Friday, January 20, 2012

Eva's Book Review- January

My New Year's resolution of reading to Eva for 300 minutes a week has really been enjoyable.  She's always loved being read to but I'm actually having a blast now as well.  Except for Fridays when I go straight from my day job to my night job, we snuggle up every night in our big recliner chair with a huge pile of books and read and read and read and read and then we read some more.  Being that she's becoming such a literary expert, we've decided to start a section of the blog called Eva's Book Review (witty title, huh?)
For this week we'll focus on our current favorites.  We encounter a book every now and then that doesn't thrill us, mostly because it's either too simple or complex for Eva's developmental level, but most books are a just fine.  The following books are fantastic:

5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
I wasn't sure if Eva would like this one, it has some very adult undertones of giving of yourself until it hurts and the sense of loneliness when you're children grow up and leave.  And it doesn't have any pink or princesses, which never bodes well with Eva.  Perhaps she is more perceptive than I give her credit for because she loves this book, we re-read it at least twice a night, and she'll say things like, "Her [the tree] is sad cuz the boy can't play wif her anymore and he only wants money" or "Mommy the boy shouldn't wait til he's too old and skinny to come back."  If only we all didn't wait until we were too old or too skinny to realize what truly matters...

4. A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman
Corduroy was my all-time favorite growing up and was the first book I ever "read" by myself to my mom, so I love when Eva "reads" it to me now.  We have "Corduroy Lost & Found" which is also a great book.  I like that the main character is a girl of color, part of me is so afraid that Eva is going to grow up in this white bubble we call Champlin that she won't know what the real world looks like.  At least things are looking up since she switched schools; her best friend is Kashmalah, a girl whose family recently moved here from India. 


3. Way Up in the Arctic by Jennifer Ward
This is a book we found last week at the library that we're having a lot of fun with.  It's a rhyming + counting + baby animal book, what's not to love?  I remember hearing an article awhile ago on NPR about a study that was done on preschoolers and counting; some of them were counted to/with (i.e. an adult sat and helped with associate the word "three" with 3 items) as little as 1-2 times per week while other as much as 500 times per week!  I think both of those are extreme and don't plan on doing either but this book makes practicing counting fun.  Eva's biggest gripe about this book?  There are no daddies.  The whole book is phrases such as, "'swim' said the mama, 'we swim' said the three, so they danced and they pranced on their ice floe in the sea" and so on.  Eva is a HUGE daddy's girl and doesn't like when books/shows/games/dolls/movies leave daddies out, I guess that makes me happy :-)

2. Ella Bella Ballerina and the Swan Lake by James Mayhew
This is another library book that Eva and I can't get enough of.  After each time through, Eva has to get up out of our chair and show off her ballet moves.  It reminds me of Black Swan with the good swan princess Odette and the evil Odile and a few pages might actually scare some little kids but Eva seems not to mind.  "Mommy, her's the pretty one and her's the not nice one."  Apparently beautiful people are nice and ugly people mean... we'll have to work on that line of thinking!

.....  and our number one book is......... drum roll please.....................................

 1. The Fancy Nancy series by Jane O'Connor
Okay, I admit, these books rock my world, and not just because they are about a sassy, spunky, preschooler fashionista like my Eva, they rock my world because the whole premise of the books is expanding your vocabulary with "fancy" words.  Delectable for yummy, enormous for big, reply for answer and so on.  The fun and easy way that all of the Fancy Nancy books introduce new words is wonderful.  So wonderful that Eva's 4th birthday is going to be Fancy Nancy themed :-)

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."~ Emilie Buchwald

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