Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Give-away winner (Uprinting.com custom poster)


Congratulations to the winner of our custom poster give-away sponsored by Uprinting.com. Chosen by random.org, the winner is:

purango said...
I would make a poster of my daughter's sixteenth birthday photo for her room. garrettsambo@aol.com

I'll be notifying you by email. To those who are disappointed not to win, our give-aways for custom greeting cards and a custom vinyl banner are still open.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do Donkeys Dance? Do Monkeys Tweet?

Last week, I posted about my son's enjoyment of Do Lions Live on Lily Pads. Nice mom that I am, I went back this week and picked up two more titles by the same author:

Do Monkeys Tweet? (Hardcover), by Melanie Walsh. Like the other books in this series, this one depicts various animals engaged in unusual (for them) activities, with a question posed to the reader. "Do horses bark?," "Do little mice purr?," etc. The answer (always, until the last page, a resounding, "no!") is answered on the following page, with the proper creature performing the activity. It's a short, simple book, with enough repetition to engage the toddler set.

Excerpt:

"Do horses bark? / No, dogs do. Woof! Woof!"

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: He seemed a bit hesitant about that cover image of the monkey at first, but now he's read it a few times. He likes it, almost as much as the first in this series. He shouts out, "no!" each time he turns the page.

Parent's Peeve: Same issue of the cover not being in the book. (Cute how the monkey is hanging upside down on the back cover, though).




Do Donkeys Dance? (Hardcover), by Melanie Walsh. Same format as the other two books in the series. This one includes, among others, a hopping hippo, hanging cat, and leaping turtle.

Excerpt:

"Can a ladybug stand on one leg? No, but a flamingo can."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: He enjoys it, shouting out the usual "no." I struggle to slow him down to see if he's actually digesting what the question is. The last page asks, "Can you fly up in the sky?" and he always shouts, "no!" (can't say he's wrong about that), but the actual answer is "Yes! Bon voyage!" with an illustration of an airplane. So, after a few reads, he now yells "no!" and then, after he turns the page, "sneaky!" because it's sort of a trick question. :)

Parent's Peeve: If it's on the cover, it should be in the book. OK, I'll stop saying that now. Until the next review. Also, for an animal that hops, I think a bunny would have been better than a flea.




When I read books as an adult, I often will find one author I love and then rush through everything he or she has written. I remember when our son was very young, he LOVED a board book called Peek-a-Who by Nina Laden, so I went online and ordered every one she'd written (not a huge fan of library board books when children are still putting things in their mouth)(I reviewed all four of the Nina Laden books here). For the most part, though, we tend to hop around from author to author.

What authors have been such hits with your kids that they've sent you back for more?

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Put Something Silly in the World"




Today during a trip to the library I decided to pick up Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Falling Up. The first two, at least, are on lists of "banned books" that I've seen in connection with Banned Books Week. My son is still too young to enjoy them (not quite age two yet), but I loved these books when younger and have been looking forward to rereading them with him someday. So instead of any full reviews tonight, I'm just offering up a poem from A Light in the Attic:

PUT SOMETHING IN

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

-Shel Silverstein

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reminder: Enter now!





Just a quick reminder to go and enter our three current give-aways, for a total of over $175 worth of personalized printing. (All are sponsored by Uprinting.com, but unlike their previous give-aways, they don't involve any shipping or handling charges). All can be used to make really fun, unique holiday gifts. What grandparents wouldn't like a custom poster print of their grandkids? How about a custom flag for a little pirate-loving toddler? A head-start on Christmas or thank you cards? Please go enter, but do it quickly, because some of them are ending very soon:

Here is the link to enter to win an 18" x 24" custom poster print of any of your images (value: $24). Deadline is September 30, 2009.

Here is the link to enter to win 250 custom greeting cards (value: $90+). Deadline is October 1, 2009.

Here is the link to enter to win a 24" x 36" custom vinyl banner (value: $62). Deadline is October 18, 2009.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why I Support Banned Books Week

I'm all decked out in my  I Read Banned Books Bracelet, and ready to start reading my son scathingly controversial books, like Where's Waldo? and A Light in the Attic (both of which have made lists of challenged books). I hope he copes. But, in addition to motivating me to seek out some of these challenged books and to give them a second look, Banned Books Week has also got me thinking about what it means to ban or censor a book, particularly when it relates to children.  

