Read Aloud Roundup (Sep 2017)

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at 8:26 am

When it comes to books the children brought to me to read and re-read and re-read again, board books won the day this month.

Welcome by Mo Willems

Tirzah Mae and Louis read "Welcome" together

This was the hands-down winner of the “most-frequently-read” award. It’s a user’s manual of sort for new babies, telling them everything they need to know, from
This is YOU.”


Papa reads "Welcome" by Mo Willems

“You are loved
right here,
right now…
while we read this book together.”

It has droll moments (“Many activities are available for you to enjoy, including, but not limited to: sleeping and waking, eating and burping, pooping and more pooping.”) and serious moments (“We regret to inform you not everything is as it should be. There is unkindness and fighting and wastefulness and soggy toast. You will not be exempt from any of these things.”) And all of it is illustrated with icons that look rather like buttons or badges or maybe traffic signs.

Louis looks in the mirror at the back of "Welcome"

The children loved the mirrors at the front and back, as well as the repeated refrain (“while we read this book together”) that occurs at the end of almost every page. I loved the humor (“Your log-in code” reads one page. “Do not worry. You do not need to know any log-in codes, yet. Lucky you.”) and the opportunity to delight in my children “while we read this book together.”

All the Ways I Love You written by Susan Larkin, illustrated by Jacqueline East

Mama reads "All the Ways I Love You"
A sweet little enumeration of… all the ways mother animals (and humans) love their children. “I love you with warm-hearted giggles and happy wiggles…playtime laughing and bathtime splashing.” Louis especially enjoyed snuggling with his mama while listening to this lyrical book and pointing out all the different animals found within (a doe and a fawn, a mama bird with her chicks, a squirrel with her kittens, and many more.) Louis generally listens to most books while doing something else (climbing, usually) – but this one consistently keeps his attention and keeps him in my lap from cover to cover.

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

Tirzah Mae and Louis read "Tap the Magic Tree"

Do your kids love Herve Tullet’s Press Here or Let’s Play? Then, chances are, they’ll enjoy this “magic” board book. The text gives instructions a la Tullet (press here, shake gently, etc.) – but the illustrations show a tree growing leaves in the spring, budding, hosting a nest, bearing apples, and dropping its leaves before the winter snowfall comes. This ended up dovetailing nicely with our not-entirely-intentional apple unit in our “Prairie Elms Preschool”. Not only did I read this aloud dozens of times, I often caught Tirzah Mae “playing” it by herself.

Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

"Apple Farmer Annie" by Monica Wellington

My plan for Tirzah Mae’s “preschool” was that we would read through the Read Aloud Revival booklist for the month during our daily read-aloud time. But then we got the books for September’s list out of the library – and read them all within the first few days of doing “school”. So we ended up branching out quite a bit from the apple theme the RAR booklist prescribed.

Apple Farmer Annie got read at least every week, if not more frequently, until we had to return it to the library (with much weeping on Tirzah Mae’s part.) Tirzah Mae loved reading all about the things Apple Farmer Annie did to prepare for market day in New York City. Louis loved pointing out all the pictures of apples. Both listened intently while I read out loud – and then fought over who could have possession of the book for private perusal afterward.

Where is Catkin? by Janet Lord, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

"Where is Catkin?" by Janet Lord and Julie Paschkis
We ended up with this lovely book quite by accident, but ended up loving it. Catkin (the cat, imagine that!) hunts for a variety of animals, all of whom evade his pounce, until Catkin finds himself up a tree. After each unsuccessful attempt at hunting, the reader is asked to hunt down the chased animal, who is now in hiding. The story ends with Catkin as the lost one – but his human friend Amy searches him out and finds him.

Tirzah Mae enjoyed searching for the various animals within the colorful illustrations. I enjoyed the illustrations (which remind me a bit of Americana folk hooked rugs or wall hangings) in and of themselves. Both of us spent plenty of time reading and re-reading this little story.

Check out what other families are reading aloud at Read Aloud Roundup at Hope is the Word.

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