Thursday, February 2, 2012

Favorite Children's Books from 2011

Saturday afternoon I wiped crumbs from the table, swabbed faces, unbuckled the boys from their boosters, and looked up briefly as Ali and Sami scampered off to the couches around the corner. Gordon and Spencer followed. While rinsing cups, I noticed an unusually wonderful sound.

Quiet.

In place of the crash, bang, vroom I usually hear from the train table, I heard only the slight brush of paper against cotton. It was the sound of pages turning.

Photobucket

I leaned my head out the kitchen door to scan the living room. And there they were, all five of them, nestling into the couches, perusing a favorite book. Sunlight was pouring in the south window, tingling down their necks, warming their backs and whiting their toes.

Photobucket

Most afternoons start out gentle like this.

The morning chores are done and everything about us grows softer - my voice, their voices, the yellow light filling up the living room. Naps are only an hour away, so we have nowhere to run off to - just stacks of books to sift through, disappear into.

Photobucket



Photobucket

I kneel on the carpet, camera in hand, watching. They are oblivious to their stalking mother. I creep past their feet as Sami tells the boys the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Photobucket

Spencer lasts for several minutes, but then he's off to find his Pigeon books. He chooses The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, and I stifle a laugh as he reenacts the moment when Pigeon realizes his much-wanted puppy is a whole lot bigger than he is! Aaaaah!

Photobucket

Ali smiles as she leafs through her favorite book, Noah's Ark. She finishes only to start again, entranced by the intricate details of Peter Spier's art.

Me? I am entranced by her. By the golden light filtering through her curls. The camera keeps clicking but none of my children notice me.

Photobucket

Except this girl, who pauses long enough to look up and flash me a smile. I love that it is Saturday, and she is home with us.

Too often I feel pulled more ways than I have limbs. In this busy house of five little people who still can't bathe themselves, cut their own food, or pick up after themselves with consistency, there are so many temporal needs to be met. I worry sometimes that they don't get enough. Enough of my praise, my eye-contact, my touch. Too many nights, after kissing foreheads and twisting lamp switches, I worry over what went unsaid, undone, unnoticed.

But this hour, the reading hour, is one part of the day that fills us, holds us all together in the same rapt story. Their small bodies fit like puzzle pieces against mine, and somehow we manage to squeeze everyone onto the same couch - legs akimbo, arms draped across shoulders, small heads leaning onto small shoulders.

It is sweet. And at least here, they have my touch. They have my praise, not just of them, but of other people and things that matter. We share a look of wonder, I see that spark of discovery in their eyes, and together, we float away into the exciting pages of a good book.

Photobucket

Here's our list of favorite Children's Books from 2011. In no particular order. Some are new releases from 2011, others are as old as the knickerbockers I wore in first grade. But if they made our list, it's because they've been read over and over, we never tire of them, they teach a valuable lesson, or they're just plain fun.

Hitch up your britches. It's a hefty list.

Photobucket

Emily - by Michael Bedard. This is the beautiful story of a young girl who lives across the street from Emily Dickinson. Set in Amherst, Massachusetts (Dickinson's hometown), Emily is known to most as the Myth - a haunting figure who wears white and lives in The Yellow House. Through an intimate exchange between Emily and the girl across the street, we read Emily's poetry and learn about her life. My daughters love hunting for Emily in each of the pictures, and I love reading Bedard's poetic lines. While touring the Yellow House, Bedard said he stood beneath Emily's window, and "she lowered this story to him." I think Emily would be pleased with it. It cleverly introduces small ears to one of America's greatest poetesses.
Photobucket
Stellaluna - by Janell Cannon. My girls have fallen in love with this courageous baby bat. Knocked out of her mother's embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna survives the fall and adapts as best she can to her new life with a family of birds. But it is not without its challenges. Eventually Stellaluna is reunited with her mother, and this happy ending makes for a delightful read about mother love, making friends, and being brave. ("Bat notes" at the end of the book offer a number of intriguing facts about bats.)

