Children's Books! - Letters M-P

Monday, February 15, 2016

Homeschooling in the past weeks has been heavily focused on reading. Mostly because that's all John wants to do when he gets one-on-one time with me - read. 

Thankfully, the 26 Letters to Heaven book had pretty substantial booklists for the letters we have been on and things have been available at the library.

Here have been John's picks!


Letter M

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton


I knew John was going to be up for reading this one (it's about a digger after all), but this book is WORDY. We now own the board book version, which seems a bit abbreviated, but the original is not afraid of repeats and word play.
That didn't seem like a turn off for John - if anything he enjoyed the cadence and rhythm this book has going on.

Letter N

With letter N I forgot to bring the curriculum book to the library with me. We had done enough of the book lists at that point that I had learned which authors to be looking for (Arnosky, Brett, Wise Brown, Carle, dePola, Lionni - to name a few). I just browsed around, my admittedly small, children's picture book section at my local branch looking for the letter N. 

These were the winners according to John! 

A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston


Double the N's and lots of pretty pictures!

This covered way most variety of nest builders (not just birds) than I anticipated and John LOVED it.
This is also pretty satisfying just to look at, and Therese preferred this one for browsing while I read aloud with John.

On Noah's Ark by Jan Brett


I've been trying to include bible stories in our reading to get John familiar with the names and events. That is a bit easier said than done with our library selection, but Old Testament is more likely than New Testament (or saints) to be found in our library system.

The kids had received the Fisher Price toy Noah's Ark for Christmas from Therese's godfather (thanks Craig!), and it became a very popular toy after reading this book.

Letter O

Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel


This is a compilation of short little stories about Owl. Owl does things like invite winter into his house, try to be both upstairs and downstairs at the same time, and make friends with the moon.

I think John identified with Owl's various conundrums because he would bring them up in conversation, on walks, and picked this one as his "before nap" book every day that week.

Letter P


The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack


This is another old school book that is on the long side, and John LOVED it.
I'm starting to think he has a thing for vintage kids books. Or maybe these just have great staying power. I'm not a children's lit expert (yet) but I'll figure this out yet.

Ping is a duck in a BIG family. He likes living with this big family, but does not like being the last duck back on the boat because the last duck gets whacked with a stick. One night he knew he was going to be last so he hid and got left behind. 

In the end, Ping decides that it's better to suffer the temporary whack than to be separated and alone from his family.
Big fan of picture books that emphasise even unpleasant things are better faced than run away from.



This is a book I had, and loved, growing up. It wasn't on the 26 Letters list, but I added it.

It covers animal metamorphosis which is a magical crazy process to explain to little kids. The book also touches on being happy as you are, how it's better to be humble, and the idea of becoming something new and bigger as you grow up. 


And a bonus book that is not 26 Letters to Heaven but John is obsessed with is....

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
This is another very wordy, kind of vintage, book. I like the Frances books for the same reason I like the Angus books - the main characters articulate the concerns, views, and thoughts of young children very well.

This one deals with picky eating. 
Frances loves bread and jam. She would eat bread and jam at every meal. But when that becomes the default (in a brilliant moment of parenting by a fictional character) Frances realizes that it's not so great to only eat the same thing at every meal. 
It also shows the social aspect of eating. Joining in with others and sharing a meal is an important part of family in this book.
It ends with the sentiment that "eating is nice" - an end, and a good, in of itself. 


We're ending our letter P week today on President's Day. Mostly because the libraries are closed today and I can't get the letter Q books until tomorrow. 

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