Friday, February 29, 2008

Who Likes Rain?

The second in our 'inclement weather' Special Double Issue (see below) is Who Likes Rain?, by Wong Herbert Yee. Now there's a good question. I'll say it depends upon the temperature. If it's warm I don't mind, but freezing rain makes me wish it would just get a little bit colder and go ahead and snow.

Well, the hero of this tale likes rain, and she looks around for others who do as well. She poses several riddles:

"When it rains,
Who comes out to squirm?
I know! Do you?
Creep, creep..."

(turn the page)

"It's a worm!"

There are very helpful clues such as animal noises so that most preschoolers should be able to answer many of the riddles. Lots of great onomatopoeia, too ("Pitty-plip-PLOP, Pitty-pat-SPLAT!).

A good lap book for a rainy day. Though be careful. When you're done, you may get yanked outside by your inspired youngster.

A Kitten Tale

Our Special Double Issue theme for yesterday and today is 'inclement weather and those who enjoy it'. I always talk about how much I like snow, and around here that doesn't warrant too many sideways glances, but I do remember when a friend visited from California in March last year, she opened the front door one morning, said, "That's impossible," and closed the door again. I believe she was referring to the temperature.

Three of the four kittens in Eric Rohmann's A Kitten Tale are not looking forward to their first winter. The fourth kitten-the adventurous one who scrounges in the mailbox and pounces the frog-can't wait. When snow finally falls, three kittens scurry under rugs and tables, but out the kitty door goes the fourth. Will his friends join him? Bet you can't wait to find out.

These are some adorable little kittens. My favorite image is when the frog jumps away, three kittens turn their heads in unison to watch it go.

The dedication says, "For my mother and sister, admired by kittens everywhere." I feel like this book is just an excuse for Rohmann to paint some cute, frolicking kittens. I say let him paint.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grumpy Bird

Ever had one of those days where you really want to be grumpy, but people are so blasted nice to you? Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard, deals with this very issue.

Bird wakes up too grumpy to eat, play, or fly. So he walks. His animal friends see him walking and decide to join him. After a while Bird notices that they will copy whatever he does. How about jumping? Standing on one leg? Hey, this is fun after all. The story ends with a bit of magic. Why not?

Fun book to read when your kids are grumpy. See if you can get them to stand on one leg, and your problem may solve itself. Be sure to ham up the sarcasm in Bird's voice.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

He Came with the Couch

What do you do with a guest who just won't leave? He doesn't make any trouble. In fact he doesn't do anything. Doesn't eat. Doesn't speak. He just sits there.

In He Came with the Couch, by David Slonim, one family decides to just let him be. Deciding they needed a new couch, Sophie's family searches and searches until they find just the right one. Only problem it comes with a permanent resident. A doctor says he needs to get out of the house, so the family takes him (avec sofa) on some vacations (the picture of the couch in front of the Lincoln Memorial is worth the price of admission). Nothing to be done about it.

The fellow doesn't budge until Sophie is falling out of a tree in the yard. Suddenly he comes to the rescue in the most exciting way. Now he's part of the family. In case he was getting lonely, the family decides they need a new, special chair.

A quirky book with a good feeling about it, I smile from the first page to the last every time I read it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Slugs in Love

Patty and I finally got out to celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend. We had a nice vegan dinner and went to see the Wailin' Jennies. So in honor of our first date in a year or so, here's a belated Valentine's book.

Slugs in Love, by Susan Pearson and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, is only gross if you think about it too much. It's really, really cute and sweet.

Marylou loves Herbie from afar, but Herbie has never met Marylou (there are hundreds of slugs around after all). Too shy to approach him directly, Marylou leaves love poems around where she knows Herbie will see them. Not being able to hold a pen, Marylou uses slime.

little star,
How I wonder
what you are.
Herbie, Herbie,
handsome slug,
Marylou would
love a hug.

Herbie is naturally taken aback. He tries desperately to find out who Marylou is. He writes his own poems, but, not being as clever, they sadly are washed away or moved before Marylou can see them.

Your poems make me happy.
Your poems make me glad.
But I can't find you, Marylou,
and that makes me feel sad!

Finally, Herbie gets it right, then Marylou writes a poem so large on the side of the barn with an arrow pointing right to her, Herbie can't miss it.

