Thursday, February 18, 2010

What We Found At The Library, #11

Lauren's Favorite: Birdsongs by Betsy Franco & Steve Jenkins (Illustrator)

Of course Lauren would pick the book that makes the reader sound ridiculous with all the various required bird calls. From the large, squawking seagull, to the sweetly tweeting Chickadee, to the tiny, quiet hummingbird, Lauren loved listening to all the birds' sounds (which are spelled out phonetically for my sound-effect-pronouncing pleasure). A bonus is that the artwork is just stunning. Done in fantastic collages, the birds seem to ruffle up right off the page; the skies and trees they live in come to life. Despite the crazy noises coming from my throat in order to read this book, I really enjoyed it.

Mia's Favorite: Big Chickens by Leslie Helaskoski & Henry Cole (Illustrator)

This book is simply hilarious. A quartet of chickens who are terribly chicken become forced with every move they make to find their courage. One by one, they each state their fears in an adorable repetition that really makes the book wonderful. But despite their attempts to avoid fearsome tasks, they seem forced into them anyway until one last fright stands in their way: a wolf. In a truly funny ending, the chickens are so scared of the wolf that they end up scaring him off. And boy are they proud of their deed. They're suddenly full of the courage -- pride-puffed BIG chickens. The best part, though, was something not on the pages of the story. When Mia gets nervous or scared of something, she hides her face, peeking out the side of her hand to see what happens next. This happens fairly often in stories or movies with anything even slightly frightening. And this story -- while funny and simple -- had that small dose of fear in the wolf creeping out to get the chickens. Eyes were hidden, then relieved laughter was released. So cute.

Mama's Favorite: Apples To Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson & Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)

I must admit: I angled to read this story any chance I got. In an adorable narrative voice, the daughter of a fruit-growing pioneer tells of her family's grand adventure across the plains. Weighted down with apples, pears, plums, and many other fruit trees, the family encounters trouble and excitement across wide open prairie, guarding their cargo all the way. Hail storms, raging rivers, drought, and frost try to stop them, but the father is determined to succeed with his impossible dream. His family supports his hare-brained idea fully, even to the point of giving up their own comfort to save the fruits. This book sweetly illustrates the importance of love, hard work, and the benefits of a positive attitude. But more than anything, it's just a wonderfully fun story.

Daddy's Favorite: Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen

This was another one of Mia's favorite's, too. Somehow, a wayward crocodile egg winds up in a nest full of duck eggs (this seems to be a common theme...). Once hatched, the animals grow up together, never seeming to care that there's a crocodile -- Guji Guji -- in their midst. They all play together and become a happy, if strange, family. Before long, the rest of Guji Guji's real relatives show up and make fun of him for pretending to be a duck. Worst of all, they tell him that crocodiles were made to EAT ducks...and they intend to use his trustworthy relationship with the duck family to lure them right into the crocodile family's toothy mouths. But Guji Guji has a plan of his own. He tricks the crocodiles with duck-shaped rocks, and they all flee in pain and humiliation. Daddy and Mia's favorite part comes when Guji Guji is given the official title of CrocoDuck. Much laughter ensues at the combination of two different words, and the book is read again...and again...and again...

I hope you all are enjoying our book swap as much as I am! I'd love to have you add your linked post of favorites to the Mr. Linky, or just leave a comment with what books you've been enjoying lately. As always, I'm interested in any books, not just children's books -- so let your suggestions fly!


  1. We read the birdsongs one a year or two ago and I totally loved it! So charming and original.

  2. I'll have to check out these books, they sound great.

    I've been excitedly waiting for today for 2 weeks. Thanks for hosting! I can't wait to see the other posts.

  3. This post about books reminded me that I never answered your earlier question about lenten reading (I am so sorry!). I'm reading 40 day journey with Kathleen Norris, it is part of a series put out by Augsburg Books. I read 40 day journey with Madeleine L'Engle last lent and really enjoyed it.

    Again I sorry for the late reply.
    Thank you for another set of wonderful book suggestions.

  4. Now we know why you lost your voice...too many bird calls!

  5. Have you read the Betsy Tacy books with Mia? She might like them better in a year, but (at "almost five") Katherine's really enjoying them.

  6. Big Chickens... MY ALL TIME FAV!

    I adore reading that one to my boys. And they just love it.


  7. I have added my weeks reading to your list.
    Our girls have loved the Betsy Tacy books.
    Apples to Oregan looks like the type of book i lov etoo. I will try to get it from our library. We do not have a great library here. Sigh.
    Thanks for this list.
    I also did a list last friday as well if you back track on my blog
    God Bless

  8. Joy - Thanks for the recommendations! I'll put those on my list for next year's possibilities. I'm especially intrigued by the Madeleine L'Engle one...

    Stacey - I blame it on the birds, too :)

    Emily - Betsy Tacy books? I'll have to look them up. Is she the author or the character?

    Nell - Isn't it great!? I suspect we'll be getting that one again.

    Gae - I read your list last time, and I thought I commented? Oh, well. Either way, I'm glad to have your suggestions :) Keep 'em coming!


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