Are there books you would keep out of your home library, and try to keep away from your kids?  I admit that, for me, there are books that I would prefer my son didn't read (books with excess commercialism, violence, inappropriate solutions to problems, fighting, poorly contrived rhymes, Elmo . . . ). Ok, the Elmo was a joke. Sort of. But really, some books do give me pause, and I can see why parents who view school as an extension of their home might become concerned when school libraries add books to their shelves that contain messages that disagree starkly with the lessons they teach their children at home. How would I feel if a publisher dared to release a children's book that promoted the superiority of one race over another and if that book lined the walls of my child's school library? Or, unlike books like And Tango Makes Three, which I reviewed here) and which has topped objection lists for years running, what if a school purchased books saying that homosexuality is wrong and that homosexual men and women will go to hell? It is easy to oppose book banning when the books that are being banned are ones with which I have no objection. In a sense, I am relying on publishers and school librarians to do some self-censoring/banning of their own. But there is a lot of grey in the world.

While pregnant, I reread Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While I enjoyed most of it very much, I also wondered when an appropriate age might be for a child to be exposed to the racial slurs and generally awful treatment inflicted on former slave Jim, not to mention the references to hangings. Would I want my son to read this? Should I shield him from the hateful language? Logic won out, and Huckleberry Finn earned a spot on our bookshelf. It captures a moment in our country's history that children will need to learn about, and when the time is right, Mark Twain will help us.

For the most part, I'm a firm believer that books bring knowledge, and that knowledge is power. Like we handle everything that life throws at our children, we need to handle books wisely -- to read to our children when they are young, explain stories in age-appropriate language that they can understand, to read alongside them when they're older, to discuss what they read, quiz them, challenge them, teach them. That is the beauty of books. I'm less frightened by what my son might learn from a book than by the prospect of a world that decides for him what knowledge he is allowed to access.  

And that is why I support Banned Books Week.

Please share your thoughts.  Have you posted about Banned Books Week?  Are there books you would prefer that your children never read?  Have you ever questioned the appropriateness of a book that your child has read in school or found at the library?




Friday, September 25, 2009

Banned Books Week: Review of "And Tango Makes Three"

As you may have heard, September 26, 2009 - October 3, 2009 is Banned Books Week.  According to the American Library Association, "Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States."  You can check out the lists of most frequently banned books, by year, on the ALA site (use the column on the left hand side to see other years).

In honor of the week, I decided to read and review And Tango Makes Three.  The book topped the list of frequently challenged books in 2006, 2007, and 2008.  The reasons cited include being "anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group."

And Tango Makes Three (Hardcover), by Peter Parnell. This book tells the story of two penguins, Roy and Silo, who become a couple at a New York zoo. The author's note at the end explains, "All of the events in this story are true . . . After years of living side by side in the Central Park Zoo, they discovered each other in 1998 and they have been a couple ever since. Tango, their only chick, was born from an egg laid by another penguin couple named Betty and Porkey. That couple had often hatched their own eggs, but they had never been able to care for more than one at a time. In 2000, when Betty laid two fertile eggs, Rob Gramzay decided to give Roy, Silo, and one of those eggs a chance to become a family." The illustrations are lovely, as is the text. Of course, parents will understand the concept of homosexuality at play here, but for a young reader, the message is fairly subtle.
Excerpt:
"Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy, and the other was named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together. / They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Where ever Roy went, Silo went too."
Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Not much, at this age. I pointed out the penguins, and that's about it. I explained that the cover showed a baby and two Daddies, and that was fine with him. He doesn't always know the distinction between "man" and "woman" yet, so this book wasn't likely to phase him as out of the ordinary.
Parent's Peeve: I didn't expect to like this book much -- not because I am offended by homosexuality, or even its presence in children's books, but I figured it would be a sort of rushed, overly trite book trying too hard to make a point. Of course, it is true that it is trying to make a point, but it does so in the context of a really lovely, beautifully illustrated story. I think a child reading it would just take it at face value. Two boy penguins became close friends and did everything together (nothing unusual there). If the child understands where babies come from, they might get that it would be impossible for the two boy penguins to have a baby, and they'd see a zookeeper helping them out with an "extra" egg. Call me crazy (or liberal), but I just can't see spending time and energy trying to ban this. It may not suit every family, but what book does?