Depending on your feelings about slugs or romance, you'll either say "Awwwwww!" or "Ewwwwww!"

By the way, when I did the Google image search for 'slugs in love' there were actually a dozen or so photos that came up before the book cover. Try it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

MA! There's Nothing to Do Here!

Now here is a novel idea, and funny to boot. MA! There's Nothing to Do Here!: A Word from Your Baby-in-Waiting, by Barbara Park and illustrated by Viviana Garofoli, is an ode from a baby waiting impatiently to be born to Mom. Put this one at the top of your list of possible gifts for expectant friends.

Baby is bored, bored, bored in the womb and complains, complains, complains. There is a very long list of grievances. "I'm all in a heap here. My feet are asleep here. I'm flat out of space. I've got knees in my face. And I'm totally bored with this dumb bungee cord....I'm NOT kidding you...there is NOTHING to do!"

Baby dreams of life outside the amniotic pokey, and what is to come after being set free. Is Mom prepared? Does she have all of the necessary amenities? A crib? A night-light?

Finally, Baby decides to wait it out, to grow bigger and stronger. "Kiss Pop for me...I'll meet him soon...."

I can't think of other kids books about an unborn baby talking to Mom. I imagine it's been done, but this one is a winner. You'll be laughing, I promise.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Baby! Baby!

Hey, now here is a clever book that will definitely make you laugh, if not your baby, though I have little doubt that you will be chortling together. Baby! Baby!, by Vicky Ceelen, has those wonderful baby photographs we've talked about before. Babies love to look at other babies, and while a beautiful illustration is very nice, your baby will be most attracted to actual photographs.

Accompanying some adorable baby photos are photos of baby animals. Each two-picture spread juxtaposes a baby animal and a baby human sharing remarkably similar poses or faces.

I'll just blurt out my personal favorite. The baby and kitten sleeping with the tips of their little pink tongues sticking out could almost make you cry. Additionally, the smug baby next to the equally smug giraffe is hilarious.

The only one I'm a bit wary of is the rabbit. The comparison of a big-smiling baby's first four teeth to a rabbit's is clever and funny, but the rabbit's a bit alarming, especially when you consider that the poor little guy's probably screaming to make that face. I found myself having flashbacks to that B horror flick, Night of the Lepus.

Pick this one up, then leave it laying around on your coffee table when company comes. You won't regret it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jazz Baby

The second book in our 'music' Special Double Issue (see below) is Jazz Baby, by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Now here's a book you can dance to. There was another book about jazz on the shelves when I picked this one up, but that one totally lacked rhythm or swing. Not a problem here.

Here's a sample: "So they TOOT-TOOT-TOOT/and they SNAP-SNAP-SNAP/and bouncin' baby bebops with a CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!" As you can see there are a lot of big bold words to point out as you read/sing. And the words your baby can move to are at the end of the rhyme where they're easy to hear.

Different types of music like bebop, swing, and hip-hop are alluded to in the rhyme. The art pays homage to Harlem Rennasaince, with those great, long legs that move on the page.

This book is made to make you move. This isn't a cozy-up-in-a-chair read. It's a get-off-your-chair-and-dance read.

"GO, MAN, GO!"

Baby Danced the Polka

Twice in a week. Our Special Double Issue theme for yesterday and today is music. Baby Danced the Polka, by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jennifer Plecas, is another homage to parents struggling to get their little one to bed. I have to remember, when Maya just won't close her eyes no matter what I do, that eleventy-kazillion books have been written about just this issue. So it must be pretty common.

Mama and Papa try to get some housework done while Baby sleeps, but he has different ideas. He begins to galavant around with the various animals in his room. The rhymes and melody are easy to pick up, each ending with a flap to lift, revealing which animal is Baby's current dancing partner.

For example, "While Papa starched his long johns,/And Mama stitched her coat.../Baby boogie-woogied/With the frisky little..." What could it be? Lift the flap; it's a "GOAT". Older kids should be able to guess easily by the rhyme.

Finally Mama and Papa join in the jamboree, which does the trick.

This one really resonates with me. When Maya really wants to stay awake though I know she's tired, she's especially animated. In my mind, I hear, "Baby danced the polka in Papa's tired lap."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Lamb Who Came for Dinner

The second book in our 'unlikely friends' Special Double Issue (see below) is The Lamb Who Came for Dinner, by Steve Smallman and illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy.

