We recently considered letting go of our couch, in favor of a large chair. Hey, any floor space gained is a battle won, right? Our couch, after all, was not even new when we
dragged err brought it home. It has broken springs on one side and its depth ensures that once you sit on it, you are staying put. When we have guests, I like to watch the fear flicker across their face as they begin to sit down, and go much lower than they have reckoned. Yes, we thought. A chair! A new(er) chair! Some space on the floor! Win.
Lose, actually. We tried the chair for a day, and then discovered that the chair did not sufficiently accommodate three for reading time. Inevitably, one little rump would be dangling off the side, arms desperately clinging to my neck. “I don’t have any woom!” came the howls. And if we cannot read in it, it has no place in the Fun Apartment.
So we re-embrace our dilapidated couch. Toy bins would have aggressively colonized the new floor space, and we have always liked the color, anyway. All that brings me here:
In honor of Children’s Book Week, I thought I’d share some of our favorite reads. Actually it was a few weeks ago, but I never believed in confining celebrations to a single day or week. For example, at least one portion of summer could be renamed “Mommy’s Birthday Self-Indulgence Metric Month!”
So, to continue the fun of Children’s Book Week, here are some books we (I) have been enjoying reading, flanked by boys, each little bum comfortably settled.
We all fell pretty hard for this one, in which a little girl visits the zoo and is besieged with requests from the animals. In fact, it spawned a rash of “Pssst . . . can you bring me a _____?” type requests here at the Fun Apartment. I force-read this book to a dinner guest and the Man of My Dreams nearly choked trying to read it (to himself!) without giggling after bedtime.
Having a kindergartener means having kindergarten homework. And that means reading 20-30 minutes every night. (One time it also meant writing a persuasive letter, which I thought was rather a lofty request of a 5 year old, but I digress. . . . ) Anyway, it can be hard to convince a boy to sit and read really inane–but easy to read!– books, but the minute I pull out Elephant and Piggie and ask which one he wants to be, we get the homework done, between the chortling. I will never be tired of reading Elephant and Piggie.
We’re kind of moving into Chapter-Book-Land here, and I feel like I have spent my entire life waiting for this role: handing my kids chapter books so completely-life-changingly-good that they truly become better people from reading them. Trust me, I have been stockpiling for this. But I am also struck by the urge for restraint. (Those who know me well know how rare this impulse is for me.) But, I tell myself, there’s time. There’s time for Harry Potter. There’s time for The House with the Clock in its Walls. There’s time for The Golden Compass. But when it comes to Roald Dahl, we have already wasted too much time! Open The Enormous Crocodile right away! Put your fingers on The Magic Finger! Keep the nightwatch out for The BFG! Quick! I said there’s no time to waste! Why are you still reading??
Fine, your loss. But I did warn you.
You probably have never heard of Moose, Goose, and Little Nobody, but it is by the author of The Westing Game (I swear, there’s time!) and you should find a copy right away and read it aloud, even if you are alone.
Well, here (because balance in all things, right?) are some books I hate reading and would really like to speak to their acquisitions editors about. I have already vented about several other best-loathed titles here.
Seriously, these authors need to step away from their keyboard and easel. Just STOP.
I know, I know. Everyone *loves* Eric Carle, but his books are just a little too “teachy” for me. Reading this one turns Mommy into a very grouchy ladybug. And I hid that one with the squeaky duck button far under the bed, where only the cat can find it.
Could the man in the yellow hat at least keep an eye on the monkey he kidnapped? The old ones are one hundred pages long, the new ones are at best inane, and the ones for the tv show are enough for me to wish that monkey back in the jungle (or worse, she typed, threateningly.)
Don’t get me wrong, I will read whatever book a little boy puts into my hands with a pleading look. I’ll head for the couch. But there are some that I should never have brought home. Because once you invite them in. . . .
[By the way, are you looking for a blog about children’s literature that is truly the real deal, not just slapdash snarkiness like I’m doing? Then it is right here. This blog is the cool older blog that I want my blog to grow up to be like.]
So, what do you all read? What do you cram behind the couch?