Tuesday, June 4, 2013

what we're reading now

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Not a lot has changed around here on the reading front-books continue to serve as a great source of entertainment in our household.  Here are the ones that have been in heavy circulation lately.

Lemons are Not Red. We are big fans of Laura Vaccaro Seeger's newer book, Green, so I was thrilled to see that the library had multiple copies of this book on hand.  Another clever concept book, featuring cut-outs on each page that open to the next, revealing matching colors, it is incredibly appealing for the young and the old.  Even though we first discovered it months ago, A is still known to frequently shout out, "Moon is not black, moon silver!" or "Grass not blue, grass green!"  Of all the books on our current list, this is the one I would recommend most highly.

The Very Busy Spider.  To be honest, we've been familiar with this book for almost as long as I've been keeping track of our favorites.  Before I had a baby, I wasn't incredibly enamored with Eric Carle's classics, a fact I think I might have even written about before.  The fact is, they're exactly the kind of books young children need and relish: repetitive and predictable patterns, bright and basic colors, familiar themes...  It's no surprise that most of Carle's books have been wildly popular for decades.  The Very Busy Spider is probably the title that I have enjoyed reading the most.  I'm a sucker for farm themes, and this book has the added benefit of a tactile feature-the web is embossed onto each page.

The Bear in the Book. Another generous gift from our librarian friend, this book sat forlornly on the shelf for quite a while before we picked it up one day.  I had initially written it off as being a bit too long, but quickly became enamored. It's a story-within-a-story, told from the viewpoint of a little boy reading a story about a bear with his mother.  There is a lilting, sonorous quality to the book that I haven't come across in a long time.  SH and I have even found ourselves talking about it after A is in bed.  And obviously, he loves it too.  It's not just a favorite for mom and dad.

Steam Train Dream Train.  I have written before about our local bookstore, one of the best things about our neighborhood.  We have been lucky to attend two book signings there, one for Caldecott-winning author Jon Klassen and the other for illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.  Lichtenheld is the artist behind Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, another book that A loves, so it was especially exciting to meet him and pick up a copy of his newest book.  At first, I wasn't impressed-the concept seemed a little abstract for my little guy.  I couldn't have been more wrong-he asks for it on almost a daily basis.

Little Tug. Some trips to the library are fruitful, and some of them result in a bag full of old favorites, like Paul Galdone's fairy tales.  I found this book on our most recent trip, and it was such a pleasant surprise.  It's a super simple story, with old-fashioned, vintage-style illustrations.  Possibly my favorite thing about it is hearing A ask me to read it-his rendering of the word "tug" is one of the cutest things I've ever heard.

Horton Hatches the Egg.  Oh, how I fondly recall the days when A would scoff at this beloved classic, throwing it aside after I'd only read a page or two!  Don't get me wrong-I am thrilled that he loves books so much, and also happy that he is building up a tolerance for longer books.  It's just that reading one of the longest children's books in the HISTORY of children's books on repeat at the ridiculously early hour of 6 am has begun to be a bit too much.  Even if hearing "Horton! Egg!" is extremely adorable.

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