Does anyone understand what the "anti-ethnic" criticism is with this book?  Because the baby penguin is brown?  I don't get it.  

If you looked on the ALA site, what titles surprised you?  Are there any books that you refuse to let your children read, or that you actively keep out of your home?  Did you also do a post about Banned Books Week?  Leave a comment with the URL to your post so we can check it out.



Thursday, September 24, 2009

One more give-away: custom vinyl banner

OK, one more give-away this week!  Planning a birthday party or other celebration?  Have a business or yard sale or club to promote?  Enter to win a custom banner.  


Uprinting.com's 15 mil vinyl banners are top-notch quality and don't look cheap like low-end banners.  UPrinting clients have used their vinyl banners (with photo quality printing) for weddings, parties, graduations, advertisements, rallies, political campaigns and backdrops. The banners come with heavy metal grommets that make them easy to hang for any event. The durable material and archival ink will ensure that these banners will last for years to come.  

I'm eyeing them as a possible birthday party decoration, but they would also be great for personalizing a child's room or playhouse in a fun way, or as a sign at a family reunion or club event.  I might even make a personalized ABC or counting banner for the little guy.

Win it!  Uprinting.com has offered  (1) 24 x 36" Vinyl Banner w\ grommets ($62 value) to one of our readers.  Offer open to U.S. address only.  Free UPS ground shipping.

How to win:
1) Post a comment saying how you'll use the prize if you win.
2) Blog about the give-away (with a link to this post and to uprinting.com) and comment here for one extra entry.
3) tweet about the give-away @uprinting and @I_Bibliophile and leave a comment here for one extra entry
4) subscribe to Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile or follow - leave a comment here for one extra entry.

Deadline: Midnight, EST, October 18, 2009.

Disclosure: Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile participates in Uprinting.com's Blog Sponsorship Program and will receive a banner in exchange for hosting this give-away.

Don't forget to also offer our give-aways for a custom poster print and custom greeting cards.

Give-away: 250 Custom Greeting Cards



Well, we still have an
open give-away for a custom poster print (go enter!  this would make such a fun holiday gift, and few people have entered, giving you great odds to win).   But Uprinting.com is just going wild with the give-aways lately.  I know some of you entered and didn't win our last give-away of 250 custom greeting cards, and they're offering another set!  This time, they've listened to feedback and eliminated the shipping fee.  So it's just a good old fashioned freebie.   

A bit about what is up for grabs:
Uprinting.com's greeting card printing allows you to upload your own designs and create customized holiday cards.  They offer a free support number and Live Chat on the site to assist you with the design and submission of your order.  The give-away set of  250 7" x 5" (folded to 3.5 x 5") custom greeting cards has a value of over $90.  Envelopes aren't included.  Free UPS Ground shipping within the United States.

How to win:
1) Post a comment saying how you'll use the prize if you win.
2) Blog about the give-away (with a link to this post and to uprinting.com) and comment here for one extra entry.
3) Follow or subscribe to Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile and comment here for one extra entry.
4) Tweet about the give-away @uprinting and @I_Bibliophile for one extra entry.

Deadline: Midnight, EST, October 1, 2009.  Offer open only to U.S. addresses.

Disclosure: Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile participates in Uprinting.com's Blog Sponsorship Program and will receive a "Blogger Appreciation Prize" of 250 greeting cards in exchange for hosting this give-away.

Where I Gave Ellen Stoll Walsh Another Chance

This is one of the reasons that I love blogging.  When I posted a slightly lackluster review of the counting book "Mouse Hunt" a week or two ago (it's quite a good book; I was just a little icked out by the whole snake attempting to eat the mice theme), Christy from Superheroes and Princesses commented that her family loves Ellen Stoll Walsh's books.  Those are my favorite type of recommendations.  So, this week we checked out two of her other books:

For Pete's Sake (Hardcover), by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Pete is an alligator, but doesn't seem to realize it. He's hanging out with flamingoes, and all he can see are the many differences between himself and the birds. He wants to be pink, has two many feet, and not enough feathers. Although the flamingoes are very nice about it (about his four leggedness: "'You're lucky, Pete,' said the others. 'Two, and two extra. C'mon. Let's go wading."), it takes him running into some other alligators for him to realize his lesson. "'I'm different but the same,' he told the others. 'Well for Pete's sake, Pete,' they said. 'You always have been.'" A lovely tale about wanting to belong, the beauty of friendships with people different than yourself, and coming to accept your own uniqueness. The text per page is short; perfect for toddler attention spans.

