On the blog:
- A curation of links I loved last week
I read nothing last week. Literally. I did not read. The chaos of my parenting life disrupted, well, pretty much everything routine and normal last week. But this week, I am going to prioritize reading because it is one thing that makes me feel like myself. I did continue to read quite a few picture books because bedtime picture book reading continues! Hooray! Still, I don’t have many books to share this week. My son wants 4 or 5 picture books every night, and even though we skipped four nights of reading last week due to aforementioned chaos, we still read 17 books together. More than enough to share! But because we’ve already read so many picture books together (thousands!) and because my libraries are limited, I’m struggling to find more new-to-us books that we really enjoy. We’re reading a lot of two-star and three-star books these days. These are the ones we enjoyed most this week:
A few weeks ago on my blog, I was bemoaning the fact that I missed out on reading Winnie the Pooh to my son. Kellee suggested the Disney version of the story, and when I saw it at the library, I couldn’t resist. The edition we read is a 96-page picture book bringing together numerous familiar Pooh stories–Pooh running out of honey and eating all of Rabbit’s supply before getting stuck in the door to Rabbit’s warren; Pooh meeting Tigger for the first time; Rabbit’s frustration at Tigger’s extreme bounce. It’s brightly illustrated and quite enjoyable. In fact, as I was reading it, it seemed so familiar to me and I began to realize that the much-beloved Pooh of my childhood is actually the Disney version, not Milne’s books at all, which I only read as an adult.
Pinocchio the Boy, a fractured fairy tale written and illustrated by Lane Smith, answers the question of what happens to Pinocchio after he gets his wish to become a real boy. Needless to say, it doesn’t turn out quite the way Pinocchio hoped, but everything does work out well in the end. I have never actually liked Lane Smith’s books, and I finally figured out why: the font changes! They make me CRAZY. This book was fairly tame in font variety compared to some of Smith’s books, but still, visually it’s such an unpleasant assault.
I loved Sophie’s Squash, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. Sophie’s mother believes she’s buying a butternut squash for dinner, but when they get home from the market, Sophie draws a face on the squash and christens her Bernice. The two become fast friends, doing everything together, even as Bernice slowly gets squishy and begins to rot. Sophie’s solution to Bernice’s aging problem is quite clever and sweet.
My son and I both enjoy older picture books, especially from the 60s, and since my campus library’s collection is never weeded, we have a lot to choose from there. We are currently working our way through Roger Duvoisin’s series about a hippopotamus named Veronica. In Veronica’s Smile, Veronica finds a way to make herself useful on the farm–by hiding farm animals in her giant mouth. Duvoisin is fast becoming one of my favorite illustrators.
My son’s favorite book this week was probably Look What the Cat Dragged In!, written by Gary Hogg and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. This is a fairly extreme story of a lazy family who bully the cat into providing for all of their needs by threatening to turn him into kitty-fur slippers, cream-of-cat soup, or play a game of pin the tail on the cat with him. They are never grateful for the things he brings them, and finally he gets fed up and drags in a police officer who arrests the family for stealing all the items the cat has dragged in over the course of the story. My son was so incensed that the cat received only threats and no gratitude, and he found it entirely appropriate that the whole family ends up in jail while the cat gets to nap happily by the fire. “They got what they deserve! They should have said thank you!”
My favorite book this week was Leo Lionni’s Pezzettino. I read the first page to my son:
His name was Pezzettino. All the others were big and did daring and wonderful things. He was small and surely must be a little piece of somebody else, he thought. He often wondered whose little piece he could be, and one day he decided to find out.
My son leaned over and whispered, “I’m your little piece.”
Happy mama sigh.