Wednesday, March 4

full of words

This is the Wordfull Wednesday for me! I am always full of words, but get me started on children’s books and you’re really in trouble. haha.

A few signs of my sickness…
1. I decorated the nursery & kids’ bathroom with children’s picture book art. (Maybe another day I’ll post nursery pictures if you’re all interested.)
2. We’re planning our summer vacation around a trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (in Amherst, Massachusetts).
3. Did I mention I have over 2500 children’s books in my house?

So I have a lot to say about children’s books. Where should I start?

I learned to REALLY read when I was about four years old. I had been holding books “the right way” since I was about 6 months old (according to my mom). Having children of my own, I find that hard to believe. But what mom says must be right?! My first book that I could “really” read was “Away go the Boats”. My mom kept it (of course) and looking at it now, I can’t help but feel bad that my mom had to hear it as many times as she did! (But I think that’s true of most early reader books.) I don’t have a lot of specific memories of my early reading days, (other than a lot of Richard Scarry) but I do know my love of books quickly grew to all the “girly” standards – Little House, Anne of Green Gables, and the beloved Little Women.
Teaching my four-year-old son to read is quite a challenge. I wasn’t sure he’d ever pick up a book on his own. He is the typical active, physical boy – and when he was younger story time always revolved around food times or being in the car. Those were the only times he seemed to sit down long enough! I kept on encouraging literacy whenever I could – from LeapFrog letters on the fridge, to the Letter Factory movie, to books, magazines, road signs - and all the print in between. I have been looking for letters, making rhyming words, telling silly stories, and exploring reading with him everywhere we go. Now he chooses to read before naptime, lays down on the floor of the library for a closer look, and often asks to re-read his favorites like the Eileen Christelow “5 Little Monkeys” and “My Truck is Stuck”. It truly became one more reminder of how it all happens on the child’s timeline. Not when you want it, not when you expect it – but reading does come alive.

A list of favorite books from my own childhood, from my teaching years, from my children’s years … that’s another blog for another time. How could I pick a favorite? To pick just one would be to negate all the other wonderfuls. It’s too hard for me to choose! How about a few favorite authors on my brain right now…
-Verna Aardema
-Tomie dePaola
-Leo Lionni
-Kevin Henkes
-Mem Fox
-Virginia Lee Burton
-Lois Ehlert
-Don Freeman
-Cynthia Rylant
-Audrey Wood
-Patricia Polacco
-Chris Van Allsburg
-Allen Say

ok. I better stop now.

So I leave you with a quote from Anna Quindlen…
“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”


Sea Star said...

I have really grown to love many of those same authors. You always know you are going to get a good book when you pick up one by them.

Loved the quote at the end. As someone who has at least one bookshelf in each room of my house. (most have several) I am a believer in the aesthetics of books. They just make the house fill like a real home.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Sounds like a wonderfully fun vacation you've got planned! I'm going to have to share that quote with my MIL. She has several rooms lined with bookshelves, a big trailer (semi- truck) lined with bookshelves, as well as a small fifties house on their property all lined with bookshelves. Most of them are children's and young adult books. My kids love going to visit her.

Meg said...

We love our membership at the ECM. I hope you saw that they are featuring an exhibit of Virginia Lee Burton this summer. Be sure to check your dates so you don't miss it.

kjha said...

Ditto on all the authors. This is the point where I slap my forehead and wish I'd said some of the things you wrote! Just not enough time in the day to write about all the great literature there is for children! And I'm going to have to put that quote somewhere in between all my bookshelves!

Esther said...

You know you've got a great topic when simply reading a list is so enjoyable. Just the titles and authors bring so much to mind...thank you!

Maple said...

Loved your quote. I would love to decorate my house with book shelves...I do some.