May 1, 2011

April 2011 Books

Another short reading list.  The weather is just too nice to call the girls in for reading.  By the time they come in at night and bathe it's too late to read, but honestly I'm just fine with this.  We'll read more when it's so hot you can barely move.  Not looking forward to the sweltering Hotlanta summer.

Sleeping Beauty (Young Reading Series 1 Gift Books)Sleeping Beauty Retold by Kate Knighton

You know the story.  The girls just eat these books up.  I like them because they are mini-chapter books but the text is large.  I wouldn't be surprised if these are some of the first books that the girls read on their own...

The Puppy Twins (Ready-To-Read Dora the Explorer - Level 1)Dora the Explorer:  The Puppy Twins

...As opposed to books like this one.  None of us was impressed by this one with little pictures over some of the words so the girls could "read" along.  The problem was the pictures didn't always make sense.  For example there would be a picture of the puppy.  So the girls would "read" puppy, but it was supposed to be the puppy's name, Perrito, only they could never remember the name.

I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean!I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

Not as cute as I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, but perhaps good for beginning readers.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet
There's a Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer

I'd read a lot of good things about this one and even the librarian gave it a thumb's up.  It sort of flopped here though.  Perhaps it's because my kids love scary books and don't have fears of monsters in their bedrooms that they didn't really get much out of this one.  But if you have a child with nighttime fears this may be a good choice.

The Very Fairy PrincessThe Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton

Well the girls loved it because it's about being a princess, and I loved it because it was about being yourself.

PlumPlum by Tony Milton

Definitely my favorite read of the month.  Plum is a collection of poems and the illustrations are by Marie Grand Pre (Harry Potter books.)  It's just gorgeous.

East of the Sun and West of the MoonEast of the Sun & West of the Moon by Mercer Mayer

We only read this one once.  My vague recollection is that it's about a girl who has some trouble that a frog helps her out of, but then she has to do him some favors.  She agrees, then reneges.  Turns out the frog was a guy who was cursed by a troll princess whom he now has to marry.  So the girl decides to rescue him.

Curious George Makes PancakesCurious George Makes Pancakes by Margaret & H. A. Rey

Monkey gets curious.  Monkey gets in trouble.  Monkey makes people happy.

I Dreamed I Was a BallerinaI Dreamed I Was a Ballerina:  A girlhood story by Anna Pavlova

This one is an old favorite around here.  It's the story of the first time Anna Pavlova saw the ballet with her mother.

Here Is the Wetland (Web of Life)Here Is the Wetland by Madeleine Dunphy

A wetland version of The House That Jack Built.  It's fun to read, pretty to look at, and educational.

Manners at a Friend's House (Way to Be!)Manners at a Friend's House by Amanda Doering Tourville

Cute story, but slightly boring.  The manners are good though.

The Woman in the Moon: A Story from Hawai'IThe Woman in the Moon:  A Story from Hawai'i Retold by Jama Kim Rattigan

A Hawaiian folktale about a woman who worked selflessly for her village and husband, none of whom really appreciated her.  So she begins to look for a place where she can be alone.  Eventually she goes to the moon and that's why you see a woman in the moon.

The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous CoatThe Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat by Catherine Ann Cullen

We picked this one up because of the colorful cover and it turned out to be a fun read.  This one could easily be used to learn about the days of the week too.  The child has a coat with seven different buttons that they use to help others throughout the week.  It's a pretty little read.

Stone SoupStone Soup by Jon J. Muth

This is the zen version of the old story.  Three monks go down to a village that's been through some tough times.  The people there learn how to find happiness in a pot of stone soup.  The kid have requested we make this soup soon.  I think we will.

Not Me!Not Me! by Nicola Killen

The house is getting messier by the minute, but who's responsible?  It's a cute book, but probably better for younger kids.  Even Dimples wasn't that impressed though I'd guess the kids in the book are all three.

Acorns Everywhere
Rapunzel (Picture Puffin Books)Acorns Everywhere by Kevin Sherry

This one is about a squirrel who is collecting acorns.  It's another that might be a good for a beginning reader and introduces homonyms in a cute way.  I wasn't really fond of the squirrel himself though.  He's sorta selfish.

Rapunzel Retold by Paul O. Zelinsky

You know I really do not like the story of Rapunzel.  Her mother is dramatic, her father has no courage.  The witch is completely unreasonable and the total innocent has to suffer all of them.  She finally meets someone who actually loves her, so the witch casts her out into the wilderness and hurts her prince.  At least it has a happy ending, but geez... The illustrations are just gorgeous in this one.  If you can get over the story itself, it's worth checking out.

Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard GeniusStar Jumper:  Journal of a Cardboard Genius by Frank Asch

This was one that Robotson read on his own.  Maybe I can get him to start giving me little synopsis of his reads.  Anyway, I don't know anything about it other than he really liked it and got the other two in the series for Easter.

Pet Show! (Picture Puffins)Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats

I don't even remember this one.  Something about a missing cat.  But it's Keats, so you know it's fun and colorful.

The Pig in the PondThe Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell

The pig is hot and he's a little jealous that the ducks and geese are keeping cool in the pond.  He can't swim, after all.  Eventually he decides to chance it and eventually the whole farm is looking to cool down.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

We are only halfway through with this one.  So far it's just as great at the first one, only I think it's a little darker.  The first one was certainly scary because of the implications of what would happen if Mr. Curtain got the Whisperer to full capacity.  But Mr. Benedict was watching, and Milligan could come rescue them.  Even if they just had to go into hiding at least they would be together.  In this one there is no one to trust.  They left their families in the dark to worry about them.  Milligan is totally absent so far, and of course they are trying to rescue Mr. Benedict and Number Two.  Definitely more edge-of-your-seat this time around.

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