I’ve been following along with reading the lists posted by the Bookworm and elsewhere as a part of the Take Up and Read Picture Book Challenge; but haven’t thus far dived in myself. I think I’ve been too busy trying to implement all my ideas for Bella’s homeschooling curriculum to spend much time on picture books. (I really need to write my post about my big picture plan for this first grade year. One of these days.) Of course, that doesn’t mean we aren’t up to our necks in picture books, just that for the most part I’m sitting in the passenger seat and letting the kids drive—with the exception of few books I’ve grabbed off the shelved on our library expeditions. Even Anthony is picking out books these days and demanding his share in the fun. Bella is still loving picture books too. I thought I might do a haphazard list of some of the things we’ve been enjoying from the library and our own shelves. Just what pops in my head as I sit here with no real rhyme or reason but to record a little flavor of our days.
Anthony’s absolute favorite is The Wheels on the Bus. He enjoys Goodnight Moon too and will tolerate just about any board book. Like Ben he loves both the original Otis book and the sequel Otis and the Tornado. Anything with a dog or other animals gets a huge vote. He loves to point out the animals and barks at them all, horses, cows, and cats, “Wroo wroo”
Ben’s favorites continue to be books about cars, trucks, trains, and construction equipment. But he also loves some classics like Madeline and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. He will gladly sit through books about little girls and puppy dogs and sweet babies. He may be picky about food; but when it comes to books at least, like all my kids, he’s pretty much an omnivore.
Sophie doesn’t seem to have strong tastes in books. I can’t seem to find a rhyme or reason to her library picks except that she often gravitates to the board books—especially her favorite Sandra Boynton’s like Snuggle Puppy. She often grabs a book and then pages through it while narrating a story that has absolutely nothing to do with the book at hand. She weaves in names and words and phrases from various books we’ve read, often weeks before. She has a great ear for language and a whimsical sense of humor that often veers into the absurd and just plain silly. She is also absolutely enamoured of an OOP book I found online, The Photo Album of St Therese of Lisieux. The photos are black and white and you’d never think they could captivate a four year-old; but oh Sophie loves her St Therese and will stare at blurry group photos of Carmelite nuns for an hour at a time.
Bella loves picture books of all sorts as well. But she cherishes our time set aside for longer read alouds. Right now we’re working our way through On the Banks of Plum Creek, Five Little Peppers, Milly Molly Mandy Stories, Betsy, Tacy and Tib and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Also we just finished reading a biography of St Damian of Molokai. She continues to pick out books about penguins and other animals too. This week it was a book about tigers. Based on our reading of the first chapters of The Story of the World Vol I, and a picture book about archaeology Archaeologists Dig for Clues by Kate Duke (part of the Let’s Read and Find Out about Science series I’ve come to love), she has decided she wants to be an archaeologist. The other evening she picked up the Eyewitness Book of Archaeology and flipped through it. Even without anyone to read it to her, she was captivated by the pictures. I really need to read that to her soon.
A couple of the recent books we’ve brought home from the library that everyone has enjoyed:
The Seven Silly Eatersby Mary Ann Hoberman. Simcha recommended it recently so when I saw it on the shelf I grabbed it. Even better than I expected! She didn’t prepare me for how much I would love, love, love the pictures. The story is absurd and fun.
Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard. A sweet story about two little girls visiting their great aunt in Baltimore and learning some of her history as she tells them about her hats. Something about this one really hit me. The language and pictures were beautiful, it really captured a feeling for the specific time and place. I loved the way food, family, memories and millinery all intertwine in a simple story.