Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn and Thanksgiving Books

Hard on the heels of Halloween, it's time to discuss autumn books. I love this season, though we experience little of it here in the Central Valley of California. We do get cooler weather and changing leaves, but not the brilliant colors so many of you enjoy. We get our fall color on the pages of favorite stories! Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year (along with Christmas and spring). Oh, how we need to remember to be thankful to the Lord for His abundant blessings! Here are a few (and I do mean a few!) of the books we enjoy this time of year.

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh is one that we read every fall. Helen Sewell's illustrations are so gentle and classic.

Now It's Fall is a tiny little Lois Lenski story. It's a perfect before-bed story, short, sweet and filled with Lois Lenski's gracefully illustrations.

A Plump and Perky Turkey is the funnest book to read! It's a traditional November book for The Crew. It's got great rhymes and cadence and a creative, humorous story.

Leaf Man is one that I do not own, but it's one I will grab the first time I see it. I like all of Lois Ehlert's other books!

I have many of the adorable Mousekin books. Mousekin's Thanksgiving is as good as any. The details of Mousekin's life, and the animals he encounters, make this series useful for nature studies as well as literature.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving I love the way this book gives all the glory to God. Squanto's life parallels the Bible's Joseph and it's clearly laid out in this well-illustrated story.

Sarah Morton's Day and the rest of the series are good for studying the life of the folks who lived in the 1600's. They are accurate representations of the activities of their days.

If You Were At The First Thanksgiving is full of facts about the life and times of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Small paragraphs make the nuggets of information easily understood by younger readers, while not being "dumbed down" in content.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scary Books...

... but not too scary! I am not a big fan of Halloween. I very much dislike the ugly, death-exalting facets of it. I don't mind "Hallowee-lite" costumes; the innocent, playful Halloween of days past. I'd rather attend a Harvest carnival than trick-or-treat. I do like to read some 'scary' books to the Littles at this time of year. Here's are some favorites.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is a classic. Every one of my children has listened to this repeatedly. Now, my older children are reading it to the younger.

Teeny Tiny is a teeny tiny paperback book that shares an ancient folktale. It's not a very long or complicted story, but children love it anyway.

We were introduced to the the Cranberry Family by FIAR. This is a fun story with engaging characters.

Another illustrated by Tomie de Paola, The Vanishing Pumpkin tells the tale of a couple, each HUNDREDS of years old, bickering their way through a spooky adventure. I think it's a darling story!

Mercer Mayer has a great series of books with monsters and such. I avoided these books with little-Littles until they were about six. No need to introduce the idea of things living under the bed or in the closet if they haven't made that up themselves already. If I did have a child with a fear of creatures, I would use these books to assuage them. He also has a series of Little Monster books that are similar to his classic Little Critter books.

McBroom's Ghost is just part of the great McBroom series with which every child should be familiar. I can't say enough about McBoom and his family. I love their tenacity, their aplomb and the simple fact that they are always there for each other.

Mommy? is a great pop-up books that we have enjoyed. I have even blogged about it before.

The Trip is a sweet book, like all Ezra Jack Keats books. It's another story in the Louie series.

Can I add another Tomie book? Four Scary Stories is always worth the read.

What about you, Do you have any favorite scary-but-not-too-scary stories? Please share! I'll post The Crew's favorite Autumn Books next time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Books

I went to a book sale tonight and came home with a mixed bag of great books. The first is "A Voyage of the Basset" by James Christensen. Wow. This book leaves me speechless.

The art is truly amazing. I can't believe that I hadn't heard of it before! Make a search of the title in Google images and enjoy some of the lovely artwork.
I haven't read the story yet, but if it matches the illustrations, it'll be wonderful!

The next one is "Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like" by Jay Williams.

This is illustrated by Mercer Mayer, so you know the art is great. The colors in this book are deep and earthy, just like I like best. The story is good, too! Han is polite and generous, to the joy of all involved. He also knows not to judge a book by it's cover!

I grab any and all Patricia Polacco books I see, if they are a reasonable price. This nice hardcover is a library-bound copy that looks new. Bonus-I didn't have this title yet!

Bill Peet doesn't write great literature, but he does write entertaining stories that stick with my children. The vocabulary is challenging, but the Littles understand just fine and always want another book. I am *this* close to having ALL his stories now!

I will be reading about the Kweeks with the Littles tomorrow, I believe.