The scenario here has been done many times before. Remember the Tom and Jerry where the big bulldog comes across the little kitten? He tries to be ferocious, but is overcome by the kitten's charm and helplessness. Another favorite of mine is Sitting Ducks, by Michael Bedard.

In this story a frozen little lamb knocks on Wolf's door just as he is lamenting that he hasn't had any meat in awhile. Wolf begins to take care of the lamb's needs, reasoning that his meal will be better. But before long, when the little lamb falls asleep in his arms and kisses him, he can't take it anymore. Wolf sends the lamb away. Soon he regrets this then goes out looking for her. When he finds her back at his cabin, he offers her friendship and vegetable soup.

It's a good story to read to those little ones who love to have their toy animals attack each other. The little lamb is really cute and pitiful, especially when she falls asleep in the wolf's arms.

This is especially touching to me right now because Maya is getting really good at giving hugs.

HELP! A Story of Friendship

Didn't post last night, so today's Special Double Issue theme is 'unlikely friends'. Our first selection is HELP! A Story of Friendship, by Holly Keller.

Mouse hears a rumor that snakes are dangerous to mice, so he is suddenly afraid of his long-time friend, Snake. Even though Hedgehog reminds him of their friendship, Mouse is still nervous. Not watching where he is going, mouse falls down a hole and can't get out. None of his friends can help him but Snake, who does so anonymously. When Mouse sees that Snake saved him, he is sorry.

HELP has a great lesson about not listening to gossip and trusting your friends. It's a nice story for toddlers, but could be used with older kids to teach about friendship.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Animals Aboard

You already know I like animals. Put those animals on a train and throw in a good melody, and you've got a hit. From Johnny Cash to Dan Zanes, there are a lot of train songs out there. Trains make for great songs, because of the rhythm I suppose.

Animals Aboard, by Andrew Fusek Peters and illustrated by Jim Coplestone, should be one of those books with an accompanying CD with someone like Russell Crowe's band playing the song because they could probably use the gig and the Bacon Brothers are kept busy by Sandra Boynton.

Animal musicians hop on board the train one by one and play their instruments. The horse plays guitar, and the duck plays drums. The chicken is a DJ apparently, scratching the records with his beak in Flinstones style. The one that I can imagine the best is the pig on the saxophone, "Squeal! Squeal! Squeal!" Ornette Coleman could do that.

As I tried singing it for Maya, I did stumble over parts where there seemed to be some missing syllables. However, with a little practice, I think I could get to know where to place some rests to make it flow smoothly.

Look for the fox and the rabbit in the last half of the book (including the back cover).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Baby Talk

Baby Talk: A Book of First Words and Phrases, by Judy Hindley and illustrated by Brita Granstrom, is perfect for that stage when your toddler's vocabulary is growing one word at a time. It's full of common early words babies learn.

There is text for you to read, usually ending with a word or phrase your baby may recognize. Here's an example: "Baby back at home again/Here's a bowl and spoon./Where's the baby's dinner?/It's all gone!"

The text could be random scenes strung together, but Hindley goes above and beyond to take baby through a typical day. The book begins with the baby getting dressed, then saying "Up, Up, Up!" and ends with bedtime: "Night-night, night-night, night-night...."

Along the way you encounter many words. If some are still new, that's great. Maybe those will be your baby's next ones.

Yesterday I came across an interesting website called "Read the Books." If your toddler would like to hear book reviews but can't read, what do they do? Well, this website has helpful animated characters who will read the review for you. Other items on the page, such as reader ratings, are depicted graphically.

Unfortunately, it's only available by subscription. So check out your library's kids databases to see if they have it. If not tell your librarian about it. There is a 30-day free trial for libraries. Maybe they'll pick it up.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Little Hoot

If you've read Little Pea, you'll love the follow-up, Little Hoot, by Amy Krause Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. The theme is identical-childhood deconstructionism. Rosenthal takes a long accepted paradigm of childhood (all kids try to stay up late) and turns it upon itself.

Little Hoot is an owlet who enjoys everything about being an owl (such as pondering and staring) except one thing. His parents demand that he stay up late. After all that's what owls do. But Little Hoot wants to go to bed. His mother compromises with him-"Stay up and play for one more hour and then you can go to sleep."

