Thursday, January 7, 2021

Read-at-Home Kids Report: Christmas Book Haul Edition

In 2020, I didn't do a great job of keeping up with reviewing the picture books I received from publishers. I think there were a few reasons for that, one of which was that I stopped posting regularly about my kids' reading outside of books the older two read for school. So this year I'm bringing back this feature. It won't cover every single title we read, but it will hit the highlights of the new and classic titles everyone is enjoying.

Jack and Jill (9 months)

We have never had a baby this old at Christmastime, since the three older girls are all fall babies, so it was really fun watching the twins enjoy the excitement of Christmas morning. They received mostly books as gifts, since they are likely our last babies and we didn't want to buy a lot of baby toys that would end up being donated within a year. 

In their stockings were Indestructible books (Busy City, My Neighborhood, and All Year Round) and Melissa and Doug Fun Faces Mask books (Goodnight Faces, Farm Faces, and Zoo Faces.) They love the Indestructible books, but so far they have mostly just stared at me when I put the mask books up to my face.

Under the tree from me were You're My Little Baby by Eric Carle, Up Cat Down Cat by Steve Light, the Johnny Appleseed Babylit book, and Freight Train by Donald Crews. They happily listened to me read each of these. Jill seemed most fascinated by the mirror at the end of the Carle book, while Jack loves the colors of Freight Train.

From my sister they received a set of cloth books with animal tails on the sides of the pages and crinkly pages, and one board book with ocean animal tails. They probably play with these the most of any toys they have. They both love the crinkling sound.   

From my mom they received three board books of rhymes illustrated by Clare Beaton and Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown, with illustrations by the Dillons.  

Little Jumping Joan (3 years, 2 months)

From me, Jumping Joan received Some Dinosaurs Are Small and Curious About Mammals. The dinosaur book was not a hit and may end up leaving our home library for the donation box, but she seemed to like Curious About Mammals as much as she liked the book that preceded it, Curious About Birds

From my mom, she received This Old Man by Carol Jones, which I first saw in an Instagram post and which reminded me of Peek-a-Boo by the Ahlbergs because it has cut-out holes to peek through. She loves that song and has been singing the book to the babies. My mom also sent We All Go Traveling By, which Jumping Joan knows from watching the video adaptation on YouTube. It was one of her favorite gifts of the year. 

Little Bo Peep (5 years, 3 months)

Bo Peep received books 3 and 4 in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series from my mom, and the 5th one from me. She has already read the third book and has moved on to the fourth. Her other books were all from my mom: You Can Do It, Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells, Caroline at the King's Ball and Caroline and the King's Hunt by Jean Le Paillot, and Penny and her Sled by Kevin Henkes. She read Penny and her Sled and has been reading the others aloud to family members on Skype calls.

Little Miss Muffet (7 years, 1 month)

Miss Muffet received the first three books in the Poppy series by Avi from my mom and a couple of Alain Gree activity books from me. She was much more interested in other things she got for Christmas, but she did start one of them and said she "kind of" liked it. 

For the Family

I wrapped up my review copies of The Language of the Universe by Colin Stuart and One of a Kind by Neil Packer to add to our nonfiction shelves. These have been a hard sell so far, but I'm sure their time will come. 

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