Tuesday, November 18, 2014

books books books!

Book order time!
It's that time of year when I over-buy books because Christmas that's why. I always aim for a few books for each baby for Christmas. And then I usually end up with a few more. Because boooooooks that's why. They will always get books from their English major, editor as a side gig, lover of all words mother. It's just how it will be. And so far - they don't seem to mind. :)

I mentioned this last year, but I typically buy them each a book they've grown to love this year (from library trips) and then I try and snag an additional book for them that they might not be as familiar with. This year they're getting a bunch of books because I have no self-control when it comes to literacy. So to spare you some of my obsessive compulsive disorder, I thought that I'd just pass along our favorite fairy tale recommendations (with some additional links for non fairy tale faves).

Without further ado.

I started reciting fairy tales when Lou was small. It occurred to me then that these stories - these simple (however often layered with didactic meaning) tales with their predictable plots and morals - are often at the core of most of our literature. If you think about it, most of them provide a pattern for future reading and writing. And so I started rattling them off. 

Side story: When I first recited The Gingerbread Boy from memory, I got to the end - the part where the gingerbread boy gets gobbled up - and couldn't come up with anything. How did that ending go? And so out came, "And the little old lady said, 'That's what you get for running away!'" Ha. We still tell it like that, and I find it hilarious. Running away = getting eaten by a fox. Go me.

Anyhow, because these stories can get a little repetitive and redundant, I started telling them super goofy. Jess and I also both use these stories to distract the kids on trips or while hiking (also when weaning Lou off the bink). Good as any movie if you're in an imaginative mood. (Admittedly, sometimes I'm not and the three little pigs build their houses so fast you wouldn't even believe it.) We let them fill in the blanks sometimes, and they've also started telling them silly on their own. I love the creativity that starts spilling out of their mouths. (Pigs houses made of sea shells, a gingerbread girl with candy corn hair, Goldlilocks is best friends with baby bear, the gingerbread boy just wants to go to school! let him go!) I also started checking out re-told fairy tales at the library. Here are two of our faves:

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Bernatene

Okay. This book is not only delightfully illustrated, but it's also so very clever. It's a fairy tale in a fairy tale. Or rather many fairy tales in a fairy tale. My fellow English majors will love. It all begins when Priscilla the princess is accidentally switched with Pigmella the pig. Fairy tale magic and clever references ensue. :)

Ninja Red Riding Hood by Cory Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

This book is a companion book to The Three Ninja Pigs (also wonderful, although you don't need to read it first to understand this book). The Big Bad Wolf is having trouble scaring up a meal, so like the three ninja pigs before him, he goes to ninja school. Little did he know...Red is quite the ninja herself. Spot on rhyming and a darling conclusion. 

For our non fairy tale favorites this year, see The Bear Under the StairsChicka Chicka Boom BoomThe Doubtful Guest (bahahaha), and A Home for Bird (it's impossible to not fall in love with this one - impossible). Also The Day the Crayons Quit (a preschool graduation gift, and so clever) and I Want My Hat Back (a Grandma Lichelle reading favorite - my rendition just isn't as good :) ).

And in case you need some more ideas (please observe that each year I buy just a few more, oh bless my soul):


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