Little Hoot tries so hard to fill the time. He counts down the final ten minutes. Finally the hour is up. Before his parents can read him a bedtime story or offer him a glass of water, he's happily asleep.

I don't know how old Maya will have to be before she appreciates the humor of this book, but I think your kids will enjoy it. You could juxtapose it with Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late to really work their mental acuity.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Little Butterfly

Maya's Nana brought back a gift from her vacation, and I know I like it. Little Butterfly is put out by Chronicle Books. It is a little novelty board book with a finger puppet sticking out the middle.

Now I like puppets, and I like books. So I'm a sucker for these little guys. There have been others in the past, so no need to look for this specific one. Although watch out for one I recall with a plastic animal sticking out. It was either a bear or a dog. It was hard to tell. And it was a bit frightening.

Anyway, this little book is darling. It goes through the life of a butterfly, starting as a caterpillar and on through the chrysalis. The different manifestations surround the puppet on the page.

The fun thing is to pretend the caterpillar is reading the book. The text is rhyming and pretty at times. I think you and your little one will enjoy it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Clip-Clop, by Nicola Smee, is one you have to read with your little tyke in your lap. That way when you read the "Clip-clop, clippity-clop" pages you can bounce up and down. And when you read the "Clippity-cloppity, clippity-cloppity" pages you can really go. Maya was busting a gut when we did that.

In the story Mr. Horse offers a ride. First cat, then every other animal, says yes of course. The animals cry "Faster, faster" until they are afraid they'll fall off. When they yell "Whoa!" Mr. Horse obliges, sending them sailing into a haystack. Horse is worried, but he inevitably hears the magic word: "Again!"

As always, don't forget the animal noises.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Here is another of those sweet, gentle books. Put Someday, by Alison Mcghee and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, on your list of gift books for new parents, especially new moms with a baby girl.

The book spans the life of a daughter, from birth to old age. The mother of a school-age girl first reminisces about her daughter as a baby and toddler, first snows and holding hands while crossing the street.

She goes on to contemplate the changes her daughter will likely experience in life, the first time she experiences sorrow and her world getting bigger as she goes off to university. She imagines one day her daughter may have a little girl of her own, and when the daughter's hair begins to gray, she will remember her mother.

Mcghee and Reynolds (an author also) know how to create touching, memorable books. This is a good example.

I'm going to add the label parent. I'll look back for others. This is also a great book to read with your daughter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Santa's Eleven Months Off

Ever wonder what Santa Claus does the rest of the year? Mike Reiss tells us in Santa's Eleven Months Off, illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery.

Apparently Santa can get all his work done in one month, though he does burn a couple of his free months preparing, going to classes and resting. Other months he does sumo wrestling, watches the reindeer olympics, and even does a little super spying for the government. There is also a nice parody of Singing in the Rain.

Each month gets a short poem whose meter usually holds true. That makes a bit of a long book so this one is more for kindergarten and up. I should also mention there are two references to the jolly old elf's posterior, so be warned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hurry! Hurry!

The ever-prolific Eve Bunting has published a nigh-wordless book, Hurry! Hurry!, illustrated by Jeff Mack.

All of the farmyard animals are rushing. Mothers (and sheepdogs) are helping little ones along. Everyone is obviously very excited about something. And that something is a new chick being born in the barn.

Most pages have just one word repeated, such as "Faster. Faster." or "Run. Run." Great for pointing to and letting your child see the words they will have memorized before long. Making that connection between the letters on the page and sounds coming out of our mouths is an early step to learning to read.

The animals are adorable. Mack knows how to layer many strokes of paint to make his critters look fluffy. The colors are bright, bright, bright.

Don't forget the animal noises.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Global Babies

Wow, Nicole, you're right. This is a great book and another chance to put your bookbuying dollars to good use. Global Babies, published by Global Fund for Children, shows babies from many countries of the world from Spain to Mali doing what babies do, being beautiful. There are two pictures from the U.S., but one is and American Indian baby in her tikinagun.

The photographs are striking and colorful. Some babies are wearing traditional clothing, but not all of them.

The text is sparse, making the book go a bit too quickly when read aloud. So if you have a talker, take time to talk about the children in the pictures. For older kids you can go to the atlas and talk about the countries represented.

