Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best in Bag, June Edition

I'd like to introduce you to a new little segment on my blog, called how to avoid a terrible library haul.

Every time we go to the library, we leave with a bag stuffed to the brim with books.  Usually we're also carrying a few last minute finds that won't fit in the bag.

And every time we go home to read them, we end up with quite a few duds.  It's to be expected when your almost four-year-old starts blindly pulling things off the shelves and shoving them into a canvas tote bag as fast as he possibly can.  On some visits, I feel like we've reached success if we don't end up with duplicates when we get to the checkout counter.  

Each time we hit the library, we also end up with at least a few fabulous finds.  Reads that make me want to rush to Barnes and Noble, purchase two copies for each of my children, pen some meaningful inscription on the inside covers, and stash them on our bookshelves to be taken down upon any whim to be savored again and again.

So.  At the end of every month, I'm going to start sharing the best of the best from our library adventures. The books that gave my kids the giggles or sparked a thoughtful conversation.  The books that couldn't be parted with and had to be renewed on our next trip.  Or, at the very least, the books I looked forward to reading to my littles more than once before we returned them.

If you, dear reader, get at least a few successful kid library hauls because of a few recommendations from the Reese clan, I will consider that success.

Without further ado, I give you June's favorites:

These books won my preschooler over this month:

Mister Bud Wears the Cone by Carter Goodrich 
Kaden loved this book and requested it over and over and over again.  I'm not a huge animal lover, but this book made me want to go adopt two dogs from the SPCA.  The furry characters were endearing, and there were parts that definitely had us laughing. 

No Bath, No Cake!  Polly's Pirate Party by Matthias Weinert
This story was charming.  And I LOVED that it threw gender bias out the window.  Who says girls don't love dirty, smelly pirates as well as little boys do?!

Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch
Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess happens to be one of my all-time favorite picture books, and this story also didn't disappoint.  An adorable read about a little girl's battle with a mud puddle, Kaden donned this his favorite book of the month.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
We have loved every story by this author and illustrator combo, starting with Room on the Broom, when Grandma bought it for us one Halloween.  I know I am completely behind the times, since I'm pretty sure there's an animated short that goes along with this story, but this is the first we've read it.  This was actually one of our top picks in May, but we checked it out TWO MORE TIMES in June.  Kade loved it!  This author is exceptionally brilliant with rhyme, which makes her work perfect for reading aloud.  

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket
Classic Lemony Snicket in a picture book, with two of my favorite qualities about his writing making an appearance:  awesome vocabulary exposure and dark humor.  I LOVED this read.  Kaden loved it, too, but I think what was truly hilarious about it went a bit over his head.  If you know anything about classical music I think you'd adore this.  Check it out for you; even if your kids don't go completely gaga for it, it's a fun find!

My Crocodile Does Not Bite by Joe Kulka
A darling story about a little boy who's trying to win the pet contest at school with his trusty crocodile.  A great surprise ending to boot!

  These were our favorite baby reads this go around:

Yawn by Sally Symes
Fun, colorful illustrations, and a yawn that travels from one tired little boy through a series of animals, make this a perfect bedtime story for a little one.

Trucks Go by Steve Light 
It is officially ridiculous that I don't own everything this man has ever written for children.  I think we've probably checked out this title alone a good three thousand times.  We ADORE his bright, colorful, transportation-themed board books.  This author is a master of onomatopoeia, which makes reading his work aloud an absolute joy.  Kaden loved this book as a baby, and Everett loves it, too.

Yum Yum! by Yusuke Yonezu
A cute little story with simple die cut illustrations.  Everett really liked this read and would ask (with his pterodactyl scream) to read it again as soon as we finished.  

Happy reading!  If you check any of these titles out, I'd love to hear what you and your family think of them!

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