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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.