Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)




Thursday, May 6, 2010

FEELING LOST AT THE LOCAL LIBRARY


I'll never forget my first overwhelming visit to our local library, with two preschoolers and a baby in tow: trying to maneuver our stroller though the seemingly hundreds of aisles of bookshelves while racking my tired Mommy Brain about where to begin. Let's see, I remember something called the Dewey Decimal System...

My mind wandered as I tried to visualize a book I had loved as a child - was it about a cute house? I spied a small sign: "books arranged by author". Oh no! Now who wrote that book? Was it a woman or a man? I suddenly found myself wondering if I'd eaten a good breakfast this morning - I was having major Brain Fog. I needed help and didn't know where to start!


Since all three kids were with me and it was almost lunchtime, it was impossible to have a nice long conversation with the librarian. And this
 happened back in the 1980's, so I couldn't just go home and google "good children's books". The next day I called my mother-in-law, who was a first grade teacher. She suggested THE READ ALOUD HANDBOOK, by Jim Trelease*. Mr. Trelease expounds the many benefits of reading aloud to children and his extensive list of recommended read alouds goes from picture books to novels. After pouring over the contents, I finally felt ready to explore and conquer the children's section of the library, armed with names of authors and hundreds of titles!

Our family's journey into the world of read aloud books had begun...

oh, and the author (and illustrator!) of The Little House book was Viginia Lee Burton. She also wrote Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, and Maybelle the Cable Car, to name a few.


*JIM TRELEASE HAS A GREAT WEBSITE.  MANY OF HIS HELPFUL TIPS CAN BE FOUND IN THESE FREE DOWNLOADABLE BROCHURES.  HERE ARE THREE OF MY FAVORITES:

5 comments:

  1. Eek! A blog about children's books? I'll visit often... Can't wait to read your picks, Wendy, especially since I still have a small companion to enjoy picture books with!

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  2. What a fantastic idea, Wendy! I am excited to follow your "incredible journey" in children's literature. Of course, I will be taking notes - not for my own children - but for future grandchildren. :)

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  3. Wonderful Blog, Wendy! Pooh was one of our families favorites! How I miss those times reading to my little children!

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  4. Shawna JacksonFriday, June 04, 2010

    We love the "Little House". I have used it in my homeschooling program for teaching Kindergarten science - the seasons - and 1st grade reading fluency and vocabulary building. The kids have picked it often as their book of choice before going to bed. "Mikey the Steam Shovel" was a great book for our 'Machines unit' for 1st grade science. I am trying to do a classical literature based curricula with my kids.

    Your blog is great! I will be following it from now on. We love to read outloud to our kids and our kids love it too!

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  5. Hi Wendy,

    This is a fantastic blog. Based on your suggestions, I have already ordered a couple of new books for my 1 1/2, who does seem to love the printed word. As a researcher of reading and readers, I hope her interest will continue. I am college professor who is currently doing a book project on baby boomers and fiction. I am particulary interested in talking to baby boomers who are still very "caught up" in reading. Would you be really to chat with me? If so, please email me at: ktrager@iupui.edu Many thanks for your consideration

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