One of the things Olivia and I have been doing to pass the time waiting for Baby Rose's arrival is reading books. We have found several new favorites and revisited a few old ones. I thought I would share our most recent book list in hopes that you and your little ones will enjoy them as much as we have.
Pizza for the Queen by Nancy F. Castaldo
A very cute, based on historical fact, book about how pizza became Italy's favorite food. Lots of fun for us, because we make our own homemade pizza weekly.
Country Mouse Cottage: How We Lived 100 Years Ago by Nigel Brooks
The pages of this book are filled to the brim with the sweetest details of a country mouse and his family's daily life in the summer of 1900. Lots of fun to just look at the illustrations done by Abigail Horner.
The Artful Alphabet by Martina Jirankova-Limbrick
I love this book and Olivia looks at it for hours on end. It is full of fascinating text and lovely pen and ink drawings. It is long (80 pages) and reminiscent of the "I spy" and "Where's Waldo" books. Olivia and I enjoy reading alphabet books, have read quite a few in fact, and I must say that this one is really really good.
Little One Step by Simon James
This sweet story is about a little duck who gets lost (along with his two older duck siblings) and is terribly afraid. So, his brothers come up with a game, take one little step at a time. And before he knows it, they've found their mommy duck and all is well with the world again. It's been a great reminder to me and a good lesson to Olivia to take any overwhelming situation "one step" at a time.
Cookies: Bit-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by my all time favorite illustrator Jane Dyer
This book has been added to our "must own forever" book list. I was, at first, drawn to Jane Dyer's illustrations (boy do I wish she would design a children's clothing line!) but Olivia and I were quickly caught in the enchanting-ness of this book. It is a simple book, simple enough for all ages to understand, and Amy uses some words that we use every day (like patient, content, respect, wisdom, and modest) but also newer words that are more difficult to understand (like pessimistic, loyal, and trustworthy) but definitely something we need to learn and know about. Each pages has one word and it's definition with a corresponding illustration. "Cooperate means How about you add the chips while I stir?" We read this book over and over in the three week period that we had it from the library and it will most likely be one of Olivia Christmas presents next month.
Olivia loves these two books. Something about a little girl her own age, doing things that she herself does, being with family, having a little sister, playing on the seashore, and asking the same questions that she does. But also the elements of unfamiliarity, like living on an island and having to take a boat to the store, picking blueberries and seeing a real live bear, and most of all she adores the illustrations. She always says, "I love this book, but it has no colors. That's ok though. I really like the story." That pretty much sums it up, don't you think?
I love Jill Barklem's books. She author's and illustrates all her own books and the details are to-die-for. I had The Secret Staircase as a child and I knew the story by heart, but I just loved to sit and stare at the pictures for hours and hours. There is so much minute detail on each page that is baffles the mind. These are tradition English country homes, in mouse form and scale, and so are totally bewitching. Poppy's babies has become one of Olivia's favorites of the series because of the baby mice, one of which is named "Rose." Do yourself a favor and check out any of this extremely talented lady's books.
A Kiss for Little Bear, Little Bear's Visit, and Little Bear Treasury by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
Giggles always ensue when we read these books. All the ensuing lip smacking sounds are a dead give-away as to what book we are reading for a bedtime story and we are thoroughly kissed, over and over, by the end of A Kiss of Little Bear. In Little Bear's Visit, Olivia loves to hear the "goblin story" that Grampa Bear tells Little Bear after his nap and she loves pretending that she is sleeping, just like Little Bear when his parents come to pick him up at the end of his visit. Little Bear Treasury is a book of short stories that at first seem to be unrelated, but by the time you finish, you see the grand story that was told. These are old but enchanting books. Very easy to tell why they have been perennial favorites for so many years.
George and Martha, George and Martha One Fine Day , George and Martha Round and Round, and George and Martha Back in Town by James Marshall
Can I just say that these are the most hilarious books you will ever read to or with your kids? I remember my mom reading me these books when I was young and both of us laughing over George and Martha's antics, and now I read them to Olivia and we both laugh over split pea soup in George's loafers, Martha scaring the living daylights out of George in the Tunnel of Love at the Carnival, and George's plan to stop Martha from looking at herself so much in the mirror. I adore getting to read these childhood favorites to my own daughter. They are a fond family memory and will be read many more times in the years to come. Please note that there are several other George and Martha books, but we have not read them...yet. :)