April 27, 2005

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Huh. I've been cramming on an offline deadline (now passed, it took all my sleep with it), and tomorrow we're traveling all day, so posting will be about. this. light. again Wed., I expect.

Meanwhile, I wonder if anyone would like an assignment. We've been reading our kid the same books so many times, our heads are gonna explode. [It's no surprise to us that Miss Spider's having a birthday party, or that the gorilla sneaks into the zookeeper's bed. And those are the good ones...]

If anyone has some suggestions of books they can still stand to read the 100th time, please list it in the comments.

Also, I'm thinking of soliciting book reviews, simple little 150-200 word sized reviews of your/your kid's favorite book [or most ridiculous. Mariah Carey, I am talking to you. Assuming you ever get beyond just releasing the same press release every ten months.] As of now, this is not a contest, so please, no wagering. But who knows, maybe it should be.

04/05: Mariah Carey to write children's fiction [times of india]
06/04: Mariah Carey Plans To Pen Series Of Children's Books [mtv.com]


My 3YO daughter and I enjoy "How do dinosaurs say goodnight?" Lots of chances to do funny voices as well. She's enjoying "Piglet and Mama" lately, although it's nice -- now after me reading the story a couple of times, SHE wants to read it.

Our son can't get enough of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" or Ernesto Guevara's "Motorcycle Diaries".

You should check out Lauren Child. Her books are inspirational for both children and adults!

My wife is a teacher in primary school and the chlidren want to hear them time and time again.

The pictures are fantastic!

Also checkout any Dinosaur book by Ian Whybrow. Really good for role play.

Hairy Mc Clary , Lynley Dodd and other titles by this author.

Whilst we are on cats, Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore is one of our favourites!

For the older child,you must check out Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon

I just bought "How do Dinosaurs Say goodnight" along with the little plush Dinosaur. Dude is only 8 mos, but it's the first book he didn't try and eat, mostly because I had him hold the dinosaur. Also, I have a friend that thinks one of the moms in it is hot. I bought the Olivia book for a friend's little girl and I thought that was good too.

My 2.5 yr old son loves "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", "Just Mommy & Me", "Dinosaurumpus", "My Subway Ride", the Suess classics...it's challenging to read "Green Eggs & Ham" like it's a work of Shakespeare!

"Science Verse" by Jon Scieszka is another favorite, and twisted enough for adults to enjoy. "I've been working on the food chain...all the live-long daaaaay...In the middle of the food chain..."

"Yummy Yucky", "Quiet Loud", and "Big Little", all by Leslie Patricelli. They have very charming, funny illustrations. And the words are so simple and repetitious that you barely have to think about them after the first five times you read the book. I found I could slip into a state of almost Zen meditation while reading these books. Or maybe I was putting myself to sleep. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

Anyway, they were non-irritating, the kid loved hearing them, and now that he's 2 1/2 he enjoys "reading" them to himself.

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop and really almost any other Chris Raschka books. Sophia loves the scat singing page as well as saying "alone" at the end of "Never leave your cat...."

Piggy in a Puddle is another favorite. The San Diego Zoo has a nice series of books on animals that my husband really likes b/c it provides a decent amount of information per page but you don't feel like you're missing out on the story should your child only allow you to read one line per page before turning the pages.

I second Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I would however, like to shoot the person that wrote Sheep in a Jeep. Sophia loves it, mommy and daddy don't enjoy reading it about 30 times in a row every time she stumbles upon the book. I think the cats are in cahoots with her and finding it for her whenever they're feeling vengeful.

I keep going back to the classics: Goodnight Moon, Blueberries for Sal, The Little Engine That Could, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel...

For younger kids, I like Sandra Boynton's books, Moo Baa La La La etc.

For board books, my favorites for re-reading are "Each Peach Pear Plum," and "Hippos Go Berzerk."

My least favorite is Good Dog Carl. (Read Dooce's review at http://www.dooce.com/archives/daily/03_11_2005.html)

My son's most lasting favorite, from age 2 to 4 so far, has been "What Do People Do All Day?" I have to brag that I have the unabridged version from my own childhood, so we have four extra stories that aren't available anymore. It also stands up well to re-reading, since there's so much to look at on each page.

I love Sheep in a Jeep! Also like: Diary of a Worm, The Bebe Boppy Bird. But despise The Giving tree!

I like "Kitten's First Full Moon" by Kevin Henkes, but I'm a cat person, so I think it is cute.

"King and King" by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland is one the baby seems to tolerate (although I am sure there are people out there who would not tolerate King and King's choice of lifestyle).

I also think "Pugdog" by Andrea U'Ren is a fun one to read.

Any of the Kit Allen books (we have "Sweater" are cute for the really little ones).

Those are the ones I like. As for my daughter, she likes whichever ones taste the best, apparently. She's just now getting into the "peek-a-boo" books where you lift up little flaps to reveal something.

Raschka has a series of books called Goosey Goose, Doggy Dog, Whaley Whale, etc. that are hysterical. I didn't realize he did the Charlie Parker book -- I saw that on Between The Lions.

I really like the Boyton books. Good Night Moon. The Color Kittens. Where the Wild Things Are. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Too Big, Too Small, Just Right. My Friend Rabbit. In the Night Kitchen.

I'd love to write book reviews... let me know what you have in mind.

For our 2 year old --- there's a Pooh (Winnie, that is) book called "Everyday Pooh" that is a big hit. Everyone loves Boynton's "A to Z" and "Doggies" - lots of opportunity for noisemaking. Also Suess' Ten Apples Up On Top is kind of fun and the little one actually asks for it often.

My kids 5 & 2.5 LOVE "Click Clack Moo" and "Giggle Giggle Quack". Both books get ready at least twice in a row nightly! There is also another book that is one of our favorites called "A-Your Adorable", I dont know who the author is, but it is also a song that goes through every letter of the alphabet (A your adorable, B your so beautiful, C your a cutie full of charm ... etc). We have read it so many times, that we know it by heart.

I like "The Monster at the end of this book" starring lovable furry old Grover. Mostly because I can do a passable Grover voice, and it makes the kids giggle.

"Love You Forever", on the other hand, had to go.

I third "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," which in one packaging has an awesome recording of Ray Charles reading the story.

I second "Sheep In A Jeep."

And I would add "Sock Monkey Goes To Hollywood." It never gets old. The sequel "Sock Monkey Boogie Woogie" is also good, but doesn't top the original.

Ok, this is more designy than anything else, but it has a cute story and it has cats, which around here makes it Goodō


Also: www.mouseandkat.com

In the Night Kitchen (contains little boy nudity) by Maurice Sendak and Good Dog, Carl (contains subversive behavior by a dog and a baby) by Alexandra Day.

Sandra Boynton's "Snoozers" and "Dinosaurs", which each have the benefit of containing seven very short and very silly stories.

I second the recommendation for Allen Ahlberg's "Each Peach Pear Plum". Excellent for a 2-year-old or so. For slightly older kids, I very highly recommend Ahlberg's "The Bravest Ever Bear" (shamefully out of print, but available used on Amazon or abebooks.com). The bear doesn't like the dull story ("Once upon a time there was a bear. The end."), and starts rewriting it; other characters re-write it when they don't like how the bear writes it. Great detail in the illustrations, very funny story. (I love all of Ahlberg's books, but this is my favorite.)

My six year old loves the "Gashlycrumb Tinies" by Edward Gorey. After every few pages he grabs his throat, pretends he is choking, and says "And she's dead." It's the book he asks me to read most. He also likes "The Cat in the Hat."

My toddler has the same "read the same book 50 times per day" preference as yours.
Our current favourite is The big book of trucks which has no actual story. We find that we stay much saner talking about each of the trucks over and over again than we did when reading Sandra Boynton's "Barnyard dance" (which is very good).
We make a point of reading lots of library books. They may not be good but at least they're a different flavour of bad.
Nothing stands up to being read 5 times in a row every day for a month.

Canadians (although others may be able to get it via the internet) following this should listen to Stuart Mclean on the vinyl cafe tomorrow on CBC radio 2.
There is a hilarious bit on toddlers forcing a parent to read a book one too many times.

Any of the Robert Munsch books except, "Love you forever".

Murmel, Murmel, Murmel
Stephanie's Pony Tail
Paper Bag Princess
50 Below Zero

Or you can just get any of the Munschworks series to have 5 stories all together.

Amy Wilson Sanger has a series called "World of Snacks" -- little boardbooks with the most amazing paper-collage illustrations of different kinds of food. To wit: "Let's Nosh" (Jewish), "Hola Jalapeno" (Mexican), and so on, through sushi, soul food, and I think Italian too. Very clever rhymes and an introduction to good eats. :)

Our favorites for our 9 month old, who is just now paying attention to the books instead of trying to eat them:

Goodnight Moon
Runaway Bunny
The Very Hungry Catepillar
The Eye Book

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