Monday, January 29, 2007

Children's Book Monday for Little Girls

Pssssst - there's a contest at the end of this post! Keep reading!

Last week, Laura, from A Work in Progress, asked this question:

"Elise-just wondering, does your little girl like these books too, or do you have other favorites that you read to her?"

Excellent question, Laura! My boys are seven and five, and Eliana just turned one in December, so there is definitely a difference in reading interests. When I read to the boys, she either tries to pull the book out of my hands, or plays quietly by herself. The only book I have read to the boys that she showed interest in, i.e. clapped her hands and smiled, was an old Golden book from our library called, The Monster At the End of This Book. (I like to do voices and shout or sing while I'm reading silly stories.)

So, I will devote this week to sharing my little girl's favorite books to read with me!

If you enjoy singing to your child(ren), then this first book you will find to be a very sweet encouragement of that tradition.

The Lullaby Bible
by Melody Carlson
Illustrations by Carolyn Croll

The very best thing about this book (besides the fact that it's a board book!) is that with each song, they've included a tune you can use to sing it! Here is an example and a snippet:

"The Creation Song", (sung to the tune of Rock-a-Bye Baby)

God made the heavens
Earth, sea and sky.
God made deep valleys
And mountains so high.
He made the flowers, green grass and trees.
He made all creatures,
And He made me!

(Oh, that was pretty! I heard the lovely sound of a dozen bloggers, singing quietly to themselves to see if the words fit the tune!)
You see? There are twenty-three poems in this beautifully illustrated book, and it is oh, so peaceful. If you want a little head to snuggle into the crook of your neck, try one of these poems about our Lord's stories set to music, and rock away.

"In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of...."

Eliana pitter-patters her way over to her book box when she hears me softly quoting these words. She leans over the box, her pretty dress swishing back as she digs around, and triumphantly pulls out...

Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown
Pictures by Clement Hurd

I know this is a popular book, and I can understand why. The little board book has alternating black and white drawing pages, and full color pages. Eliana's favorites are, of course, the bright and colorful ones. The story has a cadence that, were I to replace the words with nonsense, but keep the rhythm and tone she is used to when I read this book, she probably wouldn't even notice! It has made its' way through all three of my children, and, while the binding is chewed through in such a way that you can see the light clear through the book at a certain point, it has withstood teething, crying, throwing, and being stepped on. This is a staple for every Mama's baby book library!

Another favorite of Eliana's is...

Nursery Rhymes: Well-Loved Verses to Share
Illustrated by Susie Lacome

Oh, this is a beautiful book! It was a gift from a friend, Kate, and it is the perfect nursery rhyme accompaniment with its' flocked and embossed cover, sturdy double sided matte pages, also flocked and embossed, and a sweet blue ribbon to tie it closed. We snuggle into the rocking chair in her bedroom and flip through - she flips, I read as quickly as I can! Her favorite is "Little Jack Horner". She seems to come to this page and stay longer than any other, and I think it may be because there are four poems on this two-page spread, and with the illustrations, it looks like a colorful quilt, alternating purple, pale blue, turqoise and yellow squares. And we settled on little Jack most likely because I make a suction and pop-out noise when he pulls out the plum! She thinks this is pretty funny.
Just like Goodnight Moon, this is a perfect book for a quick read before naptime, because you can just read one or two of the rhymes. We love it!

Oh, there are so many to choose from! I will have to settle for just one more, and while it is written textually for slightly older children, Eliana has always done fairly well with "real" books, (paper pages) and if we take our time and just talk about the pictures, she listens very well.

My Mommy, My Teacher
Written and Illustrated by Johannah Bluedorn

Even though this is beyond Eliana textually, it is the first book of its kind that I am introducing to her, to help her learn how to sit quietly through reading aloud.
This is a lovely, soothing, motivating (for me!) story. We are introduced to a little family, brothers and sisters, mommy and daddy, and are acquainted with the home and routines in their simple life. I really love the way the children interact with each other, and the way mommy and daddy's roles are simply, but clearly defined. Eliana seems to like the colorful (but subtle) illustrations; they are full page, and basically just depict a "day in the life". I read as much as I can before she gingerly turns the page, and so I usually just find myself pointing to the pictures and saying, "See the parrot? Her name is Little Dorrit!", or "That Mommy is reading to her little girl just like I'm reading to you!" I truly believe that little ones can listen to stories such as this, with lots of words, and still soak in the nature of the lesson. I hope my little girl will not only love to read, but remember me reading to her in these moments.

There are others that I'm sure you are already familiar with: Runaway Bunny (again, a combination of black and white drawings with full color ones), We're Going on a Bear Hunt (lots of patting the knees and sound effects!), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (little fingers poking through holes), Pat the Bunny (a classic touch and feel book) What Does Violet See? Raindrops and Puddles (a mirror on the page at the end - they love to see themselves!) and many, many more.

Board books are a worthwhile investment - you can read them at most libraries in the baby section, but not too many are available for check-out. And who would want to, really, once we've seen the way our own babies chew and drool on them?

And finally, my last plug will be for vinyl wipe-off books! Not the new plastic, puffy kind, although those are great, too. But if you can get your hands on the old ones, the kind you found in the church nursery when you were a new mama and thought you would NEVER want for your children - yes, those are the ones - you will love them. Most of them were written as early as the 1940's, and they are virtually indestructable - baby can't tear them or wrinkle them, and drooling and chewing doesn't phase these little gems one bit.
I recently checked on ebay and found several sellers who were willing to part with them for very reasonable prices - one was ninety-nine cents! (I may have cleaned them out - keep looking!) The ones we own are: Raggedy Andy on the Farm, My Animal Friends on the Farm, eight books from the God's Gifts series (still have the Lutheran Church Library stamp on the inside cover!), and Nursery Rhymes. Chew away, my little babies! They compact easily into a little diaper bag or even your purse, and you can just wipe it of if baby drops it in her bananas! Trust me, I know.

For other Children's Book Monday reviews, click on the graphic in my sidebar, and visit my friend, Melissa, at A Familiar Path to check out her review this week. Happy Reading!

Okay, so if you've read this far, you are either a big fan of children's books, or you are a big fan of contests! Either way, I'm very happy to announce that, in honor of my tenth Children's Book Monday, I will be giving away your choice of ANY one book I have reviewed thus far! (A brand-new copy)
All you have to do is leave a comment, and I will draw a name on Saturday, February 3rd, and announce the winner Monday morning. This is, indeed, looking like a shameless ploy to get more comments - but won't it be fun?
Don't be shy - now is a great time to de-lurk - and I know you're out there! I'd love to get to know you better, and bless you with one of my favorite books. And most importantly, don't forget to leave your name if you post as "anonymous"!

Let the fun begin!

44 fellow travelers shared:

Anonymous said...

I recently ran across your blog (forget which rabbit trail I was on!), and have really enjoyed it. As a former teacher now at home raising kids, I love the book reviews ~ great ideas, especially now that DD is really into books (age 20 months).

I may not be surrounded by Godly women in real life, but it's sure nice to have tables to pull up a chair to on the Internet!

Anonymous said...

(Oh, should have introduced myself in that anonymous comment above ~ I'm Lorri)

chickadee said...

i'm gonna want to get in on that contest. i love that you did board books. that's kind of how it is with me. i have two daughters, 9 and 7 and i choose books for them. my son and i read his board books. i'll have to do a review of some of his favorites sometime.

Sleep-Deprived said...

I'm not a willful lurker...I actually attempt to comment more often than I do, but with three little boys my attempts are often thwarted by little needs that come up at a moment's notice.

I'm enjoying your ideas for little girls...this is all new territory for me. It's still early for baby girl who isn't due until May, but I'M making the mental adjustment from a house of all boys. :)

Susan said...

I love this idea of yours. While I don't have any little ones at home anymore, I do "get together" with my 5 year old neice every Weds.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions.

Three more ladies at church are having babies. I think your board book review is very timely for me. I am off to amazon to see if I can get The Lullaby Bible.

BTW I LOVE Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Thanks again for the reviews.

Danielle said...

Hi Elise! I just started coming to your blog and I'm really enjoying myself. I have to tell you that I tried the pajama thing for laughs with my son the other night and it was great fun:-). I am learning to let the "dramatic me" out so soon I may be clawing my way up the breakfast bar! Needless to say, I'll be back on Friday...

Children's book reviews on Monday is a neat idea! I enjoyed your post. Thank you for putting together such a thoughtful blog.

Most Warmly,

deb said...

Hi Elise, Even tho I don't have little ones anymore, I enjoy your Monday posts. Years ago we so enjoyed reading together under the old Reading Tree that was up on our schoolroom wall. We crowded together on the big soft pillow under the tree and read "Where the Red Fern Grows" and cried together at the sad parts.

I'm saving all my childen's books for the grandkids (whenever the Lord sees fit to give them to me). "No One Knows Where Gobo Goes" will come alive again for me. So I'm looking forward to it!

