Friday, September 05, 2014

Best in Bag for July . . . and August . . . in September!

So remember how I made that promise that you could check back here on the last day of the month and get a list of our top library finds?  Yep.  Totally broke that promise. Sorry about that.  I'm going to do better.  I am determined to post September's list on time.  For now, I figure it's better late than never, right?  So, without further ado, here are our favorite books that we savored at the end of summer:

For the Preschooler in Your Life:

1.  Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse -- I love,scratch that, I ADORE picture books that have gorgeous illustrations AND beautiful words to match.  This book had both.  We read it over and over, and I didn't even mind.  

2.  Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winter -- I love it when a picture book opens up a conversation with my preschooler about something I might not delve into on my own.  This was a biographical picture book telling the story of the famous artist Henri Matisse, focusing on how he continued to create art even late in life, when plagued by illness.  I loved that it incorporated actual quotes from Matisse himself, and it was a perfect segue into looking at pictures of his actual masterpieces online.  

3.  King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently -- A sweet little story about sweet little boys.  It was a good fit for our family.  Pretty illustrations to boot. 

4.  I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman -- Oh, Nan, you've done it again!  I fell in love with this author after Kaden received the book On the Night You Were Born  as a gift.  Her books are always fantastic--terrific illustrations, poetic prose, and a few moments where the child is asked to interact with the text.  This book was no exception.  I think we need to add it to our collection, pronto.  

5.  The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell -- Kaden thought this book was hilarious.  Then, I read it aloud to him and his sweet friend, Liam, one day and got belly laughs from both of them.  I think the trick may be having a really funny monster voice when you read it out loud, though, so be sure to play that up if you check it out for your kiddos.  

6.  You were the First by Patricia MacLachlan -- This wasn't necessarily one of Kade's favorites, but I just loved it, and I totally cried.  You can guess from the title, but it's basically this sappy story about how having a child changes your world.  Very sweet, and oh, so true.  Kaden will always be the little boy who made me a mommy.  

For Your Toddler:

1.  Hide and Seek Harry Around the House by Kenny Harrison -- Help your baby or toddler find Harry, the hippo who loves playing hide and seek, on each set of pages.  Super fun and interactive!

2.  Who Do I See? by Salina Yoon -- Everett is at the perfect age for books like this:  bright, die cut illustrations; foiled patterns; and durable board book pages.  It was a great find, and one he could look at by himself without me worrying he would destroy library property.  

3.  Dino Bites by Algy Craig Hall -- You know you've found a winner when the book is simple enough for your toddler to enjoy, but has just the right amount of funny to win your preschooler over, too.  We liked this read!

  August's library visits produced a good haul for us.  So good that I had to eliminate some books from the favorite list.  It was awesome.  Here's the books that made the cut:

For A Feisty Four-Year-Old:

1.  1 to 20 Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers -- This was such a fun counting book, and Everett loved it, too!  Each number stars a group of animals charmingly doing something that rhymes with their name (Kade got a particular kick out of the ants wearing underpants).  I also loved that it had some non-fiction elements.  For example, the page featuring goats labels each kind of goat.  It's not your average counting book--it was a delightful twist on a genre that I can grow tired of pretty quickly.  

2.  Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Harper -- A perfect little tale with words your preschool can read on his own taking up most of the text.  Plus the story has a great message about teamwork.  Cute.  

*3.  Press Here by Herve Tullet -- AND THE WINNER IS!  Seriously.  Probably the cutest book we've discovered this summer.  I had to force myself to remember my "no buying books unless it's for a special occasion or at a yard sale" rule.  I almost went to Barnes and Noble to snatch this baby up right after we read it.  We're asking Santa to bring it to our house for sure.  Go check it out!  Your kids will LOVE it.  It's magically interactive, with each page asking the reader to do something, and the illustration on the following page doing something wacky as a result of that action.  We renewed it until the library insisted we bring it back for other kids to try.  

4.  A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna -- I don't know if it's just the copy our library system owns, but this book was massive, like almost as tall as Kaden.  That was part of what made it so magical, so I hope every copy is like that.  Add beautifully penned illustrations of all of my favorite corners of Paris, and I was in heaven reading this one to my kids.  It also made me dig through all my old study abroad stuff afterwards to reminisce (which led to my London tribute post).

5.  Scapegoat:  The Story of a Goat Named Oat and a Chewed Up Coat by Dean Hale -- A super cute book that reminds us why it's important to be honest in a fun and entertaining way.

6.  Soccer Hour by Carol Nevius -- This book is illustrated by the same man who did the amazing work in this book that we also love, thus the illustrations were great.  A nicely rhymed tale of a day at soccer practice--what's not to love about that, if you're a soccer obsessed preschooler?

7.  The Obstinate Pen by Frank Dormer -- What happens when an ink pen becomes, well, obstinate?  Read this charming tale to find out!

8.  Tuesday Tucks Me In:  The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog by Luis Carlos Montalvan -- I loved this book!  The title is pretty self explanatory.  It's a non-fiction read with photographs showing the daily routine of a veteran and his service dog.  This opened up the opportunity for Kade and I to talk about veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our country.  We've since seen service dogs while being out and about, and it's been cool to talk about what we learned from this book.  A good find.  

9.  This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers -- Cute story.  Fun illustrations.  

For the Zilch-Attention-Spanned Baby:

1.  Diggers Go by Steve Light -- Another great one by one of our favorite authors.  Again, I have no clue why I don't own these.  Kaden still loves them as much as Everett does.  It was so fun listening to Everett start to imitate the sounds after we'd read it a few times.  He can do an excellent wrecking ball, "Booooooommmmm!"  

2.  American Museum of Natural History's ABC Animals -- I loved that there were real photographs of actual artifacts from the museum for each letter.  And some of them were more obscure, random items, which made it a change from the average alphabet book.  The photographs seemed to captivate Evers, and it was just different enough to keep Kade interested, too.  

3.  Move by Steve Jenkins -- Such a fun book with an alliterated movement corresponding with the animal on each page.  It's extra fun if you try to move the way the animals do while you read.  

Promise kept. Kind of.  Just a couple months late.  Happy reading!  I'd love to hear if you try any of these books with your family.  Let me know what you and your kiddos think!

1 comment:

  1. We love "Press Here", also!! Thanks for the list, I can't wait to get back to the library now!


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