Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Favorite Books 7 Months

Yet another month has passed; I can't believe how fast it went!  My son is already another month older.  He still loves to be read to, but he wants to be much more involved in the reading.  He loves to grab for books, reach for pages, close/open books and turn pages.  Although he rarely does these actions when you want him to.  More than once I've had a book closed on me while I'm in the middle of the page.  I mostly read board books to him so he can reach for and play with the books without causing too much damage, but sometimes I still like to read nonboard books.  When I read nonboard books I try to give him a toy to play with to keep his hands busy.  My husband is much more successful than I am when it comes to reading nonboard books because his arms are long enough that he can put our son in his lap and hold the book in his hands far enough away that our son can't reach it.

For the first time he's really showing interest in the book Peek A Who?  We've had this book for awhile, but he loves it right now.  I think he likes the cut outs that he can grab onto and he always spends sometime looking in the mirror at the end of the book.  Previously he really hadn't cared much about the mirror, but now he's into it.

Here are a few more of our favorite books for him right now:
  1. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
  2. Sheep on a Ship by Nancy E. Shaw
  3. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
  4. Peek a Who? by Nina Laden

Monday, February 18, 2013

Library Time for Babies

Today I took my 6 month old son to a program my local library does called Wee Wonders.  It is specifically designed for babies 0-18 months.  I've wanted to take him for a long time, but as a full time working mom, I'm not usually around on a Monday morning to take him.  Well, boy am I glad I finally found the time to go.  We had so much fun!  The librarian who ran the program did a lovely job.  She started by having us sing a simple song as she went around an introduced a Lamb Chop puppet to all of the babies.  Then we sang some more songs with simple hand motions.  Sometimes I helped my son do the hand motions other times I just did them with my hands in front of him so he could see what I was doing.  After about 3 songs she read a story to the babies and then we sang a few more songs.  Just like before all of the songs had simple melodies and hand motions to go along with them.  For the last 10 minutes of the program she passed out bubbles and we could blow bubbles for our babies.  This was my son's first experience with bubbles and he was fascinated.  Unfortunately he doesn't yet move fast enough to reach the bubbles before they pop, but I think that's part of the mystery of bubbles for him.

If I was around on Monday mornings this would become a regular part of my baby's week.  It was fun for him to be around other babies and fun for me to watch him explore and interact with me and other babies.  Lucky for me, summer is just a few months away, and then we'll be able to make library time a regular part of our week.  In the mean time, at least I've got about five new songs (with hand motions) that the two of us can sing together.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Graeme Base

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite picture book author...that is if you haven't already met!  Reader meet Graeme Base am amazing, fantastic, wonderful, author and illustrator of stunning picture books.  He is both an author an illustrator of all of his books and all of his illustrations are done with elaborate detail.  I was first introduced to Graeme Base books when, in high school, I read the Sign of the Seahorse.  Shortly there after I came across the book The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery and that was the book that truly turned in into a devotee.  I was in college at the time and my boyfriend (now he's my husband) and I spent a few happy hours engrossed with the book pouring over the pictures tyring to solve the mystery.  It was his first encounter with Graeme Base and he was instantly hooked as well.   Over the years I've developed a small collection of his books.  What makes them so great is their wide ranging appeal.  The rhyming language in books like the Sign of the Seahorse appeal to the very young, even though they have no hope of following the plot.  The story is suitably complex for older readers (say fourth grade on up) and the pictures are just stunning and make reading the book a treat for any adult.  The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery has the same appeal.  On the surface, the story is simple enough to appeal to a young reader, but the mystery and again the stunning pictures (which this time play an important part in the mystery) keep even older reader enthralled.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting we added one more book to our Graeme Base collection, Animalia.  This ABC book puts all other ABC books to shame.  The book is filled with Base's brilliant pictures.  Each page features alliterative tongue twisters.  The pictures, as in all of his books, seem to unfold in layers.  Just when you think you've found all of the hidden quirks in his illustrations you'll notice something you over looked the first hundred times you read the book.  I would say if you had money to buy only one ABC book this would be the one to buy.  Long after your child has lot interest in other ABC books, he'll still love to read and look at this one.

Here's a mini-list of some of my favorite Graeme Base books.  Get your hands on one (or all) of his books soon.  They are perfect for filling the time on these cold winter days and nights!

Sign of the Seahorse
The Eleventh Hour: A curious Mystery
The Water Hole

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sitting Up On My Own

Whew!  It has been a busy week!  Parent teacher conferences always throw off my whole week even though they only take a two days.  I sure am glad the weekend is here, but I can't believe it's Sunday afternoon already.  How did that happen!?

Well, enough about my life and onto reading.  It seems my little baby is starting (already) to grow up and push away from his parents.  He has recently mastered the art of sitting and that seems to be all he wants to do, and that includes when it's story time.  Until recently my baby would sit in my lap and enjoy looking at books and listening to me or my husband as we read them, but (temporarily, I'm hoping!) that doesn't seem to be the case.  He still loves to look at books and listen to stories, but he wants to sit on the floor, not on mom or dad's lap.  I know I should be happy that he still loves to listen to stories, but there is a part of me, okay a large part of me, that's sad when I take out some books to read and I try to put him in my lap and he just squirms and wiggles until he's happily seated on the floor.  I'm sure this is just going to be one of many reading phases my son goes through, but for now I can't wait until he's happy to sit in my lap again.