Excerpt:

"'I'm green,' said Pete. 'I want to be pink. Everyone else is.'"

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Honestly, he's not really into it. I can't get him to sit still for it. I'm a little surprised, because he enjoys seeing flamingoes at the aviary. I'm going to keep trying. As always, I figure he might just be a little young for it. The illustrations (a cut paper collage style) don't vary all that much from page to page - the flamingoes and alligator partake in a few activities, but there isn't much in the way of background. I think this minimal amount of extras suits the simplicity of the story, but it also means that after he's seen the flamingo and alligator once, he's kind of ready to move on. I really do think he'll like this one when the text means more to him.


Hop Jump (Paperback), by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Betsy is a little bit different than the frogs around her. The other frogs go "Hop jump, hop jump. It's always the same." Betsy, on the other hand, takes her cue from some floating, twisting leaves, and decides to cut a rug (lilypad?) with some lovely movements of her own. "'It's called dancing,' she said." The other frogs are a bit taken aback, and tell Betsy that there is no room for dancing. Betsy goes and finds her own place to dance. The curious frogs follow her, and "before too long their feet began to move." Another wonderful tale about being unique, refusing to conform, and acceptance of others. My favorite part is the conclusion (see excerpt); no sour grapes for Betsy.

Excerpt:

"Soon all the frogs were dancing. All but one. 'Hey, no room for hopping,' said the frogs. 'Oh yes, there's room,' said Betsy. 'For dancing and for hopping."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Again, I'm a bit perplexed at his lack of interest, because he loves frogs. If he starts to show an interest, I'll consider this one for our permanent collection. It's that cute.


So which Ellen Stoll Walsh titles should we track down next? Have any of you had a similar experience with not liking a book but giving the author another chance and being happily surprised?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: The Everything Book by Denise Fleming

The Everything Book (Hardcover), by Denise Fleming. This book truly has a little bit of "everything." Playful poems; word identification pages with body parts, pets, and foods; the seasons; the alphabet; counting; colors; shapes; emotions; and hidden ladybugs - all are introduced briefly. Fleming created the rich, colorful illustrations by pouring colored cotton fiber through hand-cut stencils. The result is beautiful - very visually appealing and kid-friendly.

Excerpt:

"Two Little Blackbirds. Two little blackbirds Sitting on a hill. One was named Jack And one was named Jill. Fly away, Jack, Fly away, Jill, / Come back, Jack, / Come back, Jill. Two little blackbirds Sitting on a hill. - Anonymous"

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: We first received this book at 12 months, and he had no interest in it. I recently pulled it out again, and it definitely has a lot more appeal. Some of the pages (the poems, usually) still fail to grab him, but he enjoys word book type pages, as well as the counting, shapes, and alphabet sections. He probably likes 75% of the book now, and I am betting he'll grow into the other 25%. He loves doing hand motions for the poem I've excerpted above, after we saw it in the back of a Highlights magazine a few months ago.



Three Books for the Transportation Loving Toddler (Spotlight on Anastasia Suen)

You know when you discover a new word, place, issue, and then suddenly seem to hear about it everywhere?  You wonder if your brain had just been skipping over the references before or if the whole world is just on your wavelength.  For me, that "new" word this week is author Anastasia Suen. 

Many months ago, I subscribed to her blog, but when it changed addresses at some point, I neglected to resubscribe.  When I was recently combing through the blogs in my reader, I rediscovered her blog, 5 Great Books, and I even blogged about it in my BBAW Kick-Off post.  Then a week later, I went to the library.  The Infant Bibliophile requested books about cars this week (surprise, surprise), and having exhausted the list of those I know by heart, I hit the online catalog.  I can across Red Light, Green Light (see review below).  And when I pulled that off the shelf, I grabbed another two with it.  Ah, "authored by Anastasia Suen.  How do I know that name?"  Then today, I read apost on Jen Robinson's Book Page that mentioned that Ms. Suen was the founder of Nonfiction Monday (something I had known and forgotten), and that A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy just posted an open thank-you letter to the author.  So, hop.  Here I go on the bandwagon.

