WWW Wednesdays – March 19, 2014

WWW Wednesdays

Since I used my last WWW Wednesdays update to share the books I recently read, I thought I’d use this update to catch up on some of the books my kids have been reading and enjoying. Some children’s books make a more lasting impression than others. Below is a small selection of books that we really enjoyed, made us laugh or made us think in the past couple of months. If you’re looking for some children’s book ideas, I hope these are helpful.

By the way, one of my most favorite books, The Giver by Lois Lowry, is finally going to be a movie, 20 years after being published. Gosh, I hope the movie doesn’t disappoint. It has a lot to live up to.

Books we really enjoyed

Journey by Aaron BeckerJourney by Aaron Becker. I’m disappointed this book didn’t win the 2014 Caldecott Medal, as I think its illustrations were mind blowing and highly imaginative compared to the winner Locomotive (that book is still OK, by the way, but way too long to read out loud). In Journey, using a red marker (remember Harold and the Purple Crayon, except this book is wordless), a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and enters another world. There she experiences many adventures, including being captured by an evil emperor. The denouement reveals who comes to her rescue, making young readers understand that with a little imagination, anything is possible. By far one of the best books we’ve read in the past few months.

Mr. Wuffles! by David WiesnerMr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner. Poor Mr. Wuffles seems very uninspired by his many cat toys, except for one single toy, which happens to be a spaceship belonging to tiny aliens the size of ants. After Mr Wuffles damages their spaceship, the aliens must venture in the human and cat world to find a way to repair their aircraft so they can go back to their world. Except for a few speech bubbles featuring alien talk (and you can figure out what the hieroglyphics text actually says if you’re smart!), this book is mostly wordless, in a comic book format. There’s so much to look at on each page, this book will entertain curious kids for hours.

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. We enjoy reading Mac Barnett’s books and this is one of our favorite. Annabelle finds a box containing yarn and starts knitting for everyone in the town, somehow her yarn supply never running out. That’s until a greedy archduke decides to get the extra yarn for himself. My kids love the ending of this book, which clearly shows that mean people don’t get zilch by being nasty.

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson. This book is magic for all readers, as it invites you to tap, rub, touch, and wiggle the lovely illustrations to make an apple tree bloom, produce fruit, and lose its leaves. What a smart and cute way to display a tree’s yearly cycle!

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy CookeA Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke. This is one of the CUTEST animal books I’ve ever read. And after reading this book, I dare you not to like sloths. Featuring many photos of baby (and adult) sloths, this book educates you about their fascinating world. It contains tons of facts my kids and I didn’t know, and it even inspired my son to write a non-fiction story about sloths for his writing period at school. Animal books can’t get any better than this one.

Books that made us laugh

Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley. Imagine reading a quiet storybook when suddenly, a crocodile appears and wreaks havoc on the characters. Will you close the book shut, or take a peek inside to see what happens next? My kids and I love interactive books and this is a great one.

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam LehrhauptWarning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt. This is another interactive book where the narrator warns you not to open it. And if you do, watch out for the many monkeys, toucans, and even alligators you release and the mayhem that follows. Er, how do you get them back inside?

Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds. It’s tough being a meat eater when you try to make friends with plant eaters but you feel misunderstood. Is it your fault that your diet includes the critters you’re trying to blend in with? This book is not for the squeamish (no blood, I promise) but it’s very funny!

The hiccupotamus by Aaron ZenzThe Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz. I haven’t had this much fun reading a book out loud for a long time, and it gets funnier every time. I mean, the whole book is like this:
There was a hippopotamus
who hiccupped quite-a-lotamus.
And every time he got’emus . . .
he’d fall upon his bottomus!
So what do you do to help a hippo who has the hiccups? You’ll have to read the storytamus to find the answeramus…

Books that made us think

Back Of The Bus by Aaron Reynolds. Rosa Parks’ defiance and arrest is shown from the eyes of an African American child sitting at the back of the bus with his mom. The child wonders why the bus doesn’t move when Rosa Parks stays in her seat at the front of the bus, and he hears his mom worry, “There you go, Rosa Parks, stirrin’ up a nest of hornets.” But both mother and child slowly realize that this time may be different. My kids both were studying the civil rights movement when we read this book, and it was a wonderful way to give them a child’s perspective.

