What the Kids are Reading (in February 2016)

Late in January I finally closed out my Usborne kickoff parties and cashed in on the free books I earned through them.

I got a TON of books, and we’ve been reading and reading them. Here are the board books I received – stay tuned for later posts about all the other books. It was an amazing shipment! So, yes, most of the books we read in February were either picture books about the Arctic or Korea, or our new books. Since I’ve already posted about those themed picture books, today’s post is all about the books we actually added to our bookshelf. So exciting!

Board Books and Activity Books

Busy Train bookBusy Train Book
I *thought* I was just getting this as a display book for home shows. Ha! My kids – all of them – LOVE this book. Who knew a train driving around in loops could be so amazingly entertaining?

My Wild Animal WorldMy Wild Animal World
Another huge hit here – my youngest is obsessed with opening the big book, and then removing the 9 individual books, flipping through them, and then putting them back in the big book. The other two love reading these with her too, so it’s a double win!

Slide and See Under the SeaSlide-and-See Under the Sea

And yet another huge hit with the toddler. She loves the textures, she loves the various interactive features – it’s fantastic. I’ve even caught the other two flipping through it, and both are eager to read it to her.

Little Red Penguin ShapesLittle Red Penguin Shapes

The toddler likes lifting the flaps on this one, but it doesn’t captivate her as much as some of their other choices. However, I like the smaller size on this, as it’s easy to keep in my purse and pull out when I need a little bit of distraction.

Pop-Up JunglePop-Up Jungle

Really pretty pop-ups, but it’s probably the least popular of all the board and interactive books I’ve gotten from Usborne, perhaps because it’s got all these tempting elements – the snapping crocodile jaws, the swinging monkey, the slithering snake – and I won’t let her grab any of them.

Peek Inside the ZooPeek Inside the Zoo

A great first lift the flap book, as the flaps are bigger than in some of their other titles. Pretty illustrations too – I really like it. That said, it just misses being one of the biggest hits of this order, but I can see my youngest liking it more as she gets a bit older. It’s suggested for kids 3 and up, and based on my experiences with my three, I’d agree with that. 🙂

Felix and Ella's VacationFelix & Ella’s Vacation

It’s a huge, reusable sticker book: of course my kids are obsessed with it. It was all I could do to keep them from tearing into it the first day it arrived. We haven’t had it long enough to really test the long-term re-usability factor of the stickers but so far they’re definitely movable.

Big Book of ColorsBig Book of Colors

My 4 year old LOVES this. The 6 year old really likes it too, but not as much as his sister. I have to admit I kind of wanted this one for myself – I love the colors, I love the color wheel, I love the acrylic overlay that lets you see how colors change. Love love love. It’s great for color vocabulary too.

I Want to Be a Lion TamerI Want to Be a Lion Tamer by Ruby Brown, illustrated by Alisa Coburn

Usborne has a handful of books that are great transitions from board books to picture books, and this is one of them – the pages are thicker and plastic-coated, so while they feel and turn more like picture books, they’re sturdier like board books. This has great illustrations with an old-fashioned feel, and the message is fantastic. I really debated between choosing this one or the I Want to Be An Astronaut, but like this one so much I may end up getting both. 🙂

Look Inside Mummies and PyramidsLook Inside Mummies and Pyramids

I got this as a fun extra for our upcoming homeschool history program, and cannot WAIT to pull it out and let my son see it. He’s going to love it, I’m certain.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: How I Decided to Homeschool and How I Decided on a Curriculum
Two years ago: Women Heroes of WWII
Three years ago: Let’s Talk about Spoilers

newest reads board books interactive books February 2016February 2016 Usborne board books

Our Literary Advent Plans, 2015

literary advent 2015I’ve written about it before, but each year seems to be slightly different: different ages for the kids, different energy levels for me, a few new books to add to the mix. This is what we’ll be using for our literary advent this year

Not sure what a literary advent is? From December 1 – 24, we read a “new” book every day. Sometimes it’s really a new book, and sometimes it’s just ones we haven’t seen since last year. I’ve even wrapped library books before!

