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?

Friday’s Top Five Finds from the Library (6/12)

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The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup –  This is one of my favorite finds. It’s a spotting book. There are thoughtful rhyming poems accompanying beautiful animal graphics. The poems comprise of tidbits about the animals pictured and questions engaging the reader to find the “odd one out.” There are several animals featured and even a surprise to find on the last page. The kiddos loved it!

Oliver by Syd Hoff – I remember loving reading this author as a kid. I saw this book and knew right away that this was the same author as Danny and the Dinosaur. It’s a classic for your beginner reader.

An ABC of Pirates by Caroline Stills – We aren’t huge fans of pirates but this was a fabulous and fun ABC book. We loved searching the pages finding objects that began with the letter.  Each letter was featured on one page with a short rhyme telling the reader a little about pirates. The illustrations were busy, yet so fun to find the many different objects. In fact, I was not paying close enough attention to see that the pictures were chock full of things beginning with the letter of the page, they were hiding in plain sight!

It’s a Dog’s Life by Michael Morpurgo – Cute story about a day in the life of a dog and shows the special bond between a dog and his owner. My little ones love dogs so this was a winner.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine – Wow! I’m so encouraged and empowered. I’m planning to purchase this one- it’s a great resource to keep available and to lend to friends to read. This is a very practical look at how to wisely manage your time and keep your priorities straight. It took me a little over a month to read through this book because that’s all the pockets of time I made available to reading… I have been experiencing a time of tremendous growth. Growing in my faith, in my marriage, in the way I manage life. And this book has been affirming and helpful. The back cover says “You know you’re made for a more fulfilling life. With this book, you’ll know where to start…” Through this season of growth I have finally learned what I’m here for. This book is a great tool to learn to keep those everyday things under control and to learn how to spend time on what is important. I loved her chapter called “Yes, You Can Make a Difference” because that’s right where I am – learning what I can do to be generous and giving – because it’s not about me. And I hope to tell ya’ll about all of this soon. 😉

What have you found this week at the library?

Friday’s Top Five Finds from the Library (4/17)

Okay, so today is not Friday but I really wanted to share my finds from the Library this week. One find in particular has pulled at my heart strings. The state has proposed to eliminate funding our libraries and in the long run I just can’t see that being a good thing. You can read more about saving our libraries in a previous post.

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You Can’t Take a Balloon into The National Gallery by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser – A wordless picture book about the travels of a balloon around Washington D.C. Wordless picture books are great because as the parent you can make up a story and expand upon your child’s vocabulary. Also, when children “read” a wordless book they are using their imagination and thinking more about how the story unfolds. This particular book is awesome if you want to talk about Washington D.C., if you are planning a trip there, or are learning about different famous artworks.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes – If your child has ever questioned or disliked her name, this is the book to read. We first “read” this story in the Scholastic DVD stories. It is a sweet and special story.

The House Takes a Vacation by Jacqueline Davies – The kids thought this was a funny book and if they were older they would have thought it was even more funny. There were countless puns and homonyms. So if you are teaching these particular literary devices then this book will illustrate them very well for you.

There was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea by Jennifer Ward – Very fun. Kids laughed. Great use of repetition and rhyme.

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola – The classic tale of the “Grandma witch” who warns Big Anthony to never touch the pasta pot. Well, we all know what happens when we don’t pay attention and when we don’t listen. Big trouble – and consequences. Kids always seem to be enchanted with this story.

Friday’s Top Five Finds from the Library (4/10)

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The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller – This is a must read for any teacher or homeschooling parent. I checked this out because of another homeschool mom blogger. It is really inspiring to help me become a better reader, to be an example of what a reader looks like, and to create a reading culture in my home. I am beginning to implement a 15 minute silent reading time into our day even though my kids don’t actually read yet. I want them to be in the habit of reading. I want them to have the freedom to choose what they are reading. And I want to make time for my own selections and interests. Although this book is geared towards classroom teachers, there is much to learn and many of the principles and ideas are adaptable to homeschool. I also now have Miller’s newer book Reading in the Wild on my to be read list.

Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James – This book is comprised of short letters between Emily and Mr. Blueberry, her teacher. Emily writes that a whale is in her pond and Mr. Blueberry responds with disbelief. As they exchange letters, we see Emily learning a little about whales and we wonder if it’s just her imagination or if the whale is truly in her pond. This is a wonderful, simple way to introduce whales to your little ones. Or a fun read if you are studying whales with your 2nd grader.

The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes – Yes, we read a Christmas book in April. The “holiday” section of books is near the play area in our library with the Valentine’s Day themed books teasing Elle every time we go there. She sees all these pink books and peruses them and wants to check them out. So, in an effort to show her other choices I explain that she is looking at the holiday section; we walk along the wall pointing out the different holiday books that are available. Finally, the Christmas section. She picked out three or four books and The Christmas Cat happened to be one of the first ones to read. It’s a precious story of a cat lost in the forest in the middle of winter. The reason we loved this story was the rich vocabulary and the kind, loving spirit of the story.

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton – We recently read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel for our Five in a Row book and I remember reading The Little House as a child so I wanted to check it out for Elle. Burton’s stories are timeless, they show how the world is always changing and there is always a bigger lesson to learn. For this one the lesson is to be happy and content where you are. This book is great to see the changing seasons and to learn differences between country living and city life. Absolutely a lovely story to cuddle up with your kiddos and read.

Rocket’s Mighty Words by Tad Hills – I was in the board book section looking for some Duck & Goose books for Finn because they are super fun and I came across this word book. It was a confidence boost for Elle because she was actually reading the words! The illustrations are super cute and adorable and fun. We can’t wait to check out the other Rocket books.

What have you found this week at the library?