Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer of 100 Books Update!

So, we're officially a month into The Summer of 100 Books, and I wanted to let you know how it's been going. The short answer is, awesome! It's been kinds cool to dust off books I didn't even know we had (let alone had never read) as well as get back to our old standbys. I even hit the cheap book jackpot this past weekend, since the Rescue Squad in my town had its yearly rummage sale and I walked out with stacks and stacks of books for a pittance, and the same day I got to a liquidation sale at a daycare that had gone out of business (SCORE! I found a complete pre-school to kindergarten curriculum, and bought it on the spot to use alongside what we already do!). So, yay! Here's what we've been reading, in no particular order:
  1. Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino. One of my favs, because it rhymes and it's about animals!
  2. Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire. Dr. Seuss-esque tale about a cool creature with spots and how unique he is, and  his desire to live in the zoo. Also rhymes.
  3. There's No Place Like Home (Sesame Street collection book) by Tom Dunsmuir. Talks about the different kinds of places people can live, but the point, obvs, is that there's no place like your home. 
  4. Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper. Cupcake feels sad because although his brothers and sisters are fancy and elaborate, he is perfectly plain, until he meets a plain candle who feels the same and they make each other feel special together!
  5. I Can Take A Nap (Muppet Babies book) by Bonnie Worth. So totally worth reading. Miss Piggy gets cranky, mopey and clumsy when she doesn't take a nap, only unlike a normal toddler, she knows and  admits it! 
  6. Olivia Says Goodnight by Gabe Pulliam and Farrah McDoogle. I really like the Olivia stories, because she can always be anything she wants (and she always goes to sleep at the end)! And in this one, she cleans up her room and plays nicely with her little brother. Isn't that always good to preach? 
  7. Baby Einstein Pretty Poems and Wonderful Words, poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. I'll admit that while this is a cool lift-the-flap, colorful board book, some of the wording demands a little explanation for a toddler. But it's a nice intro to poetry!
  8. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. We spend so much time in the garden, and I think that learning about where food comes from is so super-important, so this book gets read a lot. I mean, a whole lot. Like Stenni's close to memorizing it type of a lot. Plus it was one of my favorites as a kid, so my name's written super-sloppy in the front cover. 
  9. Three Little Kittens by Lorianne Siomades. So you probably know the rhyme about the three little kittens who lost their mittens. This book is really cool because you can look for the mittens along with your kid, and it's easy for little ones to memorize and "read" along with you. 
  10. Kite Day: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand. A bear and a mole work together to make a kite, but it breaks and provides a shelter for baby birds. I'm torn on this one. I feel like it's kind of phoned in and maybe promotes littering (?) but it shows different species working together so that's cool, and I just wanted a book about kites so that was covered too. 
  11. Angelina's New Partner (Angelina Ballerina) by some unnamed author. This was only ok too, but it did show Stenni that there are other kinds of acceptable dance besides ballet and tap-dancing (the new kid does hip hop dance too), and shows kids (mice kids?) working together even though they have different backgrounds, and that first impressions are not always right. I like the original Angelina Ballerina books better. 
  12. Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman. I love this book and read it every single time we are going to go camping. For reals. I wish that birds told me where to find delicious food, but the idea of being chased out of a lake bya gigantic fish is terrifying (to me, not Stenni). 
  13. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. A classic. Also a cop-out, because it's like the equivalent of a paragraph. But a classic anyway. 
  14. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt. This has been one of Stenni's favorites for a while now. It lends itself well to exaggerated reading and silly voices, and it's short and sweet.
  15. I Ruff You by Sandra Magsamen. I'm usually not allowed to read this book, it's pretty much reserved for Papa reading time. They read it through once in a silly way that they've written themselves (hint: it involves the word "poo" even though it's not mentioned anywhere in the real book, because poo is funny to both toddlers and Papas), then they read it the "real" way. It's nice that Stenni likes it enough to parody it, I guess.
