Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reading Is Fun - For Kids and Parents Too!


We've been taking our kids to the Pearl Library every Tuesday morning for story time for a little while now and starting this week we'll also be taking them on Thursday evenings as well since their Summer Reading program has begun. We are requested to keep a log of the books they read for this and I thought that seemed like a good idea for the purpose of sharing with others also. So as I record the books they read on the log sheet for the library, I'll try to also list them here as well for anyone interested in children's books.

So, this past week we read to the kids (Raven and Brendan who are 6 and 5) these storybooks:

"Old Turtle" by Douglas Wood and Cheng-Khee Chee.

"An Owl and Three Pussycats" by Alice and Martin Provensen.

"Stone Soup" by Marcia Brown.

"Frog and Toad Together" by Arnold Lobel.

"The Lion King" by Disney.

"Why is the Sky Blue?" by Sally Grindley and Susan Varley.

"Dog Eared" by Amanda Harvey.

"Claire and the Unicorn - happy ever after" by B.G. Hennessy and Susan Mitchell.



Also we are reading one ongoing story right now too (two chapters each night):

"Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie.



I have to say all of the above books were really good in each their own way, though some were especially wonderful.

Our favorite by far was "Old Turtle" as it was an awesome sort of creation story that is meant to teach what God is and where God lives. Ordinarily we avoid most books on this subject for our young children because we would rather not get them wrapped up into any sort of dogma, but when we saw this one it appealed to us because it seemed to be earth centered and free spirited by a glance at some of the short paragraphs and the airy watercolored drawings... it even incorporated all the various parts of nature, such as wind and rocks and water, as thinking entities. When we read it to the kids, it was so beautiful that I found myself choked up at times. At one point, when people became the focus of the story, our son got so intrigued that he accidentally knocked his bedside table and spilled his drink! It was such a good story that we looked up a copy online to buy and we even shared it with our grown-up friend this past Sunday at our weekly spiritual gather. I would recommend this book to anyone as a nice way to introduce God to their children.





I really liked the story "An Owl and Three Pussycats" also because it teaches about caring for animals and about how as they grow they become less dependent on others. Also, it teaches about the personalities and curiosities of those animals and how they interact with those around them. It seems to teach a little about letting go too.


"Stone Soup" is a classic which I'm sure many of you have read that teaches about hospitality, kindness, consideration, and the benefits of giving and sharing. It also teaches about honesty and how things can be well accomplished for the good of all involved when folks just pull together. A really good story.


"Frog and Toad together" is a collection of several small stories about the friendship that is shared by Frog and Toad. They each have unique and recognizable characteristics and they help take care of each other in various ways. The stories are simply adorable and they really do tickle the kids funny bones a lot as they go about their experiences together. We will definitely be checking out more books about Frog and Toad. These are classic for a reason other than age.


I'm sure you all know "The Lion King" as it is a Disney tale that happens to be one of Brendan's favorites. Raven really likes "Beauty and the Beast" and we read that one the week before.


"Why is the sky Blue?" was a wonderful little story about a Donkey who considers himself very wise and he attempts to teach a young bunny about the world. Little Rabbit ends up teaching him a few things. It is a very cute story that I would consider adding to the kids' bookshelf.


"Dog Eared" was a cute little story about a dog with big ears that becomes self-conscious about how big they are after he is teased by another dog. By the end of the story he learns to accept and even embrace his uniqueness while at the same time understanding that sometimes there are those who just say rotten things for no good reason and it shouldn't be taken to heart. I thought it was a good story.


"Claire and the Unicorn" has some really beautiful artwork. It's about a girl who gets read a bedtime story by her Dad that ends with "happy ever after." She wonders about what would make someone happy ever after and her Dad tells her to dream about it. So the book is about her and her unicorn (who is the stuffed animal she falls asleep with) traveling through dream world questioning various characters as to what makes them happy. Of course, it is different for everyone and she learns a lesson from this which she is able to share with her Dad the next morning at breakfast. It's a very sweet tale and the kids really enjoyed it; Raven especially.


"Peter Pan" is classic and you all know it so I'll spare you the details, but Brendan is really liking it and I think Raven too.


Hopefully I'll get a chance to continue posting about the books we share with the kids. If anyone would like to suggest a book for us to check out we'd love to hear from you! Peace.

*Update: We did continue to log the books we read to the kids throughout the Summer Reading Program, though we were not very satisfied with the program itself. I did not get a chance to list more books but I will try to make note of more of the kids' favorites from time to time, as we do not need a "program" to read to them for - reading is fun, they enjoy it, we enjoy it, and we do it anyway! Many Blessings.