Tag Archives: Mr Putter & Tabby paint the porch

Our favorite adult literature and children’s books of 2011

WWW Wednesdays

You may have noticed I didn’t post a WWW Wednesdays update yesterday. I simply ran out of time. It was my mom’s last vacation day with us and I couldn’t find enough time in front of the computer to write up my weekly update.

Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

I did want to share with you a wonderful book I just finished a few days ago called Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. What an amazing book to learn about this less often told part of history, i.e. Stalin’s own ethnic cleansing of large parts of Eastern Europe that killed 20 million people (he sure got bragging rights over Hitler in the genocide category). Sepetys based her book on her own family’s experiences as well as testimonies from many Lithuanian families. This gives her story a very real feeling when you understand this type of events really happened to millions of uprooted families sent to Siberian forced labor camps. This is a poignant, personal first novel I highly recommend.

Now, instead of doing my weekly WWW Wednesdays update, I thought I’d make a list of our favorite books we read in 2011 and I encourage you to read them too.

My best adult literature book picks of 2011

A dog's purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A dog's purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. By far the best book I’ve read this year. It made me laugh, it made me cry and made me enjoy a story about dogs when I’m a cat person. Great storytelling.

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. Such a great premise and angle for this murder mystery book. I couldn’t put it down and went on to read book #2 in the series, Never Have I Ever. Read it, you won’t regret it.

Room by Emma Donoghue. The first third of this book (the captivity part) kept me on the edge. The rest of it sucked me right in and surprised me several times on the way. This is a wonderful book on a very painful subject.

My best children’s book picks of 2011

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson. Rhyming stories of a tiny mouse outsmarting a terrifying larger than life gruffalo.

 The Mr Putter & Tabby book series by Cynthia Rylant. These are wonderful, funny, kind and sweet stories about Mr Putter, his cat Tabby, his neighbor Mrs Teaberry and her dog Zeke. Our very favorite are Mr Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch, Mr Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears (zing!) and Mr Putter & Tabby Feed the Fish (bat bat bat…).

There Are Cats in This Book and its sequel There Are No Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz. These are interactive, hilarious books to read over and over with the kids, even if you’re not a cat person. Kids love to memorize all the lines and read the story on their own, laughing out loud.

What are your favorite book picks for 2011?

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WWW Wednesdays – a new weekly post theme

WWW WednesdaysOne of my fellow bloggers (thanks, Sharon!) picked up this weekly post idea from another blogger, who got it from another… and since I love books and reading, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon too. By taking part in the W… W… W… Wednesdays post theme, I hope to share answers to these same questions every Wednesday:

– What I’m currently reading
– What I recently finished reading
– What I think I’ll read next

As a mom, I thought it would be a good idea to share the books I read on my own, as well as those I read with my kids and think other young kids would enjoy. Our house hosts about 50 library books at any time, so I’ll share the best of them each time. Here we go!

My bookshelf

1) What are you currently reading? 

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
I should be done with this book today and it’s been very insightful. I’ve learned more about where our food comes from than I ever wanted to know, and how messed up the corn industry really is. This explains why there’s corn everywhere, from our food, to pet food, livestock feed, even car gasoline (ethanol, anyone?). I also learned that “organic” doesn’t always mean “mom and pop farm”, quite the opposite. While the author shares his personal experiences with food, he includes a lot of facts and research and doesn’t condone anyone for eating meat or some other questionable foods. If you want to know what’s really on your plate and your kids’ plates, this is a great place to start.

2) What did you recently finish reading?

Holes by Louis Sachar
What a great read! I’m buying a permanent copy for our home bookshelf, and I can’t wait for my boys to be old enough to read this book. This is what great writing looks like, and the kind of juvenile literature that will give kids (and adults alike) a genuine love for reading.

3) What do you think you’ll read next?

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
I had no idea the famous movie was a book first. Since most books are a lot better than the movies they inspire, I thought, why not try it.

Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride by Kate DiCamillo

My kids’ bookshelf

1) What are they currently reading? 

After I read The Tale of Despereaux on my own, I realized Kate DiCamillo has a series of books with attractive illustrations about a pig named Mercy Watson. So we’re currently reading Mercy Watson To The Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride. My oldest loves these books and my youngest, who’s just over three, is now patient enough to sit through the whole story (the vivid images help a lot). I definitely recommend Mercy’s adventures to little ones!

Some other new favorites are Rita and Whatsit and the Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold (great book series for early readers).

2) What did they recently finish reading?

Mr Putter & Tabby Pick The Pears by Cynthia Rylant

We’ve read most of the Mr Putter & Tabby collection by Cynthia Rylant. Our favorite picks so far are Mr Putter & Tabby Pick The Pears and Mr Putter & Tabby Paint The Porch. Both storylines along with their illustrations are simple hilarious. Where else can you see a pink squirrel and a blue chipmonk?

3) What do you think they’ll read next?

I’m not sure.I’ve ordered lots of books at the library and don’t know what’s coming next, but I hope for some more Mercy Watson.

What about you? What’s on your bookshelf or nightstand these days? Any books you may recommend for me or my kids?

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