Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Friday, February 27, 2015

Book 415: The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1957.

I've written about SO many books, that sometimes I miss the obvious.  I was planning to be a guest reader in my son's Kindergarten class this week, and read Dr. Seuss books -- only, after I packed my bag of books and my Thing 1 and Thing 2, my son became very sick and had to stay home all week.  Still, what a great time to re-read this classic.

I grew up on Dr. Seuss -- his books were pretty much written for my generation.  There were still a few "Dick and Jane" books around (with that character weirdly named 'Sim'), but "Dick and Jane" were work, and Dr. Seuss was fun.  And still is great fun.  And this, this perfect classic of Dr. Seuss, is the perfect book to share.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book 414: South

South, by Patrick McDonnell, Little, Brown, 2008.

I didn't really expect much when I started sharing this wordless picture book with my six-year-old son.  I was sucker-punched.

This book is so sweet and gentle and lovely that I had to own a copy of it for myself.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book 413: Mary Poppins Comes Back

Mary Poppins Comes Back, by P.L. Travers, illustrated by Mary Shepard, 1935.

Again, I loved the seemingly random short stories that are all connected by Mary Poppins.  So many were absolutely delightful, but my favorite was one about the King of the Castle.  It reminded me so much of the jester in Many Moons.

I don't have a problem with the non-Disneyfied Mary Poppins.  Travers was writing in a different era and in a different culture from what Disney portrays.  I also found it interesting that Travers was rather young when the first two Mary Poppins books were published -- 28 and 29.  She might have been writing in a way that recalled how she was treated as a child, and not how she would relate to a child.

The illustrations, again, are absolutely and delightfully perfect.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book 412: Hug Time

Hug Time, by Patrick McDonnell, Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

I ordered this book for my six-year-old son, hoping to receive it in time for Valentine's Day.  It was a little late, so instead it arrived on Tuesday (the 17th).  Turns out, this book wasn't late at all, because this is the story that my son told me that evening BEFORE we even read the book:

Once upon a time, there was a watch.  The watch was for telling time.  Thomas can tell time.  He can tell when it is squeezy-hug time.
The End.

As with so much with my son, the timing turned out to be absolutely perfect.  Because it is always Hug Time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book 411: Red Harvest

Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett, 1929.

With a title like "Red Harvest" and with Dashiell Hammett as the author, I did expect a pretty high body count -- just not quite this high.  That doesn't mean I didn't like the book; I did.  It just means that I am a little worried about myself because I liked the book.

Hammett's writing is gritty and whip-smart.  This book felt like the beginning of the noir genre.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book 410: The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat

The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat, by Catherine Ann Cullen, illustrated by David Christiana, Little, Brown Publishing, 2001.

What a magical, mystical, marvelous story!

The coat, of course, is beautiful, but the buttons of the coat are truly special, as is the child wearing the coat.

I liked the rhyming scheme of this book.  It was surprising sophisticated for a picture book as it didn't contain rhyming couplets that were complete on every two-page spread.  This book read more like a poem than a story in rhyme (and, yes, there is a difference).

The illustrations were nothing short of magical, mystical and marvelous.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book 409: Little Golden Book -- The Aristocats

The Aristocats, (Walt Disney), Little Golden Books, 1970,

This is not a bad book interpretation of the Disney movie.  It would be hard to capture all the excitement from the songs, but the book does a good job telling the main story, and the illustrations are delightful.