Every Wednesday I will post a great book for you and your child to read together. There will often be a simple craft or project to go with it to further promote reading comprehension, vocabulary, and communication.
I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point this summer, my first baby girl, Lilly, just got big. She speaks in hilarious but full sentences, is almost potty trained, helps clean up after meals, and is just turning into such a little kid. I cannot yet let go of the footy jammies, or the baby shampoo just like I cannot (and probably won’t ever) be able to put away or give away the “baby” board books. But I am so excited that we are entering the “picture book” stage- where Lilly will sit in my lap as I read a long and detailed story, looking at the pictures and waiting until the end to ask me all of her questions. Here are a few that we are so in love with right now.
Knuffle Bunny is a sweet little story about a girl named Trixie and her lovie who wind up taking quite different adventures. Before we ever read this story, a little girl at the library saw Lilly then ran over to her mom exclaiming, “Mommy, that girl looks like Trixie!” I just pulled this one out a few days ago and now I know it by heart. Lilly wants to hear it over and over and -even better- talk about it over and over too. She wants to know why and when and how-come-Mom? and what will she do? –which is so awesome.
As a teacher, I know that the actual synthesizing of information we read is one of the most important parts. Ahem, “reading comprehension” as us teachers have to say it. We can’t read and listen with an, “in one ear and out the other” kind of mentality or we aren’t being productive learners. Nurturing a little mind that knows how to articulate and ask questions is very important. Helping your child summarize the story and talk through these ideas helps the information you are giving them really sink in and be available in their brains to make connections to other areas of their lives.
It’s why bedtime in our house takes a solid hour. Sigh. But I love it.
So anyway, back to Knuffle Bunny… I claim Momnesia that I had NO IDEA this was the FINAL book in a series of stories about Trixie and her bunny lovie. Oops. Guess we’ll be backtracking. Save yourself the long nights of lying awake wondering why someone would title a book Knuffle Bunny Free (?) and start with the first book.
And after you so obediently start with the first book, go ahead and admire the amazing artwork that combines black and white photographs with colorful illustration- it’s superb.
If I was a little bit more together, if I wasn’t battling sleepless nights, migraines, a spinal issue, GI problems and hectic life with babies who need things, I would have attempted my own version of these pictures. I would have taken some black and white pictures of Lilly’s bedroom, her special pink chair, and our living room couch. I would have imported pictures of Lilly with her silky blankie into photoshop and turned them into coloring book images that she and I could color together. I would have cut them out and glued them to the black and white photos to make our own Knuffle Bunny pictures. But I’m not together. I am having issues. And I took one more hour of baby-in-my-lap-sleeping over trying to figure that out. If you happen to be together, though, and are feeling particularly crafty- do that ^ and send me some pics! I think it would be so much fun.
And speaking of superb illustration these next two books are hands down my favorites right now. I’ll be giving them to Lilly soon, but not just yet. I think they have special messages and wonderfully detailed, silly pictures that she will absolutely love.
The best part about these books is that you can read the first one in it’s entirety right now online!
Now please remember this is my opinion here- I’ve actually been reading a lot of backlash about this book, people saying there is nothing wrong with dreaming for nice furniture and matching silverware and a new car. And implying to a child that there is is wrong. But I, too, like to dream for those (maybe mundane) things and still enjoy this book. The message I’m giving to my daughter is to dream bigger, while she’s still got the magic of a childhood imagination. To remember to dream big when she is grown. So take it with a grain of salt, ok? It’s just not that big of a deal.
If you have slightly older kids- give them a giant piece of paper, a sharpie, and some colored pencils and ask them to dream big. Ask them to draw you their dream. Their crazy, silly, funny, hopeful, special-purpose dream.
Then step back and admire the little peek you just got inside their brains. I’m fairly confident it will be magical.
Got a great kids book suggestion for my Wordy Wednesday posts? A family favorite that your child would like to make a craft about? Leave me a comment! We are always on the hunt for new books to read!