I used to post a weekly reading list of the books we checked out of the library each week (in case you wanted to join us), and then I got forgetful and lazy about it. I apologize for it's disappearance! It is my goal to have the "What We're Reading This Week" List up every Monday morning, so you can have it available when you head to the library this week.
I am listing the titles in alphabetical order according to author's last names. That way you can easily walk the aisles and search for the books in order. If you are really on top of things, you can call or email ahead and ask your librarian to pull the books you want for you and they will
be waiting at the desk for you when you get there!
The books I am listing are ones we checked out and ENJOYED reading together. All the creepy, weird, boring, and inappropriate books will get no mentions. The criteria for making it to this list is that
a. I have to like it and
b. (more importantly) Juliet has to like it.
After going through our very tough selection process, I feel confident that any one of these will be a winner in your family reading time as well.
For the Madeline Fans:
1. Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans
Yes, we are still on the Madeline kick. We have taken to checking out one Madeline book a week. This was another fun one with beautiful illustrations accompanying a wild adventure. There is some potentially scary stuff in this one (as in all of them): Madeline and Pepito get left behind at the circus and are stuck at the top of the Ferris Wheel during a lightening storm; they are somewhat "kidnapped" by gypsies, and sewn into a lion costume. It's all presented in fun and adventure and for older kids, it's perfectly fine. But if you have a very sensitive 2 or 3 year old, this might be one to stay away from. Juliet is 2.5 and has no problem with any of the "scary" stuff--she seems to be oblivious to the danger, so we have enjoyed the stories immensely.
For your Little Gardener:
2. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert
We are big fans of Lois Elhert--especially of her other garden-themed book Growing Vegetable Soup. We have read that one over and over again and were excited to read a new version. Instead of a vegetable garden, this book features a flower garden. A mother and child plant seeds, bulbs, and plants and wait for their rainbow to grow. The illustrations are bright and engaging. Juliet and I have just planted our fall bulbs this week, so it was the perfect book to read together. We enjoyed looking at all the full grown plants in the rainbow section and talking about which ones were our favorites. Juliet liked the zinnias.
For Some Bilingual Fun (Spanish):
3. Sophie's Trophy by Susan Middleton Elya, Illustrated by Vivianna Garofoli
We really loved Elya's other book Oh No, Gotta Go! because it was easy and fun to read together. This one is just as easy and fun--don't let the Spanish scare you away. The text is mostly English with Spanish words peppered in here and there. She gives you plenty of context, so you know exactly what the words mean and just in case you don't, there is a glossary with a pronunciation guide in the beginning. The story is about a little toad named Sophie who is sad because her brother is muy guapo (handsome) while she is fea (ugly). He has a shelf full of trophies and she has none. She ends up joining a singing voice and it turns out that she has a beautiful singing voice. She wins a competition and gets a trophy of her very own. The only Spanish word we picked up was luna (moon), but hey, it's a start!
For Adventure Seekers and International Travelers:
4. Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie
This is a book we looked for specifically because Juliet is hooked on the Noggin TV show of the same name: Toot and Puddle. It is probably her favorite show at this point in time. It even beats out Dora and that's pretty hard to do. The show is based on a series of books by Holly Hobbie. We have checked out a few, but this seems to be the original. Two pigs, Toot and Puddle are friends and live together in Woodcock Pocket. One day, Toot sets out to see the world while Puddle stays home. Toot takes pictures and sends postcards back to Puddles telling of all the sights he is seeing. He travels to Africa, Egypt (which I realize is in Africa), the Solomon Islands, India, Switzerland, Spain, Antarctica, Paris, and Italy. Juliet liked seeing all the different places Toot traveled to because Ben is often traveling to some of these same places.
For Swiper the Fox Fans:
5. Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins
This isn't exactly a Dora the Explorer book, but it does have a funny fox that gets foiled again and again as he tries to make Rosie the hen his dinner. Juliet laughed as the silly fox kept running into disaster after disaster in his quest to eat the chicken. I really love the illustrations in this one. The text is simple, so it would be really good for younger babies and toddlers as well as pre-schoolers.
More International Themes:
6. Celeste Sails to Spain by Alison Lester
This one had Juliet asking Ben, "Can we go to Spain?" over and over again this week. Although, the book is not just about Spain as the title suggests. A group of kids, Celeste being one, describe their favorite activities in a fun to read format. The last group of preferences lists places they travel to. The last image is of Celeste on a boat, sailing into the sunset.
Teaches Colors, Days of the Week, Months of the Year, and Counting:
7. One Lighthouse One Moon by Anita Lobel
This seems to be 3 different books in one. The first "All Week Long" tells the story of a week by the different colored shoes worn every day of the week. Black shoes on Monday, red shoes on Tuesday, etc. The illustrations are great--especially if you like shoes. The second book "Nini's Year" tells the story of Nini the cat who does something different each month. Catches snowflakes on her nose in January, avoids kisses in February, etc. The third book counts different objects: one lighthouse, two boats, etc. In the end 100 stars and 1 moon light up the sky. I really liked the illustrations in this one.
For your Young Horse Lover:
8. Mustang Canyon by Jonathan London, Illustrated by Daniel San Souci
We recently spent some time at our friends' ranch in Colorado. They had several horses that Juliet enjoyed feeding and riding. They also had a big box of toy horses that Juliet enjoyed playing with every day we were there. We came back from that trip with a little horse lover, so I was excited when I spotted this one on the shelf at the library. The story is sweet--Little Pinto is born into a band of wild horses. A loud noise frightens the band and little Pinto falls off a cliff into the river. She is saved by her mother and safely rejoins the group. Juliet asked for this one over and over again. She would say, "I want to read Little Pinto!"
Hope this helps as you head to the library this week! Let me know how you like the books!