Those of you who actually tune in to my blog every once in a while might have wondered what has happened to my beloved installments about our favorite books-of-the-time. It is actually not due to my apathetic and sporadic blogging history that has prevented me from a new post. Rather, it is that we are in a "new stage" of reading, wherein my little guy eschews any new titles and only gravitates towards what he knows. Just today, when I tried to begin one of the adorable books that is part of, ironically, a book-buying spree on my part that does not at all match up with A's interests, he took it gently from my hands, walked a few feet away, and set it on the floor. "No Sophie's Squash," he said firmly.
P.S. Go immediately and check out Sophie's Squash. It is about an adorable little girl named Sophie and her pet squash Bernice. How can you not be charmed?!
Anyway, for the most part, as I've said, we've been in a reading "rut" (in my mind), going through the same fifteen books or so, over and over. It's not the most fun stage, but the important thing is that we're reading. Here are a few in the current reading list.
Otis. There are a few books in this series about an adventurous and kind red tractor, who befriends everyone on his farm and manages to save them from precarious situations. Despite his brave nature, Otis is secretly just as afraid or lonely as his fellow farm dwellers, which makes the stories all the more appealing.
Max's Chocolate Chicken. So far, there are only two Max and Ruby books that captivate A, and thankfully, this is one of them (the other favorite is Max Counts His Chickens, an Easter-themed number book and not part of the more traditional series). It happens to be one of my favorite Max books, so I don't mind reading it over and over again. I don't think that A quite understands Max's sneakiness yet, but I certainly enjoy it.
Banter. If you've read about what books we enjoy, you have probably guessed that we (or I) have quite an affection for books with a farm setting. It doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that I grew up on a ranch, which is not a farm but obviously shares some qualities, but more that I like the simple familiarity that comes with learning to recognize the most beloved domestic animals. This title is written by Denise Fleming, who composes beautiful watercolor illustrations and tends to focus on conceptual writing. My little guy really responds to concept books, as I've written about before, and this one is no exception. It's about a search for goose, and each page reveals a different animal accompanied with its matching sound: "Hens in the henhouse, cluck, cluck, cluck...".
Hippopposites. I wanted A to have a few books that would focus on the concept of opposites, and this title stood out to me immediately. At first, I thought it was one of those purchases that appealed to parents more, because it's a stylish book with a clean, modern design. No messy splashes of color or busy illustrations. For whatever reason, A took to it right away, and now lugs it around calling it "heavy", which he learned from the book, I might add.
Guys, this last one is something I'd like to refer to as "The Book that Shall Not Be Named" (though obviously you can see the title). I fully confess that I'm a snob when it comes to books, the ones I read and even more so when it comes to children's books. If it's got a TV character in it or was mass produced for a bin at Target I'm probably going to avoid it. I'm not proud of my prejudice, but to be fair, there is a reason why classics remain classics and some children's authors stand out far above others (I'm looking at you, Kevin Henkes and Helen Lester!) . I figure that I might as well be reading the best books available to my child. As tends to happen with kids, we can't always choose what they love. Thus, while this little book might not be the caliber of Blueberries for Sal, I must muster up enthusiasm about it for A's sake.