Bear’s Weekly Book Haul: July 19th, 2018

Bear's book haulWe had several set backs involving Bear’s book-borrowing, the first of which is, the library we use asked us for updated information and we had to give them our current address – which is no longer in the same city as said library (we’ve moved to a neighboring city since the card was issued).  That’s not a big deal – we’re part of a consortium, and can borrow from any of the participating libraries on any card – but we do have to have a card issued by our hometown library.

This happened last Wednesday while we were choosing Bear’s books, and we were not allowed to check them out until we got our new card.  The librarian said she would hold the books for us until then.  It took Andy until this Wednesday before he had the time to get to the library and make the change, and by the time he made it to pick up the books, they had just (within the preceding half-hour, according to the librarian) released them.  Ugh.

No great tragedy though, since this allowed Andy to pick out some new books, a few of which were chosen specifically in anticipation of our Florida trip in less than two weeks.  Bear’s been on a plane before but he was 8 months old, and slept/nursed through most of it, so this will be the first flight he (may) be able to really remember.

Anyway, on to the haul!

Oh!  Before I forget: highlight of last haul was unequivocally Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur.  It was yet another participatory book, where the reader interacts with Crunch, and my son – who loves chatting people up, making noise, and dinosaurs – adored it.  He even brought it to bed with him and “read” it to himself more than once.

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Ok, now, this week for real!

Harriet Gets Carried Away, by Jessie Sima
GoodReads:  Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There’s just one thing missing—party hats!  But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead—real penguins! Harriet gets carried awaywith the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she’s not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats!) in time for her special day?

Prickly Hedgehogs! by Jane McGuinness
GoodReads:  When the sun has set, Hedgehog’s day has only just begun. She’s out and about, snuffling through layers of leaves and twigs as she searches for bugs and other things to eat. Young animal lovers will enjoy following Hedgehog and her little hoglets through towns and gardens, parks and woodland, as they sniff-sniff-sniff for food.

Dinosoaring, by Deb Lund
GoodReads:
  But to get airborne, they need a plan. They dinoblow. They run, push, leap, flap-and take flight! The sky becomes their stage, as they join an air show. Zipping and zooming and dancing on wings, the dinos are soon upside down and dinosick! They decide to bail, hoping their dinochutes will work. They dino-do!

Planes Fly!, by George Ella Lyon
GoodReads:  Take to the skies with this fun, rhyming book about all that planes do! From jet planes to puddle jumpers, from the cockpit to the rudders, this book explores it all—and the bright, dynamic illustrations will keep even the youngest of readers engaged.

My First Airplane Ride, by Patricia Hubbell
GoodReads:  A first airplane ride can be very exciting! Watching planes take off and land, going through security, walking the jet way, finding the right seat, watching out the window as the plane taxis down the runway, and flying up high in the sky and then, at the other end, Grandma waiting with a hug!

The Town of Turtles, by Michelle Cuevas
GoodReads:  When a solitary turtle decides to make some renovations to his shell, he doesn’t have a blueprint, only a dream for a better life. He starts by building a deck—though he figures the deck could use a fireplace. And a fireplace needs wood, so naturally, he plants a garden. But it isn’t really a garden without a pond . . . Soon, Turtle can barely recognize his own shadow.  Finally satisfied with the intricate world upon his back, word begins to spread of the magical “Town of Turtle,” attracting newcomers from far and wide. All are welcome in Turtle’s town, where life is a little less lonely, if only you come out of your shell.

Bear’s Weekly Book Haul: June 29, 2018

Bear's book haulLast Wednesday was my crazy summer prep day, so we wound up not going to the library – Bear got an extra week with his books, and we did a few re-reads.  This week, I think the winner for us was There’s a Monster in Your Book!

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It’s an interactive book that tells you do do things on each page to try to get the monster out of your books – shake the book, tip the pages, yell really loud – and it was a really fun experience, watching how into it Bear got, even on the third read-through.  It’s not hugely text dense, and it doesn’t really have a storyline, but it’s a great little book to end the night with, spending some time and having a few giggles with the kiddo.

For me, the clear winner was A Family is a Family is a Family, which was short and sweet, with really lovely illustrations, about the different configurations that a family can take.  It brought up families with LGBT parents, interracial families, single moms, foster parents, adoptive parents, kids being raised by grandparents, only children, and large families. It was nice to see the diversity of family celebrated, with the singular through line of love and support being families’ defining feature.51FYQ-KDJKL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

This week’s haul, you’ll notice several Olivia books – what can I say, our family loves Olivia!  These books are part of the Nickelodeon tie-in series, based on the animated series.  They’re good, solid little storybooks, but the original series by Ian Falconer simply cannot be beat.  If you haven’t read Falconer’s books, please do yourself and your child a favor.  Our favorite is probable Olivia Goes to Venice.

