Top Five Finds from the Library

Often, you can find us at the library choosing books to bring home and enjoy. I have found that the more we read, the more selective or wary I am to the books we open up to read. I have been happily utilizing “good book” lists around the web so that I can place books on hold and not have to scour the stacks.

Amos & Boris was my favorite in this bunch. I try to share only books that we enjoyed because they were good and lovely or because the story evoked great emotion in us.

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Imogene’s Antlers by David Small- A lighthearted tale about a little girl who woke up with antlers one day. The book chronicles what happens during her eventful day. Kids are delighted when they get a peek into the next day when Imogene’s antlers are gone.

Amos & Boris by William Steig- I found this book as a recommendation on a couple of book lists and decided to check it out. It’s such a fabulous story about two unlikely friends. I love the language and how the friendship between the mouse and whale is described and how each friend appreciates the other for who they are.

Lucy’s Summer by Donald Hall- Set in a New Hampshire town in 1910, this story is rich with glimpses into the past. It would make a great living literature book to learn about the day to day life in the early 1900’s. I caught myself explaining a lot of little details from the time period. Elle enjoyed it because it was about a little girl and there were things she could relate to, even though her day to day life is a lot different.

The Summer My Father Was Ten by Pat Brisson- A bit of a cautionary tale mixed with a nostalgic tale. A father and daughter are gardening and the father tells about the summer when he was ten. He was playing with the neighborhood boys and when a little fun turned into trouble he deeply regretted what happened. Happily though, amends were made and a lasting, unlikely friendship was born. You’ll want to read this one.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl- We just finished listening to the audio book (read by Jeremy Irons) and we thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic adventure! I had never read this book (or saw the movie) as a kid so it was a treat to hear it with my kids. The word a** was used once or twice so use your own discretion. I’m sure it’s much easier to edit while reading aloud yourself than while listening to the audio book. I love how the story is descriptive and imaginative. It’s enchanting.

What have you found at your Library lately?

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Tinker Toy Delight and Old Treasures

Finn’s 2nd birthday landed him with a Tinker Toy set from the grandparents. I really don’t care for the kids accumulating too many toys and things. Even though it does seem to be difficult for me to actually purge their things. I keep saying I’m going to get rid of some toys or at least put some away and try to rotate. Somehow I just can’t seem to make it happen –yet. I really do believe that less is more and when the kiddos have less to play with than they have more imagination.

Case in point… I have already seen flowers, vacuum cleaners, cars, and lawnmowers put together using the Tinker Toys. Elle was busy “vacuuming” for quite some time. All of those building type toys are great. I showed Elle how to make furniture with the wooden blocks and arrange it like a living room or bedroom. Another “building” toy we love in our house is the train set. We like to make different configurations and pretend it travels around doing different jobs or picking up people at the airport and dropping them off at the zoo.

I noticed lately that Elle has been interested in Barbies… well the Disney Princess Barbie dolls to be exact. I enlisted my Mom, who is famous for saving everything, to find just one or two of my Barbies and just a few outfits. She was awesome! She found a small stash of Barbies and stuff and brought it up when she came to visit. We went through the things together after the kids were in bed. I decided I couldn’t let Elle have all that stuff, I knew it would be too much. So we left out one Barbie, one fancy dress, three other outfits, the bed and sheets, and the dog. Everything else is put away for another day. Some of the other items were a picnic table, a gym locker, couch and chair, and more clothes and shoes for the Barbies. Elle was so excited when she found the few pieces on the table in the morning. And there were plenty of hours of play with just those few things.

Mwpid-20150211_180458.jpgy Mom also found a little plastic lunchbox sized container with matchbox cars and McDonald toy cars. These were the Chip & Dale and Looney Toon cars. I LOVED playing with cars as a kid. And I didn’t have a fancy carpet that had the roads mapped out, although I wanted one. But I did have paper and markers and tape. That was one of my favorite ways to play. I built my own “city” by drawing roads and parking lots and houses and there were stores, a church, and a school. It was awesome! When I finally finished taping together my map I played for days making this car go here and that car go there. When the kids opened the box to find these treasures they immediately were driving the cars to the store, the zoo, and back home. I don’t know what it is about those silly little plastic novelty toys but they have truly gotten a lot of use in our house.

Are there any toys you deem timeless and worthy of hours of playtime?