Photobucket

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge - by Mem Fox. Wilfrid is a little boy who lives next to a retirement home where all sorts of unique individuals are living out their later years, like "Mrs. Jordan who played the organ." Wilfrid knows all of them, but his favorite is 96-year-old "Miss Nancy." Everyone says Miss Nancy has lost her memory and although Wilfrid doesn't know what a memory is, he unintentionally helps her find it. I adore this book, particularly for the attention and understanding it gives to old people. It helps children see them with less fear and more love.

Photobucket

The Berenstain Bears - Originals. When it comes to the Berenstain Bears, the oldies are the goodies, and these two oldies are our favorites. They have been taped and read, and taped some more. They belonged to Doug when he was small, and he and I have rediscovered how delightful they are as we've read them to our children. Look for the Berenstain books published in the 1970's. They are much more enjoyable, funny, and in our opinion, better-written.

Photobucket

There's a Nightmare in my Closet - by Mercer Mayer. My boys ask for this book every afternoon. We make sound effects for the closet door shutting, the floor creaking and the toy gun popping (disclaimer: we read it "I'll pop you" rather than "shoot you" - I just can't say "shoot you"). Copyright is a few years before I was born so it's been around a while, but it is definitely a keeper for toddler boys (and girls!).

Photobucket

Where the Wild Things Are - by Maurice Sendak. This is also a keeper. Everyone is familiar with the Wild Things, but it's so very charming. The boys pick up "Wild Things" at least once a day. And here's the truth. We never get tired of it. I'm pretty sure it's the words. If an author has chosen the right words, the perfect words, a timeless book is born. It becomes one you never mind repeating - one your child will memorize. Like Goodnight Moon or Big Red Barn. I love the sparkle in my boys' eyes as we roar our terrible roars and show our terrible claws. I'll be sad when they outgrow this one.

Photobucket

The White Ox - by Ruth Hailstone. Have you seen 17 Miracles? (If you haven't, you must! Levi Savage is my new heart throb.) Hailstone's book is similar. It's the true story of Emily Squires, who, at age 10, crossed the plains on foot with two fellow travelers, leaving her family in England. The journey becomes more difficult and lonely than she could have imagined and just when she can't go another step, God sends her his own miracle. With stunning artwork, and a truly glorious story - this became one of my girls' favorite reads last summer.

Photobucket

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly - illustrated by Pam Adams. I grew up with my Dad singing this song on every road trip. It is only fitting that my parents gave it to my girls for their birthday. Now I sing the song to my kids, but with these happy illustrations to go along. Each page has a circle cut-out that grows larger every time the Old Lady swallows another animal. Great fun!

Photobucket

Pigeon Books - by Mo Willems. You can't go wrong with any of Mo Willems' books. But we particularly love the Pigeon books. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy happens to be the current favorite. All of my kids chortle over Pigeon's antics and laugh when I put their own names into the book so they can have a conversation with the Pigeon. You won't want to miss Willems' new release, Duckling Gets a Cookie, available in April 2012. And for young readers, I highly recommend the Elephant and Piggie books. These two crack me up!

Photobucket


Photobucket

Caps for Sale - by Esphyr Slobodkina. This classic is adored by all of my children. Once they became familiar with the story, we began acting it out for fun. I tossed all the kids a baseball cap, and they played the monkeys while I played the cap salesman. What kid doesn't love shaking their fists at mommy and saying, "Tst, Tst, Tst!"

Photobucket

Balloons over Broadway - by Melissa Sweet. This Caldecott Honor Winner for 2011 is the true story of Tony Sarg. Sarg is the fellow who created all the enormous balloons that walk the canyons of New York City in the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving morning! I bought this book for Eliza because she is intrigued with building things, and figuring out how things work. She has been fascinated by this story of a "real live" person who invented something as remarkable as those bigger-than-life-puppets. There is one line in the book, however, I simply can't believe: "When Tony was a little boy he created a contraption that helped him feed the chickens without getting out of bed. His dad was so impressed, he never made Tony do another chore." Really?? Wouldn't happen at our house.

Photobucket

One Smart Cookie - by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I've bought every one of the Cookies books. They teach such wonderful lessons about how to interact with others, how to be a good person. One Smart Cookie is for school-age children. Rosenthal defines words like prompt, organized, compromise, prepared, empathy, listening, arrogant, and ponder. She brings complicated concepts down to a level children can easily understand. And the illustrations are marvelous.