And if you’re counting, and wondering why I’ve got more than 24 books? It’s because I try and have one book for each child each day. Note that I do *not* actually wrap them all – I put them in reusable gift bags, and each day use the same bag again. Less work for me versus wrapping lots of books, although it’s not as impressive looking as a big pile of wrapped books. Go with what works best for you. 🙂

Note: an (L) before a title means it’ll be a library book. These are subject to change based on availability. 😉

    Board Books:

  1. Baby’s First NativityBaby's First Nativity (The First Bible Collection) by Muff Singer, illustrated by Peter Stevenson by Muff Singer, illustrated by Peter Stevenson
  2. BobBob by Sandra Boynton by Sandra Boynton
  3. The Little Drummer BoyThe Little Drummer Boy illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
  4. Tell Me the Christmas StoryTell Me the Christmas Story by Joni Walker by Joni Walker
  5. Who is Coming to Our House?Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashley Wolff by Joseph Slate & illustrated by Ashley Wolff
  6. Jesus, Me, and My Christmas TreeJesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry
  7. A Star for JesusA Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry
  8. J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever ToldJ Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry
  9. Christmastime Is HereChristmastime Is Here (Little people books) by Ellen Weiss by Ellen Weiss
  10. The Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by  Christian Birmingham by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham
  11. My Nativity Jigsaw BookMy Nativity Jigsaw Book by Christina Goodings, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott by Christina Goodings, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
  12. *Fa La LaFa La La (Leslie Patricelli board books) by Leslie Patricelli by Leslie Patricelli
  13. Picture Books

  14. The Very First ChristmasThe Very First Christmas (The Beginner's Bible)
  15. I’ll Be Home for ChristmasI'll Be Home for Christmas (Toot & Puddle) by Holly Hobbie by Holly Hobbie
  16. The Littlest Christmas TreeThe Littlest Christmas Tree by R. A. Herman, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers by R. A. Herman, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
  17. Hilary Knight’s The Twelve Days of ChristmasHilary Knight's The Twelve Days of Christmas
  18. Mortimer’s Christmas MangerMortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
  19. Bear Stays Up for ChristmasBear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
  20. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian StoryThe Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
  21. S Is for Star: A Christmas AlphabetS Is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet (Alphabet Books) by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, illustrated by Pam Carroll by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, illustrated by Pam Carroll
  22. Christmas in the Big WoodsChristmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef
  23. Christmas in the BarnChristmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode
  24. The Jolly Christmas PostmanThe Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg by Janet & Allen Ahlberg
  25. The NativityThe Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas illustrated by Julie Vivas
  26. Only a StarOnly a Star by Margery Facklam, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter by Margery Facklam, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
  27. The Christmas StoryThe Christmas Story by Jane Werner, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin by Jane Werner, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
  28. Christmas in the CityChristmas in the City by Loretta Krupinski by Loretta Krupinski
  29. The Parable Series: The Pine Tree ParableThe Parable Series: The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs, illustrated by Nancy Munger by Liz Curtis Higgs, illustrated by Nancy Munger
  30. Humphrey’s First ChristmasHumphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer by Carol Heyer
  31. The Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for ChildrenThe Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for Children by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Francois Roca by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Francois Roca
  32. (L) The Christmas Tree ShipThe Christmas Tree Ship by Carol Crane, illustrated by Chris Ellison by Carol Crane, illustrated by Chris Ellison
  33. (L) Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of TinselCobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Jane Manning by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Jane Manning
  34. (L) Polar ExpressPolar Express by Chris Van Allsburg by Chris Van Allsburg
  35. (L) Llama Llama Holiday DramaLlama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney by Anna Dewdney
  36. (L) Madeline’s ChristmasMadeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans by Ludwig Bemelmans
  37. (L) Christmas OrangesChristmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, illustrated by Ben Sowards by Linda Bethers, illustrated by Ben Sowards
  38. (L) The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center TreeThe Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel, illustrated by Jim LaMarche by David Rubel, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
  39. (L) Christmas Day in the MorningChristmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck, illustrated by Mark Buehner by Pearl S. Buck, illustrated by Mark Buehner
  40. (L)The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P. J. Lynch by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P. J. Lynch
  41. (L) Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
  42. (L) The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout FishThe Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna
  43. (L) Goodnight, MangerGoodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman
    by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman
  44. (L) Legend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of Our Favorite Christmas CandyLegend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of Our Favorite Christmas Candy by Lori Walburg, illustrated by James Bernardin by Lori Walburg, illustrated by James Bernardin
  45. (L) An Orange for FrankieAn Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco
  46. (L) Christmas TapestryChristmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco
  47. Chapter Books

  48. The Best Christmas Pageant EverThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson by Barbara Robinson
  49. The Family Under the BridgeThe Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson, illustrated by Garth Williams by Natalie Savage Carlson, illustrated by Garth Williams
  50. The Jesse TreeThe Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Bee Willey by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Bee Willey

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: New Christmas Books

What the Kids are Reading (in October and November 2015)

Lots of books to share about this month, especially since I missed last month with my book club series.

