Juvenile Pile: Animals, Baseball, and the Circus

We’re slowing chipping away at the mountain of books we brought home from the library last month. Here are some of the books we’ve been reading in our house this week.

I seem to have misplaced one book. I hope it turns up before library time.

Woodward and McTwee was a bizarre, but funny, Level 2 easy reader. It had Christopher laughing out loud, which is rare for this type of book. It centers around Woodward, a rhino, and McTwee, a bird, who are friends and enjoy tricking each other.

The book is broken into two stories that are really independent of each other, which is perfect because 32 pages can be a lot for an early reader to get through in one sitting. We made it throughout without a problem because as I’ve said before, Christopher should really be reading Level 3 books. Next library trip, I’ll pay closer attention to his selections. 4 stars

Christopher raided the Dr. Seuss section of the library, and he managed to find several books he (and I) hadn’t read yet. If I Ran the Circus is one of them. A young boy imagines cleaning up the lot behind a store in his town and setting up a circus. The book digresses into a chronicle of all of the strange creatures and acts that he’d have in his circus.

Many of them feature Mr. Sneelock, the owner of the store, doing crazy stunts. The boy, Morris McGurk, assures the reader that good, old Sneelock won’t mind. It’s silly and out there. It’s very verbose, as many Dr. Seuss books are, and it’s full of made up words that trip even the adult reader up, which I’m sure is always nice for young readers to observe. 3 stars

Halloween Mice is a Level 1 easy reader, but it’s the kind that doesn’t really tell a cohesive story. It’s full of onomatopoeias and statements about what the mice are doing, but Christopher was a little bored by it. I think even a true level 1 reader might have been.

The mice are out in costume on Halloween night, and they run into a cat. They have to devise a plan to get away from the cat, but up until that point, the story is a little all over the place: dancing in the moonlight in the pumpkin patch at midnight. I didn’t follow the motivation. It wasn’t something kids associate with Halloween, except that they were in costume. 2 stars

Fourth of July Mice! was another Level 1 book. It was a little better. The activities the mice did in this book: march in a parade, play baseball, watch fireworks, were more in line with the typical holiday celebrations. The little mouse and his stuffed animal mouse added some humor and delight to the story. There’s a cute bit at the end about him overcoming his fear of the water in order to rescue to Mr. Mouse.

I think we both enjoyed this “mice” story more than the Halloween book. I’m not sure I’d ever read an easy reader again because in general they’re not great literature, but this one I would at least recommend to parents of early readers. 3 stars

Among a Thousand Fireflies is unique in that instead of illustrations, the pictures are photographs of actual fireflies. And they’re beautiful!

The words are very poetic and educational. It tells of a female firefly flashing her light among a thousand other fireflies looking for the one other firefly who can match her pattern. It’s a mating tale, but I didn’t really pick up on that until the very end.

The last page includes so scientific information, which I really enjoyed and did read to Christopher although he could have done without it. 4 stars

This last book I picked up at BEA, and I’m so glad I don’t have to return it to the library. My First Book of Baseball teaches the rules of baseball in a VERY easy to understand way. It kind of lays out a baseball game (very abbreviated) with clearly displayed inning numbers and score board, but also walks through all of the baseball terms – home room, bases loaded, defense, offense, positions, etc.

I think this book is a must have for anyone looking to teach their young child about baseball. We read it Thursday night after Christopher’s baseball game, and it was a nice reinforcement. We need to take him to a professional game now to see some of the more advanced things played out. T-ball doesn’t really have balls or doubles or grand slams, ya know? And, he didn’t know Take Me Out to the Ball Game. My dad would definitely say I failed as a parent there. I sang him the song, but we need to go experience a 7th Inning Stretch. (And Roll Out the Barrel because we live in WI, and apparently that’s a thing here. Along with the sausage race, which is my favorite part of a Brewers game.) But I digress. 5 stars

I might need to buy the football version. Other than Lisa Wheeler’s dino sports books and some sports movies (The Mighty Ducks and Rookie of the Year primarily), we haven’t exposed Christopher to the rules or specifics of many sports.

What did your kids make you read this week? What are they reading on their own?

On the blog last year…

Book Review: Me & Emma

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  1. Sounds like a great mix of books… I hoping to start getting in to Dr. Seuss books with my son now he is getting a little older. It'll be an experience for the both of us because I don't recall reading many of them when a youngster.

    I hope the missing books turns up!!

    1. Dr. Seuss books are so fun. Enjoy! We started with Go, Dog, Go when my son was about 2. It was his favorite book for the longest time.

      I found the missing book. Yay! It was actually stuck between two of the other books when I took the picture. Haha.

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