Anastasia Suen has authored 115 books.  Here are the three we read this week.

Red Light, Green Light (Hardcover), by Anastasia Suen. If you're not paying close attention when this book begins, you might wonder why there are zoo animals in the intersection or (as my husband asked the first time he read it aloud) pencils in the road. But, all will become clear as you reach the conclusion of this sweet picture book. The brief text, which is perfect for toddlers just beginning to read picture books, narrates the action as a boy creates lively city scenes with plenty of fodder for transportation-loving toddlers. The idea of the boy creating the scene reminded me of the clever conclusion to Construction Countdown (quite a different book, which we own and love).

Excerpt:

"Red light, stop. Green light, go. / Cars and trucks drive to and fro."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Of the three we read this week, I think this one captured his interest the most. The style of the colorful illustrations (by Ken Wilson-Max) seems suited for his young age. I think he enjoys it enough to consider purchasing our own copy, which I don't do very often these days.




Window Music (Hardcover), by Anastasia Suen. My husband and I at one time lived in different states, connected by a rail line. We spent A LOT of time on the train that year, and with all of its quirks, I'm a huge fan of this mode of transportation. "Window Music" is a lovely tribute to locomotive transport. The text is simple and sweet, following a young girl and her family from departure to destination, focusing in particular on all she sees out the window. I just peeked at the amazon.com listing for the book, and I'm going to borrow this description of Wade Zahares' illustrations, as summarized by the Publishers Weekly review: "In his first picture book, Zahares uses thickly applied paint and strong, geometric forms to create scenery that looks almost sculpted. A wave resembles a curl of plaster; a grape arbor is a tangle of thick wiry tendrils and bulging fruit; the train winds through the very peaks of conical snow-dripped mountains. The trip begins and ends in a docile, realistic station, but in between, the journey takes some surreal turns. This magical excursion is music with several movements, returning readers to a familiar theme in the final stanzas." Yes, what they said. I think my favorite part of the book is the conclusion, as night has fallen and the train pulls into the darkened station. I can just feel myself reaching for my suitcase, wrapping my coat around me a little tighter, and stepping onto the platform.

Excerpt:

"train on the track clickety clack / behind the sign, cars in line/ street after street under our feet"

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Once we got beyond just shouting "choo choo!" gleefully 14 times, he enjoyed this. I'm not 100% certain he's connecting the text to the illustrations (getting that the text is describing the train ride), so I'm going to work on that the next time we read it. The illustration style, which really is beautiful, doesn't necessarily lend itself to identifying items on every page (a favorite game of our son's and my trick for engaging him in a book), so he kind of breezes past the middle pages quickly.

Parent's Peeve: The book doesn't appear to be in print any longer, which is a shame, but if you like the sound of it or enjoy a copy from the library, there are plenty of used copies to be had on amazon.com.



Delivery (Hardcover), by Anastasia Suen. Like Window Music, Delivery is also illustrated by Wade Zahares. The book begins with early morning (gassing up of a delivery van) and ends at nightfall. In between, we see bicycles, airplanes, logging trucks, cement mixers, trains, and even oil pipes, all doing their part to complete deliveries.

Excerpt:

"Boxes and cans come in trucks and vans / Unwrap it all for shelves on the wall"

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: Although the illustration style is the same as Window Music, there is more detail to the illustrations here, and every page contains a number of items (house, helicopter, tree, etc.) that pique his interest.

Parent's Peeve: Again, out of print, but plenty of used copies around.




If you're interested in other children's books about transportation, click on the highlighted words for our earlier reviews.

Do you have any favorite titles by this author?  Please comment and share them with us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Give-Away: Poster Print

Although I don't post many photos of our Infant Bibliophile here, those that know our family personally know that we have taken thousands of photos of our son in less than two years. When I was contacted recently about hosting a custom poster give-away (and receiving one myself - yay!), I thought it sounded like a great use of our shots. 