Photobucket

Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly - by Alan Madison. This is Sami's current favorite. I found it while searching for books illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Sometimes you can know a book will be good simply because of the artist. Hawkes is one of those illustrators. All of his books are charming, beautifully crafted, and tell a story with a sound message. Velma is the third of the three Gratch girls seeking a bit of independence. She doesn't want to hang out in the shadow of her sisters. She wants to be noticed. One day a butterfly lands on her finger and won't fly away. Pretty soon, everyone notices Velma! This book helps children become aware of positive (and negative) ways to seek attention. It's also an excellent introduction to the study of butterflies.

Photobucket

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse - by Eric Carle. This is Eric Carle's most recent work, released in October 2011. Carle is Eliza's favorite illustrator. She loves art and aspires to be a children's book illustrator. She's infatuated with Carle's work and saved her money (combined with some good behavior) to earn this book. I showed her this video of Carle and she couldn't stop chattering afterwards. She loves how he paints patterns, cuts them out and pastes them, collage-like, to create an image. This book tells the story of a budding young artist who learns how to paint outside the box. It inspires children to paint something original... like a blue horse. Plain magic for little artists.

Photobucket

Noah's Ark - by Peter Spier. This is my Ali's favorite. It has been around for decades and has won a slew of awards, including the Caldecott Medal, The American Book Award, and NY Times Best Illustrated Book. It begins with a translated poem, but the rest of the story is told through Spier's art. Each time we "read" this book I find something new. A new animal, a new expression, a new twist in the story. Spier is absolutely brilliant. A must have for any children's library.

Photobucket

The QuiltMaker's Gift - by Jeff Brumbeau. In this book a wise Quiltmaker helps a selfish King learn that true happiness comes only by making others happy. I love everything about this tender, selfless story. The intricacy and depth of Gail de Marcken's illustrations have kept my girls' busy for long patches of time. And if you are a quilter, you will appreciate the gorgeous quilt patterns crafted into every page.

Photobucket

Whose Mouse Are You? - by Robert Kraus. Perfect for toddlers, this book teaches the importance of belonging to a family. "Nobody's Mouse," with a bit of nudging and some clever thinking, becomes the hero of his family by saving his mother, father and sister. This is another timeless book that we (even my boys) have memorized. It is tender and witty, and my kids love the surprise ending.

Photobucket

Martin's Big Words - by Doreen Rappaport. Over the years my fascination with the civil rights movement has grown. Reverence for our civil right leaders has only deepened and I continue to marvel at the men and women who stood for truth, and risked their lives for the equality of all people. They truly changed the world. So I volunteered this January to teach a Learning Center in Eliza's class about Martin Luker King, Jr. I discovered two excellent books, both of which I shared with her class. This book won the Caldecott Honor Book for Illustrations - watercolor collages set against stained glass windows in the background. Quite beautiful. The book alludes a bit more to the violence many blacks experienced during those days, but I read it to all my girls and it sparked a good discussion.

I also used this one in Eliza's class, written by Dr. King's sister:

Photobucket

My Brother Martin - by Christine King Farris. The illustrations are remarkable and better suited for children than any other book I looked at. Farris tells an excellent story, from her own perspective, about their growing up years. The pictures are happy and I was particularly moved by the page when Martin asks his mother why they can't go the same places as whites. His mother responds, "Some people just don't understand that we are all the same." Martin then says, "Mother dear, one day I'm going to turn this world upside down." And he did.

Photobucket

The Owl and the Pussycat - by Edward Lear and Jan Brett. Everyone is familiar with Lear's classic nonsense poem, but I include it here for the illustrations. If you haven't been introduced to Jan Brett, now is the time. I love all of her books. Again, she's the kind of illustrator, that if you pick up one of her books, you can't go wrong. Brett has become Eliza's second favorite artist. Brett builds additional stories into the pages of her book. Layers of stories. Pictures within pictures. She has this masterful way of creating a dialogue between the reader and her art, one page at a time.

Here are a few more recommendations for young readers that we are enjoying at our house.

