31 Days, Children's Books

Because You Said So…

 

 

photo (2)

 

Thanks to your great suggestions, these are the books we picked up from the holds desk at the library today. All of us, adults and children, think they’re great fun.

31daysYou know what else has been fun? Immersing myself in writing every day about the books I read to my children. I have loved sharing books and ideas that make reading to our children more enjoyable and meaningful. Tomorrow is the last day of the 31 Days of Picture Books series. I’ll be sharing some resources to further what we have started here on our quest to explore the world of children’s books. I hope you’ve enjoyed this month as much as I have!

-Mia

Books featured in photo:

Red is Best  by Kathy Stinson

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

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, Saturday Cooking

Saturday Cooking: Picture Book Edition

2013iPhonephotos 008My children love to help me in the kitchen. I am usually willing to have one of them help me, but now that the two-year-old boy wants to be involved in everything, it gets messier and more time consuming and just generally harder to be excited about cooking with kids. But in the spirit of doing the hard things so the hard things get easier, I’m resolved to bake a lot with them this fall season. They love to bake, they love to do what I’m doing, and it’s a valuable skill to have. Plus, it’s like built in obedience school for toddlers–bonus!

Since we love to read even more than we love food itself (okay, maybe that’s just me), some of the recipes I plan to make this Fall are found in books.

Cranberry ThanksgivingThe first is one I baked with my mom and sisters as part of our homeschool curriculum. It’s called Grandmother’s Cranberry Bread from the book Cranberry Thanksgiving. The book is pretty good, but the recipe is mostly what I remember. For someone who isn’t crazy about all things pumpkin (you can keep your pumpkin spice latte, thankyouverymuch), cranberry is the flavor of Fall. I recommend the book, but if you’re not in a picture book stage of life (whatever that means!) you can view the whole recipe on the Amazon website.

We’re also going to try Fairy Tale FeastsI doubt we’ll be finding any stellar recipes, as they all look pretty basic, but I think the kids will really have fun with it. They are especially fascinated by Jack and the Beanstalk, so I foresee some beans in our menu future.

And though The Little House books aren’t technically picture books, we’ve already read two of them and we’re definitely try out the The Little House CookbookI’ve always wanted to make the molasses snow candy they make in Little House and the Big Woods, but the snow is a little sparse in the deep south. Another recipe book I want to try is The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook. The Honey Pumpkin Pie with Gingerbread Crust looks especially fall-ish and delicious.

So that’s what is on our fall baking list, along with this non-bookish recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. What’s on your list?

 

 

31 Days, Children's Books, Parenting

Pilgrims or Indians?

We were at my mom’s house this morning, when it fully hit me that autumn is here. She had her fall decor out, and it looked beautiful. Maybe this doesn’t come as a surprise, but I have zero fall decor. Last year I framed my own little orange and black silhouette and called it done. This year, I’m hoping to do this waxing leaf craft from Memories on Clover Lane. I bought the wax for it last year (or the year before?), but the autumn leaves in our area haven’t been great the last few seasons. If we can find some good ones, we’ll go for it. Usually, though, I’m too busy lamenting the end of summer to think about putting up decorations that will have to come right down in just a few short weeks to make way for Christmas. But I feel more autumnal this year, so we’ll see what happens.

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Besides my lack of autumnal celebration paraphernalia, something else was brought to my attention through Mom’s decorations. My four-year-old does not know who the Pilgrims are. When asked about the Pilgrim figurines on the kitchen table, she called them Indians. Gasp! This is no one’s fault but my own. The problem is I have a hard time approaching this subject. We talk about how Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all we have, but the history of it seems complicated. Maybe I’m projecting my adult views, but when you know how the Pilgrims’ descendants treated the Indians, and when you know how the white people’s diseases wiped out so many Indians, it feels kind of like a polished, feel good story to say, “This is the time when the Indians were kind to the Pilgrims and had a meal together.” The end.

Clearly, I need some books.

These are the Thanksgiving picture books on my to-read-with-the-kids list.

The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving, Ann McGovern

 

Off to Plymouth Rock by Dandi Daley Mackall

 

Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks, Margaret Sutherland

That’s all I’ve come up with so far. It seems there is a shortage of quality books explaining Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m not the only one who has trouble distilling it into an easy explanation.

Tell me, what are your favorite children’s books for Thanksgiving?

This is Day 11 of the 31 Days of Picture Books series. To read the rest of the series, go here

 

31 Days, Children's Books

Rags

Everyone should be outside frolicking around in glorious autumn, so I’ll make this short today.

Rags, Shaggy White Dog - Little Golden Book CHKDon’t you hate it when someone talks about the best, most wonderful, stellar book that’s old and impossible to find? They imply the best books are old ones and you start to feel like you’ll never get your hands on the real greatest books of all time. Well, that’s what I’m doing today. I can’t help it, because a beloved book around here is Rags. It’s about a shaggy dog who is huge but quite the gentle giant. He is adopted by a shopkeeper and his wife to defend their grocery store from burglars. The shopkeeper loves him, but his wife is quite disappointed by his affectionate and skittish character. Something happens that brings the fierce watchdog out of Rags and makes both the shopkeeper and his wife appreciate Rag’s loyal and loving nature. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it. My husband loved it as a child and my kids love it now.

Do you have a favorite out of print book? Tell us about it so we can all be enraged that we can’t get our hands on it. ; -)

This is Day 9 of 31 Days of Picture Books. To see the rest of the series, go here. To read more great 31 Days series on the other blogs participating, go to The Nester.

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