Thursday, May 29, 2008

We've Been Reading

Observant readers will note that I never quite got around to posting a list of our library book choices last week. They were largely uninspired, so I don't feel like you've missed out too much. This week's notables include:

Big Smelly Bear
by Britta Teckentrup
I picked up this book for entirely selfish reasons. I get sick of fighting with Elise over the bathing habits (specifically lack thereof) of her three omnipresent stuffed animals. I've been met with wild tantrums when I use a direct approach, and find it just annoying enough that I thought I'd try being subversive. I did not once mention how stinky Teri was this week, and I like to think that this book planted the seeds of a tantrum free bath for the critters yesterday. It's a nice hygiene reminder.

A Promise Is a Promise
by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Tony Auth
George is a borderline spoiled little boy who decides he wants a pet. I like the mom's response-it seems tongue-in-cheek to me. The kid does a good job of looking around for annoying pets. The real lesson here seems to be for parents to not make promises to their smart kids.

A Snout for Chocolate
by Denys Cazet
We read the first of these "Grandpa Spanielson's Chicken Pox Stories" last week, and just had to read the next one this time around. We love the grandpa-kinda reminds me of Grandpa Karl. This author writes a lot of books for young readers, and I like his style. We'll be perusing his other titles for more gems.

by Mick Manning, illustrated by Brita Granström
Elise chose this one, and it was the first one she wanted me to read when we got home. I've only read it to her once, but I've been called a supermom at various times all week. Elise really likes looking at the animal moms doing the same kinds of things to take care of their babies that I do to take care of her. I like that it shows a human mom breastfeeding because it might just get Elise used to the idea that this is a normal human behavior. At the very least, it might spare me from a very loud, public exclamation of, "Mommy, what is that lady DOING?!!!"

Angelina and the Rag Doll
adapted by Katharine Holabird, based on illustrations of Helen Craig
We've just discovered Angelina in a big way. I don't think Elise has any designs on being a ballerina, but she sure likes the adventures Angelina has. This one is a great introduction to giving and charity. It's really getting Elise thinking about ownership and sharing. This story was a great way for her to address the sadness of inadvertently giving up something important and measure it against the value of giving joy and comfort to someone else.

Lily Takes a Walk
by Satoshi Kitamura
This book's illustrations are just weird enough to unsettle me, but I like it. Lily goes about her business while her dog accompanies her on a walk. The dog sees more and more outrageous monsters that terrify him, while Lily sees none of it. I like to think that Nicky the dog does all of the worrying so that Lily doesn't have to. I need to see if this author has other books, because I love this one.

And I even checked out some stuff!

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter
written/compiled by Alison Hansel
This was just too good to pass up. I made my own Harry Potter scarf shortly after the first movie came out, and always wanted to make a sweater like the one that Harry got so mangled at the end of that movie. This book doesn't show anything spectacular (in my opinion) but it has stuff for knitters of all levels and the stuff is really cute. If you're looking for some basic sweater patterns, this book has some nice ones. I want to use up some of my scrap yarn making owls.

What Shamu Taught Me About Life Love and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers
by Amy Sutherland
I heard this author on Talk of the Nation, and wanted to read the book. I'm glad I got it at the library, because I wouldn't buy it. The idea is fantastic. The execution is mediocre. I was looking forward to some animal training stories, but instead got a whole lot of snarky commentary about the author's husband. And some imprecise writing. Members of her family are not "subspecies," and "ATM machine" is redundant. It's not bad, just not the standard of writing I'm used to reading. The one thing it did do was encourage me to get out my bird behavior books again. Beaker is going to be treated to a fun makeover in the next several months.


Anonymous said...

Denys Cazet is one of my favorites. Have you read any of the Minnie and Moo stories? They are great fun.

I can't get excited by Angelina Ballerina--but that may also relate to the fact that I don't ever like the books suggested by the person (a mom) who nagged me for months to buy them for the library.

I heard the woman with the training of husbands and dolphins or whatever on the radio. She sounds a wee bit on the crazy side, but it should still be interesting to read. Let me know if any of it is relevant to real life.

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