October 31, 2011

Iggy, Lemony, and Book Worm

Our self-proclaimed kids books month is coming to an end and it’s been loads of fun. There are just a few more books that I wanted to spotlight.

Leslie (who knows a thing or two about what preschool set likes) wrote about her favorite book "Bringing the Rain To Kapiti Plain", written by Verna Aardema. “It's a rhyming story about a young boy in Africa who ends a drought and saves his animals. The pictures are beautiful. I first heard it narrated by James Earl Jones on Reading Rainbow when I was in preschool, and it really has been my favorite book ever since!”
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

Dina shared many gems but then she remembered a few other favorites and they are fine choices:
Roald Dahl The BFG (Big Friendly Giant who does not appear F at first)
Matilda is another one of Dina’s favorites by Dahl.

Dina also confessed an addiction to the The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Things go from bad to worse for the Baudelaire children. These books are the antidote to any cloying syrupy children’s tales and neo-Victorian sensibility is majorly cool.

The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket Victorian

For my part I have mentioned the globe-trotting rodent Dodsworth and the cast of characters from Scandinavia. There are a few more honorable mentions.  Iggy Pack Architect by Andrea Beaty is about a creative kid Iggy who builds out of someone unconventional materials. Iggy’s parents are supportive but he is at the crossroads when his teacher does not share his passion. Amazing illustrations are by David Roberts.

Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty

Oliver Jeffers is another favorite irreverent author. The Incredible Book-Eating Boy is about a child who takes devouring books a little too literally.

There will be many more kids books posts in the future but for now the first kids books month is officially closed!

October 25, 2011

For The Pookie Set

October is flying by and wanted to make sure and fit in at least a couple more posts on favorite kids books. Today’s picks are for the tiniest readers.  
Dwell Farm book with wooly sheep is so pretty! 

Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb (dum ditty dum ditty dum ditty dum) – my friend Avi suggested this one, a favorite with his son Baby Ez.

Anything by Sandra Boyton! I can recite Belly Button Book in my sleep!

Another favorite from Sandra Boyton is Little Pookie – “What’s wrong little Pookie, your bright eyes are wet. Come over and tell me why are you upset.”

More to come and here are some other picks you might like:

October 19, 2011

Online Storytime

We try to read to kids as much as we can, re-reading our favorites and now trying to make our way through our first true chapter book (Moomins!). But sometimes you just don’t have enough hours in the day. What if you could occupy your spun in a constructive way and buy yourself some time to pack lunches/respond to an after-hours work email/catch up on Huff Post? Interested? Read on.

B&N Storytime is awesome. Authors themselves (and some celebrities) read kids books. B&N adds a new book each month. Right now there are fewer than twenty choices but they are all solid favorites – Pinkalicious, Splat the Cat, Where the Wild Things Are. Yes, they are marketing books, but is it really the worst thing if your kid begs for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?

Another place for online story time is Storyline Online. Screen Actors Guild members read kids books, putting their acting prowess into the reading. When Pigasso Met Mootisse was our favorite! Sean Austin (one of the Hobbits) reads A Bad Case of Stripes. Other readers include Al Gore, Amber Rose Tamblyn, and Betty White.
We Give Books is a neat take on literacy and philanthropy. The program was created by the good folks at Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation. For each digital book you read, a book will be donated to one of the leading literacy groups.

The last pick is from the Library of Congress. Digitized books from around 1900s have amazing illustrations!

More picks to come later this week!

October 14, 2011

The Other Dodsworth

This post isn't about Sinclair Lewis' Dodsworth (which I've promptly added to my own to-read list). Today's pick is from my older son, four-year old Binka.  The book series are about the other Dodsworth, a world-travelling rodent with a crazy duck in tow. The pair hits NYC, then sails for Paris, crosses the channel in style via air balloon.

There is a lot to love. The odd pair tries their hand at delivering baguettes in Paris, meets a royal Oxford-educated duck in London, bickers as any travel companions, but generally the two enjoy each other's company.   Binka agrees "I like the duck because he is naughty and gets in trouble.  He makes airplanes our of Euros."
Dodsworth in New York by Tim Egan

Dodsworth in Rome by Tim EganNext stop for Dodsworth and duck is Rome, we are all hoping Santa brings it to us. 