Photobucket

The Little House on the Prairie Series

The Ramona Series

Pippi Longstocking

The Magic Treehouse Books

Eliza has been enjoying all of these. At night she reads a few pages outloud, then I finish the chapter.

Photobucket

Currently, we've been working through Pippi. I forgot what an unruly, innocent, and funny character she is!

And I'm reading the third Little House book to Ali and Sami. I feel like I've returned to my basement bedroom where I spent hours poring over Laura Ingalls' life on the prairie. It's portable magic I tell you, this love-affair with good books. I hope I can pass it on to my children.

What were your favorite children's books this year? Our 2010 list of favorites here.

19 comments:

  1. Cath, your kids are so lucky to have you. I love how you described them as "puzzle pieces" against you. What a blessing you are. Reading is such a beautiful way to connect and bond.

    Pippi Longstocking books were some of my older boys' favorites years ago. Yes, Jan Brett's illustrations are marvelous. Thank you for listing your beloved children's books here.

    Sending you love.

    Anne Marie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh yay! I was doing some unsuccessful google searches for this very thing! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I keep checking for WDW pics! :-) I love love love the pictures. So inspiring and so making me want to make our way through all our books and then get some new ones. I wish we had a library here. Your girls aren't bathing themselves yet? Here's a trick--let them get into the tub and you wash their hair with the sprayer (Please tell me you have a sprayer with a hose--much easier). This should take you no more than a couple of minutes. Then you can do your own thing within shouting distance of the girls while they bathe their nether regions. I usually give Ella and Chaz a bath together and unless we have extra time, Chaz is in and out in just about 2-3 minutes. Sometimes I let him stay in while I wash my face and brush my teeth right next to the tub. I have already washed Ella's hair (While Chaz is playing) and then I let her stay in the tub while I get him ready for bed. Then she gets out (sometimes on her own, but the tub is deep), and she gets ready for bed. But you're right--not quite completely independent yet, but the hose sprayer is a close second. $30 at Costco and Jim replaced them in about 5-10 min each.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anne Marie - I would love to see your list of favorites. And I'm so glad you like Jan Brett. I think she's quite amazing. I have a school question for you with respect to your boys. I'll email you soon. And I still mean to hop over to POMs and comment on your article. I will do that. Love to you too and a happy weekend.

    Alex - Hope it helps. Sure miss you! xo

    Erin - Yes, you would think I'd have the girls bathing themselves. They do everything except wash their hair and Eliza is dying to shower, but the shower we have has tricky hot/cold taps. I have to adjust them the whole time during my shower and it gets extremely hot very fast. I'm a little worried about her burning herself, but we've got to try sooner or later! The sprayer is a great idea. We have one in my shower. Maybe it's time to just give it a go! Planning to post pics from our trip in the next couple weeks. This week all I could do was finish this post. The days evaporated with unexpected events - a flat tire, swapping out one of the crib tents, battling a cold, herding chickens. And we've had family in town and several family gatherings this week. Such is life! Question: So no library in Panama? No library system at all?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Cath,

    I find it awesome how our kids read some of the same books, even though we live in different countries and speak different languages. My youngest one loves Pipi Longstocking (and is named after Pipi's friend Annika -- and she is mighty pleased with that, ;-)), and we all love Where the Wild Things Are. If you like, here is are some drawings from it that my kids made about two and a half years ago: http://fraumahlzahnsgrazerlei.blogspot.com/2009/10/ssau-mal-mosche-ruft-minka-habe-ich.html (Scroll down, it's the framed drawings).

    We don't read many books _in_ English with the kids, but they do like How the Gringe stole Christmas (I read it to them in English and then translate) and Green Eggs and Ham. That would be my favorite children's book, ;-). Also there is a book that I just saw has been translated to English: Valerie and the Good-night-swing by Mira Lobe. That would definitely be one of our favorites -- Lobe has a wonderful way with words. We went to see this enacted on stage, and I swear that every parent and all kids knew all the words -- sometimes the actors even stopped to let the audience finish, and one time they left out a line, oh boy, did the kids protest, ;-).

    By the way, do not worry about giving a wrong impression on your church's position on Satan! I find it really interesting, and really learned a lot from your explanation. Thank you for taking the time for that, ;-).

