Monday, February 4, 2013

What We’re Reading: 2012 Summary

The Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel are one of our family’s favorite series. Each chapter is a standalone story of a day, sometimes two, in the life of Frog and Toad. Their days are not terribly exciting. They wait for the mail, get ice cream, do chores, make lists of things to do, or try to not eat more cookies. Though their days may sound mundane, Frog and Toad are content in their simple life because their days are shared with their best friend, and we are always happy to spend part of our day with Frog and Toad.

Animal Music by Harriet Ziefert holds our household’s record for “most checked-out library book.” The library’s single copy of Animal Music is either at our house or sitting on the library’s shelf waiting for Ezra to check it out again on his next visit. I keep expecting the library to tell us to just keep it. This would make Ezra very happy, and I’m not sure any other library patron would notice its absence – which is a shame because it’s a great book. Divided into two sections, the first half of the book focuses on the lion’s marching band and the instruments and animal musicians that form the band. The second half shows the animal musicians and the instruments that compose the sheep’s dance band.

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak is one of the most often banned books, but is only removed from our shelf to read over and over again. Ezra, who often helps us bake, is fascinated with the main character’s, Mickey’s, dream of a surreal, late-night adventure with three bakers as they prepare breads and cakes for the next day. Like Mickey and the bakers, Ezra chants, “Milk in the batter! Milk in the batter! Stir it! Scrape it! Make it! Bake it!” whenever he helps make bread, muffins or scones. Like Mickey, he is often naked while doing so.
Nudity (which is the cause of In the Night Kitchen's troubles) has not led to our banning Ezra from our kitchen. 

Ezra’s daycare introduced us to Olivia, the hyperactive, creative and opinionated pig, in the series of books by Ian Falconer. We even met her at an event at the public library. I was surprised by how quiet she is in person. At home, our favorite books in the series are Olivia Helps with Christmas and Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy.

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman was Ezra’s very favorite book for months. By chance, our local theatre company’s, Cardinal Stage’s, summer production for children was a musical version the book. Ezra carried brochures for the show around for weeks. Handing them out. Telling everyone that would listen that he was going to see Go, Dog. Go!, and they should too. He should have received a commission on tickets sold. I was less excited and more intrigued. Go, Dog. Go! lacks a plot, is repetitive and random, and I was curious how the book could sustain a one hour show. The show ended up being awesome. I’m glad I listened to Ezra’s recommendation.
Ezra holding his playbill waiting for the show to begin.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is another of Ezra’s favorite books to check out from the library. He calls the book the “Tree that loves the boy.” I enjoy most of Silverstein’s poems and songs, but The Giving Tree, as children's literature, makes me feel a little uncomfortable. The female tree keeps giving more and more of herself to the boy (later, a man) she loves because his happiness makes her happy. “But not really.” By the end, nothing is left of her except a stump.

What else have we been reading? Check-out more "What we're reading" posts:

Moo, Baa, La La La
Peek a Who
Manhood for Amateurs

No comments: