I love learning about new books! One of my favorite ways to find new books is by reading about what other people are reading, so I thought I'd share some of our favorite books from the last few weeks. The girls always get lots of new books for Christmas, so we've been spending January exploring them! If you're new around here, Maggie is almost 4 and Lena is 5.5 (but a strong reader, so some of her favorites are at a higher reading level). Here's a peek at the books we're enjoying in January.
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After a trip to a local museum where the girls saw Madagascar hissing cockroaches (ick), we pulled out one of our favorite books, Ultimate Bugopedia by Darlyne Murawski. The images are SO amazing, with bright, clear photographs. Some of the information is beyond the comprehension level of my 3-year-old, but she enjoys looking at the pictures. It's a fantastic resource to have on your shelf.
Lena enjoys her Jesus Storybook Bible, but has read the stories over and over again. We felt she was ready for something a bit more complete. She received The Action Bible, by Doug Mauss, for Christmas, and has been loving it so far. Lately I always seem to find her sprawled out in the living room floor looking through it, like the picture above! It is written and illustrated in a comic book style, but is very complete. Some of the images may seem a bit "scary" to younger children, but Lena hasn't seem troubled by them so far.
So if you've been following my posts for any length of time, you've probably heard me mention how much my youngest, Maggie, loves mice. She has several new mouse books that we've all enjoyed. First up, The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman. Ms. Schaapman has spent years building an enormous miniature world for little mice out of paper mache. And now she's woven together a story about Julia and Sam, two of the mouse mansion's inhabitants. This is a large book, with huge photographs of the tiny and intricate details of the mouse mansion. We've spent hours pouring over the pages, noticing all the itty bitty miniatures. It is a super cute book, and was probably Santa's best find.
Another one of our new favorite mouse books is Frederick by Leo Lionni. I've been familiar with Leo Lionni's work for a while, but we haven't read many of his books. After reading Frederick several times, however, he may be one of my new favorite children's authors! The illustrations are soft and sweet, and each of his books have a lovely message. Frederick is about a little mouse who stores away wonderful sights and sounds for the winter, instead of seeds and nuts like his friends.
I do lots of reading aloud from chapter books as part of our homeschooling. I almost always read while the girls eat breakfast. The girls take after their father, in that they like to have several books going at once (it drives me crazy). Each morning they choose what they want to hear.
Maggie recently found a "prairie dress" in her closet. That brought about several days worth of Mary and Laura imagination play, along with a request to reread Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We've read several books from the series, but this is probably the favorite!
I LOVED reading the "Boxcar Children" series when I was young, so I've been excited to share them with my girls. We have this set of the first four "Boxcar Children Mysteries" and have been reading the third story, The Yellow House Mystery, by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The stories are about four siblings who live with their grandfather and solve mysteries. They're nice and old-fashioned with just the right level of suspense and mystery. I'm not thrilled with the writing (I find it a bit clunky) but the children are just so sweet that it makes up for it!
After my father read this little snippet about the "Betsy-Tacy" books in the New York Times book review, he grabbed a copy of the first book, Betsy-Tacy, by Maud Hart Lovelace, thinking the girls might enjoy it. And they did! So we're now working our way through several other "Betsy-Tacy" books, including Betsy-Tacy and Tib. The stories are about best friends Betsy and Tacy, who are growing up as neighbors in Minnesota in the early 1900s. The first story takes place when the girls are 5 years old, and they age a few years between each of the 10 books. They're innocent and quaint, and are fascinating for my daughters, who love hearing stories about "the old days."
I'm trying to squeeze more reading time into our days. One way I'm doing that is by letting the girls play quietly or color while I read. I wondered if they would listen as well, but they seem to be doing just fine! Maggie is proving to be quite the little LEGO queen, and loves building while she listens.
Lean got these 2 early chapter books, Piper Green And The Fairy Tree and Piper Green And The Fairy Tree: Too Much Luck, both by Ellen Potter, from her grandparents for Christmas. They were big hits! Piper Green is a normal young girl who has some normal problems (and happens to have a fairy tree in her yard). While Piper may be a wee bit bratty, her attitude wasn't anything that concerned me too much. I'm always happy to find new books for young readers, and judging by the way Lena whipped through these, your young reader may like them, too!
What about for the grownups? I love reading, but don't like getting settled into new books. So I usually choose LONG books that will keep me going for a while. For the last couple of months or so, I've been enjoying Edward Rutherfurd's London. It's right up my alley (historical fiction) and I've enjoyed learning about London's history!
What have YOU enjoyed reading lately? Tell me in the comments below. I'm almost finished with London so I'm about to have to choose something new!
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