However, as I've grown older and started working with children 15 years ago, I began to familiarize myself with lots and lots of children's books, many which have been written since I was a child. I have found that the books today go far beyond fairy tales and orphans. Many of the books I grew up reading ended up having a sad and frightening message for children. Working with young children for most of my adult life, I've ended up in many book stores and libraries. Finding new books to read to them (and myself) have been a joy.
I have to say it really came into full gear when I had my first child. Around 16 months she was captivated by 20 page books. She wanted no part of the 1 word books and images. I don't recall ever getting those for her. She loved stories. She still does. We used to go to the library once a week and pick out books together. I'd have her take the books out of our bag and drop them in the return bin. It was a ritual. I think reading to her and seeing her love books has energized me and given me a new love for reading. My favorite time with my girls is snuggling in bed and reading a stack of books. It makes me happy that my second one is also a lover of books and can share some of the longer stories with her sister.
Some of the books we were reading at 16 months and the older one signing as she flips through books.
I do have requirements when picking out books both in the library and online. I LOVE the reserve feature since I can cross reference books from Amazon and then put them on my library list. Once we have read them, the ones the kids and I enjoy are then shared on My Library Thing on the right side of this screen.
My requirements for books:
- people vs. animals for characters (there are many exceptions depending on the story)
- beautiful images
- interesting stories of people, culture, places, historic figures
- topics we have talked about, traveling to, or experiencing
- gardening, nature, food, cooking, biographies, science are a few of the topics
- re-read books depending on the season, holiday, or pure enjoyment
- we avoid Disney, Sesame Street, Fairy Tales, Dora, Spunge Bob, Bob the Builder, etc
- Curious George has made it into the house but only the newer ones, it started as a gift and now it's a recognizable character (hence my weariness in starting with the above mentioned ones).
- we read at any point in the day, but select only 2-3 at night time and then lights off no matter what.
As you will note from my frequent Facebook postings on books we are reading, I like to share the books we checked out and my thoughts on them. Currently, I have maxed out our checkouts and have another 13 on a wait list. I hope not to turn the passion into an obsession. We check out many of the same books at least a few times a year. I try very hard not to get behind on returning or renewing, but it does happen. I often joke that I've managed to keep 1 branch open with our late fees (honestly, it's just a joke).
I have stopped asking for books as gifts and we try to stick to the library as much as possible. The occasional book is given and we love it, it's just finding a place for it in this small house that is becoming a struggle.
My first sewing project- the books sling where we keep the library books (it's just not enough anymore.)
We try to stay organized by keeping library books in the room and our books on the bookshelf in the living room. TRY is the key word.
If you get a chance, check out our Facebook page for book reviews and ideas for new books, and keep in touch to get updates on all new book postings. This is easier and faster than blog posts. Usually I post 2-3 books per week.
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