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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The girl took a trip to the library with her aunt yesterday and came home with a stack of new books. As I was looking through them I was reminded how the quality of kids books can vary so much. There are some amazingly good books out there and there is also some weird, weird stuff (I will have to post about that another day). I thought I would share with you two of my favorite kids books. But first, a story about the girl.

We sat down on the couch this morning to read one of the new books she picked up yesterday and ended up reading it three times. It was really neat to see what information she absorbed each time and how she want to keep re-reading it to process what she had just learnt. The book was What Are You So Grumpy About (warning: all the following links are to Amazon). It is a bit old for her so she didn't get all the jokes, like a picture of a kid actually picking up (i.e. holding) his room. But she still got a lot out of it. This is what happened when we read it:

- The first time I just read through it straight. I read the text and she asked a few questions.
- The second time I read the text and explained the pictures because I had realized that the language and jokes were a bit old for her. For example, there is a picture of a boy getting out on the "wrong side of the bed" and he is about to step on a sharp toy and hurt his foot. She asked more questions.
- The third time I read the text and she explained each picture. "That boy is going to step on the toy and hurt his foot!" It was pretty amazing to see how quickly she absorbed everything and processed it. Now I would read the text and she would laugh about the pictures.

The whole process really clarified for me why a kid wants to read a book six times in a row, even though the adult doesn't.

Now, here are two books that I think are awesome. Both of these books were gifts from L., a friend of my dad's, so a shout out to her good taste.

1. The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business follows a mole trying to figure out which animal pooed on his head. We have the pop-up version. Do I need to say more? And it appeals to all ages. When we first read it two teenage boys were also around and laughed pretty hard at the story.

2. The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters is about a postman delivering letters to various fairytale characters. From the same authors as Peepo, which is great for babies.

I think I am going to start doing a weekly books post. Let me know if there is anything you think I should read!

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