Thursday, April 24, 2008


We didn't get particularly excited about our library selections this week. Silly us-we used turn off the TV week to get out and do stuff rather than read our books. Not sure I get how we read more when we also watch some TV, but maybe it just takes practice to get new routines right.

We've been delving deep into our library's collection of cat related books. Hang in there through all of the cats and we'll get to books at the end.

Telling Time with Big Mama Cat
by Dan Harper, Illustrated by Barry & Cara Moser
Elise has been paying close attention to the clocks at school to figure out what's happening next in her day, so I thought it was time to bring on a little encouragement. I like this book because, unlike other books with clock faces and hands, it's well constructed. Little fingers can actually manipulate the hands. The cat keeps her schedule and mostly does so on an hourly basis, but throws in some opportunities for minute hand usage. Elise likes that the cat has a schedule and jobs to do around the house. We're using her newfound clock knowledge/interest to help with fear of the dark. She now has a super quiet clock with a lighted dial right next to her bed so she has some idea of how long it is until morning.

by Ruth Brown
In spite of a kind of sparse story and an abrupt complication that is only sort of resolved, this book was a big hit. Each of the pages has a half page between, and when you flip the half page the scene changes and the kitties do other things. Pretty ingenious, really. And the illustrations are just beautiful.

Nobody Asked Me!
by Steve Henry
When you're an older cat and the people bring home a kitten, it's tough. The little buggers are so energetic that it can be annoying. Luckily for Tiger, Bo settles into his big brother role pretty well. I think this one would be good in a couple of different situations. For a kid who identifies with critters better than people it's a great way to talk about a new baby in the house. For a kid who's cat crazed, it's a good reminder that cats have feelings, and I've watched Elise pretend to be both cats in this story to explore the feelings involved. A winner!

by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Elise picked this one randomly from the shelf, largely based on the illustrations on the cover. We both really liked the shiny, high gloss pictures inside. The concept of a game of telephone being played by bunnies was a little beyond Elise, but it was sweetly done and I don't think she's permanently distressed by the fact that bunnies can't be trusted to pay attention to instructions over the telephone.

D.W.'s Guide to Preschool
by Marc Brown
We checked this one out awhile back as part of our Prepare for Preschool Pogrom. Elise was completely disinterested back then. Now that she's an old pro at going to school, she totally digs D.W.'s take on the whole preschool experience. She clearly identifies with the character, and likes that the two of them are such experts.

Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette
by Frank Asch
Per earlier recommendation, we gave this one a try. Elise was fascinated by all of the stuff one guy could do with a loaf of bread. We never use ours to save babies from roving alligators. Or to direct marching bands. It is like so many of Asch's stories-gentle and fun. I have to say, though, that I can see why this dude lives alone and has to go shopping for bread by himself. The very fact that he'd eat that baguette after everywhere it's been would preclude him living in polite company.

Digby Takes Charge
by Caroline Jayne Church
It was a revelation to Elise that dogs sometimes have jobs. Digby is an earnest young sheepdog trying to make a name for himself around the farm. The sheep aren't going for it, though. He goes all out to get them to their pen, only to fail. I think it's sweet that the cows and pigs take him aside to offer advice. I could tell that this one had Elise engaged, because she knew what the advice was before I read it aloud, and she looked so very pleased to have figured it out. Given that we've been working hard on manners around here, this struck just the right note this week.

As for me, I checked out two more books by Sarah Vowell and didn't even touch them in favor of parenting books. Yeah. Look out. Fiction deprived mother on the loose. It's okay-I still have 2 more weeks! (And a certain number of renewals.)


Jaya said...

A preschool pogrom? Goodness! I guess it is harder being a kid nowadays.

Anonymous said...

How about Grannyman by Schachner (I think that is the right spelling), the same woman who did SkippyJon Jones. It is about an old cat who gets new energy from a young'un who is brought in to play with him.

I think we will do cats as the theme for this coming week at school so I will add more to this when I read those to the kids.