Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bears, Monkeys, and Bunnies

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Adventure. Suspense. Quality family time. This books is definitely one of our favorites! I don't have it memorized yet (my Down's sister has had it memorized since she was about 8 yrs old) but I know I will soon.

What does Ellie think about it? She doesn't quite sit through the whole thing yet and it's not one that she picks for me to read. I think she likes it though. Time will tell. :)

What does the Mom think about it? :) I love it. The words flow, the vocabulary is excellent, and the story is cute. The illustrations are fantastic. I especially love the second to last picture :)

Excerpt: "Oh-oh! A snowstorm! A swirling, whirling snowstorm. We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh, no! We've got to go through it!"

"Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed" by Eileen Christelow

This was a 99c special from Goodwill (the Harris family has made quite the contribution to Goodwill and has collected quite the stash of valuable finds from the book section this year). If you're wanting to teach your kid how to count backwards from 5 to 1 then I guess this would be a good way to do that. If you're wanting to teach your kid that disobedience brings about its own consequences then I guess you're also in luck with this book. But if you're wanting to demonstrate the wrong thing to do when Mom or Dad say, "Go to bed," then go find another book =)

That said...

What does Ellie think about it? She loves it! This is a book she brings to me to read aloud. I'm not sure she gets the storyline (actually, I'm sure she doesn't). But the illustrations are cute. Who can resist adorable monkeys??

What does the Mom think about it? It's great. I especially love the last page. And when I read this book, I thank God he did not give me quintuplets. Also, I think the mother monkey needs to think about separating her children so they don't all share one bed. One might wonder where the father monkey is during this story. I think if he were home none of the catastrophes would have taken place. :p

Excerpt: "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

"The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown Pictures by Clement Hurd

We love Margaret Wise Brown. If I could pick anyone to be my nanny, it would probably be Miss Brown. Seeing as she has been deceased for many years, though, I think we shall look elsewhere to fill that position. Or I'll just pretend to be Margaret Wise Brown and read her children's literature. Which I do. Often. Every day. Sometimes twice on Sundays.

What's that? You say you don't know Margaret Wise Brown?? Oh yes you do! She is the author of Goodnight Moon, The Little Island, The Color Kittens, and many, many other wonderful children's books.

The Runaway Bunny is a tale of a bunny who thinks he knows more than his mama. He is older in mind than he is in body. His mama lets him play his own little pretend game, but she is not going to let him play it by himself. I think I will probably be like her when Ellie is old enough to think like baby bunny.

What does Ellie think of it? I'm not sure. I'm usually too wrapped up in the story and pictures to pay much attention to what she thinks. Every other page contains pictures without words so I always pause and talk about the pictures. I'm not sure Ellie cares yet... we'll ask her again in a few years what she thinks.

What does the Mom think of it? I think the baby bunny feels how I felt as a teenager. And I find it very ironic that as an adult I feel like the mother rabbit. I hope my babies always want to come home to me :)

Excerpt: "If you become the wind and blow me," said the little bunny, "I will join a circus and fly away on a flying trapeze."

Side note: If you google The Runaway Bunny tattoo you may find one of the pages to this story tattooed on a woman's arm. Amazing artwork. I can't say I'd want it tattooed on my arm. It does make me smile to think about being 89 years old and in the nursing home and having the nurses smile every time they saw my tattoo though. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

book reading challenge

I'm not sure but I think we own over 200 children's picture books. For Christmas alone I believe Ellie received about a dozen children's books. So I'm excited to join this challenge from

For January my goal will be to read and review at least 20 picture books. Stay tuned... ;)

Here's the rules from There's A Book's site:

* The objective of the Read to Me Challenge is to read with the kiddos in your life and/or enjoy picture books in general.
* Books must be ones written expressly for children ages 9 and under. Board books, early readers, picture books, etc.
* Print or eBook format is acceptable.
* Anyone can join. You don’t have to be a blogger, and you don’t have to live in the United States. Open worldwide.
* You do not have to have an blog to participate.
* You can join at anytime. Deadline to join is November 20, 2011. (not 2010 you still have PLENTY of time to sign up!) The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

How To Participate:

1. Decide which challenge level you’ll be doing (see below). We're going to shoot for the "Harvesting" level.
2. Decide if you intend to read them with a child or on your own. Sorry, but those who read with a child get twice as many entries each month. Although those that do read with a child need to share their experience with the them in their review.
3. Grab a button. Obviously, I'll be reading with Ellie!
4. Create your own post to let all your readers know you’re taking part in the challenge and at what level. Make sure to link back to this page with either one of the buttons or a text link. done!
5. Use the link form below to enter into the challenge by sharing your challenge post url and your name (either your name, blog name, or both). Please only use the comment section to participate if you do not have a blog. All other participants should use Mr. Linky below with a direct link to your challenge post. and done!
6. Submit your reviews as you complete them on the designated monthly post to be qualified for monthly prize drawings.
7. There will be a “wrap-up” completion link-up at the end of the year to sign up for to share in your successes.

Challenge Levels:

Reading with a Child:

* “Planting” – Read 12 picture books with a child during the year.
* “Watering” – Read 36 picture books with a child during the year.
* “Feeding” – Read 72 picture books with a child during the year.
* “Growing” – Read 120 picture books with a child during the year.
* “Harvesting” – Read 200 picture books with a child during the year.

Reading on Your Own:

* “Board Book” – Read 12 picture books on your own during the year.
* “Unjacketed” – Read 36 picture books on your own during the year.
* “Jacketed“ – Read 72 picture books on your own during the year.
* “Early Reader” – Read 120 picture books on your own during the year.
* “Chapter Reader” – Read 200 picture books on your own during the year.

Read more: