Saturday, May 7, 2011

Reading My Library: Milestone Approaching

I have a goal of reading a book from every shelf in my hometown library.  Actually, I'm doomed because the library has announced plans to abandon our beautiful library over the river and move several streets over to an abandoned small box store location.  Apparently there are unspecified problems in the beautiful library location, and it's very hard to fix because it's over a river, which makes construction difficult what with regulations against polluting the water and all.

Anyway, it's taken me over a year to read just the picture books, so I doubt I'll even finish the kids section before I have to start all over again.  On the other hand, this goal is more a journey than a destination, so having the end posts frequently reset might not be such a bad idea after all.  Worst case, I keep reading.

One reason the picture books have gone so slowly is that I insist on sharing them with my kids, and sometimes they aren't here, or are reading their own stuff, or have to go to bed instead of reading ten books a night.  Darn educational system, hindering our family reading time!  But I'm finally on the last row of picture books, and then I move on to children's series books, which might go faster since I can read on my own pace.  Here's what the end of the alphabet provided me:

  • Image of itemCaptain Small Pig, by Martin Waddell and Susan Varley.  Old Goat, Small Pig, and adjective-deprived Turkey have a day out together.  Old Goat seems to be a grandparently person, endlessly pampering Small Pig, while Turkey is a cranky parent type, trying to rain common sense on the day but being foiled by Old Goat at every turn.  Good, cosy fun. I picked it because I like pig books, of course.
  • Image of itemChester's Back, Melanie Watt.  Chester the cat fights for control of this book, wanting to be recognized as the awesome sauceness that he is.  It was a fun readaloud, with two kids sharing the parts of the author and Chester, who often find themselves at loggerheads.  I took the part of the mouse.
  • Image of itemIf I Were a Lion, Sarah Weeks.  An ugly child sits in the time out chair, amazed at what her mother considers bad behavior.  Why, she can describe MUCH WORSE behavior, with the help of her toys.  We liked watching the evolution of the crayon drawings on the walls.
  • Image of itemYoko's Paper Cranes, Rosemary Wells.  Yoko is a anthropomorphic cat from Japan, who still writes her grandparents every week.  She makes paper cranes for their birthday, since they taught her the skill.  Turns out my son can also make a paper crane, and he was quite interested in the origami pointers.  
  • Image of itemKnuffle Bunny Free, Mo Willems.  My sixth grader had already read this, and he was surprised to hear there were previous books.  I've read the other two.  The fourth graders liked the story, and took over reading, which was good because I became a bit verklempt.  I hope it's based on a real story, because otherwise I hate the ending.
  • Image of itemI Hate School, by Jeanne Willis / Tony Ross.  The title lured me, since I have several kids who protest the formal learning process on an almost daily basis.  This fun read accepts the complaints of the child at face value, allowing us to be shocked at the horrors perpetrated on the young, which are outlandish enough to make the final twist amusing rather than didactic.
  • Image of itemHere Comes the Garbage Barge!, by Jonah Winter.  Mostly true story of the famous garbage barge that wondered the East Coast from New York to Mexico looking for a place to dump its load.  Real garbage was used in the dollhouse-photo illustrations.  Very popular with both boys.
  • Image of itemChild of Faerie, Child of Earth, Jane Yolen.  Interesting rhythms tell a story of a fae and human pair meeting and trading experiences.  Pretty, but terrible advice if my children ever visit a faerie circle.
  • Image of itemFamiles Have Together, Harriet Ziefert.  A poem about family life and families, cute but not life changing.  The cat on the bed in the first picture made us tear up a bit, since our Basil just passed away.  Also, my fourth grader grimaced at "Father has Mother" because that isn't true for our family.  Of course, he also doesn't have a sister, but that didn't seem to bother him.

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