Happy New Year! I am sure that it will be a busy reading year for us. Instead of playing with all her new toys, Smarty is spending a fair amount of her winter break reading. She seems to develop an interesting habit of speed reading all available new books – in 2 days she read about 20 books that we brought from the last library visits including three chapter book of different difficulty levels. Then she selects some of her favorites and studies them in detail. Here are some of her favorites of the week:
We love Stella and Sam series by Marie Louise Gay, and Queen of the Snow is perfectly seasonal (except that we get no snow where we live). The illustrations are beautiful and the dialogs between Stella and her younger brother are amusing for both children and adults. It’s really a dialog between a whimsical artist and a budding scientist, and it made me reflect on how much my own daughter takes after a boy character in these series.
Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown was one of Smarty's selections from the library shelves, and she scored big with this one. Even though she doesn’t play any organized sports we often have discussions about sportsmanship behavior in the context of winning and losing board games and races. This book is all about handling loss gracefully and not letting competition rise above friendship. Highly recommended, especially for competitive kids like my daughter.
David McPail is a wonderful author and an illustrator. I think Drawing Lessons from a Bear is a bit autobiographical (well, he is not a bear, but still) and will be very appealing for young artists. My daughter is not exactly artistic, but she also enjoyed the story of a bear who becomes a famous artist and teaches young boys and girl to pursue their own artistic dreams. Illustrations are great, and the book could be appropriate for a wide age range.
Smarty said that Whistle for Willie was her favorite book of the week. It features the same character as the most well known book by Ezra Jack Keats – The Snowy Day. Smarty practically knows The Snowy Day by heart, and she really enjoyed another Peter story. Even though the character has a different skin color and lives in a different setting, she could fully identify with his challenge – learning to do something new. What a wonderful example of a book that teaches how similar we all are without being didactic about it.