Yes, put my name in the hat. I'd love to win a new book for the Reading Tree corner. Thanks, Elise.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to Children's Book Monday every week both here and at A Familiar Path. I may join you sometime and review some books myself!

bluemountainmama said...

hey elise! what a neat idea! and i've been thinking of doing something similar to get all those "lurkers" out in the open! :) i missed out on the de-lurking week. love the list of books. one of mine and my sister's favorites growing up was "prayer for a child" by rachel field. my son enjoyed it when he was small, too.

Stacy said...

Really??!! ~big smile~ What fun!

The Lullabye Bible sounds great. I have a recommendation for you if you like to sing your books (as I do!). Have you read If You Were My Bunny, by Kate McMullan? My little ones love this one. It's a story of various animal mamas putting their babies to bed (a bunny, bear cub, kitten, duckling, and puppy) and you sing the lullabyes to different tunes (the bunny lullabye is sung to the tune of "Hush, Little Baby", etc)
And the last page has these words, which I love, because you *must* act them out:

If you were my baby and I were your mama,
I'd pull the covers up to your chin and give you
a great big hug...
and a great big kiss...
and say, "I love you!"
And you'd fall fast asleep.
Sweet dreams!


Mrs. S said...

Great idea, Elise ... thanks for doing little girls books. I LOVE Good Night Moon. It is such a peaceful book. I also like reading Are You My Mommy? to Selena. I think she likes the taste of that book too!

Karen F. said...

By the time I got to the end - I had forgotten about the contest!
I also am a reading Momma - and I loved all your selections! Reading to an 11yo, 6yo and 1yo can be challenging - so I thank you for the reminder to keep reading to the littlest!
Blessings to you,
Karen F.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Books? Free books? Put my name in there girl! :)

For the record Good Night Moon is our alltime favorite, next to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

QueenHeroical said...

I read this post yesterday and I really wanted to enter because I am a complete book obsessed individual ... my little Bookworm never had a chance nor any of her younger upandcoming bookworm siblings. But I felt guilty because the main decorating feature in my home is books, loads and loads of books ... I started collecting Children's books when I still was a child thus the ... "oh I would love one of those books, but ... maybe someone else would benefit more ... hmmmm .... perhaps I shouldn't ...

But since you asked ... (she said with a shrug of the shoulder) ...

I will put my x down.

Thanks for the invitation. (blush)


Randi said...

I LOVE BOOKS! I have a favorite book that I read to each of my kids when they were little. The Runaway Bunny was the one I read to my fifteen year-old daughter. I love the illustrations in the Margaret Wise Brown Books. Just recently i decided to get new copies of each one--just for the sake of memory. You have inspired me to post a list of these soon!

Beka said...

Great post... I LOVE children's books. Although I am not a mama yet, my husband and I have a hopeful collection of children's books that we are starting. One of my childhood favorites was Little Bunny Follows His Nose-- it has several scratch-and-sniff things in it. Goodnight Moon also brings back memories for me and I hope and pray that some day God will give me little ones to read to!

Audrey said...

One of my all time favorite books, its actually two with a follow up sequile is Parts by Tedd Arnold and More Parts (the sequile)

It is a hoot and so much fun to read. Boys Love it, and so do silly moms;-)

...Then later on (I dont recall exactly when it was) I lifted up my shirt and found this little piece of fuzz....

...I stared at it, amazed, and wondered whats this all about? But then I understood. It was my stuffing coming out!


Kendra said...

Ha - how did you know that I was singing?!
Goodnight Moon has always been one of our favorites, too. My girls always liked to say "Hush" for the Little Old Lady. It is such a soothing bedtime book!

Miriam said...

Hi, Elise - please count me in for the drawing! I always love your Children's Book Mondays!

Teena said...

Just for fun.... :) what a nice thing to do! Thanks for telling me. I like your blog and have just recently found it.

My children are older... but my little boys are still 4 & 3~ so thanks!

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. We all love comments huh?

here is my addy

and I just started one on blogspot... still trying to figure it out! LOL

Andrea said...


Ok, I thought I was the only one who read "There's a Monster at the End of this Book", with loud voices and scary voices. I really whoop it up with that one--they really get scared!! Tee hee.

It's funny what Eliana does when you start to say, "In the great, green room..."
When I start to say, "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?...." my baby walks over and gets it for me!!

Laura said...

Elise-thanks so much for devoting a whole post to my question-boy, do I feel special! :-) I love your picks-we have Goodnight Moon and the Very Hungry Caterpillar but not the other ones, so I can't wait to check them out. The Lullaby Bible sounds especially nice.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog; I enjoy reading it very much.

