Sweetpea’s newfound interest in books has moved along the project again, as things were stalling a little when she wasn’t interested and it was difficult to carve out snuggly reading time with Peanut with a little sister tugging on us. Both girls now are bringing books for us to read fairly frequently throughout the day. It has become a teaching tool about taking turns!
70. Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
This book was short but very cute. There are 4 dust bunnies in an array of colors, and they spout of rhyming words together, except one who isn’t shouting “look out!” They quickly dodge an incoming broom, but in the middle of another bout of rhyming action, they get sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. It is the perfect length for a preschooler’s attention span, and somewhat educational too.
The author has written a sequel entitled Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny! There is also a cute activity where kids can fill in the speech bubbles with that they think the dust bunnies might be saying. The School Library Journal article on the book includes pictures of most of it, and some people dressed up in costumes of the dust bunnies, so that’s new and different.
69. Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
This book has been a favorite for a long time. It may have actually been one of the first books that we ever read to Peanut. I’ve memorized it, since there’s only about 100 words or so. It’s pretty short and cute, with animal sounds and rhyming. Peanut is a bit out of the age range for it, as with the previous Boynton, but it is perfect for Sweetpea. Our copy looks very well-loved, although this time around, neither girl seemed particular interested in it.
This book was published the same year as But Not The Hippopotamus, along with 6 others that are still in print and quite beloved by kids. I would consider this batch of 8 books kind of the beginning collection of Boynton books that are great to have in a collection. We have most of them. They haven’t aged a bit.
68. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
This book was interesting, and broke the 4th wall a bunch. The story starts off with the basic Three Little Pigs story (not the Disney-fied one – the pigs get eaten in this one!) but right before the wolf is about to have bacon for the first time, his huffing and puffing sends the little pig right out of the page! That pig goes along and rounds up his buddies, and they all go exploring in some other stories. They find a dragon to scare the pants off the wolf, and then they live happily ever after. It was cute.
This book is our second from Wiesner, which is interesting because I had never heard of him before. He has a great blog on www.davidwiesner.com which lets readers into the process of drawing picture books, with sketches and commentary. I couldn’t find anything specific on the pigs book, but I bet if you dig in there, you can find something.
67. Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
I requested this book from Paperback Swap awhile ago, and it came up briefly and then my request got cancelled. I worried that it would be another book I would have to shell out some dough for, although it turns out that it may have been a good thing, because the audiobook I managed to find was a surprise hit. It is a collection of all four Frances stories, with Bedtime for Frances as the first one. It’s basically a little girl (illustrated as a badger) that stalls for bedtime as many different ways that she can.
This story, and a few other Frances tales, were adapted into a 6 episode animated series by Jim Henson studios. The audiobook was read by a woman with an English accent (who played the mum in Mary Poppins, no less!), so now in my head, Frances is pronounced that way forever. Frawwwwnces. And thus, Parker has been introduced to audiobooks and there goes listening to music in the car forever.
66. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Peanut loved this book, but I tell you, I got really tired of reading the name “Chrysanthemum” out loud. In the book’s 30 pages, I had to read the name 51 times. And usually, three times in a row. The message of the book is actually pretty great. This little mouse girl was given this name, and she loved it. But when she got to school, she was mercilessly teased because it was too long and also the name of a flower. In the end, a teacher comes to her defense and says that when her baby girl is born, she is going to use the name Chrysanthemum for her because it is perfect.
Meryl Streep lent her vocal talents to an animated version of the book, and it won a whole bunch of awards.
Another batch coming, including my first Seuss! I’m hoping to get some more momentum on this project as I’ve started it over a year ago and I still haven’t gotten halfway through it! Life with children is ever unpredictable.