Posted in Book Review

Chinese New Year

Today our morning began with reading Baby’s First Chinese New Year which was published by DK Publishing. This twelve page board book is filled with vibrant colored images. The book features a mix of realistic and cartoon images. There are eighty words in this book which makes it a quick read.

My ten month old loved the bright red pages, the picture of the dragon, and the colorful picture of paper lanterns. Even though my son is high energy, he listened to this book twice this morning without crawling away. I would recommend this book for ages 0 to 3 years. This book would be a great way to introduce a toddler to diversity and cultural celebrations.

In addition to My Baby’s First Chinese New Year, we re-read several of the books featured in yesterday’s blog post. As of right now, we have read 341 books!

Posted in Book Review

Unicorns are Real

Tonight the girls and I started our newest chapter book – The Creature of the Pines. This book is the first book in the series The Unicorn Rescue Society by Adam Gidwitz. We were only able to read the letter at the beginning of the book and the first chapter because my baby was incredibly determined to eat the book.

The girls are remaining open minded about the book; however, they did state that the letter at the beginning of the book sounded far more interesting than the first chapter.

The girls are still making the transition from picture books to chapter books, so they did appreciate that this book contains some pictures. They were disappointed that the pictures were in black and white.

My kids are not yet proficient enough readers to tackle this book on their own. Several words like chupacabra and qarqacha were beyond their reading level. The book did, however, become easier to read after chapter one began.

My girls struggled with the lead female character’s name being Uchenna because they said it was hard to read and “sounded weird.”

Lastly the girls said that chapter one had nothing to do with unicorns. In the initial letter in the book, readers are asked to risk their lives to rescue unicorns. My girls were enthusiastically ready to go save the unicorns (especially my 6 year old, who still believes they are real). My girls were super engaged by the end of Professor Fauna’s letter; however, all of that enthusiasm had waned by the end of chapter one.

My girls did agree to remain optimistic that the book might improve after chapter one.

As of tonight, we have read 334 books of our 1,000 book goal!

Posted in Book Review

Monday Afternoon Story Time

I was growing weary of reading all of the same stories on our shelves at home, so we went to our wonderful local library. This afternoon we read six of our newly discovered library books. It was a close tie between two books for the storytime favorite. While it was a close vote, What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift narrowly won over Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman.

What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift was very well-received by all three kids (ages 9 months, 6 years, and 8 years old). My kids adored the vibrant colors that were featured throughout the book. Equally well-received by my kids were the flaps throughout the book. As a parent, I particularly appreciated the fact that this book featured very durable, thick flaps as opposed to the typical flimsy flaps found in many board books.

This book is twelve pages long and has six flaps. The pages features bright colors, bold patterns, and a variety of animals. The are approximately 107 words in this book. The book tries to introduce some very basic facts about llamas which I appreciate as a mom. Courtesy of this book all three kids now know what a “cria” is.

This book is slightly on the longer side for a baby; however, my 9 month old did fine finishing this book. In fact, we have read through it three times.

The second contender for our favorite afternoon discovery was Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman. This twelve page book contains colorful, adorable illustrations. Despite being only eighty-three words long, this book manages to tell a cute story with an important life lesson. In this story, the monsters make sure they include a shy monster who is not participating in their monster dance party. As a parent, I really appreciate books that include lessons about good values. I highly recommend this book for infants and toddlers.

In addition to our two favorites, we squeezed four other stories into our afternoon story time.

  1. Pet the Pets by Sarah Lynn Truly was a cute, interactive flap book that my son really enjoyed. All sixteen pages featured bright colors and adorable cartoon animals. Eight of the pages instructed the reader to complete different tasks such as scratching the sad puppy behind his ears. This book would be highly enjoyable for a toddler who understood more of the story. The only negative for me was the fact this book had thin flaps that my baby would readily destroy if given the opportunity.
  2. I’m Grumpy by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. This was the first board book I have seen in our reading journey that is in the comic book style. This eighteen page book features bold illustrations in the classic comic pane style. The book tells the story of a grumpy rain cloud and a cheerful sun. I appreciated the fact that after the cloud upset the sun, he made an effort to make things right. I would recommend this book for children ages 0 to 3.
  3. Oink-Oink! Moo! Cock-a-Doodle Doo! by Jennifer Sattler. This twenty-two page board book was a joy to read to my son. It featured classic animal sounds that are fun for a baby to hear. Another aspect of this book that I valued as a parent is the inclusion of questions to ask your child at the end of the book. The last two pages ask the child to match the animal sounds with the nine animals that appeared in the book. This would be a wonderful way to enrich your reading session with a toddler or young child.
  4. The Pigeon Loves Things That Go by Monday Willems. My two oldest are obsessed with anything and everything written by Mo Willems so I knew this board book would be popular in our house. The book did not go over particularly well with my 9 month old though. This ten page book features the classic more muted color palette that is characteristic of Mo Willems’ books. I would still recommend this book for anyone whose children love Mo Willems’ books.
Posted in Book Review

