Tag Archives: Skippyjon Jones

WWW Wednesdays – June 22, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

Welcome back to WWW Wednesdays! The kids have been doing a lot more reading than me this week and we’ve discovered a few great books to share.

My bookshelf

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson– What I’m currently reading
I just started reading Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson last night. I was very tired and needed the sleep but it was hard to put it down. I can’t wait to find out how this story turns out.

– What I recently finished reading
Earlier this week I finished Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Although it was easy to read, entertaining and informative, it seems that Pollan spends more time telling us what not to eat, rather than what to eat. Probably because nobody really knows what the “perfect” diet really is, since food and its thousands of nutrients are so complicated to understand. What did I get out of it? Eat a reasonable amount of foods, go for variety and simple ingredients, and make sure to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Voila!

I also read Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) by Antoine de Saint Exupery in a couple of sittings. As a French native, the only other St Exupery book I’ve read so far is Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), one of my very favorite books, so it was great to read more of this wonderful, poet-in-prose author. This book gives great insight on what it was like to work for the airline mail courier L’Aeropostale in the late 1920s, as St Exupery did himself, including flying at night to compete with mail services by ship and train. A very chilling story about bravery and humanity.

What I think I’ll read next
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. I grabbed this book off the youth literature shelf at the library simply because I liked the cover but I have no idea if it’s any good. It won the Newbery medal, so it can’t be too bad! The inside jacket describes it as the story of two Japanese sisters who move to the Deep South, in Georgia, with their parents, so the premise looks interesting.

Flotsam by David Wiesner

Flotsam by David Wiesner

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
We’re been reading a lot of new books but they do have a few favorites, including Flotsam by David Wiesner. We’re big fans of Wiesner and this book doesn’t disappoint. This illustrator makes you understand why sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. By the way, if you haven’t read The Three Pigs with your kids, you’re missing out – it’s pure genius. Other new favorites include Chicken Butt and Chicken Butt’s Back by Erica S. Perl. What kid doesn’t like stories mentioning the word “butt” a dozen times? Very, very funny.

– What they recently finished reading
Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, and Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse. We have the audiobook versions and it’s great to have Judy Schachner read her own stories to the kids. Especially because my tongue can never read a Skippyjon Jones book without messing up a few lines, and Schachner’s voice is so fun and entertaining. Holy frijoles!

What I think they’ll read next
Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans, and Mr Putter & Tabby Spin the Yarn by Cynthia Rylant. We do have the books but the kids have been too busy with others to take serious interest in these two so far.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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Skippyjon Jones, or how big ears can provide a big imagination

Skippyjon Jones

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Recently I decided that my three-and-a-half-year-old son was old enough to start reading the Skippyjon Jones books, by Judy Schachner.

I suggest you start with the first of the series, “Skippyjon Jones” and then move on to the others in no particular order, “Skyppyjon Jones and the big bones”, “Skippyjon Jones, lost in spice”, “Skippyjon Jones in mummy trouble”, “Skippyjon Jones in the doghouse”, etc. If you can, get the books with the audio version on CD read by the author herself. She’s not only a great writer, but also a wonderful story teller! Her voice instantly brings all characters to life and you can’t help yourself from following along and clapping on cue.

As you’ll soon find out, Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with large ears and an even larger imagination, or possibly a personality disorder… When you share these stories with your kids, you’ll hear them say every day, “My ears are to beeg for my head. My head is too beeg for my body. I am not a Siamese cat, I am a Chihuahua!”. Eventually your kids will come up with similar sayings on their own, out of their own imagination, so enjoy listening in and seeing what they come up with!

I love how Skippyjon Jones creates his own adventures in his bedroom closet, even though those usually end up abruptly, with a sudden return to reality. Reading the Skippyjon Jones books is a great way to remember what it was like to be that age and invent your own stories. Now, I get to enjoy seeing my children be encouraged to do the same.

Obviously, I never saw as a child how much imagination my little brain contained, so it’s a wonderful experience to see creativity in action with my own children. Too quickly, society will ask them to conform to “the norm”, so I believe it is my responsibility as a parent to preserve and encourage their free play and flow of imagination. And what better way to reconnect with my own inner child that to take part in their adventures?

Freebie: Skippyjon Jones has its own website, with games and short clips!

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