The back cover says the proceeds go to the Global Fund for Children. I'm not that familiar with this organization, but please check them out. They have books for older kids as well.

From their website, it looks as though they are a granting organization which supports small community-based projects. So it's sort of like giving to the United Way. One large organization helps out smaller projects that cannot do their own fund raising effectively. Most groups that do this require the projects to have a certain amount of involvement or leadership by local people, which is a good thing.

Patty and I were able to witness another organization that does wonderful work with children around the world, UNICEF. I think working with children is really the way to go when it comes to development. There are a lot of great projects for adults, but with children the investment has the potential to reach further into the future. You cannot give directly to UNICEF, but you can lend a hand through the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Here is their website:

So that's enough fund raising for today.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Before you were Mine

The second book in our 'dogs with issues' theme (see below) is Before You Were Mine, by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by David Walker. This tale is about rescuing dogs, and there is a note in the back about the benefits of adopting a pet from a shelter.

In this story a boy ponders what his new, loving dog's life was like before becoming his. Were the previous owners nice or mean? Did they try hard enough to find their lost dog? Was the dog lonely or hungry as a stray?

He also reminisces about his previous dog who grew old and passed away, and about how he thought he'd never find another dog to love and be loved by.

Proceeds from this book go to the Humane Society, so it's doubly worth seeking out, especially when you are preparing to buy that first pet.

Patty and I figure we'll wait until Maya is old enough to enjoy a puppy or kitten before we get her first pet. I'm thinking the difficult thing will be to pretend we don't want one ourselves if she starts asking before it's time.

Fred Stays with Me!

Didn't post yesterday, so today's Special Double Issue theme is dogs with issues. No, the dogs don't have issues, but they help kids get through difficult times.

Fred Stays with Me!, by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Tricia Tusa, is about a little girl in joint custody. She sometimes lives with her mom, and sometimes with her dad. But her dog, Fred, goes where she goes.

The story shows how some things are different between homes, like the girl's sleeping arrangements. However, some things are the same, like Fred's sleeping arrangements (the floor). One difference is the way Fred gets into trouble. At mom's he barks at the neighbor's dog. At dad's he eats dad's socks.

When both parents are tired of the dog's antics, they each exclaim, "Fred can't stay with me!" The little girl lays it out plain and simple: "Fred doesn't stay with either of you. Fred stays with ME!" So they work it out.

Fred is a good constant in a precarious situation for the little girl. Good dog, Fred.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Not a Stick

Antoinette Portis has a follow-up to Not a Box. This time it's Not a Stick.

It's deceptively simple, even more so than Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. The illustrations are mostly line drawings (except Van Gogh's Starry Night, but Portis didn't draw that).

The theme is the same as the previous book: With a little imagination an ordinary, everyday object can be many things including a horse or a sword used to fend off a fire-breathing dragon.

Preschool children will definitely be inspired by this lesson. Babies like Maya, however, seem to already have it down. Isn't that why they bypass all of their colorful toys to play for an hour with an empty bottle?

A great group book. Kids who've read the book before can call out what the stick will be before you turn the page.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bedtime for Little Bears!

I know I say this about a lot of books, but this is a sweet book. I like quiet, gentle stories and I'm not ashamed. Bedtime for Little Bears!, by David Bedford and illustrated by Caroline Pedler, may help you stay mellow when the little one just doesn't want to go to sleep.

Little (polar) Bear insists he isn't tired, so Mother Bear takes him around to see other sub-arctic animals such as Baby Hare and Little Fox preparing for bed. In time Little Bear can't help but succumb to the comfort of his mother's fur.

There's a lot of white and soft blues in this book, and Pedler uses enough texture to give the animals and the snow a fluffy appearance. A good bedtime book.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mama Outside Mama Inside

Years ago Patty and I read a great article in Orion magazine by a new mother who had watched a nest of birds outside her window throughout her pregnancy and felt a sort of bond with the mother bird. I don't know if this author read that article, but it's a great theme, and I'm glad it's now in a children's book.

Mama Outside, Mama Inside, by Diana Hutts Aston and illustrated by Susan Gaber, is a gentle story, which juxtaposes two mothers, one bird and one human, bringing new lives into the word.

