In The Perfect Christmas Gift, Gigi is convinced that she is (finally) going to get her Princess crown. After all, her daddy always calls her "Princess", so a crown can't be far behind. How Gigi deals with anticipation and disappointment is a lesson for all of us.
Skippyjon is a little kitten who always manages to get in big trouble.
In Color Crazy, he colors a picture, but gets all the colors wrong. Kids think this is really funny.
In In the Doghouse, Skippyjon gets in trouble and runs away and lives with a noisy bunch of Chihuahuas before deciding he’d be better off at home.
In Lost In Spice, Skippyjon goes to Mars to see if it is, in fact, covered with Red pepper.
The stories are lavishly illustrated and the prose has a very unique style.
Caitlin says: "Cool!"
Nikki says: "Awsome!"
Karen says: "Fun, Fun, Fun!"
In the last few days, we've read the following:
Dragontales: Cassie Builds a Bridge
When an errant dragonball knocks down the bridge between the grasslings and the fairies, how will they build it back in time for the fair? Cassie and the other lovable dragons of this series learn a lesson in teamwork.
We also read Miss Nelson is Missing! Caitlin loves this book. Miss Nelson's class doesn't appreciate her calm and gentle demeanor. She suddenly disappears and is replaced by the ill-tempered Viola Swamp. The children are desperate to find out what happened to their sweet teacher.
Karen says this is a good way to introduce the idea of character and comparison and contrast. What does the reader know about Miss Nelson that the students in the book do not? How are Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp the same? How are they different? It also allows you to talk about point of view. What can the story do in third person that it couldn't do in first person?
There's always the moral of the story: You don't appreciate what you have until it it gone.
We also have Miss Nelson is Back. Miss Nelson really is sick this time, but her new class plays a really mean trick on their substitute teacher. So, of course, it's time for Viola Swamp to make an appearance.
Here are several of the books we've read over the last few days.
In The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, young readers can see that there are two sides to every story as "A. Wolf" tells the story of his interactions with the three pigs and explains he's not 'big and bad' at all. Pay careful attention to the artwork on this. If you look carefully at several of the pictures, you can see hidden pigs and wolves in the clouds and other designs.
In I Want to be President, Betty Lou from Sesame Street fantasizes about being the President of the United States. At the same time, she explains many things about the life of the President, such as the Oval Office, Air Force One, etc. Of course the most important part is the message: that any American, even a muppet, can aspire to the nation's highest office.
We wondered why there isn't an Amelia Bedelia Meets the President book.
Picture: Amelia Bedelia is standing with a woman in a business suit in an otherwise empty Oval Office.
Secretary: The President can't see you now, he's meeting with his cabinet.
Amelia Bedelia: His Cabinet? You folks sure have strange ways. Why not just meet with his desk, then he could see me just fine?
(I think Amelia lives in England, so she might be more likely to meet the Queen -- which wouldn't be any less funny.)
"Horrible" Harry is at it again in Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding. One of his friends is upset about his mother's upcoming nuptials and his role as ring bearer. So Harry "marries" his crush, Song Lee, on the playground to give everyone a chance to see a wedding. However, since this is Horrible Harry, it's not a normal wedding it's a horrible wedding. (Song Lee should have insisted on counseling first...)
In Five Stars for Abuela Dora the Explorer visits her grandmother and sees how many stars she can catch along the way. The stars are squishy to the touch which will make the book attractive to younger children. Many of the pages have puzzle to help you find the stars. Interestingly, on the last page, there are six stars. We couldn't quite figure out what that was supposed to mean.
Last night Caitlin and I read Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower. When you invite Amelia Bedelia to a shower and she brings her bathing suit...it's time to worry.
In Ruthie and the (not so) Teeny Tiny LIe, Ruthie finds a fascinating tiny camera on the playground. When the boy who dropped it says it belongs to him, Ruthie lies to keep the camera. How can Ruthie choose between telling the truth and getting what she wants?
Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I should also mention the following free e-book that is avalailable from iBooks:
In Blue Bear and Red Square: Gulper's Lake, Blue Bear and Red Square swim in Gulper's lake and have an experience that will let them swap stories with Jonah and Pinnochio.
Daniel asks for this book nearly every night. It isn't really to my taste -- so I make up the words as I go along. He also thinks it's funny that I keep saying "Red Bear" or "Blue Square" or "Square Bear".
Last night, Caitlin (7) and I read Thank You, Amelia Bedelia.
The Rogers are having a special dinner guest, so the pressure is on as Amelia is asked to strip the sheets, string the beans, scatter roses in the living room and make a jelly roll. Things work out like you'd expect -- with hilarious consequences.
Our family is full of avid readers.
We also recently pulled a number of boxes of books out of storage.
So, this is a place where we'll talk about some of the books we're reading.
The last couple of nights, our second-grader has asked me to read Amelia Bedelia Books. If you've never read an Amelia Bedelia book, you're in for a special treat. Amelia is a bright young woman who takes everything literally. In Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor, when Mr. Rogers suggests that Amelia run for the Mayor's office, she puts on her track shoes and runs out the door toward City Hall. At the same time as it pokes fun at our crazy language, the book affirms the importance of keeping promises.
One of the things that struck me about Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping was the Mr. and Mrs. Rogers take Amelia Bedelia with them on their camping trip, even though she is just the hired help. Caitlin and I talked about how that Mr. and Mrs. Rogers still care for Amelia Bedelia, even though they find her antics frustrating at times--especially when she pitches the tent -- into the bushes.
Gregg Greer grew up in Ranger, Texas and currently lives with his family in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches at one of the small universities in town.