Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Things That Go (Weekly Unplugged Project, Wednesday Watermelon Award, and some book reviews)

The cat's clearly out of the bag on our son's love for things that go. So when I saw that this week's Weekly Unplugged theme was "transportation," I knew we'd be participating one way or another. I got my idea from a helpful comment from Brimful Curiosities on my post about Ten Ways to Play With Children's Books (Other Than Reading Them!). I had mentioned that my son had developed a habit of setting up book slides in the living room with his oversized books. She suggested he might like using them as ramps for his toy cars. The Easter Bunny bought him his first hot wheels cars last week, so this was a great idea. At the end of the day today, I set up a couple of slides for him and lined up his cars. He had a ball with it. When I got sick of saying "wheeeeee" as the cars slid down, I started to explain things like the fact that a steeper slope makes the cars go faster, or that heavier cars will move more slowly than lighter ones in a race down the same ramp, but at 16 months, he likely absorbed none of that. He had fun moving on from cars to plastic Easter eggs and mommy's iPhone down the ramp though.

Related book reviews

Although it seems we couldn't possibly have any more truck books that we have read and not yet posted about yet, we do in fact have at least three! I'll post those reviews here.

Since it is Wednesday, it is also time for us to award a "Wednesday Watermelon Award" to one of the bookworm's favorites. Since I had planned to give the award to a transportation-related book anyway, I'll just piggy-back on this post. This week is a tie between two books (one I've reviewed here before and will repaste; the other is new to us).

Trucks Go (Board book), by Steve Light. This fun oversized board book was an instant hint. It features eight two-page spreads of different vehicles, along with text describing silly sound effects made by each truck. The drawings are bright and cheerful, with a childlike simplicity.


"The auto carrier goes rooooor roooor bumpada bumpada honk honk"

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: We just got this book today and have already read it about 20 times, at least. He's not usually very into silly sound effects in books, but he just loves this one. He especially likes the fire engine page, partly because the sound is spelled "whee-ooo," which perfectly describes Dad's siren noise (mom's is more like woo-woo!). So whenever we read that page, he shouts, "dada!" He also loves the last page, which stars a truck towing a horse trailer.


Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks from A to Z (A Chunky Book(R)) (Board book), by Richard Scarry. All the Richard Scarry favorites are here -- apple car, bananamobile, hotdog car, pickle car -- along with more run of the mill vehicles like ambulance, fire truck, and mail truck, all in a chunky little board book perfectly sized for clutching by infant and toddler hands.


"watermelon truck...xylophone car.../yogurt car...and a zippermobile!"

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He loves this, and it has staying power. He got it in February, and it's now the end of April and we still read it daily. He likes to go upside down when he sees the "upside down car," and he points to certain favorite vehicles on just about every page.

Parent's Peeve: I wish they had included a bus.

Here is one more transportation book from his Easter basket:

Honk! Honk! Beep! Beep! (Sticker Stories) (Paperback), by Norman Gorbaty. When I was little, I had a bunch of sticker collecting books. Pages labeled things like "foods," "flowers," and "animals" were the perfect place to store my stickers and proudly show them off. Our little guy loves stickers, but he generally just sticks them onto a blank sheet of paper, and it feels kind of wasteful. I tried to buy him a sticker collecting book like I remembered having, but instead, the shelves are full of thematic sticker books that come complete with stickers and companion pages on which to stick them. "Honk! Honk! Beep! Beep!" is that kind of book. It contains 75 stickers of cars, trucks, and buses, and roadway scenes with space to apply the stickers. I bought it for his Easter basket.


"Zoom! Zoom! Make your cars and trucks zip along the highway."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: I have to hide it unless I feel like playing with it all day. I pull it out now and then and he directs me as to which sticker he would like, I bend the page a bit to help him peel it off, and we select a place to stick it down together.

And one that we picked up from the library today. I've read about this series before and wondered if he'd enjoy it.

Melvin Might? (Trucktown) (Hardcover), by Jon Scieszka. This is the first time we've read a book in the Trucktown series (sort of like Thomas the Tank Engine for trucks!). I wasn't sure if he'd like it. I saw a couple of board book versions at our library, so I might try one of those next time and see if they are more at his level of interest. The storyline in this book involves worry-wart Melvin the cement mixer, who overcomes his worries to save a fellow truck when she gets stuck. It's a cute tale that we might revisit in another year or two.


"Melvin worries, 'I might get dirty!' Melvin worries, 'I might get stuck.' Melvin worries, 'I might get worried.' 'Wow,' says Pete. 'You are making ME worried.'"

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He isn't very interested in this one, which isn't too surprising, since it is suitable for older kids. I did notice on the last page, which has a collection of illustrations of all of the different characters, that he would point to the ambulance and fire engines and do his sign for "help." I figured out he's doing it because every now and then when we're strolling and see an ambulance, I say something like, "look, an ambulance! Ambulances help people when they're sick." It's kind of scary how often he listens to me.

Click here to read all of our transportation-related book reviews.

Do you have other books about "things that go" that you think we'd like? We'd love any suggestions!


Corey Schwartz said...

My son loves Dig, Dig, Digging (Margaret Mayo) He's also a big fan of My Truck is Stuck (Kevin Lewis) And when he was 16 months, his absolute favorite was Go Dogs Go. (P.D. Eastman) All are available as board books.

Britt said...

Have you read The Pigeon Loves Things That Go (Mo Willems)? It's a board book.

I really need to read to Mister more. I'm sure once he got more used to it he'd actually let me read.

Infant Bibliophile said...

We've read Go Dogs Go (often!) and the Pigeon Loves Things That Go, but I'll have to check out Dig, Dig, Digging and My Truck is Stuck. Thanks!
Britt, does he enjoy it if you just use the books as a game, like "can you find something yellow?" Our favorite book like that is "Counting Colors."