Friday, March 7, 2008

This Week's Reading

In spite of the fact that we brought home a gargantuan pile of books this week (even making a nice midweek trip to pick up books on hold that came in), it's only a moderately inspiring list. As a percentage, the mediocre far outpaced the good ones, but the ones we liked were really well-loved.

Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise
by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
My aunt recommended the first of these books which we'd read and loved previously, so I went looking for them this week. Surprise! There's a new one about birthdays. These two critters are so gentle with one another, not to mention thoughtful. Elise especially likes how Houndsley remembers rainbow sprinkles even though they're not his favorite. The very essence of friendship, that.

No Kiss for Grandpa
by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Emilie Boon
It's no secret that we expect kids to love being with their extended families. Even when they don't know them well or see them often. In this story, Louie gets to spend an afternoon with his grandpa and isn't too pleased. Grandpa plays along anyway, and by the end of the afternoon Louie warms up enough to give him a kiss goodbye. When we read this, we watch Louie's facial expressions go from grouchy to happy. I like the way the story portrays the building of a relationship.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert
This may well be one of my least favorite alphabet books of all time. This probably has more to do with my distaste for the gal who introduced me to it than the book itself, so I stifled my groans when Elise grabbed it enthusiastically. It's bright, it's vivid, it's got a cool rhyme scheme. I have now read it a million times and still don't care for it that much, but on this one I defer to Elise since it's really a kid book, after all.

Skippyjon Jones
by Judy Schachner
I put this one on reserve, and when it came it Elise and I made a special mid-week trip to the library to check it out. There's so much going on in this book that I don't actually mind reading it over and over again as we must with all favorites around here. Elise likes the story because it's a cat and it's long, but I don't think she's old enough to really get most of it. The PC part of my brain really dislikes some of the stuff that stereotypical of a cowboy movie set in Old Mexico, but by and large I think it's pretty harmless. I do think that this book is suited for a slightly older audience, however.

Me and My Cat?
by Satoshi Kitamura
In this story, a boy and his cat trade places for a day. The classic "mind in another body" storyline. Elise likes the idea of a kid in a cat's body, and it opens up some interesting play ideas and options. For me, the story is a little bald but ohmygosh the illustrations are hilarious! I could seriously just stare at the pictures for hours. Clearly, someone has been studying cat faces and postures.

Eat Your Peas
by Kes Gray and Nick Sharratt
Daisy doesn't like peas, but her mom tells her to eat them anyway. Then, her mom tries to bribe her into eating them. The bribes get crazy, which tends to provoke giggles here, even as Daisy stands her ground. It should be noted that there are some vegetables that moms don't like as well. We like speculating about what could have happened between the penultimate and ultimate pages of this book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How could I have forgotten to mention Eat Your Peas before? That is one the kids at school and I always enjoy. They also like Sharmatt's "Shark in the Park" and not just because there are holes in the pages.

I, too, have never grown to like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, though I know millions who love it.

Glad you found the new Houndsley book. They are very sweet without the smarm.

We feel pretty much the same about SkippyJon Jones--kind of fun, kind of offensive, kind of ambivalent.

I love your reading lists. Keep them coming.