Monday Morning Books

Today story time started bright and early at 7 a.m. because my child refuses to sleep like a normal baby.

For our morning story time, we read eleven books. My son’s absolute favorite book of the morning was Dog and Friends Sounds, which was illustrated by Emma Dodd. The book is a brightly colored board book containing ten pages. There were only thirty-six words, which made it a perfect book for a baby with a short attention span. In addition to the really bold color choices, this book was an excellent book for a young baby because it has so many fun animal sounds like “oink” and “baa.” As of right now, we have already read this book three times and yet my son keeps bringing it back to me. In the world of a nine month old baby, this book gets 5 stars!

The other titles we read this morning were:

  1. Snow Babies by Laura Ellen Anderson. This book for whatever reason did not grab my son’s attention; however, I would still recommend it. The book was short, had adorable illustrations, and introduced several different animals.
  2. This Little Hamster by Kass Reich. After several different attempts at reading this book, I can safely conclude it did not speak to my son. The book is probably better suited to a toddler who is working on learning the colors. The illustrations were in more muted tones which did not catch the eye of a baby as well as some of the other books we read today.
  3. Eek! by Fermin Solis. This was a perfect mini board book just in time for the Halloween season. All three kids enjoyed this board book, including my eight year old. The book was mini size so it was perfect for a baby to hold and crawl around with. Each page was very concise and vividly colored. We also read Boo! and Yikes! which are two other very similar books written by Fermin Solis. If you are looking for a quick Halloween read for you and your baby, I definitely recommend these three books.
  4. That’s not my Puppy by Fiona Watt. This book is perfect for a baby because it is concise, colorful, and exciting to touch. This book featured several different textures, such as fluffy tails and bumpy paws. We read the book several times today, because it makes my son giggle. He loves flipping through the pages and touching the different textures.
  5. Ghost Cat by Eve Bunting. I initially checked this book out from our local library to read to my six and eight year old kids; HOWEVER, they declared the book too creepy. After they decided to not listen to the story, I read it to the baby even though he was not the intended audience. I personally enjoyed the story and I intend to read this book to my son when he is old enough to understand the story. The book has lovely illustrations and a quirky story. In this book, there is a ghost kitty who lives in the lighthouse with his owner. Eventually the ghost kitty has the opportunity to play the hero and save the day. This would be a great story for someone who has kids between ages 5 and 10, who are not scared of ghost stories (unlike my two girls lol).
  6. One, Two, Three by Sandra Boynton. This book is one of my son’s favorite board books. It is an adorable counting book that features several cartoon animals doing different activities, such as going for a walk. The book is not as brightly colored as several other books my son prefers; however, this book still keeps his attention. It would be a perfect book to read with your child as they learn to count.
  7. Anansi’s Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel. This book was perfect for my six and eight year old daughters to enjoy. It is a classic trickster tale. This is my girls’ favorite Anansi book we have read so far. They loved that the story included a turtle, balloons, and dress up. While the baby did somehow listen to this entire story, I fully intend to get this book when he is old enough to understand the story. I would recommend this book for kids between ages 5 and 10, especially if they enjoy books that feature animals.
  8. Beautiful Oops! By Barney Saltzberg was the one book that was loved by all three of my kids. This book is impeccably well designed. It features a positive message, a creative layout, and beautiful illustrations. This is the one book that we immediately ordered on Amazon after reading it. While my baby loves this book, it would be very easily destroyed by him. I would caution parents to supervise young destructive kids with this book.