 LargeFormatPosters.com is an online company "committed to providing high-quality printing experience at affordable prices."  Their poster printing and other large format printing services
provide a wealth of ideas for unique home decorating, as well as for business and commercial use.

Since I still have dreams of painting and redecorating our son's bedroom in a transportation theme -- preferably before he decides that he hates cars and is now into monkeys -- I thought it would be adorable to print an enlargement of a single, black and white (or otherwise artistically rendered) shot of him playing with a toy truck.  I also created a really fun father-son comparison print this week with both sitting on tractors at around the same age.  


How cute are they?

I also like the idea of a collage of photos.  I could create a poster for his second birthday with a headshot for every month since he was born.  

What would YOU print?  Get ready to let us know, because we have one up for grabs!

What you win: 18" x 24" rolled poster print from LargeFormatPosters.com.  Offer open only to U.S. residents.  FREE UPS Ground Shipping for U.S. residents.   

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment explaining how you would use the poster print if you won.
  2. Blog about the give away and link to Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile as well as LargeFormatPosters.com - one additional entry.
  3. Tweet about this giveaway @uprinting with trending topic #giveaway and ask your readers to RT (leave a comment here to let me know) - one additional entry.
Deadline: Midnight, EST, September 29, 2009.

Disclosure:  This give-away is sponsored by LargeFormatPosters.com, a division of Uprinting Network.  Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile participates in Uprinting.com's Blog Sponsorship Program, and will receive a poster print in exchange for hosting this give-away.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to the Books (and Their Reviews)

Now that Book Blogger Appreciation Week is over, and we visited the library today, I'm ready to jump back into reviews this week. I'll start out with the Infant Bibliophile's favorite of the bunch we picked up today:

Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? (Hardcover), by Melanie Walsh. Our little guy has decided quite determinatively that he will be a "yaya meow meow" (translation: yellow cat) for Halloween, and that Mama will be a black cat, and Dada a "roooooooar" (translation: lion). So when I spotted this playful book on the library shelves, I had to take it home with us. Very bright, simple illustrations of animals (in the wrong locations befitting their kind) pair with questions about their habitats. The book follows a pattern - see excerpt - until the last page. A fun, short book.

Excerpt:

"Is this the nest of a goat? / No, it belongs to a bird. / Do crocodiles live in shells? / No, but snails do."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: I lost count, but I believe we read it approximately 19 times in the first go. All while sitting next to a pile of 7 other new library books. He likes to say "nooooo" as we turn each page to answer the question. I'll be hunting down the other books by this author soon. They include "Do Pigs Have Stripes?," "Do Donkeys Dance?," and "Do Monkeys Tweet?" among others.

Parent's Peeve: I don't like that the lion on the cover isn't actually included in the text of the book. The title page has a picture of a frog, which obviously answers the questions on the front page, but there isn't any text saying that. Still, he didn't seem to mind one bit. He still refers to it as the "roooooar" book when he wants us to read it.




If you enjoy this book, you also should check out our review of Lemons Are Not Red, a longstanding favorite in our house which follows the same sort of quizzing pattern, with the addition of a clever cutout feature.

This one wasn't such a hit, but maybe some of you will love it:

Chicky Chicky Chook Chook (Hardcover), by Cathy MacLennan. I spotted this book on the shelf, and thought the title just screamed "fun read-aloud!" It stars an unlikely trio of animals - chicks, bees, and cats - as they have their peaceful slumber interrupted by a rain storm. The text is all very sing-songy and silly ("Sticky, icky, chicky. Soggy, groggy moggy. Wet. Wet. Wet. / Crazy . . . dizzy . . . buzzer! How will we get DRY?"). If the excerpts appeal to you, you'll probably enjoy the book. The illustrations are fun - quite clear, colorful, and visually appealing as a whole. I wasn't as delighted with reading it aloud as I had hoped.

Excerpt:

"Sunny, sunny, hot shine. Snuggle, snuggle, sleepy shine. Lazy . . . dozy. Snoozy . . . woooooozy."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: He loves cats and bees, which both feature prominently in this book, but he didn't show much interest in it. I'll try a few more times, but I don't think it will become a favorite without some extra effort (for instance, maybe if I try singing the words as lyrics).




