Our library had a semi-annual book sale last Saturday. I try not to miss these events since it gives us a chance to refresh our home library at prices that are hard to beat – 50 cents for a paperback, $1 for a hardback. I came back with 22 paperbacks and 15 hardbacks including 12 books in Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. Smarty was super excited and showered me with thanks as she was looking at the books not knowing where to start. She quickly picked her favorites and settled down to read (switching occasionally from one book to another as she does quite often lately).
Paperbacks were pretty evenly divided between fiction and non-fiction. Smarty's first pick was Smart About the Presidents from Smart About History series. I liked the layout that presented presidents in sequence and gave some interesting tidbits about each of them and important events during their term. Smarty, however, lost interest when she got to President #14 or so and didn’t get back to this book yet. I expect it to be a good simple reference for later.
Right now Smarty is indifferent to fictional stories from American Girl series, but she loves American Girl “self-help” books. Every time we come to the bookstore, she picks up a book from an American Girl stand to read while we are in the store. She was delighted to find Oops! The Manners Guide for Girls in the stack of book that now belong to her. Believe it or not, we saw a drastic improvement in her manners… well, for the first few days, at least.
I lost track of how many books of Greek Myths Smarty read in the past couple of months. She even sneaked out D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, that I deemed “too adult”, and read that too without any complaints about it being too scary. She specifically asked me to look for myth books at the library sale, and I found a couple including this Usborne Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths and Legends. I only briefly looked into it, but Smarty was giving me juicy bits of information about Gods and Goddesses all week.
Another book that caused a lot of oh, thank you, thank you, mama! cries of delight was Big Book of Jokes and Riddles. Smarty has a good sense of humor and enjoys knock-knock jokes. I don’t find most of them even remotely funny, but I suspect it’s a difference between native speakers (my daughter) and ESL speakers like me and my husband. Smarty said that her favorite section is underwear jokes – now why I am not surprised at that?
When I look at the list from this week, I realized that my daughter is growing into a pretty mature reader, and I wouldn’t recommend any of these books to anyone whose child is not reading fluently and/or interested in these particular subjects. It was strange for me not to look for picture books and clear our book shelves for donation to make space for these new books. But stay tuned – next week I review Tiger Tales books that we just received for review. I am looking forward to opening this big box!