    So long,
    Corinna

    ReplyDelete
  6. P.S.: Here are some Astrid Lindgren books that we really enjoy:

    Lotta on Troublemaker Street (I read it to my kids when they were about three or four)

    http://www.amazon.com/Lotta-Troublemaker-Street-Astrid-Lindgren/dp/0689846738/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1328425279&sr=8-12

    Ronia the Robber's daughter and Brothers Lionheart are for much older kids (at least 10 I would guess), but do not miss out on them. They have such good messages on childhood, courage, love, trust... Especially Ronia has some thoughts, that I kind of use as a mantra, when my kids climb up the highest trees and do the wildest things. In fact, they are still some of _my_ favorite books that I still enjoy to read:


    http://www.amazon.com/Ronia-Robbers-Daughter-Astrid-Lindgren/dp/0140317201/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1328425279&sr=8-4

    http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Lionheart-Astrid-Lindgren/dp/0192729047/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1328425279&sr=8-13

    So long,
    Corinna

    ReplyDelete
  7. this is simply a splendid list! i luv books that remind me of my childhood and also older movies (shirley temple was a favorite that my grandma always played for me). you are pumping me up for some great summer reading ideas with the girls! luv all the recent post cath! luv ya! *cami

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cath, I'm back:) I am so impressed with this list you've put together. I will definitely need to put some of these books on hold at the library. I didn't even realize that Eric Carle had come out with a new book. The Macy's Day parade book looks intriguing.

    Your children are so blessed to have you reading to and with them.

    A few of our favorites through the years are some that you've already listed and a a few more including:
    Tacky the Penguin books (Tacky's a very silly penguin…the stories make my twins laugh)
    James Marshall books including Miss Nelson is Missing
    Curious George
    Dr. Seuss
    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
    P. D. Eastman's books, esp. Go, Dog, Go and Flap your Wings
    Good Night, Gorilla (even though there are basically no words)
    Paul Galdone's versions of classic tales (he was one of author/illustrators I remember from my childhood)
    Amelia Bedelia (truthfully I do not enjoy her, but 3 of my sons have)

    Chapter Books:
    Five Children and It (E. Nesbit is the author)
    Half Magic
    Junie B. Jones (I think some people will find the slang/poor grammar used by the character as extremely annoying, but I found it endearing. The audio versions of these books are amazing. They saved us during one car trip.)
    Roald Dahl books (He is one of those authors who you either really like or really dislike. He's quirky. My boys loved many of his books. The language gets a little colorful, particularly in Matilda. It's easy to edit it during a read-aloud but not so much if they're reading it on their own.)

    Have you ever looked at a book called "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease. It's marvelous really. He includes research about the benefits of reading and then best of all includes pages and pages of book recommendations and descriptions.

    There are so many books out there. It's always sad to realize that I will never have time to get to all of them.

    I'd love to "talk" about your school question. E-mail me whenever.

    Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh I love this, I love this!! I could so relate to everything you said about reading and that time with your children. Reading has received so much emphasis in our house from day 1, and we love reading together. Thanks for sharing your list. Some of these we've loved too, but I'm going to reserve the ones I don't know at the library so we can enjoy your recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Corinna - I LOVED your children's "Wild Things" art. What a brilliant idea to have splice the real pages with their art. So wonderful! Thank you for sharing. And thanks for your excellent book recommendations. I referred back to last year's post with everyone's ideas, when we made library trips. I didn't know Lindgren had written other things. Thank you!

    Cami - I'm counting down the days for you! Welcome baby boy Kesler! We have a collection of Shirley Temple movies. She was one of my absolute favorites as a girl. If you aren't already hooked up, let me know and you can borrow them. Sure love you Cami!

    Anne Marie - what a fabulous list. Thank you for adding it here so others can benefit as well. Haven't heard of Tacky the Penguin. Will check that one out. And Eliza just came home last week with a whole book of artwork from Miss Nelson is missing. Her teacher dressed up as the substitute teacher - can't recall her name right now. Thank you so much for all of these recommendations. I'll be checking them out at the library! And I'll email you soon about the boys. Love you!