I leave you with the timeless words from the Crazy Duck himself: "Fluffy pancakes in the air. Pancakes, pancakes everywhere!"

You might also like:

October 12, 2011

The Poop List

We've been talking a lot about favorite kids books. But then there are books that make us cringe. My friend L cannot stand Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi and that book inspired the Poop List.

D has many excellent book recommendations but the English Roses by Madonna are not a favorite.

My husband D dislikes anything Caillou. “He is an insipid little do-gooder. No four-year old is that well behaved.”

B says Arthur books are on his Poop List – “he bothers me.” And what is Arthur anyways? In case you are wondering if he is a rat or a hampster, he is neither, he is an aardvark.

I know it has many fans but reading Are You My Mother? ranks on my list somewhere between cleaning the baseboards and sitting in a dental chair. And how do you explain to your kid where the deadbeat daddy bird is?

Another one that gets my goat is Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel. The book has its following, including in my own household but I despise reading it.

What books make your Poop List?

October 9, 2011

Favorite Books: Dina's List

Did you enjoy Cactus Hotel from Eve and Betty Bunny from Shannon? Today I am sharing my friend Dina’s picks. Dina has impeccab le taste and over the years has introduced us to some favorites (including Tomten!). When I mentioned the month devoted to children’s books, Dina rattled off some of her favorites:

Dina’s first pick is Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. She liked it for “the fun of the voices you can do and the cuteness of the stories.” I initially thought that Sal was a boy (and the cover did not indicate otherwise!). Alas Sal is a little girl that follows a mother bear in the Maine woods while picking blueberries. Perfect for the next trip to Southwest Harbor, no?

Owl Babies is about little fluffy birdies worrying about their owl mom. 
is about little fluffy birdies worrying about their owl mom.

Another recommendation featuring an owl, albeit a less likable one, is Poppy. The book’s hero is a brave mouse and it is an epic story with a dash of romance for good measure. These series are for the set who are a few years out of Pre-K.

Another beautifully illustrated pick is Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes. Here is a delicious sampling:

Oh my goodness, oh my dear
Sassafras and ginger beer
Chocolate cake and apple punch
I'm too full to eat my lunch!

Terrier or possibly mutt Harry Maclary hails from New Zealand. Harry Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is the first book in the series by Lynley Dodd. The cast of characters includes dachund Schnitzel von Krumm, Dalmatian Bottomley Potts, and a sheepdog Muffin McClay.

Dina also suggested Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. This book is about a china rabbit of uncommon depth (especially for a porcelain figurine). The rabbit is lost and in his travels discovers a lot about life.

This is a gentle book about all the places and all the people with wonderful landscaples.

Children's Books All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachan

Dina said “anything by Peter Sìs.” The Amazon delivered search results that included The Wall: Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain, The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin, and Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei. I was impressed. But there were also simple and gorgeous Dinosaur and Fire Truck.

Children's books Dinosaur by Peter Sis

Thanks Dina! A few more of her recommendations are coming later this month.

October 6, 2011

From Betty to Jabberwocky

This favorite came to me from my friend and colleague Shannon. Betty Bunny is a picky eater. She wants nothing by cake. She loves cake so much she is going to marry it! What’s not to love?

Illustrators do not always get their share of glory but I wanted to know more about Stèphane Jorisch. Sure enough, among the many illustrations to his name, Jorisch illustrated Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky. Read more about the illustration at 36pages.com and let me know what you think of the poem, below.

Stephane Jorisch illustrated Lewis Carrol's Jabberwocky poem
Jabberwocky illustrations by Stèphane Jorisch
Image source: 36Pages.com 

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

October 5, 2011

Do you like my hat?

I married into this pick – “Go dog go” by P.D. Eastman. “The best book ever” was the laconic comment my husband made about his choice. The seemingly simple little book does pack in a lot – colors, spacial orientation, rules of the road. Looking at “Go dog go” through the eyes of an adult one sees that the dogs are a product of their time (it was first published in early 60s) – they have a roaring party on top of the tree and all sleep in one big bed, ahem. But kids love the silly dogs going about their dog business.

