Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is a strange, dream-like story. It is a story told by a father to his children when he took too long to go to the store and get some milk. When he came home with the milk, the children asked why it had taken so long. The remainder of the book is a clever and ridiculous story that the father tells in order to convince his children that he had been gone for good reason.Continue Reading
I have been looking forward to introducing my son to the favorite books of my childhood, and I’m delighted to find he is finally old enough to appreciate them!
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (originally published 1978) is a perfect chapter book for young readers. The chapters are less than five pages, the stories are compact and yet still inter-related, and the silliness factor meets the needs of a child. My son loved the time we spent reading these together, and as soon as we finished it, he took it from me and informed me he was going to read it again to himself. He is more than half way done.
As an adult, I still enjoyed it. It is silly and yet it does play off of realistic challenges: adults telling you to do things that seem impossible (going to take a note to a non-existent teacher), falling asleep when you should be awake, getting along with other kids, and overcoming stereotype, for example. I really enjoyed revisiting it as an adult. Continue Reading
It’s fall! Although I’ll be the first to tell you that I love spring, summer, and fall equally well throughout the year (I could do without winter and the month of August), once the leaves start falling and crunching under my feet and the weather gets cool enough to pull out my sweaters, I consider autumn the best season of all1 . I’m not a Halloween fan per se (I hate scary costumes and horror and greedy kids wanting candy) but I love pumpkin pie and pumpkins and fall colors on the trees. I love watching the world change in to a new one.
Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Chad Cameron celebrates the favorite things about the season — but somehow, is descriptions of the season have gotten a bit confused. From “Septober” and “Octember” to geese hibernating and squirrels flying south, it’s a rather silly book about a favorite season. The text reveals a number of mixed up autumn things, and Chad Cameron’s detailed and bright paintings capture the confusion by making the impossibilities come alive. Raisin and I loved finding the silly things on each page. As we were reading, Raisin stopped me at one point and said with delight, “Mom, there’s something wrong on every page!”
If you and your child are fans of autumn, you too may love the silliness of Fall Mixed Up. My favorite pages were those with the leaves falling up, the children jumping in piles of sticks, and the Thanksgiving table filled with sweets. I also loved the image of the squirrels flying south. I asked Raisin for his favorite pages and he could not settle on one. How could he, when each page had many treasures of silliness to enjoy? How silly the world would be if this season were “Fall Mixed Up!”
Fall Mixed Up was published September 2011 by Lerner Publishing, Carolrhoda Books. I read a digital galley for purposes of review via of netgalley.com.
- When the weather warms up in April and the buds appear on the trees, I’ll say the same of spring ↩
Because of my disappearance from blogging in the last few weeks, I haven’t posted about all the wonderful children’s books Raisin and I have discovered. Here are a few that we’ve enjoyed, from Greg Foley and Jan Thomas to two newer books. I’ll talk about more another time.Continue Reading