    Elizabeth - I am SO disappointed we are going to miss an opportunity for dinner with you Sunday. (Talked with Gaylyn yesterday.) Let's please try for another time to get together. And I would love to hear your list of favorite children's books as well. xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Cath, thank you soooo much for this list!! I am the lucky owner of one sister resident in USA so, via her + Amazon, I purchase books in English. I love your style and I'm sure I'll love the recommended books too. I've already added some to my next Amazon wishlist.

    My elder daughter is a huge fan of books since a young age :-) You can read more about it here: http://blue-jeans-girl.blogspot.com/2010/10/she-hearts-reading.html

    I would be interested to read (if you have time to write such a post) about your list of favorite MOVIES for children.

    Kisses from Romania! I ♥ your blog!

    P.S.: when I have a bad day I'm thinking about you: "how does she handle 5 parallel tantrums??". Do you have help with children over the day?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cath, you mean dinner on Friday, yes? I would love to try for another time. Lets make it happen! xoxo
    And, p.s., I'll do a book post coming soon.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Raluca - adorable pictures of your little darling "devouring" books. We've seen a few go the way of edible reads too. ;) As for movies, I'll have to give it some thought. A few come to mind quickly - mostly Disney - but we've stumbled upon a few other great flicks for children. I'll try to tend to that in a future post. And "five parallel tantrums" - you make me laugh. We have had melt-downs x five - all at once. Not very often. But is has happened! Most recently, I dialed my husband's number, hoping he would pick up so he could simply hear the madness. The challenge for me is to stay calm and ride it out. As for help over the day, I don't have any regular help. I have a sitter that comes once a week so I can grocery shop. And that's about it. But I do have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law who help when we have appointments and such. And when Doug is home, all things run smoothly. He's a great Daddy. Sending blessings across the miles to you.

    Elizabeth - Yes, I meant Friday. Where is my brain? Sometimes I wonder. Loved your strolling post. How did I miss that you have twin boys? Your pictures and history were so sweet. We'll have lots to talk about when we can finally get together. I'll look forward to your book recommendations. xo

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow!! You really are a strong woman, Cath!! No regular help!!...
    Million thanks for sharing your experience here! You are such an example to follow for me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have kept this up on my computer because I have been wanting to comment for ages. But alas, all the running around to keep up with my family has made me much delayed! I love reading about good kids books. H & E are reading so voraciously these days I can't keep up. Seriously, H finished all 7 Harry Potter Books in about 10 weeks. E will read an entire Magic Treehouse book a day. StellaLuna has long been a favorite here, Verdi by the same author is pretty great too. Recently Dave has invested in some gorgeous leather bound fairy tale books. He started with some good ole Norse mythology (hence our baby's name Freya) and now we have some from all over. A love of reading is a fantastic gift to your kids - well done Cath!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle - I always love your book suggestions. Just looked up Verdi and I'm adding it to our library list. Thank you! Jaw drop that H has finished all seven Harry Potters and E can read a Magic Treehouse book in a day! I'm not surprised. But whoa. Do you guys have norse ancestry? Doug's family is norwegian - his grandfather first generation emigrant. And I LOVE the name Freya. Thanks Michelle!

      Delete
  16. Younce is Scandinanian, a lot of Danish and Norwegan in Dave's blood. His sisters all have Scandinavian names.. I can never believe how fast these kids of ours are growing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your book list! my husband thinks we have tooooo many but I just cant get rid of them! If you haven't you should check out Stand tall Molly lou lemon! its our favorite & im sure it will be on the top of your list too!
    YOu have an adorable family!
    Ashley

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great list! I kept meaning to come back to it and order some off Amazon. I just did. May I also recommend the "If you give a ___ a ___" series by Laura Numeroff? (e.g. If you give a pig a party...) We love those here. I'm also a fan of the Eric Carle books in Spanish. Chaz is in love with "La Arana Muy Ocupada," he loves the books that have animals that he can "talk" to. I would also recommend as your girls get older the entire Wizard of Oz series (ironically, the worst book in the bunch is the first one and the most famous), anything by Roald Dahl, all the Ramona books, and almost all the Judy Blume books.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails