It was a mixed reading week. We went to the library twice this week – once my husband went with Smarty and once I went on my own because some books were due. Only one book emerged as a clear winner for Smarty and earned a coveted spot in her bed. Our joint opinions were mixed on others, so it was difficult to choose the books to highlight in this post. Some of our picks were clearly intended for older kids, so I will focus on the books that were more age-appropriate for preschoolers.
In the “subject matter” area The Blabber Report is the book for older kids, but Smarty really enjoyed the story even without understanding all the details. It was an interesting introduction to the concept of “structured narration” for her. In the book all students have to give oral reports on the book of their choice and a talkative Blabber is suddenly terrified because so much is at stake – a cheese cookie party for all students! I liked how the author made the challenge appear difficult, but not “scary” – just the right combination of thrill and suspense for my sensitive daughter.
Both my husband and I loved A Visitor for Bear – we found the story of a grumpy bear and a persistent mouse very endearing. Unfortunately, our daughter didn’t share this opinion. She thought that Bear was mean to Mouse, and she really doesn’t like the books where characters are naughty even when they “turn around” in the end. It did open up a good discussion about how we want to treat guests in our house.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You is a book from our own library. Smarty was not impressed with it when she got it for Christmas, but was a lot more interested in it lately. The illustrations are done in the same style as other How Do Dinosaurs… books, but the story pattern is different. Smarty likes to read the story on her own and to inspect all the dinosaurs – she is still very interested in them.
I really like illustrations of Steven Kellogg, and in this book both me and Smarty enjoyed not just an interesting twist on a traditional song, but also all the artwork. I noticed that sometimes Smarty is a bit put off by very elaborate illustrations of Kellogg or Jan Brett, because they tend to mix “real world” and “fantasy world” together, but she is warming up to them lately and likes to study them on her own. I wish I were a better singer, because I found the altered story difficult to sing and switched back to just reading it.