Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book favorites- 44 months and 23 months

We haven't been to the library in months. Months! It's because I have library fines. Well, that WAS the reason. I had a substantial library fine, like $10 or more, and at the time (it was probably what? October?) I felt like all I had been doing all summer was racking up library fines and I was just sick of paying them. So I decided to take a break from the library for a while. 

Then I had a baby. And now we are avoiding the library for a whole new reason. 

I intend to go back. But until then, I can't even be putting books on hold because I still owe that pesky library fine which has blocked me from using their system. One of these days I'm going to drive over there and simply pay it. Then I'm going to start ordering library books online again. 

Until then, what has really saved us is the big collection of books we already own. For a while, Brian thought I was nuts to want to own a lot of books. "Why would you spend money on buying books when you have a free resource down the road with more books than we could ever own?" But THIS is why, because the library's not always available to us. And because I think it's important for kids to have a library of their own, and why not? When books are so cheap at thrift stores or even online. So for months we have been rotating out the ones that we own. And these are our current favorites.

(I was inspired to do a post like this again when, last night, while I was ordering the kids some books for Valentine's Day, I had a little mental block for what book I should get for Barrett. I had the idea to look back at William's favorites around the same age and was amazed at how many books I had forgotten that we loved. I think this post will be really helpful in the future, not only for my own kids but also to know what books to buy friends' kids for their birthdays.)

William, 44 months
William is a fierce lover of books. It's hard to put all of his favorites here. I am so thankful that he is content to sit and flip through books. I would be so frustrated not being able to read. I always tell him that it won't be long before he can read books on his own. Lately I haven't had the time to just read to them and I need to make that more of a priority.

Meet the Cars
Apparently, they've updated this. I need to buy the new copy!

Berenstain Bears
Stan and Jan Berenstain

Will is a really into Berenstain Bears right now. He has seven or eight favorites that I was lucky to pick up at Salvation Army for $0.10 each. After spending that little, I hate to drop a few bucks on each of the individual books! For for Valentine's Day I picked up the Berenstain Bears Storybook, which has 6 new stories. I hope he loves it! I think one of the big appeals of those books, though, are the tiny thumbnail pictures on the back of each cover which show all the other books in the series. I remember being a kid and looking at those pictures and wishing I could read each one of them. William does the same thing. Unfortunately his unfortunately his Valentine's Day book doesn't have a back cover like that, but I hope he will still like it. (This is why I need my library again. I need to order all of the Berenstain Bear books for William!)

(Incidentally, for a while he would come up with his own titles for books. The one pictured above was "Berenstain Bears Pickin' Watermelons." The In Crowd was titled "Berenstain Bears Ridin' Bikes.")

Who Made this Cake?
Chihiro Nakagawa/ ill. Junji Koyose

Amelia Bedelia
by Peggy Parish
Bought this at Sal's for a dime because doesn't every kid need a copy of this classic? The visual humor and puns are not only quite dated but also a little over Will's head but he sure still likes this book. 

A Penguin Pup for Pinkerton
Steven Kellogg
This was a gift from Aunt Katie for Christmas, and boy has it been a bit hit! We will be getting lots more books from the Pinkerton collection! (once I pay the fine...)

Max and Ruby's Storybook Treasury
Rosemary Wells

Another one I picked up for cheap at the thrift store. I actually wouldn't recommend this particular one even though William really does love it. BUT I do HIGHLY recommend the series. I feel like the Max and Ruby series is almost magical, the way the simple text conveys so much and draws kids in like a magnet. My favorite one of the series so far is Max's Dragon Shirt, but there are so many good ones. The books in this particular little collection almost seem dumbed down, like maybe they wrote the book "based on" the show? Will still really likes it and Barrett will sit happily through it too, and my almost five year old nephew enjoyed the stories a few weekends ago as well. So if you see it for $0.10 at a thrift store, buy it. Otherwise just check out the series at the library!

Mr. Putter and Tabby Row the Boat
Cynthia Rylant/ ill. Arthur Howard
This is one of the books that incurred the library fine. I wish I could buy the whole collection for William, he really loves it. These books are so sweet! Who would have thought a little boy would like stories about an old man, his old lady friend, and their pets? But he does. I wish I could buy these all, but until I see them for a dime apiece at the thrift store, I will have to just keep checking them out at the library. Another reason I need to get over there and pay that fine.

Barrett- 23 months
Barrett loves books too, in his own way. He is a busy little guy and doesn't love to sit still for a book, but when I make him stay he does enjoy it. He often brings me books to read to him ("wee ih?") but of course always that terrible moments like when I'm making dinner or trying to get Neva to sleep. I often see him flipping through books on his own too, which is fun. There is never a lack of mom guilt here, and one of the sources of that is knowing that I have not spent nearly as much time reading to Barrett as I did to William. I also haven't been able to modify the text for the books with Barrett like I did for Will, patiently making up my own words and character voices so that he would be engrossed when he was still too young for the written text. Barrett has grown up with the written text because that's what William knows and loves and expects to hear when we have story time. Maybe he will be better off for it?

Boo to You!
Lois Ehlert
Product Details
This was part of a Lois Ehlert collection that the kids received from our neighbor as part of a very generous "big brother" gift. They loved all the Lois Ehlert books in the box but THIS one has become the favorite. Which is totally crazy because the minute I saw it I thought, "That's super creepy. I might donate that one because I don't want it to creep the kids out." I never got around to putting it into the donate pile and that ended up being a really good thing. Let me just say, I need to chill out about donating stuff too soon. I've made some big mistakes by getting rid of "unwated" toys that were later very highly requested. Take it easy, Maeg. Anyway, the kids love this book! They just really, really do!

My Truck is Stuck
Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk
Will loved this book at Barrett's age, and I bought it then. I'm so glad I did, because of course, Barrett loves it now!

Big Rig
Jamie Swenson/ ill. Ned Young
Product Details
Same deal here - Will loved it then, bought it then, using it now! 

Elmo's Big Lift-and-Look Book
Product Details
Barrett is a huge fan of things that open and close. He loves toy cars with doors that open and close, especially if he can cram many things inside. He loves books with flaps that open and close, too. He also likes to rip the various flaps off. I never dealt with that with William. He just never even tried. We have many taped books in the house now thanks to our Science Guy. This particular book can take a beating, since it was a ten-cent thrift store buy and (unknown at the time of purchase) has a whole page of ripped-off flaps. So I don't care TOO much when he pulls another one off. Though I always tape it back on, of course.

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