Summary: That Book Woman by Heather Henson brings me back to trips to the Appalachian Mountains and hours of watching the Waltons. In this book a Pack Horse Librarian brings books to a family through all seasons and against all odds. The little boy is skeptical until the very end when he realizes that, if the librarian pushes through the fiercest conditions to bring them books, then he must find out why they are so important by reading them. The librarian is rewarded in the end with the best gift – knowing that she has changed a little boy’s life by helping him learn to read.
Pros: A story that is accessible to all ages about a not-so-often mentioned time and place in history. I loved watching the boy’s attitude change towards reading.
Cons: The book is written as someone from that culture would have spoken, so is a bit difficult for younger children to understand. Age Range: 3-9
☆☆☆☆1/2 of 5
Summary: Little Golden Books are timeless treasures that children want to have read to them over and over. My mother read many of these books to me, and they were some of the first books I started collecting for my children. Nurse Nancy by Kathryn Jackson is one of the Little Golden Book Classics, but I had not read it until someone gave it to my kids several years ago. Nancy, an only girl with three brothers, usually pretends her chosen profession alone, but one day she becomes a very busy nurse as she saves the day by washing and bandaging a cut for one of her brothers. Suddenly, Nancy’s hospital is booming with business as she provides lots of first aid and candy medication.
Pros: The endearing simplicity of the story, the pretend role-playing, and the family playing together make this a favorite of mine. Also, if you like the book Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, not by the same author, this book ties in amazingly well.
Cons: As a mom of young children and a nurse myself, I found it necessary to explain to my kids that medicine is not candy. In the more complicated world that we live in today (as compared to when this book was written in the 1950’s) medications that are dangerous to children may be more available to them. I would not want any child to ingest something toxic thinking that it was candy because of something they saw in a book!
Age Range: 3-7 years
☆☆☆☆1/2 or 5
Summary: Although I am not usually a fan of Dr. Seuss-type books, I would recommend Fine Feathered Friends by Tish Rabe. Today I read this book to a group of preschoolers who were learning about birds, and it was obvious that they were intrigued. They studied the Seuss-esque pictures closely and asked many complex questions about the reading. The book begins with an overview of the characteristics of birds, then discusses specific qualities of particularly fascinating birds, then close with the human characters getting a bird for a pet. I found that the kids and I learned new tidbits about birds.
Pros: Fun, detailed illustrations. Facts communicated in a fun, rhyming, Seuss-like tone.
Cons: Well, just that I am not particularly a Seuss-ite!
Age Range: 2-8
☆☆☆☆ of 5
Summary: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs begins as a family is cooking breakfast together and Grandpa accidently flings a pancake across the room. Later, Grandpa spins a tale of a town in which all types of weather bring food and no one ever needs to go to the grocery store. Fanciful stories of hamburger wind, soup rain, and mashed potato snow bring a child’s imagination to life as they try to envision living in these conditions.
Pros: If your child enjoys imagination or fantasy, they will love this book. Every page is filled with generous detail and never-ending oddities.
Cons: The illustrations are very detailed, which is great for some kids, but my child with vision-impairment was frustrated with the line-style drawings particularly near the beginning and the end where they are in grey-scale. Also, the ending seemed bit awkard, leaving me wanting to find out more about the little town; but then again, maybe that was the intent of the author.
Age Range: 3-8 year olds
☆☆☆☆1/2 of 5
Summer Reading is our busiest time of year. Not only do we enjoy the extra incentives to read, but we also the various programs available throughout the season. Weekly storyhours; family scavenger hunts; and science, history, and cultural presentations by various local and regional performers and presenters add to the excitement. I especially appreciate that I am stretched to read books on my own and to my kids that I would not have otherwise picked up or even noticed. The nationwide kid’s theme for Summer Reading this year is “Dream Big…READ.” If you are in the Meade area visit www.meadelibrary.info for a schedule of events. Of course, everyone should visit a local library to get in on the fun and embrace these free summer activities help your kids DREAM BIG and READ!!!
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney
The power and value of the written word has incredible meaning for our lives. As we expose ourselves and our families to stories, we learn information available from no other source. The content and quality of the books we read will be of lasting importance and will affect who we are and what our families become.
From an early age, I have loved reading. Some of my earliest memories are of the books that my mother read to me. As I learned to read on my own I was exposed to various genres and developed a clear idea of the types of books that I enjoyed. Fast forward through many years of reading to where I find myself now – a librarian’s wife and mother to 4 children who love books. As I read for myself and to my children I find books that are wonderful and I want to share with others and also find books that I would tell others are not of lasting value and thus not worth reading. My husband and I want to expose our children to a wide variety of reading – fiction vs. non-fiction, fantasy vs. real-life, books in print vs. audio books, print and ink books vs. digital books. With this goal in mind I want to share with readers of this blog many of the books we read, our impressions of these books, and recommendations for future reading.