Work has stalled on my arm warmers, until I can get to the store for a new hook. And I'm still reading The Book Thief (no fault of the book, just of my too-busy life). But mostly, of course, I'm reading picture books. This week's favorites are two vintage Little Golden Books.
Most-read is The Monster at the End of this Book, both by me to the kids, and by the kids themselves. Here's part of what I wrote to their parents today about it:
Do you remember The Monster at the End of this Book? It’s a 1970s Little Golden Book about Grover—and is probably the only t.v.-tie-in book you’ll ever see in this house. But it’s such a great one, it deserves its solitary existence here. We’ve been reading it a lot this week. On the first reading, some of the kids worried it might be too scary (there’s a monster at the end, you know). But once the older kids start laughing, the younger kids edge closer to find out why, and soon we’re past that first reading and on to the pleas for “again!” (If you’re not familiar with it, Grover is worried because the title page said there’d be a monster at the end of the book. He does everything he can to stop us from turning pages to get there. But it turns out it’s just him!) Of course, the kids love it because it’s very funny. And it’s fun to keep turning pages that have been tied shut or bricked over, creating havoc and panic for Grover. I love it for those reasons, too. But I also have a secret teacher-y love for it. Do you see the giant text as Grover yells? And the speech bubbles? And colored lettering? It all draws children’s attention to the text, and keeps it there as they read the book themselves. Big text tells them to yell. Tiny text tells them to whisper. And they’re looking at it all as they “read” the quickly-familiar words, nudging them one step closer on their path toward reading. And read it they do, over and over. I caught everyone “reading” this book to themselves or to a friend at various times today: “I’m going to tie this page up so you can’t turn the page.” “You turned another page!”
And then there's The New Baby (or Baby Dear). Mother cares for her new baby, while new-big-sister cares for her new doll. Totally sweet. I have been so inspired as I read this one over and over by the clothes! There's the cutest green bonnet with embroidered flowers that I think I must make for Lucy. And the striped dress has me thinking about a men's shirt I could transform...
There's lots more yarn-along inspiration at Ginny's blog.