Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A proud mama moment and lots of new books

I've been waiting and waiting for a moment when Elliott shows that he's really wanting to have books read to him, rather than just staying occupied for a minute at a time when I decide it's time to read. He definitely has had books that he really likes and I've written up several posts on favorites over the past few months, but 2 weeks ago, something finally clicked in his brain and he has decided that he now LOVES books and reading and actively asks for it. 

He just climbed into my lap one morning, book in one hand, saying "dat, dat" over and over again (his word for everything he doesn't quite know how to say yet). I'll admit I teared up a bit, knowing my boy wanted me to read to him and had actually climbed into my lap to get comfortable. He sat through 3 different books that first time and hasn't looked back!

He does have a few quirks about what he wants to have read to him and which pages to look at, which I find both hilarious and adorable. He's definitely a toddler and into the repetition thing, which is why I read the same book 12 times in a 10 minute period. I certainly don't want to read the same book over and over again, but if he's loving it, I'll take it!

Now that reading time has begun to take up a significant portion of the day, I thought you might enjoy knowing what we're reading over and over again. 

Gideon, Gideon & Otto, and Jasper & Joop by Olivier Dunrea

These all came for review right around the time the reading binges started and Elliott immediately took to them. I've been a Dunrea fan for a long time, so I was glad to see E was too. 

Simple illustrations of the adorable gosling friends on white backgrounds really make the pictures pop and the stories are short and easy enough for my toddler to sit through without a problem. Stories about favorite stuffed animals (Gideon & Otto), not wanting to take a nap (Gideon), and beginning to learn about opposites (Jasper & Joop) are perfect for his age level. There's also an excellent amount of silliness, which I appreciate as the reader!

I'm hoping to find more Dunrea at the library next week, so we can mix it up a bit. 

Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills is kinda similar to the Dunrea books in illustrator style and the simplicity of text, which is why Elliott probably loves it as much as he does. We've read many a Duck & Goose book, but this one includes a lot of animated text (very excited friends, very sad Goose), so I think that's why E listens so well. 

Friendship is a big theme in Hills books and he writes about it in such a way that even the youngest of readers can understand. Friends help each other out, friends comfort each other when in need, etc. It's a sweet concept and done perfectly, alongside gorgeous illustrations. Hills is seriously one of my favorite illustrators and he continued his excellent work in Goose Needs a Hug

We've also been enjoying (over and over and over and over again) Stop! Go! A Book of Opposites by Brian Biggs. 

These are also the opposite of the Dunrea books in terms of illustrations: bold, busy, and bright (like that alliteration?) and E is totally obsessed. He stares at each page, tracing the illustrations -- definitely intrigued by something. His favorite page is the "Dirty" "Clean" page, which makes me think he's going to turn out a lot like his neat-freak mama. 

As a parent, I liked all of the opposites introduced and appreciate that some of them are more complex than typical opposite books. Near/far and many/few is probably a lot of work to wrap a little mind around, but challenging our kids is exactly what we should be doing. 

Biggs has written and illustrated several books in the "Everything Goes" series, including Everything Goes in the Air, which is definitely going to be a big hit around here once we're past the page-tearing stage. I've already given it as a birthday gift to a couple of kids in the past month, so I definitely recommend checking that out (along with Everything Goes on Land). Lots of cool things to find on every page and fun fact boxes that help kids learn while they look at very cool page spreads. 

Whose Toes Are Those by Sally Symes and Nick Sharratt has a new and fun thing for E: flaps! Each page gives a little peek at the nose, tail, and toes of an animal, requiring the reader to life a flap to figure out what kind of animal it is. We're working on learning body parts (he visibly understands "head," so far), so this one was perfect at reiterating those three different parts of the body. 

E's favorite part of these books is finding the baby at the end. He gets a big smile on his face then gives the baby a kiss. Oh, the cuteness. I think the author did a great job at using a nice mix of animals (mouse, dog, bear, hippo, baby) and the illustrations are simple, but big, making for an easy visual experience for the boy. 

This pair also wrote Yawn, which I loved last year!

So, those are a few of the books on repeat around here. I do have some picture books to share at the end of the week, so keep your eye out for those and until then, if you have a toddler, definitely find a few of these and see what you think. They're Elliott approved :)


Ami said...

What wonderful taste he has! I need to have another baby just so I can trace Dunrea's pictures all over the nursery walls. Of course, I would also need a nursery. Hmm.

Amy said...

I love it when they get to the age when they'll sit for hours listening to books. I'm still waiting for that to happen with my third son. Maybe some of these books will do it for him!