I found it through Ann V.'s blog.

I don't have a blog of my own.

God bless!

Denise K.

Maxine said...

Hi Elise!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment over at my place. You can get that recommended book at Grace and Truth Books online if you're interested. Maybe it can be gotten from Ebay, I'm not sure. It's been around a long time.
What you are doing here is such a good idea. May the Lord bless it. I have recommended another book this week. Come on over and check out today's post when you get a chance!(BTW, I remember those vinyl books.)

Christine said...

Oooh, you're sneaky Elise! But I love it! I'm in the running now, too.

I was going to do a book review today, by the way, but didn't get around to it. I'll have to wait till next week!


Lyn said...

Oh a new book! How can one not comment with a chance to get a new book!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I recently found your blog and love your new blog theme! Today's post is of particular interest to me as I have three girls! The Lullaby Bible sounds wonderful!

rcsnickers said...

ohhhh, You caught me... I was singing!!!

Thanks for the contest and selfishly giving a book to one of us!


rcsnickers said...

oops, I thought one word and wrote the total opposite! You know I meant Selflessly! Sorry!


Anonymous said...

My daughter, Mercy, is a new one year old (with two older brothers ages 2.5 and 4) and although I read to the boys often, she is just becoming interested in books, especially boardbooks! We love Goodnight Moon (although one of the boys has renamed it Goodnight Fire, for some reason) and we do enjoy the board book versions of some Dr. Seuss books. What a fun way to meet some of your readers! Oh and thank you for your fun and encouraging words.

Anonymous said...

Hey Elise, Well as you know I love your posts, I love to check them in the morning before the Boys get up and things get crazy. You dont need to include me in the drawing, but I did want to add that "There's a monster at the end of this book" is one of my alltime favorites. Michael would read it to me with all of is great voices and really get me worried for the end! Oh how happy was I when I found it on a bookshelf at Dad's still! Love you and hope to see you again soon. -Anna

Anonymous said...

Well, you definitely know how to get the lurkers out in the open :) I have enjoyed reading your blog and check in on it daily. Your blog is an encouragement and blessing to me. I'm a Mommy of two little girls, so I really enjoyed reading this post! Thanks so much!
~Julie D.

Wendy said...

Great book reviews. I would love to be added in the running. Thanks.

Wendy @ WMF said...

Over the course of 11 years and 5 children I have probably read Goodnight Moon 1000 times.:)
Another favorite around here is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
Is there any greater earthly pleasure than cuddling a warm, sleepy, fresh from bath time baby for a good read?

Anonymous said...

I have just recently found your blog, and have really enjoyed it! I would love to be entered in to the contest. I am writing from Sweden!

I can be reached at


Sue said...

Both my girls love Good Night Moon. I love the idea of reviewing the books. I'm lucky that both my girls love books. They will sit amongst a huge pile for quite a while (they are 2 1/2 and 13 months).

Thanks for sharing.

org junkie said...

Hello! I'm here from Fruit in Season. Great reviews! I have a 14 mth old myself and will have to check out some of your selections.


Courtney Pena said...

Hi, I just recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. As the mother of 2 little boys and the wife of an Associate Pastor, you really put a lot of my thoughts into words. I really love your book reviews and have several new books to add to my wish list!

T said...

I'll enter...Thanks Elise for thinking of me!
I love all of your book recommendations and Goodnight Moon was a favorite of my boys!

Holly said...

Pick me, pick me, pick me!

Oh wait. It's not all about me.


Pick HER! :) Bless some other Mommy. We've eaten our way through 1001 books, already... :)

What a wonderful idea, Elise - you do such a beautiful job with your children's book reviews. Makes me want to buy them ALL!

Anonymous said...

I love the books you review! It's my favorite part about your blog!
Mom always tries to get the books on Monday.

Jessica said...

Hello--You're in "my favorites" blog folder. Your faith is an inspiration. I enjoy naptime almost daily with you. :-)Feel free to come by the farm anytime.

mommy to four j's said...

Thanks for the contest char

Anonymous said...

goodness you had a lot of comments on this post!

...i always come here when i have an idea for CBM to be sure you haven't reviewed my choice yet. i'm going to work on "If You Were My Bunny" and i did a search...and had to read through all 8,000 comments to see where it was mentioned...

elise, you have been doing this such a long time and it is such a blessing to reading families...have you ever considered combining all you CBMs into an e-book? we would certainly (LOVE!) to have a copy, and i would probably buy a copy for expecting mommas too! just a thought.

anyhoo, happy wednesday to you.

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