Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Night time story time

One of my quests this summer is to read good, old classic chapter books with J. so we started the summer with one of my early favorite authors, Beverly Cleary's Beezus and Ramona! I love that the humor of Ramona is still funny. You just can't get past the picture of Ramona ramming her tricycle into the coffee table, trying to get Beezus' attention or sitting on the basement floor taking one bite out of apple after apple-because "the first bite is the best."

During story time we still read picture books together and this week we discovered Polly Dunbar. We read Hello Tilly and Where's Tumpty by Dunbar. Very sweet books with no real purpose except joy. Great illustrations about a little pixie girl who lives with her animal friends in a little yellow house. J. and I loved that Tilly's long-sleeved polka-dot t-shirt matches the end papers of the book-yes, same exact polka-dots-both our mouths dropped open and then smiled with that fine little touch. We went through the other book but did not find the same matching arrangement. Dunbar has a few other good titles and her fun website is worth checking out!

We also read Lauren Child's Who's afraid of the big bad book?-talk about falling into a story, this one (no Charlie and Lola characters here, by the way) has Herb falling into one of his fairy tale books that he has treated very well. He's cut, glued and drawn mustaches on a few characters and that comes back to haunt poor Herb. This was a much longer book to read but J. enjoyed the silly story of Herb mixing it up with Cinderella and teaches an easy lesson of taking care of your books so the characters appreciate you. I enjoyed the story but am a little disappointed in Lauren Child's mass marketing of many of her titles. She's followed in the notorious footsteps of Franklin and Arthur books, and has a bunch of books written by other authors based on the Charlie and Lola television series. Bleechhh! This title written by Child's is quite good beyond how I feel about her selling out Charlie and Lola. Here is a very descriptive review of this book.

My own story time I finished The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry, which was a short read but not as magical as I had hoped. The children and the nanny are quite interesting but it is a storyline that has been done-you know mean parents, soon-to-be-orphans, great nanny and a avalanche in Switzerland. One of the outstanding features of this chapter book is the amazing language she has her characters use. The orphans are smart and talkative! Words such as "acquisition, affable, contemplating, bilious, conspiracy, ignominious and fortuitious." Wow-great language and with a glossary so readers can look up as they read. Lowry includes a bibliography of other famous orphan stories for readers. Exploring Lowry's website I discovered her blog and I read entranced for at least 10 minutes-pictures of grandkids mixed with her trip to Africa. I was looking for information about The Willoughby's because I'm wondering if there is going to be another sequel, following the orphans and the wonderful Nanny. I didn't find it there but will keep my eyes open because the book ended on just that kind of note!
Anyone out there with an extra copy of Catching Fire????????


Anonymous said...

Love Love LOVE polly dumbar - shoe baby among others! We just read Lauren Child's Princess and the Pea - I love how she talks about princesses and Princes - definitely a book I'm putting on my goto b-day list -I found it on one of your links -also linked to a cool craft of making a paper doll and mattresses like Child's book. You know I want to make it! You also know I'm getting Ramona and Bezus! I think it's the perfect "meet me in the middle" for my 6 and 4 year old - thanks

Peaceful Reader said...

I love the Princess and the pea by Lauren Child. Love the way she makes her collages. Thank you for your comment!