  16. Rah, Rah Radishes! A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre. Such a fun book to read out loud, and it has pictures of vegetables you may have never mentioned to your kids, like bok choy  and parsnips. Now when we go to the veggie market, Stenni can point them out and tell me about them, which is really all I could ask for. 
  17. What Will I Do If I Can't Tie My Shoe? by Heidi Kilgras. Dude, shoe tying is hard. I avoid it when I can. I always leave my sneakers pre-tied and try to jam my foot into them (as I inch through my second trimester, this is actually happening less and less and I generally sign and untie, then re-tie them, then sign again pitifully). In this book, a boy who has already mastered buttons, snaps and zippers frets over learning to tie his sneakers, but it helped in the end by his big brother. All-around nice. 
  18. Our Class Is Going Green by the kindergarten class at Oak Park Elementary School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. This adorable book shows what one particular class is doing to save the environment. It's pretty basic stuff but it spurred conversation. The most interesting topic it brought up was that Stenni thinks that we live in our house, not on Earth. I tried to convince her that it's both, but she wasn't having it. I'll push that topic again at a later date. 
  19. The Fire Cat by Esther Averill. A cute chapter book (but a surprisingly quick and easy read) about a cat that lives in a firehouse. He starts out being kind of mean and selfish, but ends up saving a scared kitten from a really high branch when the firefighters can't, and decides that it's only the beginning of the nice things he'll do.  
  20. Eeyore, Pooh, Piglet and Tigger board books, of dubious authorship, "inspired by" A.A. Milne. What kid doesn't love Winnie the Pooh? Also, we can learn a lot about what not to be like from the gloomy Eeyore, and also from Pooh, who in this case happened to eat too much honey and get stuck in a door for two weeks (can anyone say glutton?).
  21. Prairie Dog Town (A Smithsonian Wild Heritage Collection Book) by Bettye Rogers. This is a great book to read before a zoo trip. We have a prairie dog habitat at our zoo and this explained a lot (even to me!) about how they live in the wild. It follows a little prairie dog who is hungry and goes out on his own to find food and eventually set up a new home away from his family. 
  22. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. A fun book that you should sing to your kid. You can do the dance too. I do. Stenni does it with me sometimes. I think she just likes to watch me jump around like an idiot instead.
  23. The Monster at the End of the Book (Sesame Street) by Jon Stone. This was my dad's favorite book as a kid, and I can see why. It is fun to read and play along with the story. Plus it shows kids that they don't need to be frightened of something just because it sounds scary. Starring "lovable, furry old Grover."
  24. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss. A fun read-along and a chance to make silly noises with your kid. What more do you want? This is one that instantly turns a bad day good, or a pouty kiddo into a silly one. 
  25. Cookie's Guessing Game About Food (Sesame Street), no author listed. This one is good because it's like a fun little mini-quiz for kids about different kinds of food. here are only a few questions, but Stenni seemed to really like it.
  26. Dressed for the Ball (Disney Princess book), no author listed. I guess it's ok for Stenni to sneak a few princess books in here and there. Little girls will do that, and there' really no harm in it, no matter how bothersome I find it. This one was pretty much fluff, about dresses. That's it. 
  27. Just in Time: A Story About Patience (Disney Princess book) by Jacqueline A. Ball. This princess book was much better, because it had a moral: patience is a virtue. Everyone learns a lesson about being patient, namely that it helps you to calm down, to make a plan, and to enjoy things more in the end. This is a particularly pertinent lesson for a toddler, and coating it with candy-princess-fluff makes it a little easier to swallow. 
  28. Playful Learning: Rhymes, Songs and Games (A Hands-On Parent Resource), no listed author. We're working through this one as a homeschooling exercise. It's got a lot of songs in it, plus games and activities to go along with it. I don't know that we'll get through the whole thing, but it's a good resource to have. 
So that's the list so far, from the Tuesday after Memorial Day until the present. I'll give another update at the end of July. Come back tomorrow for a review of what I've read, am reading, and hope to read this summer!

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