Friday, December 1, 2017

The RAHK Report for 12/1/17

Family Read-Alouds



  • The Read-To-Me Storybook illustrated by Lois Lenski
    We finally finished this over Thanksgiving weekend. It was really not my favorite. The stories are very repetitive and it seemed like they had been written to a particular formula. The highlight for me was really the poems, but the girls seemed to like everything, even if the stories didn't make as strong an impression as other read-alouds.
  • Happy Birthday from Carolyn Haywood by Carolyn Haywood
    Miss Muffet turned four this week, so we read this book as part of her celebration. We started kind of late, so we read three chapters a day for three days. Miss Muffet loved that Betsy appeared in multiple stories and she even survived the trauma of reading "Jennifer's Birthday," (which is actually really sad and always made me cry as a kid) without shedding a tear.
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
    I have never read this and only vaguely know the character from watching Disney's Lunch Box as a kid, but I have heard it recommended fairly often as a good read-aloud for preschoolers. We've read just one chapter so far, and it is a great read-aloud. I think only Miss Muffet is following the storyline, but Bo Peep was quiet and seemed to be listening, so she might be getting more out of it than I realize.


Library Books


After a few months out of the habit, we borrowed library books this week. I had 23 in my stack, and at least half were picture books, but not all of them ended up being appropriate for the girls at their current ages. These are a few of the titles they wound up reading:

  • Go Sleep In Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Lori Nichols
    This is a fun story with a repetitive structure, funny animal sounds, and a subject - sleeping arrangements  - that appeal perfectly to preschoolers. Miss Muffet and Bo Peep have been heard all week telling each other to go sleep in their own beds. This is also the book they most frequently fight over. 
  • Littles and How They Grow by Kelly diPucchio, illustrated by AG Ford
    The appeal of this book is really the illustrations, which feature cute babies doing a variety of baby things. I was not crazy about the text but the girls enjoyed oohing and aahing over the babies, probably because they remind them of their own baby sister. Personally, I thought this was more of a book for parents, since it emphasizes the "it all goes by so fast" cliche but I'm fine with them enjoying it until it goes back to the library. (Note: There is an illustration depicting a same-sex couple cuddling their baby. My girls didn't notice, and I didn't comment. I did, however, decide not to share Alyssa Satin Capucilli's Blanket of Love with them because almost every family in the book was "non-traditional" and promoting such things seemed like more of a focal point.)
  • Time Now to Dream by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
    This book was a disappointment to me, mainly because it tries to domesticate an animal that is traditionally seen as a villain, using its role as a nurturing mother to negate its wildness. I did like the relationship between the brother and sister main characters, and Bo Peep, in particular, had a strong reaction to the story's sense of suspense, but it was just not great, and I wanted it to be. 
  • Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis
    This festive rhyming book about selecting a Christmas tree is the closest my kids will get to having a real tree. (We always had one when I was a kid, and I was always sick with allergies on Christmas!) The illustrations are the best part of the book; the rhythm and rhyme of the text could be a little less clunky in some places. Overall, though, it was a good first holiday book to read to kick off the season.  
  • In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
    Kevin Henkes seems to be losing his touch. This book is very generic compared to the other books he has collaborated on with his wife, and just felt forgettable. Miss Muffet has been reading it aloud to herself and Bo Peep, but no one has asked me to read it a second time. 


Little Miss Muffet (Age 4)


In addition to the library books, Miss Muffet has also been enjoying the books she received for her birthday: 

  • The Jolly Postman, or Other People's Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
    We bought this book new to ensure it would have all of its pieces, and she has loved opening all the letters and piecing the story together. We have The Jolly Christmas Postman all set to give her for Christmas.
  • The Human Body by by Carron Brown and Rachael Saunders
    We enjoy the Shine-a-Light books, and this one is especially great because the flashlight makes each page look like an X-ray. My mom sent this to her, along with Melissa and Doug's human body magnet play set, and Miss Muffet is enjoying learning what the different parts of her body do. 
  • George Balanchine's The Nutcracker 
    We bought this book at a used book sale and it was one of a few ballet-themed presents Miss Muffet received. It has photos from the film version of The Nutcracker (including pictures of a young Macaulay Culkin, much to my amusement) and Miss Muffet has enjoyed looking it while listening to music from the ballet.

Little Bo Peep (2 years, 2 months)


The library books have been Bo Peep's main interest this week. She is still really into her interactive books, Pancakes and Pizza, and strangely she's been talking about The Witch Who Lives Down the Hall, letting me know that it's scary and has too many shadows. Otherwise, there haven't been any real standout favorites for her this week.

Little Jumping Joan (1 month) 



At six weeks old, Jumping Joan finally has enough time during the day where she is awake and calm and can enjoy a few picture books. Here are the very first ones I read to her:

  • Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
  • A Good Day by Kevin Henkes
  • My Lucky Little Dragon by Joyce Wan
  • Jane Foster's Black and White 

She didn't really react much to any of them except A Good Day. When she saw the squirrel in that book, she gave it a crooked little smile.



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