Saturday, June 23, 2012

First Date + Books We Love

Today I took our almost 3-yr. old on a date to the movies for the first time. I considered this quite the privilege because I have very fond memories of my Dad taking my siblings and I to the movies all throughout my childhood. We would go on Sundays (my Dad doesn't care much for crowds), often to The Villa on Highland Drive (which sadly has since been converted into an ginormous imported rug warehouse) that often featured a hand-painted mural of the film on the side of the building by the entrance. We would always get popcorn and on the way home, we would talk about what we each thought about the movie (I think my brother is the one who started this ritual...I still remember him pressing us to rate the film based on 1-4 stars). I think I did good job upholding this fun childhood tradition today, minus the facts that I picked a 3D showing (the movie could hold his attention, the glasses could not), I got us there before the movie started, but not before the theater was entirely pitch black...Benjamin is one brave little dude, but by the time we stumbled into our seats, he was pretty insistent on sitting on my lap for the entire 2 hrs. (good thing he's still light). About half way through, I too decided that I don't care for the bells and whistles of 3D....a plain old movie on the big screen is plenty of entertainment for me! But that's all okay. We still had fun. But better than the movie was when my son looked at me twice during the film and gave me a big hug. He knew that it was his special day. His special time with me, and I am already looking forward to many more little dates with just him and I. :)

The other day I came across the children's book, Along Came You. I instantly feel in love with its sweet, simple message, so I bought it. Even though we've now had to resort to storing some of our children's books under Benjamin's bed (the mini kids bookshelf filled up about a year ago...), I'm always on the look out for good ones. Make that really good ones (have you ever noticed how there are lots of so-so ones out there?) and thought it was about time I shared our list of favorites that's been growing ever since we started going to the library. What a great place that library is. 

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Along Came You 
by Karona Drummond and Estelle Corke
Why we love: This book does a beautiful job of positively explaining the transition that takes place once a child arrives. I was speechless and teary eyed while reading it, but in awe when I got to the very last line...."Before you I was me. After you, I am still me but you are with me. Life became amazing after you." Have you ever read something that captures everything involved with becoming a parent so perfectly?! I love this book so much I decided it's going to be my new gift to give to new parents. You can watch the entire book being read here on YouTube. 

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Drummer Hoff 
by Barbara and Ed Emberly
Why we love: Bright, cool, and creative illustration (winner of the Caldecott medal in 1968). Repetition. After reading it a couple of times to our 2 1/2 yr. old, he was reading it to us.

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by Helen Palmer and P.D. Eastman
Why we love: What child doesn't love to see consequences build? This book truly made my son's eyes grow wider and wider as he eagerly turned the pages to find out what was going to happen to Otto. Creative problem solving and imaginative solutions make this book easy to read again and again.

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by Crockett Johnson
Why we love: We've never read another book quite like this one. IT is quite possibly genius. I don't want to share any more than that because I'm that sure you too will get a kick out of each page revealing something clever and unexpected. Bart even excitingly shared how much he enjoyed reading it for the first time.

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by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle
Why we love: We love this book for two reasons. One, it's illustrated by Eric Carle, two, it's a got a good lesson about being happy with what you've got.

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by Kathryn Otoshi
Why we love: It's unique and fun. It tells a story while helping children learn their colors and numbers. It also has a good message about why it's not okay to leave someone out. I like those moral-of-the-story kindof books and think it's never too early to start teaching children right from wrong.

The Milkman
by Carol Foskett Cordsen
Why we love: It's poetic and sweet. Simple but touching. The illustrations fit perfectly in this 50s era time period and the way it's written takes me there 

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