Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bedtime and stories just go together...

like popcorn and a good movie. J. and I have been doing a fair amount of bedtime reading even though I was consumed with reading The Help and left the weekend read-alouds to my dear mother-in-law!!! This week though we have finished two chapter books, Emmaline and the bunny by Katherine Hannigan (IA writer!-with NO website) and Milo and Jazz Mysteries; the case of the stinky socks by Lewis B. Montgomery. I loved Hannigan's Ida B. so I was excited when she had a new book out. When I saw it at my one and only indie bookstore USB my first thought was this is a perfect chapter book to read with J.-it looked like a Velveteen Rabbit-looking chapter book, so, of course, I purchased it. It is a delightful read with all kinds of fun words like "scoot-skedaddle."
The simple story begins with Emmaline wanting a bunny of her own and told no
because they are not neat-She lives in "Neatasapin" and the mayor has the great name of Orson Oliphant. Old Orson likes things neat and tidy and the grown-ups have just let him run the place but Emmaline is determined and finds a way to invite a bunny into her life! The language in the book is fun to say out-loud-lots of thump, thump, thumping and stomp,
stomp, stomping-and the plot is carefully constructed to give us a good message without weighing down the pure enjoyment. I loved Emmaline's determination as well as the Earth Mother/Old One we meet in the middle of the story. Ms. Hannigan was asked to do
the drawings for this book herself and I am glad she tried because the illustrations match the feeling of the story perfectly.

The second chapter book we finished together this week was an ARC sent to me by The Kane Press , written by Lewis B. Montgomery and, well you really can't go wrong with a book that has stinky socks in the title! J. loved both the boy and girl character and the easy drawings that accompanied the story.
J. likes things to be fair and real and it was cool for her to see Milo and Jazz work so well together to solve the case of the missing pair of lucky socks worn by the star baseball pitcher, Dylan. I know from reading their website that another Milo and Jazz mystery is out (The case of the Poisoned pig) and two more are coming soon. J. and I will be happy to put our Dash Marlowe detective hats back on and help Milo and Jazz solve more mysteries!!

We also read two fabulous pictures books last night and as tired as I was J. wanted both books to be reread again and again!! The first one w
as Belinda begins ballet by Amy Young (great author website!) and oh, what a great lesson Belinda
teaches, without being weird. Belinda, from birth, has had rather large feet!
How sad when the elementary teacher in charge of the talent show asks her to be a clown
because of her large size feet. I had a great time making a very grumpy teacher voice for her!
Belinda, sadly, unwillingly complies and learns the clown routine. Just by chance, though she puts herself in the right place, right time and happily, dreamily watches another student, Camille, practice her ballet for the show. Belinda shows us that her large feet can be just perfect for ballet as well!! Beautifully illustrated and very well-written, I know I will end up wearing the pages out on this one.

Our last book, Not a stick by Antoinette Portis (Not a box) was so well received by J
that we really did read it over several can you resist those blinking sweet brown eyes and it helps that the book is a fast read!! While fast though the impression both of her books leave me with is so refreshing I think Ms. Portis probably never lets her kids watch television. The premise of both of these books is a simple object, used with imagination can be Anything You Want It To Be! The little pig character is so cute, so well-drawn and you feel his (my feeling is that it is a little boy pig)
progressive frustration "It is NOT NOT NOT a stick!" to the elaborate imagining of what the stick can be, remind me of the forest growing in Where the wild things are. These are classics in our midst, definetely.
And after several readings we were both ready for dreamland. Post note; I reread it again to my husband last night! He wanted to dramatize it, of course!

1 comment:

Janssen said...

I love "Not a Stick" and "Not a Box." So very cute and clever.