Unspoken : A Story From The Underground Railroad by Henry ColeUnspoken : A Story From The Underground Railroad by Henry Cole. Unspoken is absolutely brilliant: just like its title, it doesn’t feature a single word, making its story even more powerful. A Southern farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him by feeding him on his journey. No a single word is spoken between the two, and the girl keeps his presence a secret from everyone, even when the confederate soldiers offer a reward. Even if you don’t read children’s books, you should grab a copy of Unspoken and find out how a picture really can be worth a thousand words.

On A Beam Of Light : A Story Of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne. This is a great book that Einstein’s life from his earlier years, showing how he always questioned the world and universe surrounding him, and how he never stopped imagining, which led him to make groundbreaking discoveries.

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23 responses to “WWW Wednesdays – March 19, 2014

  1. This takes me back to my days of reading picture books with my boys. Back when they used to cuddle with me. Sigh.

    I’m currently reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. Really good, but I’m only 1/4 of the way done with it, and it’s due back at the library tomorrow. I’ll never make it!

    • I love stumbling upon fun or interesting children’s books, especially to read aloud.
      I hear you about not finishing books in time. I recently had to do that with a book on writing and I ordered it again the day I returned it. I also just had to return a Jack Reacher book I had started but had to pause to read 12 years a slave. I realized my library has the ebook version available right away so I ordered that instead of the physical book. I don’t like reading on the tablet much but I don’t want to wait several books to read the end of a thriller/suspense book.

      • I’m debating whether to just get an overdue charge. I never do that! But it’s a hot pick, and I can’t renew it. Maybe I’ll be bad just this once. ;)

      • I guess it all depends how fast you can finish the book. The fine might be a good incentive to read fast! I think our library system still does the fine free Fridays. Once a month, you can return your late items on that Friday and they wave your fine. But that’s after letting the fine pile up for days, sometimes weeks. I’d rather pay the fine and return the item as soon as I’m done.

      • I’m such a wimp. I saw it was only $5.99 for the Kindle version so I just bought it from Amazon. That way I can return the book tomorrow. Oh, why must I always be so well-behaved?…

      • I bet the fine would cost you less but it’s nice of you to return the book so others can read it. :-)

      • That book looks really good, by the way. I’m going to have to read it.

  2. That’s exciting about the Giver being made into a movie. I know what you mean though about them not ruining it. I’ve seen too many movies that take liberties they shouldn’t with awesome books.

  3. The sloth and the hippopotamus ones look like a lot of fun. I’ll be looking forward to The Giver movie. Thanks again for recommending that one!

    • I don’t know if I would recommend you to read The Giver before seeing the movie. I honestly think the book has to be better than the movie, as it is usually the case, so the movie first might be a good idea. But the whole story is so amazing, I’m afraid the movie first would spoil the book…

      • I ended up reading all the books because I loved The Giver so much. Thank you for recommending them a while ago. I can’t wait to see if the movie will show the society as I imagined it to be.

      • Oh, I’m so glad you read them all. The movie trailer seems to show a similar description of the world in the book, but we’ll have to wait and see. I hope more people become familiar with this story, whether they end up reading the book or not afterwards. It has a very important message and warning for all of us.

  4. OK, I need to steal a child so I can read The Hiccupotamus and not seem weird. I’ll try to refrain though! :)

  5. Looks like you guys are having fun. Great selection.

  6. Thanks for all the effort you put into these blog posts. I keep them for reference purposes. :-)

  7. I just love how you express your book review. In the book Journey alone, I already imagined myself entering the door too with tons of adventures waiting to unfold. Just rented at the library several books for my son and one of which is the Easter Story which got nothing to do with Easter bunny and eggs but more on the rebirth of faith and light in the world. It’s something I’m excited to share with my son this Lent in April. Have a great wonderful week ahead and best of blessings to you & your family.

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