In another chapter of my ongoing saga to make LTD relive my childhood I submit the Reading Rainbow APP. In fact by simply writing the words Reading Rainbow you have now just sung the following either in your brain or out loud. ‘Take a look it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow..’ If I do nothing else than my work here is done, but you should check out the new Reading Rainbow APP. Especially during the dog days of summer since as Levar explains new readers lose a lot of ground when they are not in school especially boys. Some kids just learning to read never really catch up after a summer hiatus from reading or at the very least never develop a love for reading.
We found this little book at a thrift store sidewalk sale and I immediately recognized it as a book I had when I was a kid. Children’s book legend Mercer Mayer’s 1978 Little Monster’s Neighborhood is for my money the best book in the Little Monster series (not to be confused with his Little Critter series). The plot isn’t really as the story features Little Monster simply describing different things in and around his hometown. Truthfully, the book is more of trip down memory lane for me as I remember the faces of the different monsters at the market, gas station and doctor’s office. Little Monster’s Neighborhood is one of those books that LTD reads to himself at bedtime and since that is a quiet activity that is the only recommendation needed.
Children’s book legend Syd Hoff tells a simple story in Captain Cat, a story that avoids the politics of the Military-Industrial Complex to focus on a cat who wanders on to an army base. The training soldiers adopt the cat and award him the (I assume honorary) title of Captain. The story is simple as Captain Cat joins the squad and has fun with the new recruits and even makes a best friend. However, the only reason I’m bringing any of this up is because last night when I was reading this to LTD I got to the part where one page had the all the soldiers marching in the rain and the mud and the next where Captain Cat was sleeping on the bed instead of joining the troops like he did when they went to the mess hall or KP duty. I started laughing out loud and then the little guy cracked up. He really didn’t know why I was laughing but he started laughing anyway, really hard and so I suggest Captain Cat if you want to wind up your kid before bedtime.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know LTD has long been a big fan of Halloween and most things spooky and so for a few weeks all he wanted to read at bed time was the amazing Carl Reiner’s 2003 tale Tell Me a Scary Story…But Not Too Scary! The story centers on a young boy and his mysterious new neighbor. The boy does that I’m scared and don’t want to look but I know I’m going to look anyway thing. The story, which is told in the first person by the boy, begins each section with narrator stopping and asking if things are too scary and if he should continue or not. This disclaimer provides plenty of fun as the little guy says he doesn’t want to go on, then quickly says yes turn the page.
One of the plot points revolves around a glass eye that I told LTD was a marble. And with that in mind I will leave you with this incident. Last night, LTD wanted to read Tell Me a Scary Story… however what The Mommy and I heard was that he wanted to read the Richard Scarry book about marbles. It took about twenty minutes, but it all got sorted out in the end.
The Mommy was checking out a book for a guest review, but she got swamped with work so I said I would help her out. The book in question is Sue Castle’s 2012 non-fiction work “Mother Knows Best? The Truth About Mom’s Well-Meaning (But Not Always Accurate) Advice.” This fun little book features short chapters drilling down on whether all that advice (nagging) you got from mom is really true or bunk. Examples of motherly advice include, an apple a day keeps the doctor away (sadly, not true) and put butter on a burn right away (wicked not true unless you are taking about chicken). The majority of topics center on health and babies, but also includes information on food and general topics. Of course no advice debunking book would be complete without a mention of what happens if you swim right after eating and with all Beyond the Car Seat reviews I won’t spoil the ending to that one.
A buddy of mine was dealing with his 10 year old son the other day and he told him that he sounded like a broken record. Of course, his son quickly said what’s a record? With that in mind I present 2008’s Raining Cats and Dogs by Will Moses. The book offers simple easy to understand explanations for the everyday expression we tell our kids. Expressions that traditionally result in a toddler missing the point, for instance, when you tell a three year old that they are in a pickle the conversation goes off in an entirely different and unintended direction. One of the strengths of the book is that you can skip pages with ease (when you are tired) and the story doesn’t suffer since it is basically a dictionary. Each expression is followed by funky art, a straightforward meaning and an example of use in everyday life.
Spill the Beans: Someone is supposed to keep a secret-but instead tells all. “What was in the pail was supposed to be a secret, until Georgiana spilled the beans and told everybody.”
What can anyone say about Maurice Sendak that his books can’t? At the end of the day all that matters is for me, In The Night Kitchen is just as good as Where the Wild Things Are.
“Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.”
The national celebration of reading for youth, Children’s Book Week is May 7th through the 13th. The celebration (run by Every Child A Reader and sponsored by the Children’s Book Council) honors the life-changing potential of a book, especially during a young person’s formative years.
Pick out one of your (or one of your parents’) favorite books from childhood and introduce it to your kid at bedtime.
Spend some time at your local library. Even a few minutes here and there in our busy schedule will help instill a lifelong love of books.
Pen your own children’s book to read to your kids. Have them also write their own to read to you, too!
Pick out 5 books, either from your own collection or from a book store, to donate to literacy campaigns throughout the world (Better World Books is a great example of one such outlet.)
Better World Books collects and sells books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than 8 million new and used titles in stock, it’s a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value. To date, the company has raised over $11 million for libraries and literacy, and diverted millions of books from landfills.