What We Are Reading

We are on vacation still this week which is why the usual elements have been absent here.  But we have read some very good books and I wanted to share them with you.

My pick of the week is ChrysanthemumIn the story, a young mouse named Chrysanthemum loves her name until she enters Kindergarten and must face the teasing of the other children who all have ordinary names.  Then she hates school and her name.  Kevin Henkes does a wonderful job of presenting the cruelties of children in an endearing yet realistic manner.  My favorite line is "Chrysanthemum has thirteen letters.  That is exactly half alphabet."  Froggy learned several new words with this book.  For instance, every time Chrysanthemum was teased, she wilted.  Froggy asked what that meant.  I explained and the next couple of days we all took turns wilting when we got sad.  Froggy also explored what an epilogue is and created her own epilogues for several of the other stories she read.
The next big winner of the week was The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches.  Froggy's cousin picked this one from Grandma's collection and every adult present read it many times.  I think T would have been happy if no other story was read the whole visit.  I was treated to random recitations from the story on the drive home.  Unlike Chrysanthemum which I did not tire of at all, this one grated on me by the third reading.  I have no clue what made a Halloween story so appealing during a Christmas visit but all the children present delighted in it.

Awhile back, Froggy was given a collection of the Rainbow Fairy books. As I commented, she did not read them then.   She is reading them now.  She loves them and we have all been designated colors of the rainbow at times.  I love that she reads stories and then tells me about them with enough detail and structure that the plot of the story is comprehensible. We have read all the color fairies and started in now on the Fun Day fairies.  There are more of these than Magic Treehouse so I suspect the series will be with us for a long time.


  1. I love Chrysanthemum. If you can, find a copy of the CD version, narrated by Meryl Streep; it's a real treasure. I wasn't a huge fan of hers until I heard this and her work on one of Sandra Boynton's albums - boy, is she versatile!

  2. I love all of Kevin Henkes' books! I think Owen is probably my favorite.

  3. Thanks for joining WMCIR! Anna loved the first one on your list and was somewhat tentative on the second one (she is not into scary stuff). We tried one or two of fairy stories, but I couldn't bear them, and Anna was not interested in reading them on her own. Maybe she will like them one day.


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