A Sick Day for Amos McGeeA Sick Day for Amos McGeeA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
I’ve seen this listed so many places as a recommended picture book, and I enthusiastically agree –
it’s wonderful!

Orange Pear Apple BearOrange Pear Apple BearOrange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett by Emily Gravett
We’ve read this one dozens of times already, and will probably be adding this to our “buy this book” lit. It’s fantastic, and I was so impressed with the illustrations, and how the author tells the story with such limited vocabulary.

MooMoo!Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
My kids (yes, both of them) laughed and laughed and laughed at this one. Another one we may end up buying. Lots of fun to read aloud, if you’re willing to really throw yourself into it and get expressive. 🙂

The Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Another hit this month, and now we want to read the sequel, The Day the Crayons Came HomeThe Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

The Firekeeper’s SonThe Firekeeper’s SonThe Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing
Not a favorite for my kids, but one I may try again in another six months or so. I liked the idea of it more than the book itself, which didn’t keep their interest.

Hanna’s Cold WinterHanna’s Cold WinterHanna's Cold Winter by Trish Marx, illustrated by Barbara Knutson by Trish Marx, illustrated by Barbara Knutson
I wasn’t sure if my kids would care about it, but they loved it! We read it several times the first week after borrowing it, and then they kept it in their room to reread it (or “reread” it) as desired.

The Story of FerdinandThe Story of FerdinandThe Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson
My kids were not as interested in this as I expected them to be. I was overcome by nostalgia when reading it, so I’m sure that colored my expectations, but still: come on kids, this is a classic!

Bears Don’t Read by Emma Chichester ClarkBear’s Don’t Read by Emma Chichester Clark
Very cute story, with sweet illustrations (and great expressions on the bear’s face). I liked the ending quite a bit, and though I wasn’t sure how the kids would like it, they were enthralled!

Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown, illustrated by Alyssa NassnerSecrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown, illustrated by Alyssa Nassner
Nonfiction picture book, and my kids loved the flashlight trick this book includes (when you shine a light behind the page you see hidden illustrations). What could have just been a gimmick was pretty well-done at adding to the information.

CinderellaCinderella (retold by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Lorena Alvarez)
The familiar story, with some subtle variations. My daughter (princess-obsessed as she is) claimed this book for her own, and she loved how she already knew the story. Nicely illustrated.

GossieGossieGossie (Gossie & Friends) by Olivier Dunrea by Olivier Dunrea
Cute enough, but not one I felt compelled to read again, and not one the kids asked to hear more than once.

Double PinkDouble PinkDouble Pink by Kate Feiffer by Kate Feiffer
Meh. My daughter’s pick, and it isn’t one I’d recommend you make any effort to find. If you also have a pink-obsessed daughter and can find it at the library, she’d probably be delighted.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Two years ago: Book Review: Far from Home by Mary Herring Wright
Three years ago: Why to Track the Books You Read

Bookroo: A Bookish Subscription Service

bookroo box and wrapped booksSeems like subscription boxes are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to understand why. New items sent right to your door? How fun!

But beauty boxes aren’t my thing, and even clothing ones don’t tempt me that much. I’d rather spend my money on books and things for my kids.

Now a subscription box of kids’ books? SIGN ME UP.

H with Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-Over 2Literally, sign me up. I jumped at the chance to try Bookroo. No, this post isn’t sponsored by them (although they did give me a discount code to try them. And I also have a discount for you to try them too!) I was just that enthusiastic to try what looked like such a fun product.

Before I signed up, I checked out what books they’ve been sending in the past. What fun would it be if it’s all old familar books we already have read or own? Nowhere near as much fun as it’d be if they were new discoveries.

