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

What the Kids are Reading (in September 2015)

I Always ALWAYS Get My WayI Always, ALWAYS Get My WayI Always, ALWAYS Get My Way by Thad Krasnesky, illustrated by David Parkins by Thad Krasnesky, illustrated by David Parkins

Read daily (often several times a day) for weeks – my daughter especially loved it. Fun language and great illustrations, plus a satisfying conclusion.

Where is the Green SheepWhere Is the Green Sheep? Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek

Deceptively simple, but it has wonderful repetition. Why did it take me so long to read a book by Fox?

Double Trouble in Walla WallaDouble Trouble In Walla WallaDouble Trouble In Walla Walla by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca

I did eventually have to stash this one in the library bag, after about a dozen readings, because the kids adored it. The language is so. much. fun. But after all those readings, my tongue was tired of being twisted, and I had had enough. Well illustrated, and I need to look into Clements’ other books, because this one was such a hit.

Higher HigherHigher! Higher! (Leslie Patricelli board books)Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli by Leslie Patricelli

No surprises here – it’s a typical Patricelli book. (That’s not a complaint.)

Over in the WetlandsOver in the Wetlands: A Hurricane-on-the-Bayou Story by Caroline Starr Rose, illustrated by Rob Dunlaver

Beautifully written, with great rhythm so it’s fun to read aloud. The illustrations are lovely, although some of them are so dark (appropriately for the topic, but my kids still thought they couldn’t see anything on those pages). A better fit as an older picture book – my six-year-old enjoyed it a lot more than his four-year-old sister.

0-439-70049-3Where’s Walrus?Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage by Stephen Savage

Really amusing wordless book. Both kids were hugely entertained by finding the walrus, and imagining what he was doing in each scene.

This Little ChickThis Little ChickThis Little Chick by John Lawrence by John Lawrence

Enjoyable read with lots of fun opportunities to make animal sounds. That always makes for a popular book here. 🙂

The Busy Little SquirrelThe Busy Little SquirrelThe Busy Little Squirrel (Classic Board Books) by Nancy Tafuri by Nancy Tafuri

A cute enough story about the seasons, but it suffered a bit in comparison to some of the better ones we’ve read recently. I was underwhelmed by the illustrations, and Where’s Green Sheep and This Little Chick had more interesting repetitive structures.

Farmer DuckFarmer DuckFarmer Duck by Martin Waddell, illustrations by Helen Oxenbury by Martin Waddell, illustrations by Helen Oxenbury

Another one where they liked it but didn’t LOVE it like others.

Q is for DuckQ Is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing GameQ Is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom, illustrated by Jack Kent by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom, illustrated by Jack Kent

My son was very entertained by the riddles in this, especially since he figured them out easily.

Wolf Won't BiteWolf Won’t Bite!Wolf Won't Bite! by Emily Gravett by Emily Gravett

I loved the illustrations in this one, and my kids loved repeating the “Wolf Won’t Bite!” refrain, but they were a little bit traumatized by the ending. And my kids are not generally sensitive readers at all

Squid and Octopus Friends for AlwaysSquid and Octopus: Friends for AlwaysSquid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu by Tao Nyeu

This is a nice bridge book as it’s a longer picture book, divided into four “chapters.” It reminded me of another book, but I can’t figure out which one, and that’s been driving me batty since finishing this one. It’s cute, but not one I feel any significant desire to borrow again.

Ten Nine EightTen, Nine, Eight Board BookTen, Nine, Eight Board Book (Caldecott Collection) by Molly Bang by Molly Bang

A gentle bedtime book – I liked the counting-down aspect. I think it was a little too gentle for my older two, and they weren’t interested in it. Maybe they needed to have heard it for the first time as younger kids?

Wodney Wat's WobotWodney Wat’s WobotWodney Wat's Wobot by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

I didn’t like reading this one out loud (had a terrible time with actually reading a “w” sound instead of an “r” sound), and was glad the kids seemed mostly indifferent towards it. It went right back into the library bag.

