What We Are Reading - Picture Books

If left to her own devices, It some times feels as if Froggy will read the same books forever and ever.  She will bring us books at bedtime from her personal library that we have read thousands of times.  When we go to the library these days, she goes straight to the Fairy books and does not want to pick anything else. 

So I am trying to pick books that will entice her and call to her without her help at all.  This week we actually had some big wins. She has asked each parent to read them at least twice and talks about them frequently.

The first I was pretty confident about when I saw it at the library.  It is Everybody Bakes BreadIt is a fun look at different cultures through the breads they bake.  The young girl is sent by her mom to ask a neighbor for "a three-handled rolling pin".  The girl asks if she can check with other neighbors as well not realizing the joke her mother is playing. As she searches she tastes the culture of each family through the food they make. She does discover the truth of her "mission" in the home of Mrs. Max, the nice bubbe of the neighborhood.  Since my favorite way to explore is through food it is a perfect book for us.  I like that it includes recipes at
 the back.

The second book is 13 Planets.  It is an amazing book.  The first time Froggy brought it to me she did so at the tail end of storytime.  It took us almost 10 minutes just to read the first page because Froggy was so thrilled with the picture and questions and comparing the planets. I set a timer and told Froggy we would go as slow as she wanted through the book but we would not finish it in one sitting. That stress removed from me we gradually worked our way through the beginning of the book. It thrills me to see how interested Froggy is in the planets.  The book is really well done starting with the formation of solar system and then walking outward from the center.  Unlike most books about the planets, this one not only includes the most recent scientific data but starts in the center with a careful look at the structure of the sun.  After we leave the sun we continue through the planets of which there are now 13 not the 9 I was taught.  Here is the publishers take
"First, Pluto left. Then it came back, along with Ceres and Eris...and now Haumea and MakeMake, too! The recent actions of the International Astronomical Union have put every solar system book out of date. In response, National Geographic joins forces with David Aguilar of the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory to revise our 2008 book—and to update young readers on the high-interest topic of space."
 Third Place Award goes to A Packet of Seeds.  Froggy would probably rate this book higher than Everybody Bakes Bread but the family votes as a whole.  The grownups had a hard time reading this book because it is so so sad.  The story is set in Pioneer times.  The family moves out west but Momma misses her family and suffers a great depression which the children help cure by preparing a garden for her.  Momma comes out of her depression as they plant the seeds. The book is beautifully written with sweet illustrations but I had a hard time getting past the sadness of the storyline.


  1. Oh that would be hard to get past.

  2. I love the exploration of other cultures through books ... the bread books sounds like a good one. How wonderful that your daughter is enthralled with the planets. I so love when our kids enjoy learning!

  3. I have a book called Everybody Cooks Rice. I wonder if it is by the same author? I really haven't read it since my teaching days. The illustrations look similar to the illustrations on the front of that one... anyway, Everybody Bakes Bread sounds great. Love to explore a variety of cultures.


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