have you read any of the above, or do you have any favorites that these reminded you of? Have you found any really great library books lately that you'd like to share?

Happy reading, Heavenly readers!


  1. I love that you do this! You are awesome!

    P.S. I wish they had a blogging award for vocabulary; 'Compunction'? That's gotta earn you, like, 50 points :)
    P.P.S. My husband enjoys doing the accent for the French peas when he reads the boys their Veggie Tales books. Priceless!

  2. So glad I checked your blog just now. We are just on our way out to the library..can't wait to look for some of these!

  3. I really do miss those years when we would clean out the kids section of the library and spend hours reading. Reading at bedtime was the best. Now I just go to the library myself and read things like "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" by Allison Hoover Bartlett.

    Oh for the days when we would read the "Little Mr" and "Little Miss" books.

  4. I love that you're doing this!

    And I love that Justin wanted you to include his favorite book -- that's cute :)

  5. We love book over here and are lawys looking for some new ideas. Thanks!

  6. Oh we just went to the library this morning...I'm going to start keeping a list of your finds for such an occasion. Travis decided to get us library cards at the Carthage library, so I guess we'll be going there. But, now I have a card and can go check out your finds!
    This isn't a library find, it was a gift from my nephew, but I think it is great. Repetition, rhyming, animals-Savannah loves it!
    "I Heard Said the Bird" by Polly Berrien Berends pictures (that are wonderful by the way) by Brad Sneed

    Thanks again for sharing some great literature!

  7. Duck on a Bike was a whole-family hit at our house too, and you can never go wrong with a Madeline book. Madeline and the Bad Hat is great; it's so deliciously gory! As for the others, I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

    Oh, and since we're on the subject, how does Lauren feel about Sandra Boyton? I don't think Penelope's met a Boyton book she didn't like!

    And (because I can't stop once you get me started on books) does Mia like the Eloise stories at all? I think Eloise at Christmastime is fantastic.

  8. Thanks for the tips and suggestions!

    Elisabeth is all about Dan Carle's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and "Polar Bear, Polar Bear"; animal sounds, colors, and a regular pattern=great fun in our house.

  9. Josefine isn't so much "into" books yet...except for drooling on them...but, MY favorites are generally for older "The Neverending Story" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Oh, and "Chronicles of Narnia" as well as "Lord of the Rings." I know, I know. A bit advanced. But you asked! ;) Hehe...I'm reading lots to my Josefine and hope she loves reading as much as I :)

    Another one I LOVE. "The Westing Game." Also, "The Three Trees" (getting more to your girls' ages!)

    Oh, and a GREAT one for little girls. YOU MUST CHECK THIS OUT. I cry EVERY time I read it.

  10. Two words: El Skippito.

    Best. series. ever.

  11. Katie - I *think* we've read I heard said the sounds really familiar, but I'll put it on our list for next time.

    Emily - Bad Hat WAS really gory! I think the whole guillotine thing was above Mia's grasp and I left it that way :) Somehow, I love Madeline despite some sketchy scenes. They're really wonderful. And we tried Boynton with LJ a few months back, with no success. But now that her attention span's a little better, maybe we should try again. Mia always loved them. We haven't gotten any Eloise yet - I've seen them, but not followed through. Who's the author?

  12. Kay Thompson. I'd avoid *Eloise in Paris* (unless you speak French) and *Eloise in Moscow*, but the original *Eloise* is good (although Katherine picked up a few iffy habits from her--making a "terrible" face is just too hard to resist) and *Eloise at Christmastime* is a must. She does buy someone a Guinness Stout as a present, but she's a rascal so that's to be expected.

    As for Boyton, you probably already have it, but Penelope gets a huge kick out of *Moo, Baa, La, La, La* because of all the silly animal sounds. And we can't stop listening to Philadelphia Chickens!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?