Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Picture books

Can't believe I did this.  Monday Friends Marilyn and Jan were here for a playdate and I didn't take any stitching pictures to show!!!  I blame the weather.  We're a little numb right now with cold.  Very cold.  Lots of snow last weekend and this week.  This whole winter thing has overstayed its welcome.

So today I will show you more of the books I've read to the kids in my grandgirls' classes.  The first four I read yesterday, the last two are from a few weeks ago.  If you have little ones in your life, you can truly be safe choosing these for your lap times.  They are kid tested and approved.

 The kids always like hearing that a story is true.  Who hasn't heard of Winnie-the-Pooh?  This is the story of the man who bought a bear cub at a train station in Winnipeg, Canada during World War I and when he was deployed to England, Winnie went along.  Because Winnie was raised as a pet she was remarkably tame.  The war continued and Winnie had to be somewhere safe so the London Zoo was chosen.  As time went by it was decided the zoo should be her permanent home.  She was so tame children were allowed to ride her and hand feed her!  One of those children was Christopher Robin.  
It doesn't take much to set us apart from others.  In this case Salma and Lily, inseparable best friends,  make the mistake of commenting on each other's sandwiches at lunch one day.  A nasty food fight is the result - along with a visit to the principal's office.  When things calm down the girls timidly ask each other if they might like to TRY each other's sandwiches.  The result is a collaboration that involves opening the palates of everyone in the school.  This is such a simple way of inviting us all to be a little more tolerant of differences in cultures.  
 Adelaide wanted me to read this one.  The King of Little Things is in charge of the small objects in our lives that we don't think about but wouldn't want to live without.  Buttons, forks, screws, coins, spools of thread, keys etc.  King Normous wants everything in every kingdom to be his and sets forth acquiring.  When he thinks he's finished and everything is his to control he is informed of the existence of the King of Little Things.  Off to the dungeon!  But the little things are loyal to their king and rebel.  King Normous discovers the little things really are very important.
I use this one to talk about using your imagination.  Pretend play.   Elizabeti's mother has a new baby and Elizabeti wants a doll.  But there are no dolls.  She finds a rock that is just the right size to be her doll and names her Eva.  She takes good care of it, mimicking the things her mother does for the baby.  But unwittingly, Eva is lost!  In resolving the story the kids also see what other children do for toys when no stores are available.  After I read it, always a dozen hands go up with examples of how someone pretends. 
 This title is a show stopper.  I remember the look on her face the first time I told Elizabeth about this book.  It was during a fussy eating spell when she decided what she ate yesterday she didn't like anymore.  It never fails to stop the clock and you will, within minutes, find yourself with a child on your lap reading this.    Momma Crocodile fixes all good things for Achilles to eat but this particular day none of his favorites will do.  "I'd really like to eat a child," he says.  And nothing she can offer him will do.  Not even breaking her own rules and plying him with chocolate cake for breakfast.  He goes off to find a child.  And he does find one.  But he discovers she is much bigger than he is and she does a little too much cootchy coo.  Achilles, embarrassed, goes back home to eat the good food his mother has for him so someday he will grow big enough "to eat a child."   This one never fails.

This is one of those books that starts on the inside front cover.  Don't skip to the first written page (in fact, never skip to the first written page.  All picture books start with the cover.  Start there when you read.) because the things happening on the inside cover are important to the story.  A huge wheel of cheese falls from a wagon and goes rolling down the hill and off a cliff, landing on Squirrel's branch.  He thinks the moon landed in his tree and his first thought is fear that someone will think he stole the moon.  He sets off to fix this predicament.   This story is very funny, beautifully illustrated and the end will put a smile on your face.   This story is told very much through the pictures.  You talk and observe your way through as much as you read.  There are very few words.  I like this.  I like that a child can pick up a book and 'read' the story for themselves by spending time with the pictures.  If you spend lap time observing and picture talking your way through books your little ones will learn 'slow time' is important and their observational skills will be all the better for it.  Lap time vs. screen time....hmmm.


  1. Hi Denise! I love these stories. My parents whilst quite neglectful in many areas of my life did foster a love of reading in me and for that I am grateful. I have many happy memories of being lost in picture books. We didn't have a permanent library in our little suburb but we had a bus that visited packed with books. Each week our family would drive down to the bus and we would rush in ( dressed in our pajamas as it was early evening) and I would sit on the floor and gaze and start to pick out books. The best part of the day when my children were little was the reading. We read to them each and every night, a great time to snuggle up and prepare for sleep. I remember hearing my son one day chatting to himself, he was about 2 or so and when I snuck a look there he was "pretending" to read the story to himself. Precious memory. Children all love to hear stories, thank goodness there are such imaginative people who can write such good ones.

  2. some great titles there....loved snuggle reading time with my girls