Go Dog Go by P.F. Eastman - Do you like my hat?

This is a weeknight post so it is rather clipped. More wonderful picks to come. In the meantime you might also enjoy:

October 3, 2011

Your Picks: Cactus Hotel

Happy Monday! Speaking of favorite books, this pick comes from my friend Eve (who incidentally has an excellent food blog, Garden of Eating where you can find everything from canning to making your own maple syrup).

Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Megan Lloyd.  "I love the book Cactus Hotel both for its illustrations and for the story it tells of the life of a saguaro cactus from seed to grave and all the homes it provides for the other animals. It's a beautiful book (and my son loves it, too)."

This quote from the book is lovely: "On a hot, dry day in the desert, a bright-red fruit falls from a tall saguaro cactus. Plop. It splits apart on the sandy floor. Two thousand black seeds glisten in the sunlight."  Brenda Guiberson also has several other books including one about rain forest so her name is going right on our library list.

Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson, illustrated by Megan Lloyd

Saguaro Cactus in Arizona

P.S. I am not familiar with the flora of Southwest so naturally I turned to Wikipedia. Saguaro is magestic and some plants live more than 150 years. Eve, thanks for recommendation!

You might also enjoy reading about children's books by Scandinavian authors - they are magical!

October 2, 2011

Quiet Magic from Scandinavia

I am kicking off the Kids Books Month with a few favorites by Scandinavian authors. Long before the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo there was Karlson-on-The-Roof. You see, Karlson, a small chubby person, flies all over Stockholm thanks to a clever little propeller on this back. He has the coziest of houses on top of a roof of a large building and befriended a very ordinary little boy who lives on the top floor. Karlson likes to defy unreasonable and authoritative housekeeper by swiping tasty Swedish meatballs and wonderful cinnamon buns fresh from the oven.

Karlson saga is by a Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. I highly recommend exploring her magical world.

Karlson on the Roof by scandinavian writer Astrid Lindgren

For the younger set Ms. Lindgren wrote Tomten.  It’s a quietly magical book about a little elf-like creature that creeps about talking to animals in the night on a snowy farm in the Swedish backwater.  While I grew up with Karlson, I was introduced to Tomten only recently by our friend Dina – her favorites will be featured on the blog later this month.
Tomten by Swedish author Astrid Lingren

Final pick from prolific Astrid is Emil.  Growing up my little cousin adored Emil, a boy with innocent looks and a knack for getting in mischief.  I will be ordering a copy for my boys Binka and Bookie any day now (assuming it is in print in English!).

Emil in a Sticky Situation by Swedish writer Astrid Lingren

The Moomintrolls come by the way of Finland, though really the Moomin Valley is sovereign nation.  If you haven't met Moomintroll yet, you should. Moomins are peaceful and gentle creatures, timeless and somehow very real. Just as in Tompten there is some melancholy in the book, like a look back to the worldview of a child.

Moomin Trolls by Jove Janssen from Finland

The writer Tove Jansson was also a talented artist and thanks to her illustrations we know just how a Moomin ought to look.  She also did pretty remarkable self-portraits - check out her work here.  

Moomin Trolls by Jove Janssen from Finland
The stories have an ensemble cast with Sniff and Snufkin, Moominpappa and
Moominmamma, Moomintroll, Hemulen, and others.
More favorites, ours and yours, later this week!

October 1, 2011

Kids Books Month!

Today on Modern Klatch I am kicking off kids books month. I am really not sure if there is an actual month dedicated to children’s literature but October seemed like a perfect month if there ever was one. 

Thought Modern Klatch is decidedly not a ‘mommy blog’ this month is dedicated to my boys, Binka and Bookie. As you may have seen from many past posts, I enjoy books and everything about them. Though not always a disciplined reader tackling books I ought to, reading makes me happy.  Cozying up to reread an old favorite, digging through the stacks of used books, flipping through reviews in New York Times, taking kids for our usual library visit.  So the point is I want to pass on love of reading to my sons and this month Klatch will be chock full of kids books!

Please join us – I hope you will check out some of our favorites and send me your beloved titles.

Penguin Books Wrapping Paper
It's Penguin wrapping paper!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...