Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's in Your Bookbasket?

1. Does anyone other than my husband and me think of the "what's in YOUR wallet?" commercial when you read that post title?  It gets us both every time... "What's in YOUR bookbasket!?"

2.  Yes, I know it has been a very, very long time since I have posted.  I promise (sort of) to have a 'real' post up again soon.

3.  Please forgive the gauzy 'romantic' (a.k.a. "BLURRY") look of the following photos.  I didn't know until AFTER they were loaded on the computer, and recognized the problem immediately.  A quick look at my camera lens confirmed it has been touched by little greasy fingers.  And I don't even need fingerprint technology to know who it was!  (Reminder to self: THIS is why I don't need to buy one of those 'nice' $500-700 cameras I've been wondering about!)

And now, our books for this week:

Got several books with stories / themes from China.  And dragons.  I forgot why.  
Mei Li, Thomas Handforth - A Caldecott winner.  Pictures and story excellent for exposure to traditional Chinese culture, plus fun, adventuresome story about a little girl.

Pebbles from a Broken Jar, Fables and Hero Stories from Old China, Frances Alexander - Very short fables (I mean that in a good way).  Nice variety from the traditional stories we know so well.

The Story About Ping, Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese - Is there really anything I need to say about Ping?  Every kid should be read this book. :)

We're Off to Catch a Dragon, Ester Huaser Laurence - Imaginative sing-song rhyme.

The Once-Upon-a-Time Dragon, Jack Kent - Cute, silly dragon story.

There's No Such Thing as a Dragon, Jack Kent - This was a fun story we both enjoyed.  Made me want a little dragon.  (Just kidding.)  (And what's up with Jack Kent and Dragons?)

Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like, Jay Williams - Very good story to include in any China / Dragon study.  ;)  Or just to read.  What struck me most was reading "illustrated by Mercer Mayer."  Really?  THE Mercer Mayer of the Little Critters?  Huh.  Wouldn't have guessed
that by looking at the pictures!

The Emperor and the Kite, Jane Yolen - Sweet story of bravery and loyalty and appreciating the littlest ones on our lives.  

Our last "China" find led to an interesting little side-study.  
The book was:

Lon Po Po, A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, Ed Young - Also a Caldecott winner. Fascinating twist on the familiar fairy tale.

That led to a search for other Red-Riding Hood stories, so we could compare them. (A great study idea I recommend and will repeat with another fairy-tale or other traditional story some day!)

We checked out a traditional Little Red Riding Hood story book, a board book (very tame version), and this fun jewel:

Little Red Cowboy Hat, Susan Lowell - The first time I heard this book it was read aloud by a teenage volunteer at a children's event at the library.  She was laughing, the kids were laughing, the librarians and parents stood in the back laughing.  A very funny book!

And then our miscellaneous for the week:

When Daddy Prays, Nikki Grimes - Sentimental book of poems about a little boy and his Daddy as the spiritual leader of the family.

Isabel's House of Butterflies, Tony Johnston - Story of a poor family in Mexico and their tree that is home to migrating monarch butterflies.  
Beautiful paintings illustrate every page.  I love how the ending is left open to the reader to decide.  Not sure how we ended up with a Mexican book amongst the China ones, lol!  I think our littlest patron pulled it from the shelf and I thought "why not?"  Glad that was the way it turned out.  :)

The Paper-Flower Tree, A Tale from Thailand, Jacqeline Ayer - A favorite of ours we've borrowed a few times.  Highly recommended!

Just Me and My Little Sister, Mercer Mayer - Purely coincidental we have this at the same time as the Mercer Mayer discovery above.  Really makes me wonder.  But how many "Mercer Mayers" can there be out there illustrating books?

Pet Show! , Ezra Jack Keats - Dale picked it; Dale has read it.  I have only skimmed.  Looks good.  :)

Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson - Another one of those "what can I say, really?"  kind of books.  A must-read if you haven't.  Both of my boys enjoy it.

The Scribble Monster, Jack Kent - Apparently we were on a Jack Kent kick this week.  What is it that is so appealing about those round-headed pictures?  This was definitely a fun book.

The Tale of Tom Kitten, Beatrix Potter.  I have been surprised to see how much Alan (not quite 2 1/2) has enjoyed this story!

Hedgehog Bakes a Cake, Maryann Macdonald - An easy reader Dale has picked out many times.  It includes a real recipe for Hedgehog's Yellow Cake.  And finally, for the first time we made it, which Dale loved.  I called him Hedgehog, which he did not love.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle.  Eric Carle.... 'nuff said.

Visit The Happy Housewife for more bookbasket posts, including hers: 13 books little boys enjoy!  :)


Laura said...

Hi Amy, I clicked over from The Happy Housewife. Just wanted to let you know that Mercer Mayer has actually a fairly extensive career as an illustrator--in fact, you can see some of his different styles if you look for him among the alphabetized picture books (at my library, we keep the Little Critter books separate as a series). I was surprised when I realized this, too.

Kudos on a great booklist, too! Lon Po Po in particular is a favorite of mine. It lends itself to storytime far better than you might expect. Says the person who used to spend a lot of time planning storytimes. :)

Philip said...

Mercer Mayer is a prolific artist / illustrator / writer. Quite amazing! Love your book basket posts.

I don't know what browser you use but have you noticed trouble with Blogger and Internet Explorer? I couldn't open your blog with IE (or my own) but it works fine in Firefox. Just wondering what you've noticed.

Karen@Candid Diversions said...

Sorry, Amy. That above comment from "Philip" was just me using my husband's browser.

Didn't want you to think you'd picked up a stalker. :-D

Wendi said...

The "what's in your wallet" commercial is exactly what I "hear" when I see your post title :)

Looks like you've had a bunch of great books in your basket this week! We love Eric Carle here ~ Hungry Caterpillar is one of our favorites.

I'm gonna see if our library has the Little Red Cowboy Hat book - thanks for sharing.

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momtofivekids said...

My youngest 2 love the Tale of Tom Kitten! Actually, it's in our book basket this week. Ping is a great book! I'm going to try to post What's in our Book Basket today.:)