March 18, 2011

Children's books I love: Maurice Sendak

I have read two of Maurice Sendak's books - Where The Wild Things Are and Chicken Soup and Rice. Where The Wild Things Are is an amazing book. Naughty Max and his adventures with the Wild Things place him at the centre of attention. Imagine being him. Where your every command could tame large, unruly beasts. You'd be a great leader and life would be awesome fun. In the end, I guess, I'd still miss being with the people who love me most... as did Max who ultimately went home to the comfort of his mother. This book teaches you to close your eyes and let your imagination transport you to a place where bad behaviour is condoned and you can be a naughty kid again.

March 17, 2011

Children's books I love: ABC I Love You

Every time I read this book aloud, I pull my son closer. It's a snuggle up kind of book that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Like I'm a small child again and my hair is wispy and soft. P.K. Hallinan writes and illustrates books that impart various positive lessons to children. I like this book because it reminds me to appreciate the little things in life. 

Children's books I love: Time to Pee!

"My basic theory is that kids will never listen to adults, but they will listen to an infestation of mice." -Mo Willems

Wow, this one is zany. Lots of little mice literally directing a child in the art of peeing in the potty. Mo Willems has such an easy style of writing, it's all rollicking. It comes with a progress chart and lots of encouragement stickers. Great fun!

Children's books I love: Sheep Out to Eat

This is a cute practically pocket-sized book that is about a group of sheep, quite obviously, out to eat. They are set in simple, coloured pencil sketches which are as fluffy as the characters are. It's all set to a flouncy rhyme in which 'five sheep stop in a small tea shop.' These hungry guys don't know what to order and mess up lives for their uppity waiters (played well by snooty cats). It's such a light book. Great to get laughs going.

This book is one in a series by Nancy Shaw.

March 6, 2011

Children's books I love: Tikki Tikki Tembo

This book has a little boy with the longest possible name. My librarian read it to me when I was about seven and since then I have often tried to recall that long name and recite it to my son. I finally found the book again. It is a Chinese folk tale retold by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent. It transports you to an old world, when even a mother could discriminate between her own two sons. I treasure this story because it is simple and tender. The illustrations are so intriguing, you can spend time looking at them and still never quite discover all the details.

March 5, 2011

Children's books I love: Roald Dahl

I've only read two of Roald Dahl's books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. I lost steam getting through Charlie and the Glass Elevator. The BFG is on my list as are the short stories and poems he's written.
That being said, I can read the first two again and again. They continue to fascinate me (and my son) with every read and every page. Dahl's books are whacked out in a twisted, childishly evil yet delightful way. I would give anything to get one of those golden tickets all for myself. Just imagine entering that factory, with its odd Oompa Loompas and the off-his-rocker Willy Wonka. He gives kids their just desserts (pun intended) and relishes doing so.
Dahl's books are innocence disguised as fantasia... if that makes any sense. They are yummy and devilish... just real enough for you to recognise but just strange enough to question the rational mind.
Here are some of the words Dahl has invented. They're great fun!
Scrumdiddlyuptious        Ratitis      Bogtrotter
Digusterous     Snozzberry     Whizzpop

Children's books I love: Dr. Seuss

I have always loved Dr. Seuss. I grew up learning to laugh and read with a hard-bound set of his books. He was always funny and easy to understand. His illustrations were just wily and goofy enough to make me look closer into the world they created.
His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel and he was born on March 2nd 1904. (We share a birthday!) He died in 1991 but he lives on every time I read his books to my son. 
The best thing about him is that he fits into my life just right no matter how old I am or where I am. 
He has lessons to teach me all the time. Here are a few...
Lessons from Dr. Seuss on his 107th birthday
Little known fact... 
Dr. Seuss invented the word 'nerd.'