By Leslie Lindsay
[this piece originally “aired” on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 over at http://www.speakingofapraxia.com]
I read a lot. Grown-up fiction? You bet. The backs of cereal boxes? Guilty. Just about anything with written text in a language I understand? Totally.
But my absolute favorite part of the day is wrapping my arms around my girls and reading a children’s book. And I got to thinking, there are a lot of books about books. Sounds like a lovely combination, doesn’t it?
Here are a few of my favorites in children’s literature:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. By William Joyce. This book, published in 2012 may very well be my favorite. The illustrations are rich, engaging, and offer a slightly vintage nostalgia everyone can appreciate. But the story itself is sweet, touching, and terribly moving. I love it. The book also inspired an academy-award winning short film that will bring the story to life for any reader. [Amazon Prime Members can see the video free, or purchase reasonably here. http://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Flying-Books-Morris-Lessmore/dp/B00EV6YJ9W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396369519&sr=8-2&keywords=Mr.+Morris+Lessmore%5D
Miss Dorothy and her Boookmobile, by Gloria Houston. When Dorothy was a little girl, she loved books and so she went to college to become a librarian. She married, left the big city and lived in a rural area with little access to books. What did she do? Why she made her own bookmobile and eventually a small library. This sweet book shows the tenacity of one women’s desire to bring books to all and to share her love for the written word.
Rocket Learns to Read (2010) and Rocket Writes a Story (2012) by Tad Hillis are a complete package. First, Rocket must learn to read, which he does with the help of a sweet little bird. And then in book two, Rocket is so inspired he decides to write a book of his own. An adorable tale of learning, perseverance, and self-actualization. A winning combination!
A Story for Bear by Dennis Heasley. Oh my! This one is so sweet, thoughtful, and beautifully illustrated, one feels as if she’s right smack in the middle of the book. I absolutely adore the sentiment behind the love for books, the attention to nature and the way the author-illustrator have clearly teamed up to create this lovely story. While this is a picture book, it’s long and perhaps is best-suited for older children. My 3rd grader still loves it, and will study the illustrations for hours.
- For more information and additional resources, please refer to the READ ALOUD HANDBOOK by Jim Trelease. It’s a gold-standard for parents and teachers alike who desire to share the written word with their children. In fact, research shows that continuing to read aloud to your children even after they can read on their own increases critical thinking skills, attention-span, vocabularly, and more. Select books that are just above your child’s natural reading level and make it a family tradition.
- Just for grins and giggles, you may be intersted in taking this on-line quiz to determine which children’s book you are. I’m BAMBI. “Sweet and irresisitable and make people cry. A lot.” Not sure how true that is, but fun nonetheless!