I challenged myself to read 200 books in 2017, which includes the books I read to the kids. I mentioned with pride last night that I had reached nearly 50 books already in the first month of the year. A certain someone in the house (who shall rename nameless although I can tell you this conversation occurred after the normal hours of a child’s bedtime) commented that “it kind of seems like cheating to count the kids’ books.” And while I know he meant no harm, it got me thinking, as I tend to do from time to time (WHA??!!)
Sometimes in life, we begin where we are. Where am I? Spending much of my day with a child in my lap demanding my attention and dominating my thoughts. I could whine about this (let’s be honest, I do.) Or I could seize these moments as moments for me too. No, reading Brown Bear for the 500th time is not my favorite moment. Neither is that ridiculous Minni Mouse book with the obnoxious story and the uninspiring illustrations (sorry Disney) you HAD to check out. But so many other books we stumble upon leave me feeling like I just stole a moment for myself too. I let them pick the books THEY want to read, but then I also search for those that capture my attention. The stories that cut to the heart, the illustrations of pure beauty, the poetic messages that my children need to hear but that I kind of need to hear too. Why can’t these moments be for me too?
So in these monthly book reports I plan on highlighting the books that caught MY attention. Because everyone will tell you reading to the kids is important for learning and growing. But I like to argue to that it is a vital part of our development too.
In January, we read…
Extra Yarn By Mac Barnett. First off, a book after my little crafting heart. A girl who knits. And knits. And just keeps on knitting. Because she has the yarn, and she has the skill, and she has people who want beautiful sweaters. But I think the most beautiful part of the whole thing is that it makes her very happy. #makergoals
Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers. What was fun about this book is there are short stories, only a couple pages, for each letter. So you can kind of treat it like a chapter book but also jump around. Yet, in the great subtle humor part of Jeffers’ work, if you look closely you can see how the stories start to blend together. This one is fun.
Bear’s Winter Party by Deborah Hodge. I want to get this book and curl up with it every winter. This touched a chord with me about the struggles of making friends and how sometimes the simplest gestures like inviting some friends to a party can make a huge difference. Lessons on community are strong in this one. And the pictures are so lovely. And the bear going to hybernate at the end with peace in heart because of the comforting knowledge that he has friends? That is everything to me.
Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea & This is Moose by Richard T. Morris. I highlight both of these books together because I love them for the same reason, they are hilarious. The number one requirement is they are read with the best dramatic readers in the family, preferably one who can do a great Wild West accent (that’s a thing) and also a great Movie director accent (also a thing.) You will be giggling so much from these books. Also these books were gifts to the kids from my sister and brother respectively which goes to show good book taste runs in the family.
The Nix by Nathan Hill. NOT a kids book, but I’m reading for me too. I read this in book club and it was really fantastic. It is LONG and I think if I were the editor, I might have suggested cutting it down a touch. However, the way this author goes deep into the psyche of characters is applaud worthy. Essentially, the book weaves challenging family dynamics with a backdrop of the political protests in the 1960s. Only a portion of the book is about the 60s but I liked that part the most and it made me want to know more. While the book is an investment, it is a fantastic combination of dark humor, personal reflection, family conflict, and political perspectives. This one challenged me in the best kind of way.
Of course I could sit here and talk about books all afternoon. Cup of tea in hand. Cozy fire in the fireplace. It’s snowing outside but I’m at a lodge somewhere in the mountains so it’s ok because I don’t have to shovel it. And our kids are nowhere to be seen, or heard for that matter. Maybe you’re knitting something. We’re both in sweats, or maybe big puffy sweaters.
Alright, I’m getting carried away with this fantasy. Either way, point being, I love to talk books but there are only so many spaces for words. So check out my Good Reads account for more of what I’m reading. I’m horrible at reviewing but I at least give them a rating (which isn’t all that helpful because I tend to really love all books and being ruthless is difficult for me.) Also, TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE READING! I didn’t mean to shout that. What I meant to say was, I love to talk books so share all of your favorites and I will put them on my next library cue.
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase through them, I make a small commission. That being said, these are my honest opinions and I was not paid to talk about any of the products mentioned. I just think they are pretty great! Happy Shopping!