Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Heart the Library

Logan and I spend a lot of our day reading right now.  He's so into books.  If we aren't reading them he's studying the illustrations intensely.  So, in an effort to cure my boredom with our at-home library I decided it was time to utilize our county library.  Every month we pick up a new pile of books to read.  I do the picking and grab what looks attractive and not too long.  I definitely don't read them before I check them out so sometimes I'm a bit disappointed with our pile.

Well, today was library day and I just finished reading the entire pile to Logan before his nap.  I have to say, I picked some really good books this time around.  I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few.

Red is Best by Kathy Stinson.  I know you shouldn't judge a book by the cover but I so did with this one.  The cover and illustrations are just charming.  It tickled me so I picked it up.  The dialogue is simple yet insightful.  I love the play of mother-daughter logic over what items of clothing are acceptable and which are just plain loved.  My favorite exchange is over barrettes.
"I like my red barrettes the best. 
 My mom says, 'You wear pink barrettes with a pink dress.' 

 But my red barrettes make my hair laugh.

I like my red barrettes best."

So, so cute!  I don't know if Logan liked it as much as I did but time will tell.  He tends to carry his favorites around with him.

Next pick that just leaves me giggling is 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.  I really like the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I enjoy the sing-song rhythym of the poem.  I picked up this book based on my bias towards the original poem.  This book is hilarious.  It's clever and witty. It's easy to read because of the familiar rhythym and the plot is just fun.

It's about a class field trip to a turkey farm the day before Thanksgiving.  They meet and mingle with the turkeys and the farmer.  One child finds an ax and asks the farmer what it is.  The farmer explains that he will use the ax to kill the turkeys for Thanksgiving.  The children burst into tears and create a plan of escape.  I won't give it all away.  I'll just say from beginning to end this author is funny.  I would love to read more from him.

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach Another witty book.  Logan LOVED this one and I really did not mind reading it to him.  It was so entertaining.  A lot of fun and clever dialogue to give voice to.  I love to do voices when I read.  The ending was slightly disappointing but everything else more than filled my expectations.

When the little boy is forced into yet another boring day of errands with his mom he is pleasantly surprised to get a free dinosaur with each purchase.  After gathering a few life-sized dinosaurs his mom desides to cut errand day short and attempts to adjust to life with pet dinosaurs (which she quickly puts to work).  I tripped up a bit on the formal names of the dinosaurs but Logan didn't seem to mind.  The characters are very expressive and interesting to look at. 

And, finally, I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.  This one was on the library's favorite book list so I put it on hold.  It was slightly too long for Logan but I really enjoyed it.  And the illustrations didn't seem to keep Logan interested.  They are more dramatic, detailed, and movie-like.  The story is so smart and the characters are interesting.  Again, a fun dialouge to put voices to.

The story is a about a boy who gets a note from his monster-under-the-bed, Gabe, saying that he has gone fishing.  The boy is worried that he won't sleep without Gabe and all his familiar monster noises.  He then interviews several substitute monsters that just don't make the cut.  My favorite interview is with Herbert:
When I heard some creaking under my bed, I knew that the substitute monster had arrived.
"Good evening," said a low, breathy voice.  "My name is Herbert and I will be your monster for the evening." 
          "Herbert?  What kind of name is that for a monster?!  you don't sounds scary at all.  Have you
          ever scared a kid before?"

          "Well, no, but I have read all the best books on the topic."

          "Do you have long teeth and scratchy claws?" I asked.

          "No, but I have an overbite.  And I'm a mouth breather.  Listen.  Hih-huh, hih-huh, hih-huh..."

          Herbert's panting was kind of scary, but it wasn't enough for me.

As the interviews go on the monsters are starting to accuse the boy of being too picky.  Then his monster comes back and is properly scared and soon fast asleep.

Well, that's my pile of really great books from the library.

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