Thursday, March 24, 2011

Books for Younger Kids

This is a basic book list with no links or pretty pictures. These are the ones that have been read and re-read in our home with much laughter, giggles and enjoyment. Most are not intended to be profound or deep stories, just pure fun and charm. I won't hate you if you don't like my list, but I will wonder if you have a sense of humor. :)

Anything by Arnold Lobel:
Frog and Toad(dry humor but still funny)
Owl at Home(very silly owl, very funny for kids)
Mouse Soup(a mouse tries to outwit a weasel who intends to eat him for soup)
Mouse Tales(more strange but funny tales)
Fables(short stories with a funny point)

The Harry the Dog series by Gene Zion and he has other books too.

Dr. Seuss books deserve a read through.

Mr. Putter and Tabby books by Cynthia Rylant. (funny stories between neighbors and pets)

The Sheep series by Nancy Shaw(the best of the best!)

Anything by Richard Scarry, esp. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (a childhood favorite)

Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff (silly fun about a seal in the city)

Morris the Moose by Bernard Wiseman(silly stories about a moose who isn't very bright)

Anything by Peter Spier (his illustrations are very engaging and detailed)

Oh What a Busy Day! by Gyo Fujikawa (Very most favorite book ever since I can remember!)

For science and nature topics, the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out series are some of the best I've seen for young children.

My First Little House books are full color picture books which I love. Best way to introduce young kids to Laura Ingalls books.

Other favorites:
Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle(a Quaker boy in colonial Nantucket is befriended by a seagull, also a childhood favorite of mine)

Rabbit Finds a Way by Judy Delton(hard to find, but a very good story about a rabbit who loves carrot cake)

From One to One Hundred by Teri Sloat(very well illustrated counting book)

Mr. Bumble by Kim Kennedy(endearing honeybee who fumbles his way through the hive)

Floss by Kim Lewis(a border collie story with very nice illustrations)

The Orchestra by Marc Rubin(good intro to the orchestra)

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin(not as much about the instruments, but very funny illustrations about the musicians getting dressed, one of my best favorites as well)

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Hungry Bear by Don Wood (don't get it in a board book, the illustrations deserve a full size picture book page because they tell the story!)

Jamberry by Bruce Degen(again not the board book size, we've read this one over and over through the years, the illustrations are fun and juicy)

Amazing Machines series by Ant Parker (we have several of these and they are very well done rhyming books about vehicles)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

out and about

I'm happy to report that the snow has since melted and Spring is out and about!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lewis on Writing

C.S. Lewis: Advice on Writing

1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.

2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.

3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”

4. In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the things you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us the thing is “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please, will you do my job for me.”

5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

And towards the end of his life, this perfect analogy:

I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the reader will most certainly go into it.

Read the whole post, but better yet, read the book. He might have known a thing or too about writing, eh?

Friday, March 04, 2011

original work

Come follow the paper-trail through our home.

A story between friends.
(The Adventures of What We've Been Doing)

Notes to warn of sleeping babies.

Signs for special agents.

Keeping sisters safe.(Each sign points to a baby gate for areas leading to stairs.)

Marking Potential plumbing issues.

Fine dining table setting.(He often sets the table for dinner and one evening as I prepared dinner, I saw him wrapping up the silverware; this is what I found.)

I save them all and treasure the phonetic spelling. It won't be long before these words are spelled correctly by a more grown-up hand and the mystery and the humor will be no more.