Good morning! Long time, no write. 😉 Yes, I’m still here–just super duper busy. All of our weekly activities have now begun, and I’m finding myself with less and less time to sit and do anything that requires thought, like writing blog posts. Add to that the fact that Steady Eddie has been out of town all week (coming home TODAY! Yippee!), and my days have been bookended by little more than a few snatches of the Bible, school planning, and working on my various roles for my out-of-the-house responsibilities. (Also–mindless surfing the internet, but that unfortunately goes without saying. Sigh.) We have been reading, though; I just haven’t had the time to share any of the books. I hope to have some time later tonight to do just that. Stay tuned.
I’m back! Steady Eddie is home, the kids are kicked back with pizza and Despicable Me, and I’m ready to share a few picture books we’ve enjoyed this month:
I picked up Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo for one simple reason: books about nanas are must-reads for us since we have a Nana whom we love a lot. (I didn’t even realize this one is a 2015 Caldecott honor book until I attached the link image here.) It’s the sweet, sweet story about a little boy who visits his city-living nana. As he and his nana make their way to her apartment, he gives all the things he doesn’t like about the city: it’s noisy, it’s scary, etc. Nana greets him the next morning with a superhero cape to help him feel brave, and it works. When he says his goodbyes before returning home, he gives Nana back the cape so she can be brave without him. Talk about a tearjerker! The illustrations are gorgeous–saturated and colorful and busy, just like the city. Highly Recommended. (Clarion, 2014)
You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang is a very fun book of comparisons. The back-and-forth between small and not-so-small bears really captured the DLM’s attention and tickled his funny bone. The text is succinct, forceful, and predictable–all things my busy five year old likes. Christopher Weyant’s illustrations are delightfully cartoonish. This is another Highly Recomended title for the preschool/early primary set. (2014, Two Lions).
Big Bad Bunny by Franny Billengsley is another picture book that has won the approval of the DLM. This one is a bit more sophisticated than the previous two, with two seemingly unrelated plotlines converging surprisingly and satisfyingly in the end. Mama Mouse has lost Baby Boo-Boo, and she has to reach her before Big Bad Bunny does. Each two-page spread includes the alternating plot lines, which are distinguishable by not just the story but also the fonts and the syle of the illustrations. I won’t ruin the ending, but I will say that it even took me (a little) by surprise. (That’s actually not too hard to do. 😉 )I personally find G. Brian Karas’ illustrations a bit quirky for my taste, but they match the story very well. (Atheneum, 2008)
I actually can’t believe I haven’t shared Supertruck by Stephen Savage before. Really–if you have superhero fans in your family (and who doesn’t?), run–don’t walk–to your library and check this one out! Bonus points for you if those super hero fans are also large motorized vehicle fans, which is definitely the case here at the House of Hope. There’s enough sophistication here to delight even adult readers. This one would also make a great one to read alongside Katy and the Big Snow. Highly Recommended. (Roaring Brook Press, 2015)
As for chapter books, we’re currently immersed in a small handful. That’s actually more than I like to tackle at a time, but. . . it happens. After finishing the first book of the new Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series (and loving it!), my girls and I started on Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter. I was inspired to read this one aloud because it is the August pick for the Reading to Know Bookclub. I just hope we have it finished by the end of September. 😉 We’re also reading (and loving!) By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman which relates to our history studies. Steady Eddie finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe early in the month, and we (of course!) had to pick up Prince Caspian. The girls are very familiar with these stories, having listened to them already and having already read them themselves. The idea is that the DLM will listen this time through, and while I DO think he is getting something out of the readings, I have to say that he’s still more a fan of picture books than chapter books. He did request a Nate the Great story earlier this month all on his own. Since these are long picture books with few pictures, I consider this a step in the right direction.
That’s it for this month’s RAT. I hope we settle into our new routine soon and well and that I can be back to blogging a few times each week. Thank you for your patience!