Sunday, January 31, 2010

picture book round up #2

books we've enjoyed over here the last couple weeks:

That Book Woman by Heather Henson - great story about those librarians who would ride out to the mountain people in Kentucky and bring them books to read. About finding a love of reading and the people who will do whatever it takes to spread the book love.

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor - wow was this book beautiful. It's the 10 rules you should follow when finding the perfect rock to keep. Really resonated with me and my rock-lover son, I like how it legitimizes this desire that he's always had to hold onto rocks :)

The Sun, the Wind and the Rain by Lisa Peters - This book compares a girl making a sand mountain with the geology of a real mountain - the forces that shape and mold our earth. Really interesting premise, and you're getting geology without even knowing it!

I want to make a plug for the series of books called "You Wouldn't Want to Be." They're a non-fiction series of books for kids all about how horrible life was way back when :) I've On this website, you can actually read four of their books online. This week, we read You Wouldn't Want to be Sick in the 16th Century (FASCINATED my son) and You Wouldn't Want to be a Samurai! They aren't short (the reading experience is reminiscent of The Magic School Bus books, with all the extra info all around the main text), but it sure does please my boy.

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon - a beautiful piece of poetry with such timeless illustrations. The poem talks about how our world is full of amazing things, it's so soothing to readaloud. A quote: Tree, trunk, branch, crown/Climbing up and sitting down/Morning sun becomes noon-blue/All the world is old and new. Both boys loved this one - and yay, it was just named a Caldecott Honor Book this year.

Olympics! by B. G. Hennessy - you'd have to find this one at your library, I think it's no longer in print, but WOW what an engaging intro to the Olympic games. The pictures are so full of things to see, Xavier pored over the pages. It focuses more on the summer games than the winter (and let's face it, who doesn't?) but talked about all the most relevant things, including how the games got started.

High Rise Private Eyes series - Xavier has read the first three of these early chapter books to himself and he cheers whenever he finds one on the library shelf. Short and engaging, sometimes I have to explain the humor to him, but sometimes he totally gets it and I just hear him laughing outloud in the other room. Easy mysteries, funtimes. And at the end of the third one he said to me, "You know what mom? At the end of these stories, no one ever goes to jail!" I love that the "crimes" always end up being a misunderstanding :)

Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin - the first children's book I've ever read where it simply screamed "magical realism" a la the master himself, Gabriel Garcia Marquiez. Lovely, lovely tale of a little girl who wants to be a glassblower like her father but he says she's too young and, well, a girl. So she takes the old glass-blowing pipe and heads out to learn on her own - figuring out along the way that her pipe can make music - as well as create some seriously amazing creations. Xavier's eyes may have actually sparkled, near the end of this story. Not only are you getting a cultural experience, with the sprinkled Spanish dialogue and the desert animals, but you're getting every child's dream come true: the ability to do what you always knew you could.

1 comment:

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

We LOVE the "Wouldn't Want to be..." series! Also, we checked out a few weeks ago some of your other suggestions -- the man who invented TV and Sojourner Truth's book -- both winners!!

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