Saturday, August 14, 2010

It was another great week with our usual problem of having too many good books. They usually cover all available surfaces and on Friday afternoon we sort them out and decide which books to take back to the library and which to keep. Some of our favorites from last week are still going strong, and “magically” migrated back to Smarty’s bed. But here are some finds from this week:
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House Audio Book is our first foray into audio books. I admit that I was dead set against all kinds of “electronic alternatives” to reading, since I really wanted Smarty to read independently. Now we have a problem in not having enough time for reading longer stories, and she is not quite ready to read them on her own. She loved listening to this CD and I am amazed with how much she retained. I wish she retained a message of listening to her parents a bit more – maybe I should attract her attention to the parts of the stories that describe discipline methods of old times. On the other hand, I don’t think that the words whipping, thrashing and a strap are quite part of her vocabulary, and I’d rather keep it this way.
May I Bring A Friend
We brought home several books with “friends” theme from kindergarten reading list, and May I Bring a Friend? was a favorite for both of us. It also happens to be Caldecott Medal winner. To be honest, I didn’t care much for illustrations, but we both enjoyed the rhyming, the suspense and the humor in the story. I won’t say more, because it’s definitely worth checking out. It also probably the first story we read when the kind and the queen are “approachable” human beings.
Ballet Sisters
The Newest Dancer from Ballet Sister series (apparently it only has two books so far) by Jan Ormerod was Smarty’s favorite “potty book” this week. I didn’t get to read it with her, but looked through it on my own, and it’s a really sweet story about a younger sister starting her own ballet lessons. I am still not convinced that dancing is the right class for our daughter, but she surely loves to read dancing books, and other little dancers will probably love this book as well.
What Sisters Do BestWhat Sisters Do Best could be a nice gift for a new big brother or big sister. It’s a “double book” that will have the same text for big brothers in the other half of the book. It was a little bittersweet to read it with my only child, since she is never going to have a big sister or a big brother and experience the joy and importance of being one. But we both enjoyed colorful illustrations, and it was interesting to compare the differences between the sister pages and brother pages that carry the same text.
Wabi Sabi
I want to give “honorable mention” to Wabi Sabi. It was standing on the “new books” display and I thought that it will fit nicely into our Japan week. Well, the story is too complex for a not-quite-4 and, I think, will be too complex for even a 8-year-old (Amazon range is 4-8 years), but I enjoyed both the text and the illustrations. If you have older kids interested in Japanese culture and customs, it might be an interesting book to pick up.


Mom and Kiddo said...

May I bring a friend is also one of my favorite books. But I love the illustrations! :)

Ticia said...

From my understanding Caldecotts are awarded for the combination of words, pictures, and theme. So the words may have helped.

Julie said...

May I Bring a Friend and What Sisters Do Best sound cute. I'll have to check them out.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Thanks for the heads up on Wabi Sabi - I think I'll look for it.

Autumn said...

We love audio books. We listen to them in the car, and the boys love it. Lately they've been listening to Winnie-the-Pooh. I loved the LIttle House books when I was little, and I can't wait to read them to my kids someday.

Joyful Learner said...

Our daughter who won't listen to anything else but Magic Treehouse will sit through On the Banks of Plum Creek. I don't like the voices so much bur I loved how Laura's mother and father handled Laura's misbehavior. No whipping, I promise.

I will have to look into Winnie the Pooh series. She will love that!

Debbie said...

I almost picked up the Ballet Sisters book. We haven't tried Audio books yet.

April said...

My daughter just turned 2 and I just started using audiobooks with her. Well, actually we have only listened to 2 so far. One was Snow White and the other was Sheila Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes. In both instances I read the book to her first and then we listened to the audiobook in the car. I don't think of audiobooks as an electronic alternative to reading. I think of it more as an enhancement to storytelling. I'm not only using the audiobooks. Plus, I think that sometimes listening to a story in the absence of pictures is a good thing as it helps with imagination, the children are not just passively taking it in. And I also think that they are good because my daughter gets to hear a different voice (aside from mine) reading the pages. I am taking it slow right now with the audiobooks though. Just one new one every couple of weeks.

MaryAnne said...

I bet Emma would enjoy that dancing book!

Elise said...

May I Bring A Friend sounds like a terrific book. Savvy loves books that rhyme and will often recite these types of books while she is playing.

Your lego Maths blocks is a great idea. Did Anna end up playing with this during her rest time?

I like how you are approaching your studies about differnt countires as a spiral study. How wonderful to immerse yourself in another culture through the Japanese gardens that are right on your doorstep.

I have the same issues with cleaning up Savvy's room after rest time. Savvy seems to be of the opinion that she cannot possibly clean her room by herself and I need to help her.

I agree, it would be fantastic if there was book for every country written from the persepctive of a child like the book titled I live in Tokyo.

Anonymous said...

We love audio books here. Our library has an online component where we can download audio books. I put some of them on TB's Sansa Shaker so that he can listen to them whenever he wants. He'll often put them on while he's playing with things like Legos or other building toys.