Aston shows how the mothers both prepare, one building a nest while the other sets up a nursery, both with the father’s help. One baby cries “Cheep-cheep-cheep!”, the other, “Waaa-waaa-waaa!” After the babies arrive, the mothers feed them. Eventually the two families take notice of each other.

The language is gentle and the parallel structure of the text stays true throughout.

Gaber’s gentle acrylics match the soft tone so well that at first the pictures could be mistaken for watercolor. The layout complements the text perfectly. Scenes showing the two mothers together in one frame fill the page; only pages with separate images have white space. The introductory pages pan into the setting, and the end pages pan out, with the birds flying off into the distance.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blue Goose

Blue Goose, by Nancy Tafuri, is a new book along the lines of the classic, Mouse Paint. When Farmer Gray goes on a trip, four colorful animals decide the drab barnyard needs sprucing up. Each contributes his/her color, and they sometimes team up (mixing colors) for purples, greens, etc. For example, White Duck paints the fence white, and Blue Goose and Red Hen work together to paint the barn doors purple. When the night comes, Blue Goose adds a blue haze to everything.

This is a good one for teaching colors. Also, whereas Mouse Paint just deals with the colors themselves, Blue Goose has objects to identify. It allows you to ask questions like, "What color is the sun? Who will have to paint that?" (Yellow Chick)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Double Pink

The theme for today's Double Special Issue (see below) is authors whose last names are Feiffer.

Double Pink, by Kate Feiffer and illustrated by Bruce Ingman, is a cautionary tale about having too much of a good thing. Madison loves pink. She wants everything pink. She even gives away her non-pink stuff to her friends. After she paints herself pink, she gets lost in her bedroom and her mother cannot find her. Oh dear.

Of course there is a ton of pink in this book. It's a good one to read with your obsessed toddler.

The question now is, are the two Feiffers related? I consulted the author sketches and dedications in these two books for clues. Kate has a daughter named Madeliene who loves pink and inspired her book. And both books are dedicated to Madeliene. Could Madeliene be Jules Feiffer's granddaughter?

Nicole found the answer to my question about If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The line is used by Harrison Ford (I was right about that part) in Air Force One. I'm going to send along a prize to her. I'll give a prize for this one as well.

Hmmmm, I wonder. Should reference librarians be elligable? Do any reference librarians actually read this blog?

Bark, George

Rob Reid recommended Jules Feiffer. So I picked out an old favorite, Bark George. And since I didn't post last night, today's Special Double Issue will be authors whose last names are Feiffer (see above).

When George's mother asks him to bark, George makes other animal sounds. So George's mother takes him to the doctor. One by one the doctor digs down deep inside of George and pulls out increasingly large animals. Finally George barks. The mother is happy as they walk home by crowds of people until....

Of course the attractions here are the ridiculousness of all of those large animals being inside of a little puppy (and a puppy mooing) and making animal noises.

Now, animal noises may seem like just silly fun to make a story interesting, but I found out otherwise this week. Making animal noises for your baby helps them learn to distinguish different sounds. This later leads to distinguishing parts of words, which helps children learn to read.

So if people look at me funny in the aisles of the grocery store, I'm just going to keep on mooing. I'm getting Maya ready to read.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What's Wrong, Little Pookie?

This morning I helped with a school program for Kindergartners and 1st-graders based on Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. The teacher for one class had obviously read the book to her kids many times because they knew every line. And they knew how to yell, "Nooooooo!" in all the right places. Repetition really works. Today's book is another one that can be interactive and fun after a few reads.

I figured I better follow Nate's advice and read What's Wrong Little Pookie?, by Sandra Boynton, to Maya. He warned that if I didn't, Maya would never learn to read. I don't know about that, but I don't need too much convincing to pick up a new Boynton book.

Pookie is upset, and won't say what is the matter. Mom asks yes or no questions, and the little piglet answers. Kids can say those parts easily. "No." "That's silly." Mom's questions become more silly, such as, "Are there five lazy frogs in your bed for a snooze?" After giving up and asking once more what the problem is, Pookie says, "I forget." Smart mom.

It reminds me of a story of a mom who, when her son was crabby, asked, "Do you want to eat breakfast?"
"Do you want to take a nap?"
"Do you want me to draw a face on your belly with this marker?"
So much for being crabby.