Saturday, August 18, 2012

Latest Library Books

We go to the library less often here than we did in Iwakuni, simply because it is more of a hassle. In Iwakuni it was a five minute walk away. . .and also right next to the post office where we got our mail every day anyway, so we were there usually about twice a week. Here it is a twenty minute drive (if I don't get lost which I frequently do) so to make it worth it, we have to hang around for a bit, and that generally means running into lunch time which adds on the cost of a drive-thru trip into our day. . .So we've been three times, each time just as our library books were coming due.

I picked up some books with great educational potential. Coryn picked out some that I kind of rolled my eyes at. In other words, it was a pretty typical library haul.



My first pick, Hurricane, by David Wiesner, was my "planning ahead" book. We're living in Florida now, and it seems like every week we have a major thunderstorm . . .and every day a mild one. I'm not sure what joke decided that "Sunshine State" was a good name for Florida. Anyway, so I figured that eventually hurricanes might come up and I'd want Coryn to be familiar with the concept. I liked the book. Wiesner's pictures are fun and fanciful. It would be a good addition to a preschool unit on weather.

Speaking of study units, my next two picks came out of the same series:


When Autumn Comes and When Winter Comes are both by Robert Maass. They are filled with interesting photographs of people doing seasonal activities. I was kind of disappointed that there weren't matching titles for the other two seasons (at my library; I found a Spring and a Summer title on Amazon when I thought to look), and these weren't Coryn's favorite books of the week, but they would, again, be good for teaching about the seasons. 


I picked out Uncle Andy's Cats because A. it has the word "cats" in the title and B. it involves a major figure in modern art, Andy Warhol. I'm not a fan, personally, of Warhol's work (it's not something I'd buy prints of), but his images are iconic and I do believe in introducing kids to all styles of art. It's good to be able to recognize an artist and this story, which is mainly about how Warhol's studio gets taken over by a pair of fertile cats and their offspring, features several pictures of his art. 

Alberto the Dancing Alligator by Richard Waring was Coryn's favorite and the one I rolled my eyes at the most. It simply isn't my style. It doesn't help that this story, about a pet dancing alligator who is accidentally flushed, features a lot of toilets, not in a gross way, but it still is just a little bit too silly, even for me. I'm sure that silliness is exactly what Coryn likes, but I prefer books to be a little more clever or heartfelt or. . .something. . .


Thankfully there was also An Apple Pie for Dinner by Susan VanHecke, which we both enjoyed. It's a chain reaction story in that the main character sets out to trade plums for apples and instead trades them for feathers which she trades for flowers which she trades for a coin, etc, etc, until she finally ends up with apples for her pie and a party to go along with it. The pictures are clay and cloth collages which seemed to confuse Coryn, but the book does come with a recipe for apple pie and did encourage us to bake one (I used my usually recipe, so I have no comments on how the one in the book holds up). 


Coryn's other pick was Twenty is Too Many by Kate Duke. It is a counting down story about twenty guinea pigs (who eventually are reduced to a single guinea pig). The counting aspect is nice and the pictures are fun (the guinea pigs get into a lot of trouble), but it's unremarkable. We only read it twice in the month that we had it. 

So those were our books. Of them I'd seriously recommend about half. 


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