May 31, 2011

Two Books in One!


When I chose What Mommies Do Best by Laura Numeroff from the library this week,  I had no idea I was actually getting two books in one!  Halfway through reading the book to my daughter, I noticed that suddenly the pages were upside down.  That's because when you flip the book over you find another book...What Daddies Do Best.  Bonus!

So you might be wondering...what do mommies do best?  Mommies help you learn to ride a bike, give you a piggyback ride, repair a loose button on your favorite bear, take care of you when you're sick, help you build a snowman, and even bake you a delicious birthday cake.  Guess what?  Daddies do the same things!  By showing both mommies and daddies doing the same variety of tasks (gardening, playing, baking, sewing, etc) this book blurs the usual line between gender roles and shows that parenting is universal.  Best of all, both mommies and daddies can give you lots and lots of love!

May 16, 2011

How Do You Sleep?

"When the sky grows dark 
and the moon glows bright,
everyone goes to sleep...
...except for the watchful owl!"

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na featured a wonderfully soothing bedtime verse.  As the night sky grows dark, animals prepare for sleep in many different ways.  Some sleep in peace and quiet while others are noisy sleepers.  Some sleep standing up, some sleep while moving.  Some even sleep with both eyes open!  But no matter how they sleep, the owl keeps watch all through the night.  When the sun comes up, it's time for everyone to wake up..."except for the tired owl."  At last it's his turn to get some sleep.

A Book of Sleep is beautifully illustrated with a combination of paint textures and digitally generated images.  And the little owl is indeed on every page watching over the sleeping animals.  A Book of Sleep is a gorgeous, soothing bedtime book to add to your collection.  Sweet dreams!

May 11, 2011

How Do I Love Thee?


"I love you more than rainbows and beautiful blue skies.
I love you more than buttercups and wings of butterflies."

So many simple little things fill us with joy on a daily basis....beautiful birds with their sweet little songs, twinkling stars in the nighttime sky, ice cream with sprinkles on top.  But none of those things compare to the love we have for our children.  I Love You More Than Rainbows by Susan E. Crites uses vivid illustrations and sweet rhyming verse to convey a very powerful message of love.  I can't think of a better way to end the day than by sharing this book right before tucking your child into bed.

"So at night when the sky gets dark, and the moon begins to glow,
The stars will twinkle and deep inside I hope that you know...
How much I love you!"

May 3, 2011

A Hip Hop Tale

It's no secret that I enjoy children's books with clever wordplay and a touch of humor.  Hip and Hop, Don't Stop! by Jef Czekaj is one of those books.  Hip is a turtle from Slowjamz Swamp who loves to rap as slow as molasses.  Hop is a bunny from Breakbeat Meadow with a talent for rapping lightning fast.  One day they each see a poster for the Oldskool County Rap-off, and a new friendship forms as they practice together for the contest.  When the big day arrives, all of Oldskool County is there to see the contestants "battle" each other with their raps.  In the last round, Hip and Hop face off against each other.  Hip rapped so slowly that no one paid attention to him.  Hop rapped so fast that no one could keep up with her.  But when the two friends team up and rap together they find the perfect balance and pretty soon the entire audience is moving to the beat.  Hip and Hop share the title of "Best Rappers in Oldskool County."

My daughter enjoyed the bright, fun illustrations in Hip and Hop, Don't Stop!  The allusions to the world of hip hop music are amusing, including animal characters such as "Ludafish," "Jay Zebra," and "Queen LaTreeFrog."  The raps are clever and entertaining, and include visual clues to enhance the reading/rapping text is meant to be read slowly and green text is intended to be read very fast.  Hip and Hop, Don't Stop! was definitely the favorite pick from the library this week.