Anyway…:

Olivia Plants a Garden, by Emily Sollinger
GoodRead summary:  Olivia is planting a garden and she can’t wait to see what blooms from her mystery seeds. She knows she’ll have the best plant in the entire class.

Olivia Trains Her Cat, by Sarah Alby and Joe Purdy
GoodReads summary:  Olivia wants her cat to be just as amazing as Francine’s, who can perform incredible tricks on demand. But teaching a cat to perform isn’t as easy as it looks, as Olivia soon finds out! Kids will love this charming ready-to-read story with rebus icons about Olivia and her pet.

Dinner with Olivia, by Emily Sollinger
GoodReads summary:  Olivia is thrilled to be invited to Francine’s house for dinner…she just knows it’s going to be a very sophisticated evening. And then it’s time for Olivia to have Francine over…but what will Francine think of her family’s casual table manners?


Olivia Cooks Up a Surprise, by Emily Sollinger and Jared Osterhold
GoodReads summary: It’s Mother’s birthday, and Olivia is planning something super special–a surprise dinner! What’s on the menu? All red food, of course!

Crunch the Shy Dinosaur, by  Cirocco Dunlap and Greg Pizzoli
GoodReads summary:  Crunch is a lovely and quiet brontosaurus who has hidden himself in some shrubbery and is rather shy. He would like to play, but it will require some gentle coaxing from you! If you are patient and encouraging, you will find yourself with a new friend!

Road Work Ahead, by Anastasia Suen and Jannie Ho
GoodReads summary:  When a family sets out on a trip to Grandma’s, their journey proves to be more like a visit to a construction site. Sidewalks are being poured, streetlights repaired, roads resurfaced. The noise of jackhammers, whistles, and horns fills the air.

Three Bears in a Boat, by David Soman
GoodReads summary:  Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home?

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
GoodReads summary:  While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

That’s it for this week! (And I changed the format a little; I’m still trying to gain my footing doing this blog thing.  Is it better?  Do you like it?)  If you have any thoughts of the books we hauled this week, or any recommendations, please let us know!  We’re always looking for good books for Bear!

Bear’s Weekly Book Haul: June 14th, 2018

Bear's book haulSo, last week we brought home a five-book haul that Bear’s dad had picked, which meant that this week, it was mom’s turn!

I love perusing the children’s section, flipping through the glossy pages, carefully selecting books based on their gorgeous illustrations, or easy readability (Bear is already sounding out words on the page), or because I think they’ll teach Bear a lesson or make him laugh out loud.  I think I got a nice selection of books this time that tick off a lot of the aforementioned boxes, but before we get to this week’s books, let’s talk about last week.

There’s usually a clear favorite among the books we pick out, both for Bear and for us.  This week, the clear winner for Bear was…

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We picked this book out specifically because Bear had so loved some of Black’s other books, particularly I’m Bored and I’m Sad, and it certainly did not disappoint.  The book is cute and simple and told from the point of view of a child not much older than Bear, and speaks to a subject near and dear to Bear’s heart – namely being naked.  And wearing capes.  And eating cookies.  And – oh man, living the freakin’ dream here – doing all three at the same time.  Truly, this book is the embodiment of pre-school hedonism.

On the flip side – and this is something that almost never happens – we had a definite low point in the last haul as well.

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In the middle of reading Smokey to our son, my husband let out an audible groan.  There are several pages in the middle of this book in which “Indians” misinterpret Smokey’s smoke signals, and there is a pretty offensive and out-dated portrayal of Native-Americans as violent and unintelligent.  Given the book was written in the 60s, this isn’t shocking (it’s pretty on par for the era it was written in), but not something we want to read to our son in 2018.  The rest of the story was pretty harmless, and we simply skipped over the offensive section (though we did bring it up with the children’s librarian, though).

Now, for this week’s haul!

