Juvenile Pile: Adventure, Oddity, and P.D. Eastman

Christopher finished the last of his second 6 hours of reading last Saturday, so we went to the library to redeem his prize. This time he selected a coupon for ice skating. Then Monday (August 1st) started the “August Challenge” at the library. He had the choice between reading another 6 hours or doing special types of reading (similar to my reading bingo). He chose the 6 hours. He’s already read 1 hour this week.

Christopher reading Are You My Mother?

He’s also making good progress on book bingo. He only has 6 squares left, and we selected books for each square while we were at the library. Hopefully he can finish up by the end of summer. A couple of squares require chapter books, so those may take a while.

Here’re some of the books we’ve been reading recently.

We’ve gotten Bang! Boom! Roar! out of the library before, several years ago. Christopher remembered it when he saw it at the library last weekend, so we checked it out again. I read this book as the words are pretty tricky.

It’s an alphabet book, but each page has a jumble of phrases with many words beginning with the designated letter. It has a lot of good rhyming, but it’s not really a story. The dinosaurs are a construction team that ultimately build a cool playground. It’s not a favorite of mine, but Christopher liked it well enough.
3 stars

I saw something about Going Places on Twitter (I think) recently, and it mentioned being about go-carts. I thought that would be a perfect read since Christopher and Jim are working on a soapbox derby car. I reserved it from the library. I read this one too, and we both really enjoyed it.

This book is so cute! Each student in the class gets a kit to build their go-cart. One of the boys follows the directions perfectly, but then he notices the girl next door building something more creative because she wants to fly. They decide to team up and make a plane.
4 stars

Just Grandma and Me is one of my favorite Little Critter books. I selected this one from our bookshelf for Christopher to read as his “Book about the Ocean.” It was a bit of a stretch, and it was an easier read than I thought. He was able to read the whole book in 5 minutes. Mercer Meyer avoids using hard words and opts for easier alternatives instead without ruining the story.

I love how it’s told from the boy’s perspective. It’s so cute to see his view of the days events. We usually hunt for the spider and grasshopper on each page, but we didn’t do that this time.
5 stars

Are You My Mother? is another classic from our own bookshelf. P.D. Eastman books are hit and miss with me, but I really like this one. It tells a cohesive story about a bird looking for his mother and all of the other animals he encounters on his search. Many books we’ve tried this week fit this same format, but none do it quite as well as this original.

Christopher read this as his “Book about a Baby Animal,” and he was a little distracted wondering, “How can the [insert every animal] talk?” This was the first book he’s read in a while where I wasn’t looking at the words, and he didn’t make any mistakes.

4 stars

Go, Dog. Go!, also by P.D. Eastman, is a book I don’t really care for. Although Christopher loves it! It was probably his favorite book when he was 2-3 years old. We read it almost every night, and he could recite the first 30 pages or so.

This was the first time he read the whole book on his own. But the contents are just so strange! It does a lot of telling about the pictures, which is good for an early reader book. And when Christopher was young I think it helped him learn a lot about opposites and the way things work in the world – especially stop lights and cars.
3 stars

Big Snowman, Little Snowman is a Step 1 book we somehow missed when we were having our yard sale. I selected it as a “Book about Winter” one night when Christopher was over tired and needed a super easy read.

This book is so weird! It’s a mix of rhyming phrases, somewhat following the Frozen story line, with tons of odd opposites thrown in. Why? Just, why? Someone gave this book to Jim for some reason, and it’s just not very good, even for a Step 1 book.

It’s going in the Goodwill pile today.

2 stars

After reading Journey last week, I had to reserve Quest from the library right away. This second book in Aaron Becker’s wordless picture book trilogy isn’t quite as good as the first.

It’s kind of confusing. I think we missed some of what was happening. I think the story line of this book – a quest that the 2 children are on – was harder to communicate without words. The illustrations are still beautiful, and the spirit of the book is still fun.

3 stars

What has your family read this week?

On the blog last year…

Book Review: Every Last Word (YA)

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