Thursday, January 10, 2008

Library Lists- a NEW Feature!

Welcome to a brand new weekly feature here at Steingruebl World Enterprises. Every Thursday, I plan to list/review some of the kid books we've been reading here. On Fridays, Elise and I head for the library and select a giant pile of books to read for the week. By taking stock of our inventory on Thursdays, I not only share our favorites with you but I also actually find all of the books so they can be returned on time. In theory at least.

Without further ado, welcome to this week's list. (In order of how I picked them out of the pile just now.)

This is the Rain
by Lola M Schaefer, illustrated by Jane Wattenberg
A rhyme similar to "The House that Jack Built" except that this one is about the water cycle here on Earth. Bright pictures, nice rhyme structure, etc. I don't know if our 4-year-old "gets" the concept, but she likes the story.

One-Dog Canoe
by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt
A girl goes canoeing with her dog, and lots of other silly animals also try to come along. It reminded us of kayaking with Grandpa Karl, though we're glad he's a little more selective about his passengers. Bonus points for mention of the Northern Lights at the end.

Our New Baby
by Heather Maisner, illustrated by Kristina Stephenson
In spite of the fact that there are no new babies in sight here, Elise loves this book. In fact, we love all of the books in this series because they are very gentle introductions to things that are difficult for kids. I especially like We're Moving. This is the one series I've found of "prepare kids for terrifying upheaval" books that have fun, non-preachy stories.

by Colleen Sydor, illustrated by Ruth Ohi
A silly fairy tale about bringing goodies to Grandma's house a la Red Riding Hood, except that the heroine has a magic wand and teaches manners to animals. We've checked this one out a number of times, and very much enjoy how clever Emily is. Due to the fact that Elise is a language sponge, we choose to alter the line where Emily says, "What the heck," but that's just us. When Elise is a little more discriminating in her phrase usage, we'll read it as is. And I'm sure we'll be doing that for years to come.

little blue and little yellow
by Leo Lionni
We seem to check this book out at least once a month. Two spots of paint hug one another and change color. Their parents don't recognize them, but everything gets sorted out in the end. It's a nice, gentle story.

An Egg Is Quiet
by Dianna Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
For the budding naturalist in all of us. All kinds of eggs are beautifully depicted. It's one of those where you can read simple description (here in bigger font) and then delve into more detail in the smaller notes around the page. Absolutely beautiful, and one I wouldn't mind having on our own shelves for reference.

10 Little Rubber Ducks
by Eric Carle
Alas, a crate of ten rubber ducks falls off of a container ship. Each duck floats someplace different. They're just rubber ducks floating along, and we count them and see where each ends up . Bonus squeaker in the back cover of the book. Quack!

Not a complete list of everything we've checked out this week, just some of the favorites that seemed blogworthy. Happy reading!


Peter said...

Ten rubber ducks in a crate on a container ship? Floating the high seas? This hardly gives a good ecological lesson. First, think of the carbon footprint of crating a measly ten rubber ducks.

Then, floating out at sea? Some poor dolphin or orca will eat them and choke.

I'm shocked an appalled.

Roni said...

I'd like to respond to the comment posted by peter. Exposing kids to the concepts of "carbon footprints" and "choking" dolphins is good stuff for later on, but not for the picture-book crowd. What would he rather the book be about? Perhaps he would like to tell the story of 10 actual ducklings that fall off of a container ship only to be eaten by 10 predators of the sea. Look at all of the ways things can die in the sea! Teeth, and neurotoxins and being eaten alive, oh my!

I'll bet if peter where a book publishing house he'd have picture book series about Ned the Necrotising Bacteria, or Poisons in my Home.

I'm shocked and appalled.

SWE said...

Oh, that's nothing. We've been reading her the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Not only does the mother RUN with an AXE (that's worse than scissors, to my thinking) but it has a bang up moral.

Every time we read it, I finish by telling Elise that if you ever don't have everything you want or need, the secret is to find someone who ~does~ have those things and then take them for everything they have. (Including their life if they try to get their stuff back.)

Sadly, my child refuses to learn this lesson. She always tells me it's not nice to take things that aren't yours. We are clearly failing with her moral upbringing...

Anonymous said...

The author of the Egg book has another about seeds. I think that they are beautiful.
As for Peter's thought and the responses to them, it reminds me of a game I used to play with my daughters when they were at least a little older than Elise. We called it banned books or something of that sort. We would take turns thinking of well loved stories and quickly figure out reasons why those stories should be banned. Think on it. There is very little out there (from the Bible to Pat the Bunny) that could not be found to be bannable for sex, violence, or other questionable content. I am not just counting stupidity here. I can picture Peter getting off on this, assuming he has lots of time on his hands.