Our Library Bag Favorites: Plants, Gratitude, and Jan Brett

I love that David is as much of a bookworm as I am. Here are our favorite picks from this past week:

thankyouforme  Thank You For Me! by Marion Dane Bauer.  I had no idea this was a book that included prayer – a great bonus!  Each night we thank Jesus for things from the day. Recently David has been saying “Thank You Jesus for something.”  This book gives him more ideas.



on_noahs_ark_jacket_300  On Noah’s Ark by Jan Brett. I love Jan Brett, but I had assumed that none of her books would be appropriate for a two-year-old. This was a hit for us. The illustrations are the best for Noah’s Ark that I’ve found. We learned a new animal: flamingo.



updownandaround  Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres. This is the wrong time of year for this book, since it’s all about growing a garden. I thought I’d still include it though so I wouldn’t forget about it for next year.  Ayres describes which plants grow up (peppers, broccoli. . . ), which plants grow down (carrots, potatoes, onions. . . ), and which plants grow around and around (pumpkins, cucumbers. . . ). It’s also super-fun.



This past week I’ve finished reading: Orphan Train, Ender’s Game, A Can of Peas, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I started reading The Red Badge of Courage and The Forgotten Garden.

David’s Library Picks: A Squirrel, A Pony, and Some Fish

Here are some of David’s favorites from the week:

ponybrushesteeth  Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl. The other night David cried because he wanted to read this book. I guess that is a sign of a good book.  And, it is completely perfect for us since we are working at how to brush teeth (besides just sucking the toothpaste off the brush.)  Dahl describes Pony’s teeth-brushing routine, as Pony does everything just like his dad.


The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. tafuri squirrelThis book is PERFECT for this time of year. Squirrel can’t play with his friends because he is busy collecting food for winter: acorns, seeds, corn, etc. David loves finding the spiders and caterpillars on most of the pages. This is totally toddler-appropriate and I love not having to paraphrase!




Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins. This book is full of fun pictures and descriptive language. Perhaps David also loved it because we often visit a local fish/pet store for fun (or to kill time). Maybe it is time for a pet fish?

David’s Library Bag: Demolition, Green, and Penguins

Here are some books that David began to memorize this week:

demolition Demolition by Sally Sutton. My favorite part of this book is hearing David say “demolition.”  He loves seeing the machinery knocking down the buildings, and reciting some of the words with me. I love the descriptive language! Sutton also wrote another favorite of ours – Roadwork.




Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. This is a super-fun book – covering all the different types of green – faded green, forest green, lime green (David likes to pretend to eat the limes EVERY time), jungle green, etc. Once again Seeger does a beautiful job with illustrations and the holes in the pages that David adores putting his finger through. She also wrote First the Egg, which I blogged about here.




If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor. This is the book that David has mostly memorized (which means no skipping pages for me!)  It was also featured as PA’s 2009 One Book Every Child initiative, which is no surprise considering the adorable penguin illustrations and easy-to-read informative text.



Do You Wear Diapers?

doyouweardiapersI found this book and I just had to buy it. Do You Wear Diapers? by Tonya Roitman. Each page features an animal and the phrase “Do you wear diapers?” Then the animal explains where it goes to the bathroom. We’ve been talking a lot about where David goes to the bathroom, which, currently is in his diaper.


I also have several other books about going to the potty PottyForMe– another favorite is Karen Katz’s A Potty for Me.  Karen has written a lot of really great books for babies and toddlers; we have several including Where’s Baby’s Belly Button and No Hitting.

I think David thinks sitting on the potty just means reading books about going to the potty. We’ll keep trying.

Two Toddler Favorites from Last Week

David’ s library bag is getting too heavy. I guess that’s a good thing?

Here are two favorites from last week:

firsttheegg First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. I can see why this book earned a Caldecott Honor and a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor. I can also see why many pages are ripped in the library version we checked out. Seeger wrote this book about transformations – seeds into flowers, caterpillars into butterflies – with captivating photos and toddler-appropriate language.



whose shoes a shoe for every job Whose Shoes? by Stephen R. Swinburne. This book was featured as PA’s 2011 One Book Every Child initiative, an early literacy program.  David loved guessing whose shoes were featured on each page – farmer, fire-fighter, construction work, etc. Perhaps he will decide to start wearing “big boy shoes” that are not soft-soled?

David’s Library Bag: Books about the World

How do you instill a love for the world in children?  I know that a lot depends on the child, but one thing I try to do (besides having David try a variety of foods, and having him play outside) is by reading him books that deal with these very topics. Here are two favorites from this week:

work Work by Ann Morris. Morris writes about how people all over the world work- alone, away from home, with their hands, etc. Morris includes photos from different countries; in the back of the back Morris explains a little more about each photo. Morris has written other books with the same concept; Bread, Tools, and Hats are some of my favorites from the series.


allthingsbright  All Things Bright and Beautiful by Ashley Bryan. David likes when I sing this one. Yesterday I played it on the piano (music is included in the back of the book), and he grinned from ear to ear. Bryan made the illustrations using cut paper, and the result is bright, cheery, beautiful pictures.

2 Favorites from David’s Library Bag

These two books were a good fit for both David and I. I didn’t have to paraphrase, and he didn’t lose interest. (I can’t say that I never lost interest. . . but that’s because I read them several times a day!)

Building a House by Byron Barton. buildingahouseBarton uses simple languages and simple pictures to show how a house is built. I would have loved to have this book while our neighbors were building their place.



roadwork Road Work Ahead by Anastasia Suen. This is perfect for a little boy who loves cars, diggers and anything construction-related. Colorful pictures and simple sentences give glimpses of different types of road work.

2 Apple-Picking Books

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. . . . but mostly for school, so that is the reason for no adult book posts. I’m also reading through some of the “classics” but I’m not motivated to write posts on any of them; I just finished The Portrait of a Lady, and I’m currently reading Anna Karenina. Both are long books!

Here are 2 books that David enjoys. Both of them remind me of fall, and both of them make me hungry.

The-Apple-Pie-Tree The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall. This book shows what an apple tree looks like in all four seasons, and it includes the life cycle of a robin family for fun. One of these days I need to make an apple pie. The book has the recipe, and I have all the ingredients, just not the time. Great book, great illustrations.





ifyougiveadogadonut If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff. I didn’t know that this book existed.  I thought I had read all the “If You Give a _____ a _________” series when I taught preschool!  David loves it, probably because he loves donuts. And he just went apple-picking like the dog did. Too bad there is not a recipe for donuts in the back of this book.


David’s Library Bag: Trains, Flowers, and Denise Fleming

I’m having a lot more fun reading to David now that he can sit through more picture books. I don’t know who has more fun picking out books at the library. . .

Here are last week’s picks:

trains-goTrains Go by Steve Light. David picked this one – we always manage to find our library’s new board books. We both enjoyed this one, although some of the train sounds turned into tongue twisters for me. I want to try out some of Light’s other works.


Planting a Rainbow – Lois Ehlert. Ehlert is plantingarainbowturning into a favorite author of mine – she has beautiful illustrations and captivating story lines for toddlers. David loved this book because he remembers helping me plant flower seeds. Now he wants to plant some bulbs (me too!). Although, I think I would like to try forcing some for indoors this year (and because we keep looking at properties and may or may not be living here in the spring!)

time-to-sleepTime to Sleep – by Denise Fleming. Fleming has created so many great books! We’ve read Lunch and Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy already. I think I have several of her other works from my preschool-teaching days.  This book is actually about winter coming, and not going to sleep, as I had previously thought.

Current Toddler Favorites

I believe that we have checked out most of the board books in our local library. (Except for the Disney movie spin-offs which I will not check out). So, the other day we actually picked out some non-board books. No ripped pages yet. My little boy is growing up!


Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert. (Great author!) The highlight of this book is that the fish eyes have little holes in them. And anything related to numbers is always a big hit.




Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.  I am not sure who liked this book more: David, or the 9 year-old we had on respite these past couple of days. Between the two of them, I’m not even sure how many times I read the book. This book teaches waiting on Mommy, and includes fun rhyming phrases. I see why the Llama Llama books are so popular. (For parents and children!)




Corduroy by Don Freeman. This is a classic. I own this book, but I included it here because David loves it. He seems to really like the idea of Corduroy looking for his button and falling off the bed. (By the way, as I was searching for this online, I found other Corduroy books besides Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy. I never knew Freeman wrote more!)