Week 2, A Birthday on the Horizon
We’ve successfully completed Week 2 of our challenge. That’s 14 out of 365 books. Wow, we have a long way to go! But, really, that’s refreshing. We have 351 more opportunities to spend a few minutes snuggled together, 351 more adventures we get to experience together, 351 more days left in this year of celebration and possibility and absolute heart-bursting obsession with learning and loving. And now, more than ever, with a second birthday on the horizon, these moments seem all the more important – all the more precious. The right books will help us create the moments we remember next year. I’m feeling optimistic and ridiculously interested in children’s books.
The books we’ve selected this week were, on a whole, very successful. We selected a mix of classics and more recently published books and added in a few books that we were recently gifted. Between you and me, selecting the books is becoming a favorite activity for me, especially when picking them out from the library. Really, it’s like shopping without the financial burden. But, that’s just between you and me. We also met a super sweet librarian who was ready to cheer us on. I can’t wait to visit her frequently so she and Vivi can have more chats about red sparkly shoes and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Our mutual favorite for Week 2 is The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, the underdog that we have both grown to love. I was not optimistic about it as I couldn’t believe a book about quiet could be anything but boring. But, it turns out, it is delightfully adorable and gentle. It is a peaceful little book about different types of quiet. We read it in a quiet voice, whispering half of it, and singing little songs when the robin plays his flute. I owe today’s nap time to three readings of this book. By the third time, her eyes were heavy and she was ready to snuggle to sleep. Bless this book.
Vivienne’s favorite is Horsefly and Honeybee by Randy Cecil. She’s been requesting it throughout the day and gets very concerned when the two bugs get in a fight and lose a wing. She learned to say “honeybee” and “fwack” (translation: frog, which sounds delightfully like a terribly bad curse word that starts with “f”).
My least favorite this week is The Grouchy Ladybug. Long story short, it makes me grouchy. Viv’s least favorite is Just a Rainy Day.
Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles,by Jennifer Adams, art by Alison Oliver
Synopsis: A sounds primer narrating scenes from the classic Sherlock Holmes (Educational)
Overall Rating: One of our favorites. So glad that we own it, because we’ve read it a bajillion times.
– Mom’s Review:I love Baby Lit books because I get to engage my love of classic literature and pretend that my daughter loves it, too. This one is great for reading aloud with all of the onomatopoeia and lots of hounds howling throughout.
– Toddler’s Review: Mom thinks this book is going to get me to love the story of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s not. I love the sounds and silly spooky eyes and the hounds howling.
Buy it Here Borrow It Here
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crocket Johnson
Synopsis: A classic story of a small boy who goes out on a walk and draws himself an adventure (Classic Children’s Book/Activity Based)
Overall Rating: I am surprised by how much Viv likes this book! This is one of our inherited books from my parents’ house. I remember reading this very copy to my sisters.
– Mom’s Review:I’m jaded by my found memories of reading this book, but I still love it. It’s full of adventure, self-reliance, imagination, and pies.
– Toddler’s Review: I like to find the moon in every picture and how the boy has a big crayon. He is a big boy and makes a mowse (moose).
Just a Rainy Day, by Mercer Mayer
Synopsis: It’s raining outside and Little Sister has to find ways to entertain herself indoors and avoid waking the baby. (Female Lead Character)
Overall Rating: This Little Critter book is sweet, but Viv hasn’t requested this one again. She prefers Me Too and The New Potty (we read each of these multiple times a day right now)
– Mom’s Review:As a mom, I love this book. I relate. I feel Mrs. Little Critter – sometimes you have to throw the towel in and give into the toddler’s demands.
– Toddler’s Review: … we read this book? Can we read Me Too?
The Quiet Book, by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Lewska
Synopsis: A collection of all the different kinds of quiet that kids encounter throughout their day (Animals / Activity Based)
Overall Rating: This is another book that has surprise me – the toddler loves it and it is such a peaceful bedtime book. This is one of the top books of the week.
– Mom’s Review: Oh! These illustrations are adorable. The little moose that gets in trouble at the beginning is my favorite character. The art is modern but classic – I’d like to frame it to hang in Vivi’s room. There’s really no storyline, which was a bit frustrating at first, but now we read it as a collection of little moments, and it is incredibly sweet.
– Toddler’s Review: Shhhhhh! The animals are really cute and there is a fish underwater and a mouse that has bandaids on his head. At the end, the bunny is sound asleep. I make Mama read this at least two times every night.
Buy It Here Borrow It Here
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by Sarah Delmege, illustrated by Gavin Scott
Synopsis: A true to classic telling of the curious girl who finds herself in the home of three very particular bears (Traditional Fairy Tale)
Overall Rating: This is one of the top three for the week.
– Mom’s Review: The artwork for this classic tale is adorable and I love that the story is simple and straightforward, perfect for introducing a two year old to the story.
– Toddler’s Review: I can’t believe she breaks the chair and doesn’t fix it!
Buy It Here Borrow it Here
The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle
Synopsis: The story of a grumpy ladybug looking for a fight (Classic Children’s Book / Animals)
Overall Rating: One of us loves this, the other one can’t stand it. It’s very appealing to the toddler set.
– Mom’s Review: I can’t stand this book. Honestly, I can’t stand any Eric Carle books, probably because we read them a bajillion, kajillion times. This one is just as repetitive, just as hypnotic, just as booooooring as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. But, the toddler loves it.
– Toddler’s Review: I love this book. That ladybug is grumpy and the whale is big and blue. Mom will only read it once, and then she hides it with the other books she doesn’t want to read.
Horsefly and Honeybee, by Randy Cecil
Synopsis: When classic enemies Horsefly and Honeybee are thrown together in a dangerous situation, they discover that working together is key to escape (Relationships)
Overall Rating: The absolute clear winner this week.
– Mom’s Review: This is a simple story with big, bold illustrations and a really wonderful message about working together despite differences. I enjoy reading this book over and over and over.
– Toddler’s Review: The honeybee lost her wing! Oh no! Whatgonnahawpen? (Translation: What’s gonna happen?)
Buy it Here Borrow it Here
This Week’s Recommendations:
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
Horsefly and Honeybee by Randy Cecil
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Sarah Delmege