Glancing over previous boxes, I found one – ONE – title that we already read, let alone owned. And that solitary title is an absolute favorite, so that speaks well to their taste.

H reading Hugless DouglasSo, we’re trying it out. I signed up for a three-month subscription, and they’re nice enough to let me alternate between picture books and board books.

Our first month’s delivery arrived, and it was all I could do to hold off the kids long enough to get a picture. I had thoughts of taking an unboxing video but that wasn’t happening. Too much excitement by the big kids! (How convenient it is for me that two picture books = one for each kid to immediately claim. Board book subscriptions come with 3 book in each box.)

boo_headIf you want to try Bookroo, you can get $4 off a subscription. Where I think think Bookroo really shines is for gifts – they make it super easy, and the packaging is nice. I would have been delighted to get this as a baby shower gift, and I love the idea of sending this to friends who have new babies.

And a reminder: This post is not sponsored by them, and I’m not an affiliate. They did give me a discount code to use to try their service, but you can also get a discount too: If you click over to them using my link, you’ll automatically get $4 off your order.

New Christmas Books

New Christmas Books 2014Last year I wrote about the Christmas and Advent books I was reading with my children, and my plans to continue adding to our collection. I wanted to get to the point where we could do a literary advent and wrap 24 books, to open and read one a day.

Thanks to looking for used books throughout the year, and a handful of new purchases this month, we’ve got enough books – now I just need to wrap them!

We’ll still use most of the books from last year (and that “baby” mentioned then? That’s H, who was 2 at the time. I wrote that post just before finding out I was having another baby, so those board books I anticipated would soon be dropped from the rotation will be sticking around a few more years. 🙂

Some of the books we’ll be adding to our reading this year that I’m most excited about:

The Jolly Christmas PostmanThe Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg by Janet & Allen Ahlberg
This one looks like it will be so much fun. It also seems like it might be one that will require a lot of policing. 🙂

1001 Things to Spot at Christmas1001 Things to Spot at Christmas
My kids love these sorts of books, so this might be the first one we unwrap – I can easily imagine them both wanting to look at it day after day.

S Is for Star: A Christmas AlphabetS Is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet (Alphabet Books) by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, illustrated by Pam Carroll by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, illustrated by Pam Carroll
Beautiful illustrations, and there are two levels of text in the book – a simple entry for each letter, and then a sidebar with more details. I like that structure a lot for a wide age range.

Humphrey’s First ChristmasHumphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer by Carol Heyer
Lots of humor, and yet the focus is still on Christ. I think my kids will get a kick out of the camel’s expressions.

I’m really excited to try some of the new-to-us books with my kids this year – last year while we had several that they really enjoyed, a number were just so-so. Hopefully we can continue to develop our collection until it’s filled with nothing but hits. And I know I’ll continue to add books as they get older and can appreciate other titles more. 🙂

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading (in February 2014)

The last round of library books I brought home for my kids weren’t that popular with them, so most of what we’ve been reading have been our old favorites from our own bookshelves. I’m hoping my memory & searching hasn’t failed me, but I’ve tried to list some new-to-the-blog ones we’ve been enjoying:

George and the DragonGeorge and the DragonGeorge and the Dragon by Chris Wormell by Chris Wormell

I have no idea why this didn’t make it on our Favorite Picture Books list, because it definitely should have. A brain freeze that made me forget it? Both kids love it, and both have memorized huge portions of the text. The fact that they get to roar like a dragon during the recitation is a huge bonus.

Little Blue TruckLittle Blue Truck Board BookLittle Blue Truck by Alice Schertle illustrated by Jill McElmurry by Alice Schertle; illustrated by Jill McElmurry

If I was rewriting the Favorite Board Books post, this one would make it. A gift from grandma, they love the pictures, and the fun rhymes, and the opportunity to make so many fun barnyard animal sounds. Plus honk like a dump truck.

Little PookieLittle PookieLittle Pookie by Sandra Boynton by Sandra Boynton

Really, any of the Little Pookie books, but this one has the fun line about wearing daddy’s shirt, which is hi-lar-i-ous to my two.

Machines at WorkMachines at Work Board BookMachines at Work  by Byron Barton by Byron Barton

I can’t remember if it was Anne or Jessica who gave me the heads-up on this one, but my son loved it for the longest time. Now he’s liking trying to read the words of it, so the appeal has continued somewhat.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading: Christmas and Advent Books

Christmas and Advent Books CollageI’m working on building up our collection of Christmas and Advent books – I’d love to get to a point where I could wrap them for the kids to enjoy one “new” on each day of Advent. We’re not quite there, but I was so late at even pulling them out of storage (thanks to house guests through the first part of the month) that it didn’t really matter. I do have additional books to work into the rotation once my children get somewhat older too, but by the time they’re ready for those I’m sure they’ll be done with some of the board books. Or I’ll be done with reading them. 🙂

And, I’d love to know what book you consider to be must-reads for the season – let me know what we’re missing!

What we’re reading this year:

Board Books:

Christmastime Is HereChristmastime Is Here (Little people books) by Ellen Weiss by Ellen Weiss
One I’d like to retire because of the Santa emphasis (we don’t do Santa in our family), but they like lifting the flaps so much I haven’t done so yet.

Baby’s First NativityBaby's First Nativity (The First Bible Collection) by Muff Singer, illustrated by Peter Stevenson by Muff Singer, illustrated by Peter Stevenson
Will probably be retired at some point once my baby is older, but it’s fine for now.

The Little Drummer BoyThe Little Drummer Boy illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
I’d also like to retire this one from the rotation once I get additional books. It’s not my favorite, although I do really like the illustrations.

BobBob by Sandra Boynton by Sandra Boynton
Totally silly, but in a way that makes us all laugh. While I wouldn’t want all of our books to be like this, I don’t mind a few completely secular ones.

Who is Coming to Our House?Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashley Wolff by Joseph Slate & illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Still another one that I don’t see lasting that many more years, but it’s cute for now. Some of the rhymes are clunkier than I’d like which is why it’s not one of my favorites.

Tell Me the Christmas StoryTell Me the Christmas Story by Joni Walker by Joni Walker
I think it’s cute, but the kids do not find it that interesting.

Jesus, Me, and My Christmas TreeJesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry, A Star for JesusA Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry and J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever ToldJ Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry
I like her books and their focus on Christ, and the kids like them too. A few of her rhymes are more forced than I’d prefer, but not so much that I look forward to retiring the books.

My Nativity Jigsaw BookMy Nativity Jigsaw Book by Christina Goodings, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott by Christina Goodings, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
Awesome book for puzzle fans, but not always the easiest one when you have more than one puzzle fan, if you get what I’m saying. Also, the puzzle pieces can be hard to put together, and yet hard to keep together at the same time, so the idea works better than the execution at times. It’s still a huge hit this year. My biggest complaint is that the wise men are shown arriving to see Jesus while he’s still in the manger. That’s so common, but it annoys me.

The Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by  Christian Birmingham by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham
Our other Santa book, but this is such a classic story I don’t mind it as much.

Picture Books

The Christmas StoryThe Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin by Jane Werner Watson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
Eloise Wilkin illustrations remind me of my own childhood, so even though I never had this book while growing up, the book still makes me somewhat nostalgic thanks to her familiar artwork.

Christmas in the BarnChristmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode
Sweet illustrations.

Christmas in the Big WoodsChristmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef
Hopefully whetting my children’s appetites for the full Little House series. 🙂

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian StoryThe Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
So far this one doesn’t do much for my kids, but maybe they’ll appreciate it more next year.

The NativityThe Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas illustrated by Julie Vivas
Love the text – excerpts from the King James Version, but I’m not crazy about the illustrations, specifically how she depicts the angels.

Chapter Books (that we’re reading):

The Jesse TreeThe Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Bee Willey
We’re not actually doing a Jesse Tree this year, but I think we’ll try it next year. I think this book will work well as a part of it if we decide to attempt it.

Chapter Books (waiting to be introduced):

The Best Christmas Pageant EverThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson by Barbara Robinson
I debated reading it to my children this year, but decided that they were more likely to get inspired by the bad example set by the Herdmans, rather than catch the bigger picture message conveyed by the story.

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for AdventJotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide, Bartholomew’s Passage: A Family Story for AdventBartholomew's Passage: A Family Story for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide, and Tabitha’s Travels: A Family Story for AdventTabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide by Arnold Ytreeide
Had read some good reviews on these, and found a great deal on them, so figured they were worth a shot.

A Christmas Carol A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens
This is probably the one that’ll be waiting the longest to get into our reading routine.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading vol. 4

Thoughts on the new books I’ve been reading to my kids this month:

Goodnight Goodnight Construction SiteGoodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
A birthday gift for my son from Grandma. He’s a big fan, and I don’t mind it. That makes it a winner for this family.

Hugs for YouHugs for You
A birthday gift for my daughter from Grandma. I’m not sure that she likes it so much, as she wants her own book read whenever her brother gets his book read. Either way, it’s super quick to read, and we hug after each page, so that’s a bonus for me. 🙂

A is for AstronautA Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z
The kids like it, but don’t love it.

Babar's Museum of ArtBabar’s Museum of Art
I liked this one more than they did, as I tried to remember the artists whose paintings have been adapted to include elephants. Fun intro to the idea of an art museum, but a little more text than my kids want to hear. Even the four-year-old, and he’s got a decent tolerance for listening to books.

Museum TripMuseum Trip
Ok, mom confession time. I don’t always like books that don’t have text. This one doesn’t have text, and while I thought the pictures wouldn’t be compelling enough to grab my kids’ attention, I was so wrong. My son LOVES this. The maze pictures are especially appealing for him – he traces his way through each one. I’m on the lookout for a book of easy mazes for him he loves them so much!

Meet Me at the Art MuseumMeet Me at the Art Museum: A Whimsical Look Behind the Scenes
(why yes, we were on a museum-book kick.) Super cute, with just the right amount of text for my kids’ attention spans. I loved how it included some of the museum jobs that aren’t always mentioned. (why yes, I did work in a museum before staying home after having my son.)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading vol. 3

Thoughts on the library books I’ve been reading to my kids this month:

Over in the MeadowOver in the MeadowOver in the Meadow illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
This one is a solid middle-of-the-road book for us. The kids don’t mind it, but they’re not crazy about it, and I feel pretty much the same. It’ll go back at our next visit and I doubt we’ll ever get it out again. I do like the illustrations though.

Roar a Noisy Counting BookRoar!: A Noisy Counting BookRoar!: A Noisy Counting Book
I thought they would love this one – there’s a lion! And lots of different noises! They like it, but they aren’t obsessed with it like I thought they might be. It’s fun though, and the illustrations are nice.

Olivia and the Missing ToyOlivia . . . and the Missing ToyOlivia and the Missing Toy
The favorite of the batch. Olivia is fun, even if this is one of my least favorites of her stories.

Chicken CheeksChicken CheeksChicken Cheeks
Gotta admit that I never even read this one to my kids – it went straight back into the library bag after I read it. The illustrations are great, but I had a clear vision of my son repeating all of the euphemisms in the book and I decided to pass.

Wee RhymesWee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry BookWee Rhymes
My expectations were probably unrealistically high with this one because it’s by Jane Yolen. It seemed fairly blah, and I doubt I’ll ever check it out again.

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What the Kids are Reading vol. 2

We’ve branched out a bit since last month, and aren’t reading alphabet books almost exclusively.

B is for BulldozerB Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABCB is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC written by June Sobel and illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Our one new alphabet book for the month. Both kids really like it – all the fun illustrations, and how there is an overall story behind the individual letters. The rhymes themselves are so-so, and I doubt that I’ll ever get this one out from the library again.

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetAnd to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
I’m assuming I read this classic Dr. Seuss title when I was a child, because some of the illustrations were vaguely familiar, and the title/refrain was extremely familiar. But beyond those hints of “I’m sure I’ve read this way back when,” it was almost a new book. And it was definitely new to the kids. They like it, but don’t love it.

Goodnight MoonGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
An old favorite, but my daughter has recently become obsessed with it. She demands that I read it to her before her nap and before bedtime. She has to point out the mouse on every page (I’m not going to confess precisely how long it took me to notice that he moves around the room). She also has to take it into her crib with her. And she calls it “night moon?” So cute.

The Tall Book of Nursery TalesThe Tall Book of Nursery Tales
Specifically, the Gingerbread Boy tale (read by momma), and the Three Little Pigs tale (read by daddy). The rest of the book? Who cares – Gingerbread Boy and the Big Bad Wolf are where the action is.

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