But several things just happened that make me feel compelled to revisit this topic.
1. What would have been my Grandmother’s 91st birthday passed a few weeks ago and as she was the Resident Childhood Librarian in our family, I want her to feel I am passing the torch she passed to my mother and my mother so generously passed me.
2. G’s birthday just passed over the weekend, his 3rd birthday. Not sure how that happened, but it happened nonetheless. It made me realize, among other things, I have not posted about any glorious books we’ve read for an entire year.
3. Lastly, I have a little bit of a girl crush on Pamela Druckerman. If you have not read her book, Bringing Up Bebe and her follow up title, Bebe Day by Day, you should. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not. I think her books are more important than just parental how-tos, they are social commentary on the potential pitfalls current parenting techniques may have on the next generation of Americans. Anyhooo…when I tweeted her about how excited I was about her new book, she not only came to visit my blog (eeeeeeee!!), she tweeted links to her followers about my Fab Kid Lit pages (EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeee!). So naturally I feel I have to post more and not slack off anymore…
There were so many books this year, I had to divide this post into 3 separate posts. and after I publish them all I’ll chuck them up into the Fab Kid Lit Pages you see up above. We still read all the books from those lists as well…and will until he can read them to me himself.
Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever! has a very special place in my heart. While I really try to go for books that have a real story to them, a message about life, Richard Scarry‘s books are more about learning by memorization. The illustrations are just so adorable they essentially taught G the words for different foods from A to Z. He would bring the book to me every night and recite the words that matched the illustrations. When he’d forget one, he’d look up at me with his great big eyes and wait for the answer…ack…delish.
The Carrot Seed by Crockett Johnson was a gift from our nephew. He says the book taught him about self confidence. I could see how it would since it’s a story about how everyone doubted the growth of his carrot, but he stuck with it and persevered.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown just has great illustrations of farm animals. G was a late talker so to have these adorable pictures to look at over and over helped him to cement the words into his brain. Plus, it is a lot of fun for him to find the butterfly on each page.
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell (the author of Wag) is essentially a Christmas book, but imparts a lovely message any time of the year. When the little kitty in the story has a hard time finding a gift for his best friend he hunts down the gift of nothing…which turns out to be everything.
Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss is the best. It just really doesn’t get any better, but you have to be game. If you really let yourself get into this book you might find yourself exhausted and your little one really revved up. It’s never a great idea for us to read it just before bed. In fact, I really hope no one else has ever heard us reading it out loud…we get a little weird.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper is a classic for a reason. A train and its passengers in need come across some snooty trains who won’t help them (aw), but they hang in there until a very affable and good mannered train uses all her strength to help out. She thinks she can and then she does, like the Carrot Seed, it’s a nice introduction to what can be accomplished if you believe in yourself.
We love Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson because it takes so much imagination. Everything is so easy for kids these days, so many electronic options with all the bells and whistles. It’s lovely to watch your little one’s mind light up at the idea of a purple crayon that can make so much happen.
I have to confess Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman always scared me. It STILL scares me, but I guess life can be scary sometimes, so why not get used to it at an early age? I always enjoyed the book when the little bird asked the cow or cat or dog if he was his mama. But then he got to the scary rusted out car and noisy construction equipment and the whole thing got so dystopian. But in the end G thinks it’s hilarious that a bird would think an airplane was his Mama, so there you go.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter has finally happened in G’s mind. This is one of my all time favorite books on the planet. It’s also a little scary, what with Mr. MacGregor making Peter’s father into a pie, but I guess that’s the lesson. G understands and gets a little kick out of Peter when he’s naughty, but it is not lost on him that Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail get the berries and cream for supper becuase they were good little bunnies.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is a classic introduction to the idea that it’s ok to be different. Maybe you’re a bull, maybe you’re supposed to want to fight and be tough and strong, but what if you don’t? What if you want to quietly eat grass and read your book? Ferdinand will help your little one begin to understand that it’s ok…we can all play to our own strengths.
G’s Godmother passed down this Olivia book to us by Ian Falconer. I wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. She’s a little girl pig after all, but just like Madeleine, Olivia has some very important, universal attributes. She’s a kid, sometimes stubborn, sometimes dramatic, but always an individual. To me there is nothing more important than to teach your child how to be an individual. Plus it cracks me up that she tried to make a Jackson Pollock painting in her bedroom, so she had to have a time out.
More to come…