Friday, August 26, 2011

The Library Grows...

(3) From the free table, Questions Parents Ask, by Louise Bates Ames, who's the mind behind those "your kid year by year" books. She sorta seems like the Betsy Brown Braun of her day?

(1) Happy Baby Things That Go satisfies Jackson's appetite for "'rucks!" plus it's actually a size he can carry/manipulate by himself
(2) A hardback compilation of Richard Scarry Little Golden Books (Good Night, Little BearChipmunk's ABC and The Bunny Book) is not something I'm going to turn down
(3) Baby Einstein Let's Explore Poetry is because I try to read Jackson at least one poem every weekday (I fail miserably but I try) and because I'm running low on stuff that's appropriate that I haven't already read in Sing a Song of Popcorn(4) The six books from the Eric Carle "My Very First Book of" series will be held back for at least year, at which time the kid could  possibly grasp the "matching" conceit of books, and/or have the manual dexterity to do all the page flipping.
(5) The kiddo is fascinated by these little finger puppet books! We found Little Mouse first, and then I ordered some more from Paperback Swap, and I'm stoked to have found these four others at the thrift store. He doesn't hear a word I say when I read the meager text, but he loves them puppets.

THRIFT STORE SEUSS: If I Ran the Circus and The Butter Battle Book; I loved the Butter Battle Book as a kid. It's about two factions warring over which side to butter their bread on, but it's actually about the Cold War and nuclear proliferation. I talked to my dad about it as an adult and he said he dreaded having to read this aloud because he knew what it was really about, even if I didn't, and the whole thing just made him depressed. Poor parents!

THRIFT STORE FOLK LORE: I need another fairy tale book like I need a hole in the head, but I caved when I saw that the introduction was written by Bruno Bettelheim, author of The Uses of Enchantment.

THRIFT STORE FLAPS: This copy of Go! Go! Go! by Roxie Munro is in remarkably good condition for being a pop-up-ish book. It's definitely been read, but everything appears to be intact!


(1) Elsa Beskow has a homeschool and/or Swedish cult following. (2) Family Math is a math curriculum for ages 4 to 8 from UC Berkeley, and I'm always on the lookout for help thinking about math, since I, uh, don't remember any. (3) The Bambi is because--with respect to my many friends who work at Disney--I fiercely want my kids to have non-Disney images of classic stories in their minds before they get the inevitable marketed, manufactured and Disneyfied version of those stories. The original Felix Salten book is ginormous and off-putting so I think this will suit as a placeholder before "You can call me Flower if you want to!" becomes gospel grooved into the child's skull.

I've finally realized that at this stage, almost all alphabet books are functionally vocabulary books, but eh, that's fine too. (The few alphabet books that aren't really just vocab books are divided into two subgroups: Books that teach letter sounds and book that teach letter shapes. If you like any particular books that focus on letter shapes or letter recognition, please share them in the comments!)

RESALE SHOP STORYBOOKS: I'm trying to offer a more "Montessori-style prepared environment" in our living room i.e., clean, neat, organized and everything ready to be played with (I rarely actually have the energy to pick up after the kid, but I'm working on it), so tonight I removed three cluttery, noisy, distracting electronic toys that had worn out their welcome and traded them in at the local children's resale shop for the following books: The Original Curious George (a version of the book with original watercolors from before the first edition), Elmer (colors! elephants! colored elephants!) and at long last, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which I have been hoping to find forever. (It says on the cover "over one million copies sold" so you'd think it'd be pretty easy to find, right?) BTW, I really like the latest book from the couple that wrote Cloudy (they publish together only rarely!): it's called The Marshmallow Incident and it's a return to form after the Pickles to Pittsburgh debacle. 

The Barretts also wrote and illustrated Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, which we just checked out from the library. It received Jackson's highest rating which is a "more!" request immediately following the reading of "The end!"

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