Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Love

This week's Girl Talk Thursday Topic: Favorite Books, then and now...

I have always loved books--let's face it, as a daughter of a mother with a master's in Education and a journalist father, I don't think I had much choice in the matter.  We didn't go to toy stores much as a child, but I could always count on getting a new book if I tagged along with my dad to the local mall's B. Dalton.

Following suit, our kids would be very happy if we read them books from sunup til sundown. I'm happy about it and everything, but for real, sometimes I get hoarse. Sam and I regularly get books on tape from the library so we can catch a break once in a while.  Anyway, if I'm going to be reading books over and over (and over) again, they damn well better be good ones. Some of these are classics from my or my husband's childhood (he's 8 years older than me, so there are some definite differences...), and some of these we've either gotten as gifts from my father-in-law who always scopes out the amazingly-illustrated ones or happened upon from friends. Any of these would make great gifts for a wide range of ages--we read these to our 2-year old as well as our 5 and 7 year olds.

Looking for Atlantis: There is so much in these amazingly detailed drawings that you'll see something new each time as you read about a boy's journey of discovery with his grandfather's trunk. Mark my words--I will someday own all of Colin Thompson's books.

Flotsam: A Caldecott winner for illustration, this wordless book is a captivating story about a boy who finds an underwater camera washed up on the beach. This is currently on the top of my list for gift-giving. LOVE it.

Drummer Hoff: One of my husband's favorites. This one also won a Caldecott award for its amazing woodcut illustrations. It's a simple story, but kids like to participate because of the repetitions.

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go: Richard Scarry is the quintessential author of my childhood, and this book is extra wonderful because that crafty little Goldbug is hidden on every page. It's crazy how young kids can memorize where he is, and it's always a crowd pleaser to have your infant who can't even talk yet beat his grandparents in finding Goldbug every time.

In the Night Kitchen: A Maurice Sendak classic but lesser known than Where the Wild Things Are. This one is banned in many places because of (gasp!) child nudity. If you are opposed to child nudity, avert your eyes from the evils of this story. And while you're at it, please don't come over to my house because you will likely be exposed to the double whammy horror of a naked child running around with a book on evolutionary theory.

Wonder Bear: I'm obviously a one-trick pony here. I love the whimsical illustrations in this wordless story about two children's dream fantasy adventure with a bear who grows from a seed. Wordless stories are so fun because even very little ones are so familiar with what's happening that they like to 'read' it to you.

I think you can never go wrong with anything by Dr. Seuss (flows nicely, and stories like Sneetches, Horton Hears a Who, and Oh! The Places You'll Go have great life lessons), Shel Silverstein (pure awesomeness).  I hate Winnie the Pooh--sorry A.A. Milne, you have cute drawings but your stories are cumbersome and boring to read out loud.  Our oldest is now reading some fun bigger-kid books, like the Ramona Quimby series, A Cricket in Times Square, and Spiderwick Chronicles.  We got through the first five books of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events before it just all became too depressing--those kids never catch a break! 

--I had links to these books on Amazon, but Blogger keeps messing up for some reason so I took them out.  The books are easily found with a Google search, and buy a few copies of each so birthday presents and holidays will be taken care of for the foreseeable future in one fell swoop.


  1. I've read a LOT of books and been read a lot of books, but out of all 6 of the books you've shared (well the ones you had pictures of the covers for lol) I think I've only read In the Night Kitchen. I'll have to add all those to my list of books to read to my girls ^_^. Thanks.

  2. Hey! I just read In the Night Kitchen to my kids before bedtime! But anything by Richard Scarry can suck it. I used to love him. Then my 2 year old discovered him. And now, if I never see lowly worm again, it'll be too soon.

  3. Kami, how could you not love an armless worm who can do the dishes? :) I definitely pick and choose reading all the bits of text, but it's fun to check out the pickle cars, toothbrush cars, and the like...

  4. I've never heard of that Sendak book - I'm intrigued!

  5. As the grandfather here, I love reading to my grandkids. And as they get older, I look forward to them reading books we can talk about -- Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Narnia books, Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird, some Heinlein sci-fi, et al.