Monday, August 23, 2010

for your reading pleasure

Reading with Olivia has been a lot of fun this summer. I could listen to her reading Hop On Pop all day long, her laughing after every reading of, "NO! PAT! NO! Don't sit on that!" And though she loves her new skill, she still prefers us on the couch reading to her. Much like a conversation between Olivia the pig and her mother, our version goes something like this:

"Only one book tonight, Olivia."






"Oh, alright, two."

Four favorites of late:
I shared our love for Underwood's Quiet Book a few months ago, and she's charmed us again with this one. Isabel the porcupine wants to get a balloon for class graduation, just like everyone else in her class, but because of the quills, she and her porcupine friend Walter have to settle for bookmarks. My absolute favorite passage:

Isabel gazed out the window. "Sally told me that when you first get it, a balloon can bounce
on the ceiling. If you pull the string and then let go, it makes a soft, thumpy sound," she said.

"I heard that after a few days, a balloon floats halfway between the ceiling and the floor," said
Walter. "It just hangs there like a ghost."

Isabel's determination to figure out a way to solve the problem is inspiring, and it very much reminds me of a couple of other strong-willed girls I know quite well.

Salma and Lily are best friends who do everything together, but they let their different tastes in sandwiches drive a wedge into their friendship. What started as confusion and hurt feelings turns into anger. This is a great book about celebrating our differences, and it took me back to a high school lunch period when hummus first entered my world through the coaxing of my friend Amy.

Olivia took to this one immediately. I think it spoke to her anxiety about the start of kindergarten (tomorrow!). Willow has a lot she wants to say, but she hasn't yet found her voice, and so she's often misunderstood. Who among us can't relate to that? She seems to gain the necessary strength from a tender moment with her father at bedtime:

But Dad was an expert at hearing Willow's whispers. He never said "What?" or "Pardon?" or
"Who?" He just wrapped Willow tight in a big bear hug and whispered right back...

This one came across our path this summer just as Olivia's own interest in drawing was taking off. Bridget is "drawn to drawing," but only if she's wearing her beret. When her beret gets lost, she experiences artist's block, but ultimately the artist within triumphs. I really liked Lichtenheld's short sidebar with suggestions to cure artist's block:

1. Make up a funny animal
2. Draw people with funny hair
3. Draw something REALLY BIG!
4. Make a scribble, then turn it into something.

These were all found at our local library. Perhaps they'd be at yours, too. If you've come across a favorite, please share.


Juliana said...

I went by the library last week to get some new books for our car trip to the beach, and already Caroline has picked a new favorite. Dimity Duck, by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Sebastian Braun. I picked it because we have had other books illustrated by Braun and I love his illustrations. This one did not disappoint, and Caroline has LOVED it. The review on the back says that it could easily become a toddler's favorite, which has proven true. It has a great meter so it's easy to read, and is obviously fun for little ones. I bet Mae would like it. :)

Elizabeth Dark Wiley said...

Thanks Juliana! We'll check it out!