  • Tobor, by Guido van Genechten [Amazon | GoodReads]
    GoodReads summary:  “Ben receives a very special present for his fifth birthday. Unlike Ben’s stuffed animals who can’t move on their own or talk, Tobor is different; with a press of his square nose, Tobor comes alive, suggesting and playing games, talking and asking questions and soon he becomes Ben’s best friend. Sometimes friendship develops where you least expect it.”
  • A Very Big Bunny, by Marisabina Russo [Amazon | GoodReads]
    GoodReads summary:  “AMELIA IS A VERY BIG BUNNY. At recess, the other bunnies tell her that her feet are too long for hopscotch, they say she’s too tall to jump rope, and of course, no one will get on the seesaw with her. Amelia is a very big and lonely bunny. But when a new very small bunny named Susannah arrives in the classroom, something amazing happens.”
  • There’s a Monster in Your Book, by Tom Fletcher [Amazon | GoodReads]
    GoodReads summary: “Bestselling author of The Christmasuarus, Tom Fletcher, has Gwritten a brand new picture book perfect for bedtime, where a mischievous monster has invaded the pages of your child’s book!  This read-aloud, interactive picture book treat invites children to make magic happen page by page, tilting, spinning and shaking the book, and then seeing the funny results when each page is turned. A fantastic celebration of all the fun that can be had with a book, with a wonderful wind-down bedtime ending!”
  • A Family is a Family is a Family, by Sara O’Leary [Amazon | GoodReads]
    GoodReads summary:  “When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.  One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby.  As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special.”
  • I’m New Here, by Anne Sibley O’Brien  [Amazon | GoodReads]
    GoodReads summary: “Maria is from Guatemala, Jin is from Korea, and Fatima is from Somalia. All three are new to their American elementary school, and each has trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity.”

That’s all for this week!  If you have any recs for great books for pre-schoolers, please comment and let me know!

Bear’s Weekly Book Haul: June 7th 2018

Bear's book haul

My family and I are big readers, or at least my husband is; I love books, and words, and stories, but between my schedule and my neurodivergence, I don’t often have the time or attention left to devote to it.  But reading was my first great love, and despite being a little touch-and-go, it’s a habit I try to keep up with.

My husband, enviably, reads voraciously, his schedule and attention-span infinitely more attuned to it – but both of us, despite the differences in our current relationship to reading, are eager to instill a love of it in our son.

We are big supporters of our local library, and libraries in general, and make it a point to take Bear every week.  It’s a great way to give him the chance to socialize with other kids in a safe environment, and involve him in selecting that week’s reading material.

I thought it might be fun to post our weekly book hauls here, tell you what books we picked out that week, and what books from the previous week were a success at home, either with Bear, or with Andy and I (or both; there are a few special authors who manage to tickle both the kiddo and the two of us – but that’s another post).

Our library day during the summer is Wednesday, so Thursdays will be haul days. Anyway, on with the haul!

  • Star Climbing, by Lou Fancher [GoodReads | Amazon
    GoodReads summary:  “Welcome to the magical night world of star climbing. Run and dance with Leo the Lion and Ursa the Bear. Dive into a shimmering star pool with Pisces the Fish, and rest on the glimmering back of Cygnus the Swan. Lou Fancher lets imagination soar during this fantastical journey through sparkling star constellations. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher’s breathtaking art brings the star animals to life, filled with radiance and glory.”
     
  • Naked, by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi [GoodReads | Amazon]
    GoodReads summary:  “Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi … have paired up again to showcase the antics of an adorable little boy who just doesn’t want to get dressed.  After his bath, the little boy begins his hilarious dash around the house – in the buff! Being naked is great. Running around, sliding down the stairs, eating cookies. Nothing could be better. Unless he had a cape…”
  • Captain Cat, by Inga Moore [GoodReads | Amazon]
    GoodReads summary:  “Captain Cat loves cats. In fact, he has more cats on his ship than he has sailors. On one voyage, he discovers a remote and lonely island where the little-girl Queen has never even seen a cat. When Captain Cat’s furry companions trounce the rats infesting the island, the Queen begs Captain Cat to trade her the cats for untold treasure. Does he? Could he? What happens next? Never fear, fellow travelers! The purr-fect solution is on the horizon — and is sure to satisfy both pet-lovers and adventurers.”
  • We Found a Hat, by John Klassen [GoodReads | Amazon]
    GoodReads summary:  “Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. . . . Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen’s visual comedy and deceptive simplicity. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.”
  • Smokey, by Bill Peet [GoodReads | Amazon]
    GoodReads summary:  “Progress forces Smokey the switch engine out of a job until he discovers a new way to help people.”

That’s it for this week.  We’ll let you know which of them were hits with the family!


¹ (I just want to note here, I include Amazon links because I feel like Amazon and GoodReads together offer a good variety of reviews. As of this writing, my blog is not monetized in any way and I recieve no money for any purchases made through this post).