The DLM is a busy, active, and very talkative little fellow, but he does slow down enough several times a day to be read to. I firmly believe that this is the number one key to transitioning to chapter books in a few years and making a lifelong booklover: start reading aloud early and just keep going! Lately his top picks have mostly been about heavy equipment, although I admit that because he loves the Kate and Jim MacMullan books so very much, I naturally gravitate toward anything remotely similar at the library. Really, anything vehicular, and he’s a happy little fellow. Here are some that have been on repeat at the House of Hope for the past few weeks:
Unlike many books that target this age range, Good Morning, Digger by Anne Rockwell actually has a discernible storyline. For the adult reader, this is a real plus. 🙂 This book follows a backhoe named “Digger” from the time he is dropped off in a vacant lot to the time the vacant lot has been filled by a newly-constructed community center. Lots of onomatopoeia and other heavy equipment and vehicles (which are pictured and named on the back page of the book–a plus for the uninitiated adult reader) make this one a hit. Melanie Hope Greenberg‘s illustrations are bright and colorful and just detailed enough for very young eyes. (Puffin, 2005)
I admit that I picked up A Hole in the Road by Jakki Wood simply because I knew by its cover that if nothing else, the DLM would enjoy looking at the pictures, pointing at the equipment and vehicles, and naming them. I really didn’t expect much from the inside: it is a very, very basic narrative about the process of fixing a hole in the road. Is it showing too much my ignorance if I admit that even as basic as it is, this book taught me a thing or two? I think what really makes this a winner in our book are Wood‘s illustrations: the workers are expressive, and best of all, there is a dog in every illustration! The DLM loves pointing them out. All of the vehicles and equipment are brightly colored, making this a great book to identify and name the colors, also. Like Good Morning, Digger, this book opens and closes with spreads of nothing but the equipment and vehicles with labels under the illustrations. It turns out we like this one quite a bit. (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2008)
An excellent companion to the last book is Roadwork by Sally Sutton. I picked this one up at Target as a Christmas gift for the DLM. This is a fantastic board book that tells how a road is built–all in repetition, rhyme, and onomatopoeia:
Load the dirt. Load the dirt.
Scoop and swing and drop.
Slam it down into the truck.
Bump! Whump! Whop!
What’s not to love? Brian Lovelock’s illustrations are interesting because they show the road crew and their handiwork from different angles. Of course, they’re also bright, colorful, and graphic. Highly Recommended. (Candlewick, 2008)
One more book we’ve been enjoying around here a lot lately is one from the girls’ younger years: Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root. I wrote about it for the first time over three years ago now, and I am happy to report that the DLM loves it just as much as the girls did. In fact, the girls still enjoy it. 🙂
I truly can’t think of many things I enjoy more than reading aloud to my little (and big) ones.
(Working on his school bus with his “pencil screwdriver” 🙂 )
What are you enjoying with your children these days?