Hello My Dear Bookworms,
My reading has been going pretty slowly this week, so I figured I’d take this opportunity to highlight some of the books that I’ve been enjoying reading with Sam lately. We’re hopefully coming to the end of the seemingly endless working-from-home-with-a-small-child-to-avoid-COVID thing. The grown ups in this family are well on their way to being fully vaccinated!
No Fuzzball! by Isabella Kung- This may just be my limited perspective, but I feel like there are a lot more dog books for kids than there are cat books. I’m allergic to cats so we’ll never have one, but Sam thinks they’re great. (You’ll recall the Sammy-Chaos Pandemic Bromance, surely?) Needless to say, this pick from Grandma was a huge hit. I think anyone with a cat would find this amusing. Fuzzball, our mischievous kitten, believes her name to be “No Fuzzball” as she’s constantly getting into trouble and being told “no.” From Fuzzball’s perspective, though, she’s a benevolent monarch, graciously redecorating and leaving lovely gifts for her subjects. Sam likes a little added play-by-play commentary on the destruction Fuzzball wreaks, so I make sure to point out different things in the illustrations. (In our house, though, Fuzzball delivers toy mice. I’m not mentally prepared for a conversation on why Fuzzball would want to hurt the Mouse of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fame. But! If you have an actual cat who occasionally delivers such gifts, this book could be a great way of explaining the cat’s thought process to a confused kiddo.)
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney- We’ve been reading this book a lot lately. Specifically, I’m trying to prepare Sammers for his return to a childcare setting. This book is about Llama Llama’s first day at nursery school, and how it might feel strange at first. Llama Llama sure misses his mama, but soon discovers that school is a lot of fun too. This last year has been a STRUGGLE trying to work from home full time with a toddler under foot, but somehow sending him back to daycare feels even more fraught than when I sent him as a baby. I mean, babies usually don’t care a whole lot where they are as long as someone is available to snuggle, change, and feed them. Now he’s got a whole personality and I’ve spent WAY more time at home with him than I did on maternity leave. I’ve been incredibly lucky that my job was so flexible with me when I didn’t feel safe sending him back to childcare during the height of the pandemic. It’s time, but it’s hard. We’ve also been reading We Don’t Eat Our Classmates for school-starting comic relief (review).
Ravi’s Roar by Tom Percival- A great choice for kids who have tantrums! Ravi is the littlest kid in his family and is frustrated by what he cannot do… So frustrated, in fact, that he loses his cool completely and turns into a tiger. RAWR! Eventually he realizes that while letting off steam feels good, nobody wants to play with a big mean tiger. The illustrations are super cute, and I like that it features a South Asian family. I’ve never been big on parenting books (though I recently read Raising Your Spirited Child and have been running around recommending it to everyone I know whose kid is just kind of “extra”) but I’ve always been a big proponent of using children’s books to address behavioral issues. It’s not a magical fix or anything, but it helps both the child and parent look at the issue from the child’s perspective. In this case, it’s very frustrating to be small and little injustices can add up quickly. Little kids have big feelings. I firmly believe Sam’s developmental needs are better served by helping him learn to manage his emotions rather than just sticking him in a time-out constantly. But I digress.
Alright folks, I think I’ve reached the end of my brain power for today. If you have any awesome kid books you’d like to mention, leave a comment. We don’t own the ENTIRE Scholastic book order collection. Yet.
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