Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kids Pick(s) of the Week

I originally planned to highlight just one book from this week's library stack that I have been reading to my daughter. But it was a little difficult to narrow them down to just one, so I've decided instead to post a little about my four favorites, as well as one that I didn't end up liking.

I've heard of the Fancy Nancy books, but until this week had never read them. Fancy Nancy is about a little girl who likes to dress up and likes everything fancy, including her room. She thinks it might be fun to teach others how to be fancy so she advertises lessons through a poster on the door of the refrigerator. Her family (which consists of her Dad, Mom and baby sister) sign up for the free lessons and learn how to dress and act fancy. The story ends with Nancy and her family dressing up and going out for a night on the town complete with parfaits (the fancy word for sundaes). Fancy Nancy is a cute story and the perfect read for the little girl who loves to dress up. My daughter is just beginning to experiment with dress-up (which, by the way, she calls "playing Cinderella"). She enjoyed this story and liked all the pretty pictures. It's definitely one I plan to explore further as her story comprehension grows.

Knitty Kitty is a simple worded story about a mother cat who knits hats, mittens, and scarfs for her little kittens. While the story is short, sweet, and a great read for a 2 year old it was the illustrations that attracted me to this book. The illustrator, Christopher Denise also illustrated Oliver Finds His Way, which I reviewed early last fall. I really like Christopher's paintings and am keeping my eyes open for other children's books he has illustrated. My daughter on the other hand enjoyed the pictures of the kittens and especially the snowman that the kittens build. (She's really into snowmen right now.)

I really liked this story. It's simple and the illustrations are cute and the story is total make-believe. The Police Cloud is the story of a cloud who dreamed of one day becoming a police officer, but when he gets his big
chance things don't work out quite like he imagined they would. In the end he finds a job that is a much better fit and everyone is happy. My daughter really liked the colorful almost cartoon style illustrations and had lots to say about the various events within the story.

If your child is really into Curious George like mine is, The Original Curious George can make for a fun read. Among her other interests my daughter loves anything and everything Curious George. I found it interesting to compare this book with the full-length movie which was released in 2006 and told the story of how George comes to live with The Man in the Yellow Hat. While the two share the same basic story structure the movie is definitely more The New Adventures of Curious George than it is The Original Curious George. Still, it didn't seem to bother my daughter, it was just another story about "George" and the "Daddy in the Yellow Hat" (as she calls the man). She was very happy with this read.

I picked this book out because the character was a guest at this week's Library Story Time (which unfortunately we missed). I thought it might be fun to learn more about this character even if we didn't make it to meet him in person. Unfortunately reading Skippyjon Jones didn't go so well. I found the story a difficult read and not just because of the frequent usage of Spanish intermingled with English (though to be fair most were words I was familiar with), but also the rhythm of the book as I read aloud just felt choppy. My daughter listened, but Skippyjon Jones just lacked some of the spark the other books had. Perhaps I'll have to give another in the series a try, but if they're anything like this one I think I'll pass.
So those are some highlights from our reading this week. We'll return the books on Monday and find a whole new collection to try. Not everyone rotates books as often as we do, but I find it keeps our story time fresh -- at least for me. After reading the books every day for a week I'm ready for something different and generally as my daughter is read to by her dad every night at bedtime I think she might be ready too.


Julie P. said...

Great post! I just started a new feature called Kid's Konnection where other bloggers can link their kid book related posts!

S. Mehrens said...

Julie, thanks for the info. That's great! I just linked up. :)

Carrie said...

I haven't read any Fancy Nancy either (partially because I don't have a girl!) and so it was fun to hear your perspective on her.

We love the new Curious George movie! And "we" didn't notice the difference between the old and the new either.

I tried Skippy Jones and left with the same impression as you.

Fun post! Thanks for sharing!

Sherrie said...

They all look good! I really like the covers on them. Very colorful. Have a great day!

Just Books

Anonymous said...

I love Fancy Nancy!!

passport in my pocket said...

The Police Cloud looks adorable. I've never heard of it before... thanks for the reviews.