Category Archives: Picture Books

When food comes alive!

This morning during the older boys’ summer school work time, sweet Benny and I grabbed a few books and took advantage of some early reading.  We read (once again) The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg.  This is another family favorite….the cover is silently torn from all the gentle love.  The story is about a boy named Banjo who sits down to eat his dinner…..his dinner is a sausage named Melvin.  Well, Melvin has other plans than to be Banjo’s dinner, so he dashes off the table and as you would expect….everything follows.  Since Banjo is a hungry little boy, he chases after his dinner on a crazy adventure through his town.  Benny loves the fact that all the peas and carrots have names, and they can walk and have faces.  He loves when a duck eats Paul (one of the peas).  All four of my boys have loved this book and I have in fact used it as a read aloud when I have been a guest reader in their classrooms, and I have read it to the third graders that I teach.  I am pretty sure I could recite the book from memory….and probably my boys could as well.

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No TV Nights

 Starting last night, our family has decided to go without any television in the evenings Monday through Friday until Easter Sunday.  The evenings have been filled with the wrong type of noise for too long.  The noise of the television is one that gives me a headache quicker than a room full of 5th grade boys having a burping contest.  And I also feel time is going by so quickly, and I want to be a little selfish and grab some more time with the boys. So last night after bath time, I went from room to room scooping up books (even as organized as I think I am…there are still books strewn all over the house out of order….shocking, I know).  A parade of two followed me downstairs to our big comfy chair where the reading began.  We started with Everyone Poops….one guaranteed to make my boys laugh…..how can you not laugh when “an elephant makes a big poop”?
The reading continued for a good 45 minutes, and then we went up to bed for a few more books.  Nate & Benny picked out their favorites of the evening.  Nate selected Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky you Are? by Dr. Seuss.  He loves the illustrations ….he enjoys looking through them to find hidden gems such as someone sleeping or something about to fall on someone’s head.  They both love the sing-songy prose, and I believe they enjoy laughing when I stumble over phases like “Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering Watch-Watch-Watching theWatcher who is watching the bee.”  Benny selected one of my favorites….The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathman.  Such a sweet, sweet book about a group of little babies who crawl away during a neighborhood picnic, and the only one who notices is a small boy.  He follows them and keeps them safe and fed as they explore the woods, caves, & bogs with all types of small animals.  The book reads so sweetly and is a perfect nighttime book.  The illustrations are shadows and very cleverly done.  Again, there are hidden items in the story that my boys love to find.  For example, there is a little caterpillar that befriends the boy and seems to aide him in rescuing the babies (though there is no foreshadowing of any real danger).  The caterpillar makes an appearance in each page all the way to the end when the babies are all back home safe in their beds.  We adore this story. 
We shall see how this no TV experiment goes….the older boys were at a basketball game with dad, so they were not home.  I am hoping to read a Little Hugo Cabret with Henry tonight or maybe some Harry Potter with Calvin.  Read On, my friends.

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We  have added another author to our list of picture book favorites!  Oliver Jeffers!  This is our third book that we have read by him, and find them all funny and endearing and quite original.  This is Stuck.

This is a story of Floyd and what happens when his kite gets stuck in the tree.  He has many brilliant ideas of what could possibly dislodge his kite, and they each get more outlandish than the rest.  My boys were laughing at each page especially when the whale makes its entrance.  The illustrations are wonderful and original….my boys and I spent a lot of time just looking at how fun the whole book is. 

We also read Lost & Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy. We are going to be grabbing more books by Oliver Jeffers!

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Last Night, I read The OK Book  by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld to Henry & Nate. Benny fell asleep on the couch and missed out on story time. We have had this book for awhile, and we love it.  The main character is a little kid who is a stick figure that forms the word OK….very cute.  Throughout the story, the OK kid (as we call him) tries out all kinds of things.  He tries baseball, swimming, kite flying and sharing just to name a few.  He is OK at all these things, and that is OK because one day he will be very excellent at something….he just doesn’t know what.  

Here is one of our favorite pictures. Marshmallow roasting is a hard skill to perfect!  This is a book that makes us smile and realize that life is not about being the best at everything, but having some fun trying out new things.  We love it!

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Nate & Benny’s choice

The little boys and I just read a little, and they both agree this one should win an award.  My 5 year-old said : “This book is so funny that it should have one of the special stickers on it!”  I believe he was referring to the Caldecott Medal which by the way- the 2012 winners will be announced tomorrow.

They loved this book Zoomer by Ned Young about a puppy who would rather play and use his imagination than go to school while his older twin brothers try to get him into trouble.  I think this is one that they both can relate.

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Filed under fiction, Picture Books