Tag Archives: Children’s books

growing a princess

6 Sep

We have a budding little princess in our house.  Her favorite color is pink.  She likes to make her bed in a “fancy” sort of way. Her preference would always be to have her hair done up with sparkly ribbons and bows, and the wider the dress spins, the better!

I love that she has this passion at her young age, but without direction, her passions could easily lead her into much trouble.

The True Princess, written by Angela Elwell Hunt, has become one of our favorite read aloud books.  Our little daughter loves it because it is about a princess, and I love it because it teaches the characteristics of a true princess.

The story opens as the “generous king” sets out on a journey, leaving his sweet daughter in the care of  her nanny.  “The king instructed Nana to put away the royal robes and crown of the princess and hide her away from the palace. ‘Remember,’ he said, ‘no one would expect a child of the king to be living as a servant.’ ” 

In the everyday life of common people, the little princess learns  to laugh at herself, care for her own needs,  serve rather than be served, and sing joyfully while working – lessons that will benefit her life and others forever.

I am thankful for a little girl that desires to go through the hard work and training to become a “true princess”.


a must have, timeless classic!

19 May

Yesterday, as I read to the children, I found my self chuckling over and over through the pages.  Some books I never tire of.  My daughter had asked if she could pick out the book this time.  I had already made my choice, but decided to let her choose instead, wanting to see what she would pick.

When she brought it to me, I was glad I did! It was Winnie the Pooh

Often when people are critiquing movies or books, they speak of the character development throughout the story. Well, I love the variety of little characters in Winnie the Pooh.  Maybe this is a reflection of my intellect or lack thereof (lol), that I find myself relating to each of them at times.

In the story,  Christopher Robin Gives Pooh a Party, and We Say Good-bye ,  Owl, supposedly very wise,  finds himself at a loss. “Owl tried to think of something very wise to say, but couldn’t…”  At times I find myself trying to think of something wise to say, unable to think of anything – I wisely choose to be silent instead!

Or how about the “Anxious Pooh Song”.  If you aren’t up on your Pooh stories – Pooh is concerned that everyone might forget to come to his party, or worse – forget who he is, or what the party is for.  His little song is a ridiculous muddled up mess! It actually reminded me a bit of those “Chaos dreams” I referred to in an earlier post.   When there is too much disorder in my home, I often I start dreaming about it!

Then, there is  Kanga, speaking as a mom often does, “Drink up your milk first, dear, and talk afterwards.” I think I must have sounded something like that at the breakfast table this morning.  “Please eat your breakfast, sweetie, you can practice your pig-latin when you’re finished.”

Eeyore, Tiger, Piglet, and Rabbit  all have their own fun little quirks… but most loved of all, is Pooh!

No doubt, Winnie the Pooh is a timeless classic worth passing down to the children and grandchildren.

a little motivation and determination

11 May

Have you ever gone through one of those periods of total discontentment of your position in life? If so, then you will be able to relate well to the book, Chester the Worldly Pig.

“Of all things,” grumbled Chester, “why on earth did I have to be a pig? A pig is no better off than a cabbage or a carrot, just something to eat. But before I end up as so much sausage and ham, I intend to try and amount to something.”  Like Chester, we often go to great lengths to become something we’re not.  The journey along the way can bring about surprising humorous adventures, leading us to places we may not have expected and revealing strengths we never knew we had. Illustrated on the front cover of his book, Bill Peet portrays what a little motivation and determination can bring about in the life of a pig.

In the end, it’s Chester’s …  – well, never mind. You will simply have to get the book and find someone special with whom to read.

PS. Thank you to Ma Sands for recommending Bill Peet’s books.  We have checked out two from the library so far and thoroughly enjoyed them both!

A Bad Case of Stripes

5 May

My daughter discovered this book at someone else’s home.  After she told me about it, we found it at the library.  The picture on the  cover quickly caught my attention. Banning the kids from reading or even peaking at it without me, we soon made time to enjoy the book together.

David Shannon, the author and illustrator of A Bad Case of Stripes, describes Camilla Cream and her great love for lima beans.  Unfortunately her fear of being laughed at prevents her from enjoying what she truly loves. As a result she suffers a ridiculously bad case of stripes, causing her to be the laughing stock  of all her peers. Although many well intentioned specialists provide numerous remedies, the problem only increases. My favorite character is “an old woman who was just as plump and sweet as a strawberry.”  Her wisdom and age seem to go hand in hand.’ “Excuse me,” she says brightly. “But I think I can help.”‘ As as the story ends, Camilla has thoroughly learned her lesson.

If you get a chance, try to find the book. Maybe you will be able to prevent someone else from coming down with “a bad case of stripes”!

Our Travels with Adele and Simon

26 Apr

I love going to my sisters’ homes. Since I don’t get so see them very often, I do my best to soak up every last detail of their lives.  I have learned to keep a small notebook and pen in my purse to jot down bits of fun information.  By the time the visit is over I’ve usually gathered a few recipes, some housecleaning tips, creative homeschooling ideas, favorite movies and almost always – titles of unique children’s books.

It was during one of these visits that I was introduced to Adele & Simon by Barbara McClintock. Adele and Simon are siblings that live in Paris.  The younger of the two, Simon, has a habit of loosing everything.  What really draws the children in to the story is searching for the things poor Simon has lost. In the process of studying each page, they become familiar with famous locations throughout the city.

Arriving home after our last visit, I looked for other McClintock books from the library.  Before long we were traveling again. This time while enjoying the comfort of our living room, we joined  Adele and Simon with their adventures in America, covering locations from California to D.C.

Having been far too long since I have visited my sisters, I hope one day soon- notebook in hand, to spend time with them again.


All the Places to Love

24 Mar

Years ago my son Eli received a book for his birthday from his grandparents. They had chosen this book partly because Eli’s name was in the story. Some books are read once or twice and set aside, while others become loved and worn. All the Places To Love, by Patricia MacLachlan, has become one of our family favorites.

The story provides a window into the simple pleasures of a growing family in a rural setting. The author draws the reader into the sights, sounds, and smells of life on their small farm; “Where else, he says, can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world?” Mike Wimmer, the illustrator,  does a wonderful job portraying the gentle loving relationship between the young son, Eli, his new baby sister, and his three generation family.

As the birth of our last child grew near, and I repeatedly read this story to the children; I began to love the names. Now we have two treasured copies of this book, one for each of the children sharing the sibling’s names. Of course you would have to read the book to know our dear little daughter’s name…