Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vacay Reads

Since I complained about those spam postings, I've been getting even more of them.  Anyone know any people I can contact?  It's getting pretty annoying.

I've been internet-dead for nearly 2 weeks while I was on vacation.  We were spending some time with family in our lovely home state, and got to spend quite a bit of time with the boy we will soon be adopting.  We did a lot of reading with him and got to share many of our favorites, and also some new books, so it's picture book heavy today.

Actual Size, by Steve Jenkins.  The Little Reader and I didn't finish this completely the first time through, but he was a bigger fan the second time.  He especially liked the gorilla paw.  My original comments stand.
We checked this book out from the local branch of the Kitsap Regional Library.  I have good things to say about the branch and system, and some not-as-good things to say, but I'll keep them to myself for now; no library is perfect, but it was a lovely building.

Rhymes on the Go!, by the Sesame Street people.  The boy has a crazy love for Elmo (what is it about him that 2-year-olds love so much?), and this is a book he owns.  I don't think much of it, actually.  The rhymes are set to more-or-less well-known nursery songs (Old MacDonald, etc.) so you could sing them if you wanted, but I thought some of them were pretty poor; either the rhymes were a stretch or the rhythm was off at least once in just about every "rhyme," some of which weren't more than 4 lines long.
Being a toddler and a boy, LR is still in a board-book zone.  Paper is too delicate for graspy little fingers, so all the library books were kept out of reach and read together; he does have a collection of board books at reachable height, which he occasionally will look through.  Start 'em young!

The Nose Book, by Al Perkins.  This is a Seuss-style book, especially in the illustrations, and boy does that boy love Seuss.  I rather liked this one, too.  It was also an at-home board book.

The Lion Says... "Roar!"  Despite a thorough search, I could find no author information on this book.  Yeah, I wouldn't want to take the blame for writing this either.  It was published by The Clever Factory of Nashville, TN, though.  A family member, who has been very supportive of the entire situation, has been very generous to the LR, and she frequently brings over any board books she can find.  I think this came from the dollar store, or maybe a grocery store.  That's not meant to be a diss to the generosity.  I can't find this book on Amazon or through Google.  Although I can find contact information for the publisher, it appears they don't have a website (caveat: I only spent 2 minutes looking.). 
Despite the fact that the rhymes and rhythm weren't very good, or that the book is only four pages long, this little board book is a big hit with the LR.  We must have read this a dozen times or more.  I really don't know why he loves it so.  Maybe it's the velcro holding the cover closed, which provided full minutes of enjoyment at a time.

Little Elephant Tale, by Moira Butterfield; illustrated by Estelle Corke.  This is another dollar store board book find, but I like it better than the lion book... even though the cover is portrait-orientation and the content is landscape-orientation.  Really?
This is a cute story and I did really enjoy the illustrations, but again, this is only a 4-page-long book.

Remember the Magic Word: A Story About Saying Please and Thank you.  This also has no author, but it was published by Parragon in Bath, U.K.  The board books brought over by the supportive family member are frequently elephant-themed, as they are her favorite animal; hence, they are quickly becoming a favorite of the LR's.
I really liked these illustrations, and, unlike alot of other story-lesson board books, this little story didn't feel condescending or forced.
According to an e-Bay auction-- one of the few references I could find online-- it looks like this book is part of a little series on manners.  I wish I could find the others!

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman.  My husband and I sent this book to the LR early in our relationship with him.  It had been a favorite of our nephew, one of my husband's brother's sons, when he was young, and he always asked me to read it to him when we visited.
Our Little Reader has certainly felt the love, as the book-- especially the binding-- has been mightly abused.  It still has all its pages, though, so we read it through a few times, much to our mutual delight.

Read to Your Bunny, by Rosemary Wells.    The LR loves the little pictures in the corners of each page.  We did read this, but mostly we used it as kind of an early I-Spy book (which we will have to introduce to him soon).
This was an at-home board book.

Big, Small, Short, Tall: A Book of Opposites.  Again, no author information is listed, but an author is hardly needed: this is just a list of some opposites, illustrated with well-known Disney characters.  It's from Creative Edge, LLC, "in conjunction with Disney Enterprises, Inc."  The only online reference is through the Dollar Tree website.  It's an at-home board book.
While certainly nothing to write home about, this book is good for the LR's needs.  Frequently, if we had down time or were waiting for something, we'd play a game of opposites.  He's really only got inside-outside, short-tall, and up-down.  We played with over-under and left-right, but the former was a little challenging and the latter outright confusing.  We'll get there.

Play-a-Sound: Toy Story Touch and Hear Adventure, adapted by Dana Bottenfield.  The boy's favorite movie is Toy Story, so he really likes this book; well, really what he likes to do is push the noise buttons.  But we did actually read most of the book, with me reading and him finding the right buttons to push.  And he was almost always right, so he's good on his matching skills.  All kids love buttons, right?

Owly: Just a Little Blue, by Andy Runton.    I wasn't sure how this one would go, but I thought we'd give it a try.  I love the way this becomes a story-creating experience, so different from just reading a picture book, or from looking at this book by myself.  We didn't get very far in this book, only a dozen pages or so, but it was so interesting to see his expression while we were working through it.  I love to look at him while his brain is going.

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.    After the Seuss (or Seuss-ish) books he had at home, we knew he'd like this one, so we borrowed it from the library.  And he did!  He did like it!  We read it three times, back to back.  This book is a classic for a reason.

One Lonely Seahorse, by Joost Elfers and Saxton Freymann.    You know of my love for this team.  The LR could have been a bit more enthusiastic, but we made it the whole way through the book, so that's saying something.  He liked it, I think, because of the counting, which we stopped reading to practice as we read, and because of the whole sea theme: we had gone on a trip to the aquarium, which he of course loved.  He needs some more counting practice-- he can get up in to the teens by himself ok, but when he's trying to count a number of items, he doesn't know when to stop.  It's cute. :D

Ginger Bear, by Mini Grey.  My dad loves this old Sesame Street clip with Cookie Monster in the library, and the LR has seen and remembered it.  Whenever we'd talk about going to the library, or that I worked in the library, or about cookies-- or sometimes, just out of the blue-- he'd say "No cookies!  Only books!"  So when we went to the library, he asked for "book about cookies," of which we found several, this being one. 
I don't think the story was spectacular, but I really enjoyed the illustrations, and I think that's what kept LR's attention: they were bold and big and bright, and just right.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!, by Dr. Seuss.  After the fascination with Green Eggs and Ham, I looked for additional Dr. Seuss books the next time we were at the library, and this was the only one in. We made it through the whole book, but the adoration wasn't quite there.  This one is a bit more serious.

There's more, but that's going to be it for tonight!

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Little readers pick interesting favorite books-- they aren't always OURS! Sounds like you have a good cross section. I polled my own children, and the hands down favorite here was The Color Kittens.