Monday, April 26, 2010

Bookworms

Hi, it's MEP here, pleased as punch to introduce today's guest blogger: Stacia of Fluffy Bunnies. Stacia is any day, any minute now about to welcome her third baby. She's uncomfortable and can't sleep. I feel for her, but her discomfort is a gain for the blogosphere -- she's been posting up a storm during her sleepless hours. And this woman, this woman can write! Her posts are so thoughtful, witty, well-crafted, and satisfying. I feel like she's a blogging soul mate or something. I want to respond to each post she puts out there even though it's tough to nurse and type at the same time (at least for me). Stacia sent me a post from "before anyone was reading" her blog, and it's a perfect fit for me and NTB. You'll see why . . .

Here's Stacia . . .

Nerds. We are nerds, my husband and I. Math team? Yep. French club? Mais, oui. Marching band? You know it. Woodwinds, no less.

We’re the kind of adults who, as kids, wanted Santa to bring us briefcases and typewriters and a library card of our very own. Hence, it is genetically probable that Lollipop and Giggles will be nerds. (Yes, we loved Punett Squares, too.)

Probably the biggest manifestation of this “nerdliness” in our adult lives is our collection of books. His (science fiction); mine (cheesy romance); ours (travel, history, and two of everything Pat Conroy has ever written). Shelves and shelves and shelves.

There’s a Book for That
So what did we do when we found out we would be parents? We bought a ton of books. On how to be parents. Of course. In homage to Dewey Decimal, we even created a “parenting section” on our bookshelves.

Next, we started building a library for our children. The classics, from Suess to Carle. Our own childhood favorites, from Miss Nelson Is Missing to Bert's Hall of Great Inventions. And new favorites, from Olivia to Chrysanthemum.

We also got lots of those books with squiggly black-and-white lines. And books with intriguing textures, like spongy pigs and scratchy dumptrucks. Because, as our trusty new parenting guides told us, it would be good practice for freshly minted rods and cones, fingers and toes.

A is for … As You Like It
And, while we entertained the fanciful notion, we didn’t really expect our children to come out of the womb reading Jane Austen and the Bard. (But when they’re ready, we have sections on our shelves for each of those, too. Right next to my Janet Evanovich and his Terry Brooks.)

We also starting reading to them, practically from the beginning. Even when they were clearly more interested in the bead of drool on their dimply little chins.

We built reading into their routine. We put books in every room, in the playpen, in the car. We gave them books to chew on. And puke on. (I’d like to extend my deepest personal gratitude to the inventor of the board book.)

The Next Chapter
And maybe we were just spinning our bookmobile wheels. Or maybe, no matter what we did (and continue to do), our kids are destined to love books. (I’m pretty sure the nerd gene is unstoppable.) Or maybe, their interest will wax and wane, like Lollipop’s hat addiction and Giggles’ fascination with trains.

But that’s the greatest thing about books: no matter what you like, you can find a book about it. And chances are, we’ve already got a section for it. Or a desktop link to our library’s online catalog. Or, at the very least, free super-saver shipping. (Thank you, Amazon.)

We are, after all, a family of bookworms. Proud carriers of the nerd gene. And our library cards.

+++

I’m curious: What are your kids’ current favorites? Here’s what’s in heavy rotation at our house:
1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
2. Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
3. Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton and Tibor Gergely
4. The Gillygoofang by George Mendoza and Mercer Mayer
5. Little Bunny on the Move by Peter McCarty
6. Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz
7. What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz
8. Love Tails by Rachael Hale and Jane Gerver


Thanks to Stacia for today's post. Please visit Fluffy Bunnies and become a regular there! You'll be glad you did.

I posted about children's books here and here and here, and I always love the comments that follow. So, pretty please, share in the comments: What books do the children in your life enjoy these days? Any all-time favorites? Any titles you're ready to kick under the bed?

22 comments:

Kelly said...

HA! Good on you nerds! :D I love books too. Some of our family favourites are:

1.Down the Back of the Chair by Margaret Mahey
2. Dig, Dig, Digging by Margaret Mahey
3. Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
4. The BFG by R Dahl
5. Peepbo by Alan and Janet Alhberg

Christine said...

I was excited to look at your list Stacia to see if we had any matches, but we don't!! And that's good because now we must check these out for ourselves. Robert Munsch books are huge hits in our house, but other favourites include; The Crunching Muching Caterpillar and Russell the Sheep.

I love books, my husband not so much. He's a magazine kind of guy. I'm hoping my kids get my genes. We read with them tons, but I also try to model by reading in front of them lots.

I'm so excited to start chapter books with them!!

TKW said...

We are big fans of Ramona over here. And we love all things Frances as well, particularly A Birthday for Frances.

Miss M. favors "No, David!" Probably because NO! is her favorite word to say.

just making my way said...

I am a huge reader and so enjoy seeing my kids sharing that love. My almost seven year old is way into the Magic Tree House books. He also likes a lot of non-fiction - books about bugs or sharks rank high on the list.

Our daughter - who is almost four - has been obsessed with Green Eggs and Ham for about a year now. She is more of a repeater then my son, others that we read a lot with her are:
Goldilicious
Put me in the Zoo
The Paper Bag Princess
(which I highly recommend to anyone who has a daughter!)
And anything Maisy.

LAP said...

Favorites here:
Fancy Nancy (all versions)
Pinkilicious
Berenstain Bears go to the Doctor
What Aunts do Best/What Uncles do Best
And, unfortunately, a boxed set of Dora books
My daughter also brings one of the Mrs. Bindergarten books home from library day at school pretty much every week

I've been reading Beezus and Ramona to the 5 and 4 year old each night so that we can then go see the movie together this summer.

I also want to track down Sideways Stories from Wayside School for them because I remember loving that when I was little.

Justine said...

Yay for nerds. I am a bookworm and My Guy reads many tech-related blogs (do those count?) himself, and now, our toddler nerd-in-making carries a book with her to bed and sleeps with it like she would a stuffed animal. I'm in heaven!

Speaking of blogging soul mates, I was just about to write about our burgeoning bookworm, but this post is wonderful. Makes me so glad to know a fellow nerd family.

Nerds unite! (in case you had any doubts before, I'm sure I've laid those to rest - I mean, who else would say that?!)

Alex said...

I love books. Oh my goodness. Heaven for me? A ibrary. Best present for me? Gift card to a bookstore.
Our favs right now?
One year old:
-- Hug (she sleeps with this book)
--God Gave Us Colors
Three year old:
--Amelia Bedelia
-- A Visitor For Bear (we act out this book -- so fun!)
My fav (of children's books)
--A Good Day

cake said...

we recently turned the corner into reading serious chapter books at bedtime. my 4 and a half year-old just now has the attention span to listen to a story with hardly any pictures. IF the story is _Mr. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH_. i did not read this as a child, but my sweetie did, and remembered it. it is so wonderful. i'm having a hard time reading just one chapter a night. i want to keep reading!

i can't wait to move onto some of my old favorites, like _A Wrinkle in Time_! this opens up a whole new chapter in bedtime reading (pun intended)(moan).

Sarah D said...

We love to read at our house, too. I love that you have your own system. A great idea, really.

Pinkalicious and Purplicious are faves at our house, too.
Anything by Richard Scary
Anything by Eric Carle
Anything featuring Dora
My daughter is named Lily, and we love Kevin Henkes books. Lilly's Big Day is on heavy rotation of late.
LAP, I LOVED Ramona as a kid. I love to hear that you are reading it to your girls!

PITA said...

I am lucky enough to have a job that lets me share great books with kids each day. I have so many favorites, I can't begin to name them all.
I love love love Alexander and the Terrible...., I love the first few lines of Chrysanthemum, Click Clack Moo, Corduroy, and When the Relatives Came to name a few.

In terms of chapter books, I can still remember third grade, one of my favorite teachers read aloud to us all the time. Two books I distinctly remember her reading were From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Matilida. Loved it!

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I love books and posts about books. Thanks, Stacia!

My toddler's current favorites are Oxcart Man; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; The Man Who Walked Between the Towers; D'aulaire's Book of Norse Myths (random, yes); and (woohoo!) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which I have to say, must have been the inspiration for his behavior today. But, you know, some days are like that.

Even in Australia.

Aging Mommy said...

I love love books and cannot go to sleep at night unless I read first, it's my way to unwind no matter how tired I am. I am now loving reading with my daughter too, there are just so many great books. Current favorites include Olivia, Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, Bark George, Dear Zoo, Good Night Gorilla, Tacky The Penguin, Swimmy, Harry The Dirty Dog, Llama Llama, Dooby Dooby Moo, anything Dr Seuss, anything from the "If you give a cat a cupcake" series and anything David Shannon. Now I am going to check the books you mention that we don't already know and love!

terry said...

now I'm curious what you think about a kindle?

Books my kid's love...The Book Thief, Elsewhere, Godfather....

And for me, my fav children's book....The Empty Pot,The Great Turkey Walk, Count Karlstein

CaraBee said...

I'm a full on book nerd. I read voraciously. I was worried that my daughter would not take after me, because she seemed to have absolutely no interest in books, but lately she has begun to ask for me to read to her. And while she still only sort of pays attention and often gets distracted partway through, I am only to happy to indulge her for however long she'll give me.

countryfriedmama said...

I identify with just about everything you had to say, except the affection for Pat Conroy. I have tried. I don't get it, and saying that out loud might get me strung up by my flip-flops down here in Dixie.

Right now, my toddler loves all things Sandra Boynton; a book called "Good Night Beach" that she requests by screaming, "Bitch! Bitch!"; and the Knuffle Bunny books.

My pre-schooler wants chapter books read to her, so we've made our way through The Secret Garden, Charlotte's Web, Black Beauty and some really awful selections from a series about fairies.

mep said...

Little Bit's favorites these days are Good Night Moon (which he calls "Balloon"), Where's Elmo's Blanket, two 1.00 Valentine's Day books from Target 2008 that have pictures of puppies and kittens, and all of the How Do Dinosaurs . . . books.

Bub is still heavy into Little Critter but has also recently picked up a Berenstain Bears habit. The Berenstain Bears books feel a little long to me sometimes, but I love the lessons. I recently added Too Much TV and No More Junk Food to our rotation not that my kids watch tv or eat junk food. Ahem.

When my hubby and were dating, we had our own book club where we each assigned the other three books to read. (Talk about nerdy, right?). Anyway, The Lords of Discipline was one of the books hubby assigned to me. You do have to love Pat Conroy. I also enjoyed The Water Is Wide, Beach Music, and The Prince of Tides.

Thanks for your awesome post!

Stacia said...

Wow, there are so many new books here for us to check out! I can't believe we've made it this far with no Richard Scarry, Fancy Nancy, and Berenstain Bears, just to name a few. Will definitely have to remedy that here shortly [she says as she opens a new window for the library's online catalog].

Thanks, MEP, for hosting me today! I loved meeting new "faces" and seeing familiar ones, too. Hugs to you and Sweet P, and here's wishing you a restful night.

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

I don't have kids (yet!) but just yesterday i was in the kids section at barnes and nobles buying elmo books for a friend's twins and thought "I can't wait to have little ones just so I have an excuse to come here.. " It's, like, magical in there. I'd set up my kids with some Elmo or Zoe and then get lost in some Boxcar Children goodness...

Linda Pressman said...

Love this post, Stacia, and I'm enjoying my look at MEP's site!

We are great booklovers around here too. Of course, my son, being 14, is long onto adult espionage and spy thrillers. My 10 year old is into Charlie Bone and just moved off the Hank Zipser books.

Nerds and eggheads unite!

dusty earth mother said...

Great post, Bunny of Fluffiness. I am a nerd from birth and so I think I love you. Hope you don't mind.

We miss you, Mep!

Nap Warden said...

We devoured Pinkalicious, and have now moved on to Purpleicious:)

Little Man is loving Where the Wild Things Are:)

E... said...

Can't wait to check out all of these great suggestions. Stacia, I KNEW we were kindred souls. My husband is petrified that my nerd genes will completely overpower his jock/slacker ones. (truth be told, he's got quite a bit of nerd in there too).
We're way into Pinkalicious-land right now, but N. also likes the following:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Doctor Dan the Bandage Man
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
Spot's Baby Sister
A Pocket for Corduroy

O. likes any book with long lists of facts about dinosaurs, but has also been enjoying the Magic Tree House series. I'm intrigued by the Dinosaur Cove books and will have to check them out.
Other faves: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
Scout (book about a dog)
My Very Own Name

 
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