Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Bags

Here's what's in the book bags this week:
  • After polishing off Last Child in the Woods, I've been on a nature kick! I've spent my evenings rereading A Child's Garden and Roots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots as we make plans for the yard this summer. I also checked out Sunset's Backyards for Kids and Garden Fun for looking through with Mugger to help him focus his dreaming and planning.
  • My nature kick has continued in my reading of kids' fiction: both Twig (a classic from 1942) and Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World are great reads for connecting kiddos to the magic of the world outdoors. Ida B ranks right up there for me as one of the best kids' books I've read and I'll have to do it justice with a full review one of these days... Come to think of it, I just polished off the classic Understood Betsy (from 1917) a couple of weeks ago, and it too is full of adventures out-of-doors and a heroine every bit as memorable as Twig and Ida.
  • Mugger, having just become an independent reader, is polishing off easy reader books. He has just become a huge fan of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books and reads them over and over again.
  • Speaking of Mo Willems', Bug has recently discovered the joys of Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny, Too, as well as the Pigeon books. She thinks it's hysterical that Pigeon can be found in the end papers of the Elephant and Piggie books and always makes her brother show her the inside of the back cover to find that silly Pigeon.
  • When Bug likes a book, she tends to become a fan of that author and usually becomes devoted-with-a-capital-D to several of that author's books. She'd already been through Ian Falconer, John Lithgow, and Kevin Henkes before she added Mo Willems to her fan list. This last week, she has added Tedd Arnold and Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who both have similar themes of misbehaving (or not.) She's loving Arnold's No More Water in the Tub! and No Jumping on the Bed! with their tales of overflowing tubs and crashing beds making their way through an apartment building. As for Rosenthal, so far we've only read Little Pea and Little Hoot, but the idea of characters that have to eat candy and stay up late just cracks her up. The just-released Little Oink is on order at the library and will surely be added to her fan club soon.
So I'm a day late, but I'll be linking this post to the What My Children Are Reading meme over at The Well-Read Child. Hopefully I'll be back on a weekly basis with what the kiddos and I are reading. And yes, I know I'm not a child, but I sure enjoy kids' books. As C. S. Lewis said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally worth reading at the age of fifty.”


  1. I loved Ida B as well. What a great read. Don't know what happened to my copy. I'm guessing some student claimed it as theirs.

    Have you read the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. Mugger might like them. The main character is a pig, but quite fun.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Anna. Just put the first Mercy Watson on hold at the library :)

  3. Thanks for pointing me to your post. I just put a hold on A Child's Garden and Roots, Shoots...Last Child already has two people ahead of me.

  4. Glad to help, Holly! I had to wait quite awhile to get Last Child at our library, but it was well worth the wait! I think the Simple Mom book club is starting the forum discussion of it in a week or two if you wanted to check in there, too...

  5. I love and own Last Child in the Woods . . . living in an urban area, it's even easier to see how much of an impact "nature deficit" can have on kids. I have a friend who's noticed too how much her son calms down and focuses once he's outdoors.

  6. So true! Our moms sure knew something when they said, "Just go outside!" I do the same to my son now-- this was a big benefit for us in moving to Corvallis from the megalopolis that is Orange County!