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)

Monday, August 9, 2010


As mentioned in my last entry, my husband and I spent a wonderful week in Northern California.  I know this isn't a travel blog, but I can't resist sharing with you some of the highlights of our trip in my next few posts - especially since it would have been a perfect trip to enjoy with children!  We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast inn just outside of Mendocino, California.  Click here to see their beautiful website and photo blog.

Our cozy coastline cottage was surrounded by a field of llamas, a chicken coop, organic vegetable and flower gardens and a little pen of ducks...which really got me thinking about books for children about farm animals.  So here are a few not to be missed:

Barnyard Dance! (Boynton on Board) by Sandra Boynton (ages 0-3) Fun romping text and pictures of animals at a Barn Dance.  Typical boisterous story by Sandra Boynton!  She's a favorite for this age.

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Felicia Bond. (ages 0-3)  Great bedtime board book that describes the animals' day with tranquil text and sweet pictures.  At the end, your young one will want to say "goodnight" to all the animals.

Busy Chickens  by John Schindel, with photographs by Steven Holt. (baby-preschool)  Your little ones will love to see what chickens do all day in this visually busy and playful book.

Little Chick by Amy Hest, illustrations by Anita Jeram. (toddler-kindergarten)  Lucky for Little Chick, she has a wise Old-Auntie who is always there to give her gentle help and advice in the three little endearing stories that make up this sweet book.

Henny Penny by Paul Galdone (ages 4-8)  Classic children's fairytale about a silly hen who thinks the sky is falling and is tricked by a mischievous "Foxy Loxy."

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone (ages 4-8)  Lots of rhythm and refrain make this a fun book to read aloud.  "Not I! Not I!" is the answer the Little Red Hen hears over and over, as she tries to enlist her animal friends to help her in baking a cake.  There's a  lesson learned at the end when the non-helpers want to help eat the cake.

The Problem With Chickens  by Bruce McMillian. (ages 4-8)  Some village women are frustrated because they can't reach the eggs the wild birds are laying on the sides of cliffs. Little do they suspect that the chickens they buy will hatch a new set of problems. These chickens behave like ladies--they pick blueberries, go to birthday parties, have tea--until they are too busy to lay eggs.

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones (World of Nature Series), by Ruth Heller. (ages 4-8)  Rhyming text and fun, full-page illustrations make this a perfect introduction for young kids about different egg-laying animals.  Bright and bold illustrations, informative and interesting.

An Egg Is Quiet, by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrations by Syliva Long. (Kindergarten - 2nd grade)  Older children will do well with the small print, detailed explanations given about eggs in this book, but young ones will be interested in the beautiful watercolor illustrations and larger, simpler descriptive text on each page.  The kind of book you could curl up with and look at for hours! 

Is Your Mama a Llama?   [IS YOUR MAMA A LLAMA] [Paperback] by Deborah Guarino, illustrations by Steven Kellogg. (ages 4-8) This story becomes an animal guessing game, as Baby Llama asks his friends, "Is your Mama a Llama?" and is answered in turn with cute rhyming descriptions of their own Mamas.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. (ages 3 and up)  Simple rhyme scheme and colorful, bold illustrations add to this fun read aloud for bedtime.  Baby Llama experiences the same fear and loneliness that lots of children do after their mommies say goodnight and leave the room.

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