31 Days, Children's Books

On the 26th Day, She Rested

We’re almost done with the 31 Days of Picture Book series, but I have to take a too-busy/have-a-cold day. So it’s your turn. Tell me about your favorite picture book in the comments and I’ll update and repost this day’s post later with a list of your favorites. Yep, here’s your chance to hijack my blog and talk about a book you like. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.



31 Days, Children's Books

Pinkalicious or Pinkayuckious?

Yes, I’m making up words today. Don’t even try to say them aloud.

So far in the 31 Days of Picture Books series I’ve been sharing children’s books I enjoy. Today, I’m sharing about some I don’t.

PinkaliciousIf you have a little girl, you’ve probably seen the Pinkalicious books written and illustrated by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann. The first book is a cute, fun story about a little girl who is a bit too gaga for pink. But after you read it the third or fourth time, you begin to notice how demanding the main character is, how she throws tantrums, how she wants what she wants what she wants, etc. That’s when I start thinking, “I don’t really want to read this book to my children anymore.” I have similar opinions of the other three books I’ve read in the series. They all try to meet typical life situations, (peer pressure, teasing) but the result is usually a resolution of the situation instead of a conquering of the problem. And I guess I just don’t enjoy the writing. Giving a children’s book a bad review is like saying you don’t like Christmas, but my thumbs are down on Pinkalicious and her books.

What are your thoughts on Pinkalicious?

31 Days, Children's Books, Parenting

Little Ones And Sick Days

In case you haven’t been hit in the head with this brick-ish truth yet, it’s officially cold season. Yes, you lovers of hot chocolate, fuzzy sweaters, and fireside evenings, your beloved chilly weather comes with some not so lovely side effects.

Okay, okay, so most people get colds all throughout the year and the cold season is a bit of a myth, especially when you have young children. I think colds happen year round but they are exacerbated by heating our houses and schools, etc. I am a fan of being warm in winter, but central heat sure does dry your nasal passages out. Anyway! When your family is under the weather, it’s hard to explain to little ones that everyone is sick sometimes and sick people have to rest and get lots of good care to get better.

Explaining becomes easier with a picture book.

121463The Sick Day by Patricia MacLachlan is an adorable book about Emily, who wakes up one morning sick and has to stay home with Daddy. She is so typically five years old, with her strange requests and boredom mixed with excitement at being in bed all day. MacLachlan knows how children talk: “My toe hurts where I stubbed it last year,” Emily says. “It hurts on and off. The ons are long.” The illustrations are soft and cozy. Of course, this picture book makes a sick day with a young child look way easier and more heart touching than it usually is for me, although there have been some beautiful moments. But at least Daddy ends up sick the next day!

This is Day 24 of the 31 Days of Picture Books series. To see more, go here.

31 Days, Children's Books, Parenting

On Letting Children Choose Their Books

I read myself hoarse today. I found myself saying, “Okay, I have to stop reading now. Mommies have other things to do, too.” I do not usually say things like that when reading.

Yesterday we went to the library and I let my two-year-old and four-year-old children pick pretty much all of the books. I usually pick about half to three-quarters of the books we take home. Yesterday, I picked two out of seventeen. I didn’t realize how delighted Ella and Isaac would be to come home and read all of the books they picked out themselves. Every time I had that panicked mom-thought, “It’s too quiet in here…,” they weren’t getting into mischief, they were actually looking at books! Crazy.

So here’s what they picked out:

  1. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous ChristmasFancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas, by Jane O’Connor
  2. Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet
  3. Fancy Nancy and The Late, Late Night (It’s a good thing I really enjoy Fancy Nancy -she’s endearing in her own right and a bit like my own little girl)
  4. A Tree for Emmy by Mary Ann Rodman
  5. Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town (one Richard Scarry book alone could make a reader hoarse)
  6. Chomp! by Heather Brown
  7. Five Trucks by Brian Floca
  8. Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
  9. The Trucker by Barbara Samuels
  10. Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson
  11. Chomp!The Crunching, Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain
  12. The Great Truck Rescue by Jon Sciezka
  13. My Book of Trucks  by Heidi Leigh Johansen (Have I mentioned that Isaac likes trucks a lot?)
  14. The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
  15. No Cookies? (My kids loooove this Cookie Monster Book.)

Chocolate FeverAnd I picked out Imogene’s Antlers  and Pippi Longstocking. I’m hoping Ella will like Pippi. She just finished Chocolate Fever with Daddy and is hankering for another chapter book.

Over all, the library trip with little parental interference turned out quite well. I certainly wouldn’t have picked out Princess Super Kitty, but it turned out not to be so bad. I usually go to the library with at least a few kids’ books on a list to find, but after seeing how invested my children are in picking out and reading books of their own choosing, I think I’ll give them a little more free reign. I do think the outcome was a result of guiding them in their choices early on, and I still plan to do plenty of guiding. Still, I love seeing their tastes displayed in the books they pick. As long as they don’t pick too many Dora books. 😉

How do you approach library outings with your children?

This is Day 23 of the 31 Days of Picture Book Series. To see the rest of the series, click on over here.


31 Days, Children's Books

A New Favorite Author – Barbara McClintock

We have discovered a new favorite children’s book author. When Ella pulled Dahlia off the shelf at the library a few months ago, we hadn’t read anything by Barbara McClintock before then. We all loved the illustrations, the characters, and the story. Ella spent a few days doing her best to dress like Charlotte, the main character in the story. The next time we went to the library, we picked up two more books by McClintock.

Adèle and SimonAdele & Simon is such a fun book about a brother and sister who live in Paris in 1907. Adele picks Simon up from school and warns him not to lose any of the many things he is carrying: hat, gloves, coat, books, etc. As the children enjoy the afternoon in Paris, Simon steadily loses his things at each (gorgeous!) stop. My children had such fun trying to find Simon’s missing belonging on each page, and looking at the map at the end of the book. The book is beautiful, educational, and a good conversation starter about how brothers and sisters relate. And it’s just fun.

Molly and the Magic WishboneMolly and the Magic Wishbone is another gem by McClintock. This time, the main characters are all cats dressed in Dickensian clothing. Based on a short story by Dickens, Molly is the oldest sister of a family of cats who depend on her to take care of them when her mother is sick. She has the good fortune of meeting her fairy godmother on the streets of London on her way back from the fish market. Her fairy godmother tells her she will find a magic wishbone in her fish that night, and that she should take care of it as it will grant her one wish. Molly’s choice of wish and relationship with her siblings is heart warming. Once again, the illustrations are whimsical and detailed. My son especially loved the pictures that included all kinds of animals wearing suits and dresses. It sounds absurd, but McClintock makes it look almost normal.

Now we’re looking forward to reading Adele & Simon in America and The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle.

I highly recommend Barbara McClintock’s books, especially if you have a little girl. Or even if you have no children at all. I would read them to myself just to look at the pictures.

This is Day 22 of 31 Days of Picture BooksTo see the other posts in the series, go here

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