Picture Book Presentation

8 11 2016

Today I had the opportunity to talk about picture books with area teachers during their inservice day. I really enjoyed pulling the presentation together, and I hope the presentation was beneficial for them, too!

For anyone interested in the books I discussed, the links are below:

Slide show: picture-book-talk-nov-16

Book list: picturebooktalk


Reading with Little L: Four-Year-Old Reads

7 01 2015

Since it’s almost Little L’s birthday again, here’s a quick (and I know, incomplete) round up of his favorite titles this past year.

Little L has been obsessed with princesses, especially the Disney ones, for quite a while now. So we have a big collection of Disney princess books that are on constant rotation. His very favorites have been Sleeping Beauty and Frozen. He especially loves this Little Golden version of the latter:



Frozen by Victoria Saxon; illustrated by Grace Lee, Massimiliano Narcisso, and Andrea Cagol

We also read from the many other Little Golden books that we own, especially these titles:

poky little puppy

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey; illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

shy little kitten

The Shy Little Kitten by Cathleen Schurr; illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

house had enough

The House That Had Enough by P.E. King; illustrated by John O’Brien

This last title was a gift from my grandmother when I was young. It’s about a little girl who doesn’t clean up her belongings until all of her possessions and even the house itself run away. My grandmother bought individual copies for my sister and me. She even crossed out the name of the main character throughout the book and wrote in our names. This was a not at all subtle message that we needed to do a better job cleaning our rooms!

In addition to the Disney film collection, Little L also loves The Wizard of Oz. So, for our first venture into reading a chapter book together, I decided to go with this one, reading a chapter every night. Since he already knew the basic story and was familiar with the characters I think it was an easier transition than choosing a book that would have been completely new to him. It also led to some good discussions about how the movie is different from the book.

wizard of oz baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; illustrated by W. W. Denslow

We also have a cool Scanimation version of the book that he saw at a book store and just had to have:

wizard oz scanimation

The Wizard of Oz adapted by Rufus Butler Seder

Another movie adaptation Little L really liked was Jumanji, and subsequently we did multiple readings of the wonderful book.


Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg; illustrated by the author

Probably his very favorite book this year has been The Foggy Foggy Forest. He quickly memorized it and now says that he can “read” it. It’s been very nice on evenings  that I’ve been tired (which is most evenings now that Little C is around, too) to let him “read” it to me. He also “reads” the Frozen book to us.

foggy forest

The Foggy Foggy Forest by Nick Sharratt; illustrated by the author

Speaking of reading, I’m really looking forward to the time when Little L begins reading (without quotes) on his own. He’s doing a great job with letter sounds and some word recognition, so I think it will happen pretty soon. Very exciting for this librarian mommy!

Speaking of letting Little L read to me, we also took a foray into wordless books. He especially enjoyed these:


Chalk by Bill Thomson

flora flamingo

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle


Journey by Aaron Becker

We also read nonfiction books when Little L became interested in certain subjects. Earlier this year there was a book about houses he wanted me to read to him over and over. Unfortunately it was a beginning reader title which meant it wasn’t exactly a stimulating read for me. That’s not to say this isn’t a fine title for someone just learning to read though!

where we live

Where We Live by Brenda Stones and Thea Feldman

Lately Little L’s been very interested in the human body and just last week he declared this title his favorite book after just one reading:

drop blood

A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers; illustrated by Edward Miller

This probably has something to do with the vampire theme as much as the subject matter. As a balance to his love of princesses, Little L is also very into zombies, monsters, vampires, and ghosts.

We had to read this book every night for at least a good month:

frankenstein sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex; illustrated by the author

Thank goodness it’s a really great, hilarious book that stands up to repeated readings!

And last but not least, the book that made Little L laugh so hard I wasn’t sure he was breathing for a second:

book no pictures

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak




February 2012 Theme Wrap-Up

14 03 2012

I managed to stick pretty closely to my reading theme in February.  Twelve of the fourteen books I read fit my nonfiction theme.  Of the other two, one was a Newbery Honor book I was finishing up from January’s theme, and the other was a recent children’s title.  I’m trying to fit some of those in as I go so that I can sort of keep up with the latest in children’s literature.

I really enjoy reading nonfiction, so this was a fun theme for me.  The majority of the nonfiction I read was biographies, autobiographies, or memoirs, which was not intentional at all.  It just happens that I’m really drawn to learning about other people’s lives.  Some of the folks I read about were famous, some not well-known at all.  Eleanor Roosevelt (Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery) is by far more of  a household name than Irena Sendler (Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto), but both women did courageous things that changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

With the exception of Mindy Kaling’s memoir (which was pretty funny) and Facing the Lion (which provided a glimpse into the life of the Maasai people), the other autobiographies I read were by children’s authors (Peter Sis’ The Wall, Allen Say’s Drawing from Memory, and Tomie DePaola’s 26 Fairmount Avenue).  While it’s not absolutely necessary to know about an author’s personal life when you read their work, it can often provide insight into their writing.  This can be especially true when you learn about the childhood of someone who writes primarily for children.

My reading also included two helpful parenting titles: 1-2-3 Magic (a method for disciplining children) and Toilet Training (we’re just starting to enter this new territory with Little L).

I didn’t feel like I spent enough time with the cookbooks I checked out from the library to count them as “read” yet, but maybe after I’ve had a chance to try a few recipes I will.

Overall, another great month of reading, although I still didn’t get to as many books as I had hoped.  A reader’s work is never done!