Sunday, December 20, 2009

Children's Books

I have my little granddaughter with me for a visit (a few nights) and she loves to have books read to her. I read books a lot for kids in the library that I work in and I also read to the grandchildren at home. I never take credit for this type of reading, but then I've never seen any book challenges that say - "hey read 15 children's book over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea) - you have until the year 2015 to finish this challenge...."

One set of books that I've been reading and re-reading is called Monsterpops - a set of three pop-up books by Jan Pienkowski. Let me tell you, these are a teeny bit twisted. I love twisted children's books. Within this small carry case (can't find a picture for it on line) are three books, Oh My! A Fly, Dinner Time, and Small Talk.

Oh My! a Fly is a twist of the old tale, The Old Woman Swallowed a Fly. Only this version has an abrupt ending. With a pop-up ghost.
Dinner Time has different animals going up the food chain as it were. From a frog to a crocodile, they all get eaten.

Small talk seems to be a mini-version of round-robin. A cat sees something on the roof, he tells someone who tells someone else, who tells ...and so on. The description of who was on the roof gets bigger, with more feet until the last animal to be told is the visitor himself, a little tiny martian.

The kids have laughed at these books over and over. I've read them at least 10 times in the last two days. Thanksgiving they were read to all three of the little ones quite a few times by almost every adult present.
I don't see the three pack online for purchase, but each book is available through Powell's and probably other bookstores. There are quite a few other books by Jan Pienkowski, one in particular I'd like to get called Little Monsters.
Other books that I've enjoyed reading to the grandchildren and to younger children at the school library are SkippyJon Jones books by Judy Schachner and the Mouse books by Laura Numeroff. (If you take a mouse to school, If you give a pig a pancake, If you give a mouse a cookie...).

Skippy Jon Jones is simply a crazed little character. He is a cat who likes to play with birds, pretend he is a chihuahua, and is always getting in a little trouble. I have one storybook with Skippy Jon Jones and two board books for toddlers. They're fun books to read. With the story books you get a few spanish words also, something that I like to see in books.
Laura Numeroff's books are cute and silly enough that we all laugh while reading them. They take one example of say, giving a pig a pancake and name all the things that the pig will want along with the pancake. All those possibilities that are really sequential events.
There are other children's books that are a lot of fun, but the ones that provide laughs and silliness are the ones that leave an impression with me and the family. I always try to give at least one book to each grandchild for Christmas and Birthdays. I don't always manage it, but I also try to grab a child's book when I go book hunting for myself. Anytime I see free books up for grabs anywhere, I grab them then distribute them to students at school to take home and my own grandchildren. I feel like you can't ever have too many books to read. At my own house I keep books for the kids to go through when they visit.
When we were little, we had so few books of our own that I think I go overboard now. When we were in elementary school, 4th grade and older my dad would take us on book shopping sprees when we visited him. I loved going to bookstores when I was little. I don't remember having very many books of my own before the book shopping trips started with my dad though. One of my earliest memories was being so excited that my mom gave me 65 cents to buy The Story About Ping (Marjorie Flack). 65 cents for a paperback book - that was in 1967 when I was in second grade. I kept that book for a very long time.

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