The Crown on Your HeadThe Crown on Your HeadThe Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman by Nancy Tillman

The illustrations are pretty (although not my preferred style), but some of the text was so sappy and saccharine that I found myself all but rolling my eyes while reading it. This one also went right back into the library bag after one reading.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer
Two years ago: Cooking the Book: Weelicious (Broccoli Pesto) by Catherine McCord
Three years ago: Library Love

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

What the Kids are Reading (in August 2015)

What the Kids are Reading August 2015Boot & ShoeBoot & ShoeBoot & Shoe by Marla Frazee by Marla Frazee

Super cute, and my kids *love* the page with the squirrel running around everywhere. There is a little bit of potty humor because the two dogs pee on the same tree. My kids thought that idea was hilarious, and I was amused at the role that fact ended up playing in the story. We’ve already reread it several times.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldHow to Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldHow to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman by Marjorie Priceman

I think this suffered by my inflated expectations. We liked it, but didn’t love love love it like I thought we would. It was a fun way to talk about geography a bit, but we’ve already done that so much it didn’t interest my son as much as it likely would have otherwise. I think he was also being too literal with the ideas in it. Why would they travel all the way over there for this – that makes no sense?!? We’re still going to try her follow-up title, How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman

Puff the Magic DragonPuff, the Magic DragonPuff, the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, illustrated by Eric Puybaret by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, illustrated by Eric Puybaret

Beautifully illustrated with the familiar text from the famous song. It was surprisingly hard to read the book without singing it. The bittersweet nature of the text also jumped out at me this time (as the last time I heard the song I was still quite young).

Harry and HorsieHarry and HorsieHarry and Horsie (Harry and Horsie Adventures) by Katie Van Camp, illustrated by Lincoln Agnew by Katie Van Camp, illustrated by Lincoln Agnew

Really cute story and illustrations – my kids were entertained by this one.

The Pout Pout FishThe Pout-Pout FishThe Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna

The hit of the month – my kids LOVED it. LOVED it. I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve read it, and I’ve heard them reciting the one refrain again and again. I like a lot of the language in it as well – “kaleidoscope of nope” might be my favorite.

Hopper and WilsonHopper and WilsonHopper and Wilson by Maria Van Lieshout by Maria Van Lieshout

This reminded me a bit of Winnie the Pooh, and I’m not sure why. The gentle story line and illustrations? The odd friendship pairing of an elephant and a mouse? Whatever the reason, it’s a very sweet book, with lovely illustrations.

Pirate Nap a Book of ColorsPirate Nap: A Book of ColorsPirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith, illustrated by Valeria Petrone by Danna Smith, illustrated by Valeria Petrone

One of my two Bookroo books this month. We’ve read a lot of books about colors, and this was one of my favorites. An overall story line that holds up on its own, plus integrating the colors into the story, plus pirates = big winner here. My daughter thought the purple monster part was the best.

Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-OverHugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-OverHugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-Over by David Melling by David Melling

One of my two Bookroo books this month. I thought it was fine, if nothing too exciting, but my kids were vastly entertained by it (especially the aftermath of the sneeze.) I’m looking for others in this series to get from the library since mine were so tickled by this one.

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

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.

What the Kids are Reading (in July 2015)

What the Kids are Reading July 2015Lots of books because it was a two-library-visit month. It was also the end of the summer reading program but I spaced it and forgot before the deadline and the kids never got to turn in their cards and redeem their points for prizes. Nobody tell them what they missed out on, ok?

The Right WordThe Right Word: Roget and His ThesaurusThe Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

I absolutely adored this book. It’s so clever, and the illustrations and text layout work so well for the story. That said, this is a picture book that works better for older readers – it didn’t engage my daughter at all. My son liked it more, although it still wasn’t his favorite. Sniffle.

Duck RabbitDuck! Rabbit!Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Another one that is so clever. The illustration is fabulous – is it a duck? is it a rabbit? The text works through which it could be, with two unseen narrators each picking a different option. Lots of fun to read, and both kids enjoyed it. The little surprise at the end amused me as well.

You Nest Here with MeYou Nest Here With MeYou Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Melissa Sweet by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A gentle read that would be ideal for bedtime. There’s lots of information packed into it as well, and my son really liked reading the extra details about the birds at the back of the book.

Clara and DavieClara and DavieClara and Davie by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco

I love Polacco, and this is another typical one for her. Fun illustrations, and nice story. It’s another one where it worked better for my son than daughter, as it didn’t keep her interest that much.

Carmine a Little More RedCarmine: A Little More RedCarmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet by Melissa Sweet

A reimagination of the Red Riding Hood story, by an illustrator I love. Cute story, cute illustrations, and some great vocabulary. The familiar story pleased my kids, and they liked the way it wasn’t *exactly* the story they knew.

Elsie's BirdElsie’s BirdElsie's Bird by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Small by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Small

Yolen is such a reliable author that I’m willing to try anything of hers I find on the library shelf. This is an enjoyable book, but not one my kids asked to be repeated. The illustrations are lovely.

Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! by Mo Willems by Mo Willems

Willems is always a hit in our house, and this is no exception. Fun story with a nice twist at the end.

Waiting is EasyWaiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems by Mo Willems

Another Willems, this one is reading practice for my son. It’s as great as the Elephant and Piggie books usually are.

Earth-Shaking Facts about EarthquakesThe Earth-Shaking Facts about Earthquakes with Max Axiom, Super ScientistThe Earth-Shaking Facts about Earthquakes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science) by Katherine Krohn, illustrated by Tod G Smith and Al Milgram by Katherine Krohn, illustrated by Tod G Smith and Al Milgram

One of my son’s birthday books, and he continues to love this series.

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

Quick Lit July 2015

Favorite Picture Books so far in 2015To go along with last month’s list of my favorite books of the first half of 2015, here are some quick looks at what have been our favorite picture books for the year so far. Because I’m always on the lookout for great books to read to my young ones, so maybe you are too. 🙂

The Seven Silly EatersThe Seven Silly EatersThe Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman by Mary Ann Hoberman

Great language and wonderful illustrations made this silly book super fun for us all.

DruthersDruthersDruthers by Matt Phelan by Matt Phelan

Imaginative and I loved how my kids discovered the fun of the word “druthers” thanks to this book. Hearing a 3 year old talk about what she’d do if she had her druthers is hilarious.

Bear Snores OnBear Snores OnBear Snores On (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

I love the clever use of text in Wilson’s books – how the varying font sizes helps my son see why I’m emphasizing what I do when I read it. Plus, it’s just a cute story.

John Philip DuckJohn Philip DuckJohn Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco

A little history with our reading. Polacco is one of my favorites, and her books always captivate my kids.

How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the WorldHow to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the WorldHow to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Marc Simont by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Marc Simont

My son was OBSESSED with this book for several months. I had to read it so often I think we all about had it memorized, and he still talks about certain events from the book.

The Story about PingThe Story about PingThe Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Kurt Wiese by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Kurt Wiese

I adored this book, and my kids really liked it. So yes, I liked it more than they did. 🙂 Cute little duck, and the story led to some great teachable moments.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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

What the Kids are Reading (in June 2015)

Lots of new library books this month, and there should be lots again next month (summer reading program at the library – extra motivation to check out books from there!)

The Brave CowboyThe Brave CowboyThe Brave Cowboy by Joan Walsh Anglund by Joan Walsh Anglund

Loved this one. LOVED it. I recognized the author’s style from a book I read as a child (A Friend Is Someone Who Likes YouA Friend Is Someone Who Likes You by Joan Walsh Anglund) so that certainly helped me be predisposed to enjoy it. But the storyline was delightful, and the illustrations are charming. I loved how she story is presented – the illustrations are quite clever. My son enjoyed it quite a bit, although my daughter didn’t seem to care about it. Even with that, it’s still highly recommended.

The Seven Silly EatersThe Seven Silly EatersThe Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee

I found this on a list of picture books you should read to your children. And then on another list of recommended titles. And I finally requested it from the library, and why oh why did I wait so long? It really is silly, but in such a fun way. My kids both really enjoyed it too. Great illustrations, great language that’s enjoyable to read – it’s a winner. Highly recommended as well.

SmokeySmokeySmokey by Bill Peet by Bill Peet

I’m casually working my way through Bill Peet’s books, and this is what the library had available next. It’s ok, but there is a section that is so obnoxiously dated that it’s going back after only two readings. If my son hadn’t found it where I’d stashed it, it’d have only had one reading. 😉

Mrs Harkness and the PandaMrs. Harkness and the PandaMrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

I mentioned this in my post on the adult nonfiction title The Lady and the Panda, and I was pleasantly surprised at this kids’ version of her story. Obviously as it’s targeted at children it doesn’t have the depth (or the not-so-savory elements) as the other book, but it’s a cute book. Recommended if your library has a copy of it, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy it.

My Name is Not IsabellaMy Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin and Isabella: Star of the StoryIsabella: Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin

My daughter’s picks, and I was underwhelmed. I like the idea behind these books, but the execution didn’t fully work for me. I thought Isabella was fairly obnoxious, and the concept are a bit beyond the age range that the illustrations and limited, repetitive text seems to target. These are hugely popular, so obviously they work for some people, but they were misses for me. They didn’t even keep my kids attention, and my daughter never asked to reread either one. Not recommended.

Hello Night Hola NocheHello Night/Hola NocheHello Night/Hola Noche Bilingual (Multilingual Edition) by Amy Costales, illustrated by Mercedes McDonald by Amy Costales, illustrated by Mercedes McDonald

My son is really interested in learning Spanish right now, so I grabbed this as it’s a bilingual text. He wasn’t interested in it at all though, and I’m not sure if it was the overall idea of it, or just this specific book. I’ll try again with another book later.

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What the Kids are Reading (in May 2015)

Just like last month, we still didn’t have all that many new picture books that we finished this month.

Frogs Play CellosFrogs Play CellosFrogs Play Cellos (Did You Know?) by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Pete Oswald and Aaron Spurgeon by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Pete Oswald and Aaron Spurgeon

I think this would work better not as a true introduction to instruments but reinforcement for children who already know the names and concepts. We read it through once but my two were not interested in it at all. We’ll try it again another time.

Inside WeatherInside WeatherInside Weather (Inside Series) by Mary Kay Carson by Mary Kay Carson

My son’s pick, and it was quite timely, as we’re also reading a WeatherWeather (Usborne Beginners, Level 2) book for school. They go together quite nicely. The only thing I don’t like about this one is there are lots of fold-out pages that have me policing the use of the book more – they’d be easy to rip. This has more text than other books my son has tried to read on his own, but the layout keeps him from feeling overwhelmed, and he likes the information, so he’s stuck with it.

Air Is All Around YouAir Is All Around YouAir Is All Around You (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Franklyn Branley, illustrated by John O'Brien by Franklyn Branley, illustrated by John O’Brien

Read it once, and then I put it away in the library bag. It includes some simple experiments mentioned in the text, but “simple” does not always equal “easily doable with three small children,” and the way the information is presented means it’s hard to skip over it without having kids asking questions. “Why can’t we do that?” “Because I do not have the mental and physical energy to wrangle you two and the baby and anything involving water and food coloring, that’s why.”

Also, the illustrations were a little bit creepy to me. The eyes! So freaky!

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What the Kids are Reading (in April 2015)

We didn’t have all that many new picture books that we finished this month. We’ve been reading more chapter books, and rereading old favorites, so the new picture book total is slim:

QuestQuestQuest by Aaron Becker by Aaron Becker

Becker’s the author of JourneyJourney by Aaron Becker (mentioned on the blog previously), and if you liked that one you’ll want to read Quest as well – it’s more of the same, in the very best way. I like hearing what the kids think is going on with each page. Wordless picture books took a little getting used to, but now I generally love them.

Angus and the DucksAngus and the DucksAngus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack by Marjorie Flack

We may be relatively new to Flack, but I’m a huge fan of her work now. Love the illustrations in this one! My son loved it too – he asked for it to be repeated twice the first time we read it, and has continued to ask for it. A prime example of why there weren’t many new picture books finished this month. 😉

You Are the Best MedicineYou Are the Best MedicineYou Are the Best Medicine by Julie Aigner Clark, illustrations by Jana Christy by Julie Aigner Clark, illustrations by Jana Christy

My daughter’s pick from the library – she always goes for the ones with pink colors. And this one got a quick scan by me and then it went back into the library bag. No, nope, not gonna read it. But if you are looking for a cancer book, or just a book where a parent is sick – this might be one you want to check out.

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