What are you reading this week?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day


Arrr, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. 

 If you need t' translate anythin', you can use this site.  Aye, in the meantime, grab ye self some grog (not for the wee 'uns) and read our review o' Bubblebath Pirates.  

Tell us: what be your fa'orite books about pirates?

Shiver me timbers; Katie's Literature Lounge has posted some pirate book reviews today too.  Go have ye a look and say ahoy.  Tell 'er the Infant Bibliophile sent ye.

* Clipart from http://www.freeclipartnow.com.

"Dragon's Loyalty Award"

Britt from Confessions of a Book Habitue very kindly bestowed upon us this snazzy looking award today:

"The Dragon's Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just a someone who follows and comments regularly.  Here are the rules:

* If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you.

* Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know.

* If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back.

* Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans."

I love that the award gives me the opportunity to thank some frequent commenters.  

I guess I can't give it back to Britt, but she's a great commenter too!  I'm awarding this to:
Love all of your input, ladies!  Apologies for anyone else I excluded; I appreciate every comment we receive.  

BBAW Day 5 (All About Your Blog)

Today is the last day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW), and we made it through all of the daily posting themes.  This last one is: 
Hopefully this week you’ve been visiting a bunch of new book blogs and maybe noticing some things about them you’d like to try yourself.  Or maybe you’ve just had some ideas for improvements to your blog you’d like to put into place or new ideas for content.  But there’s also probably something you really love about your blog, too, something you’re really proud of.  It’s time to show off!  Tell us and this is really important, in 50 words or less what you love best about your blog!  And then in 50 words or less where you want your blog to be by the next BBAW!  Ready?  GO!
 
What I Love Best About My Blog

I love that we record everything my son reads.  I love that I largely let him pick the books, or let his interests and needs guide my book selection.  I love the loyal readers/commenters that make blogging feel like an exchange rather than talking to the wind.

Where You Want Your Blog To Be By the Next BBAW

Like everyone, I'd like more readers.  I'd like to get brave about contacting publishers to review new releases, because I think it adds value for readers, but I want to balance this with keeping reading fun and choosing what our son wants to read. 

I could say more (like that I want to clean up our labels, get rid of google ads, integrate give aways and possibly craft things into the blog in a way that doesn't detract from the central focus of book reviews), but that's pretty much all that 50 words allowed me.  Thank you to the organizers of Book Bloggers Appreciation Week for giving me something to post about every day this week.  Next week we'll get back to our normal reviews.




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW Day 4

Today, Day 4 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week asks participants to blog about a book we have read (preferably one we've loved) only because we discovered it on another book blog. 

I have had this happen to me more times than I can count. Here are a few:

We love, love, love In The Town All Year 'Round (link goes to our review), which we read after Jennifer of the Jean Little Library reviewed it here.  She called it "STUPENDOUS. AMAZING. FANTASTIC. and also EXTRAORDINARY."  

Natasha at Maw Books wrote a glowing review of Leslie Patricelli's books that caused us to read and review No No Yes Yes.  

We first learned about Adam Rex's Psssst, which we reviewed here, by reading Mother Reader's blog post here.

I always get great recommendations from No Time for Flashcards; after reading her post on transportation books, we picked up Truck Stuck (links to our review), which the little guy really enjoyed.  Just rereading her post I picked out another book that we're going to track down.

Around Father's Day, Karen at Mommy's Favorite Children's Books suggested the book I Love My Daddy, first in a comment on one of our posts and then in her review of it.  We also read and reviewed it (here), and loved it.

Although not recommended in a review, author Corey Schwartz recommended My Truck is Stuck and Dig, Dig, Digging to us in comments to one of our posts, and they were big hits (especially the former).

There are so many more, but I'm running out of steam.  I am so appreciative of the books that I read about and jot down or make a mental note of every day on other book blogs.  When we lived within very close proximity to the library, I would immediately add the book to my request queue online and make frequent stops by the front desk to grab all of the new hold requests as they became ready.  Now that we're (only slightly) further away, I'm struggling to come up with a "to be read" system that works for us. In the meantime, thank you for all of the wonderful reviews and recommendations.  Keep 'em coming!