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Monday, September 10, 2012

ABCs and 123s

So in honor of Sean and I being new foster parents I have a list of some of our favorite books that we read to the kids. It's a combination of our personal favorites and the boys personal favorites. We have been trying to teach the kids the importance of reading. Dom just started kindergarten and so far he loves it. So far he has come home and told me all about the books he reads at school. I'm so happy they love the books so much.

1. Eric Carle is a wonderful children's book writer. I have always loved him. Most people love his Hungry Caterpillar, however my personal favorite is Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. For those of you who have never read the book, its about this little girl who wants to play with the moon and asks her father to get her the moon. Most adorable part is how her father gets the moon for her. I have always loved the book and it shows a good father would do anything for his little ones.

2. In Maine, we have a program called Raising Readers. The program was designed to encourage parents and children to read at least 20 minutes a day. At every doctor's visit from the time they are born till five years old they are given books. Now I know this may not be something all states provide. I know this program is just in Maine and hopefully one day will reach out to other states. This was one of the books Markus brought home from his wellness visit and he looooves it. He had us read it right away and periodically he will pull it out and request it to be read. Pouch! by David Ezra Stein has an adorable story line and and the pictures are wonderful. The book is about a little kangaroo who explores outside the pouch and occasionally gets sacred. It's just so cute.

3. When I graduated my older sister presented me with a book. Now it wasn't Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss like most graduates receive. Yay, You!: Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On by Sandra Boynton is such an adorable little book about life's changes. The illustrations are so funny. It's more of an adult way of looking at the changes that come when one is approaching life. It talks about where you might live as well as when you get older weight may become an issue for you. However, most importantly the boys love the book. It's still appropriate for kids and its simply silly.

4. When the boys first came to us, we were so overwhelmed. Sean and I were scared. I was the sole provider for the household, we haven't had our own children yet, and our little place was barely big enough for us let alone two children. It was terrifying and we were scared there was a possibility that they boys would be taken from us once Child Services saw what we had to provide. Thankfully they were very supportive and have been wonderful about making it known they aren't taking the boys. Two days after the boys moved in I realized we didn't have enough books for the kids. I had plenty of kids books because I was an aunt, but I felt not enough. So I went out that day and came home with three giant bags filled to the top with books. This became a family favorite. ABC by Dr. Seuss. The book is just a jumble of nonsense but I think that's the best part. The illustrations are of course wonderful. The only downside to the book is after every reading I feel like I'm out of breath. :)

5. This book was so different . It was one of those books I had picked up when I went book shopping for the boys. What made me zone in on the book was how different the illustrations were. It was truly amazing. The book, Mole's Hill by Lois Ehlert is just wonderful. The boys love to pick out the shapes in the book that make up the beautiful pictures. We absolutely love it. The book is about Mole and one day she is told by Fox that she must move her home. From there Mole tries to save her beloved home. I adore the way she saves it too. It makes me smile.

6. Another wonderful program called Maine Reads, provided books to all the kindergartners at the open house for school. The program itself is devoted to encouraging More of the residents of Maine to read. They provide programs like The Maine Book Festival, Read With ME, and Maine Community Literacy Project. The Literacy Project provides grants to all ages in Maine and run lots of interesting competitions for people to compete in. When Dominick came home with Shape Capers By Catheryn Falwell, I was pretty excited. The book itself is written and illustrated by a Maine resident and who doesn't love to support locals in their endeavors. The book is geared to teach children about their shapes and what shapes can make if you use your imagination. It's a pretty adorable book and I love how colorful it is.

7. Jan Brett has always been loved in our family. My siblings and I grew up with her beautiful books. They are so simple yet the illustrations bring a lovely complexity to the story. The one book I have carried with me since my childhood was he Beauty and the Beast. The retelling of the beloved fairy tale is not the wonderful part. It's the illustrations. I can't help but treasure this book. There are so many stains on it at this point that it makes me sad. It's been with me through childhood, high school, college, and lastly adulthood. The boys love to look at the pictures and I'm happy the love it as much as I do.

8. My boys absolutely adore this next book. We have always kept a pretty large amount of Berenstain Bears Books in our house. They are extremely educational, age appropriate, and timeless. I love them and so doesn't the men in my life. No Girls Allowed by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a funny little story following Brother Bear and Sister Bear and the rivalry between not only siblings but boys verses girls. I always loved how Papa gets so upset when the boys make the clubhouse an all boys club excluding little sister bear.

9. Another Seuss classic happens to be Oh, the Things You Can Think. Now back in high school, I was part of the drama club and one of the plays we put on was Seussical the Musical. It was probably one of the best experiences I ever had from back then. I have a whole lot of memories from those three months. From the play there was one song that I loved the Oh the Things You Can Think the most. Book is another one of those come of age books that depicts troubles as you get older, but also how wonderful life can be. The drawings as always are wonderful. It's one of the books that I adore.

10. There is one book that I think every household should have this one book if any at all. It's the one book my mother used to read to us growing up and the one that I love to read to the boys. There has been movie after movie based off of the one family classic and is loved by all. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Miline is one of the most iconic children books. Our boys love this book just like any child does. The story is a long but we read a few pages a night and it's great for bed times. Just like the book, they love the movies. It's really cool after reading certain parts in the book being able to watch a movie that depicts it for them. All in all I think if your going to read any book with your kids, it should be this book.

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