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Books for All Ages

I’ve been a fan of Karen Katz ever since we got Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin? as a freebie with Emma’s Halloween costume last year. We recently borrowed Ten Tiny Babies from our library, and both I and the kids enjoy reading it. The babies are very cute, and one baby gets added on each page – making it a fun counting book as well as a bedtime routine story. Now, if only my kids went to bed as peacefully as these ten adorable tots…

Both Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal are books I remember loving as a child, but I only recently realized they are both written by Robert McCloskey. Living near Boston, it’s fun to picture a family of ducklings bringing daily traffic to a halt, and the story of Sal and a baby bear switching mothers comes with wonderfully expressive illustrations.

Newbery Honor book Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt starts right before the American Civil War. The protagonist is a perceptive, intelligent nine-year-old boy named Jethro, and through his eyes Hunt reveals the complexity of war with incredible compassion and sensitivity. I like to listen to recorded books while cleaning the house and playing on the floor or making art projects with the kids, but I find it hard to find interesting stories that don’t have language or scenes that are problematic for a two-year-old to hear. This one was perfect – complex characters and a completely engaging plot involving a difficult subject told in such a way that it might instruct, but would not lead to nightmares even if Emma chose to listen. This is definitely a book I’ll be reading aloud to my kids when they get a little older, probably more than once.

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

2 thoughts on “Books for All Ages”

  1. I haven’t seen Karen Katz’s books, but we discovered Robert McCloskey’s books this year and we love them. I’ve also been a huge fan of Across Five Aprils since I first discovered it in my dad’s bookshelf when I was a kid. Great reviews.We’ve started listening to books on CD, too, and we find them a great way to enjoy a book when we’re too busy to sit down and read. So far we’ve listened to most of the Harry Potter series that way and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. I find it helps to listen to books that are written in a dialect, since I have a hard time reading those out loud.

  2. We love Blueberries for Sal. We got it from the library, but it’s a book I would like to add to our home collection. And I love listening to audiobooks. I can clean for hours if I’m listening to something fun. I’ll have to try sticking something on when I’m doing things with the kids. I think that would help my endurance for those activities as well.

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