Baby’s Sunday Salon, April 5

(I know it’s not April 5 anymore. I wrote this post a few days ago and I was going to add pictures before I clicked “publish.” But I’ve been miserably sick since Saturday morning, so it’s going as it is!)

I haven’t reviewed my son’s reading since January. This is partly because I’ve been busy moving, but also because my son has been enjoying the books I’ve already mentioned. In fact, he loves all books at 18 months old. I can’t hold a book without him coming over and taking it away for his own perusal. This includes story time at bedtime. Most nights, I don’t actually get a word read because he’s turning the pages so fast!

He’s taken a particular interest in Let’s Dance, Little Pookie. He wants to dance and march at all times of the day. Of course, he wants to hold the book himself as he marches. It’s okay, though, because I have it memorized by this point. He also still enjoys Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and “reads” that every single day. I also have it memorized.

This week he also won’t stop with Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. In this mostly wordless book, the Gorilla steals the Zookeeper’s keys, lets the other animals out of their cages, and they all follow him into this bed! I don’t know what he likes about this book so much: maybe the bright colors draw him in.  I’m delighted there is another book he’s so interested in!

Two weeks ago, I did a post on Pat the Bunny and my son has been enjoying that book very much, as well as the other “touch-and-feel” books I mentioned. At Sarah’s suggestion, we also found an Usborne touchy-feely book, particularly That’s Not My Dragon, which I think is rather fun.

I have been feeling lately like I am in a Sandra Boynton rut: I always turn to Sandra Boynton’s board books when I’m looking for a board book to read. I just love her rhymes and illustrations, but I have been hoping for something new. A few suggestions helped me find some new board books.

While You Were Sleeping by John Butler has gorgeous, soft, gentle illustrations as we count the animals around the world, all of which are awake while baby is sleeping. I really like the illustrations (adorable animals). I also found Georg Hallensleben, who illustrates a number of different types of picture books. I read Anne Gutman’s Mommy Loves, which shows mommy animals with their babies. The bright and rough paintings are quite attractive to me and I like the change of pace from Boynton and Butler. My son hasn’t paid any attention to these new books, even after three weeks: he’d still rather read Little Pookie and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Again. I’m trying for variety, but at least I know he loves his books!

For fun, I also found Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. I loved this book as a child, and while I know my son is still too young to sit still, I read it while he played. I still enjoy it – and I can imagine my son will enjoy it when he’s old enough to sit and ponder the diagram of Mary Anne the steam shovel, Mike Mulligan’s dearest friend.

There is a story in Mike Mulligan that is fun: a machine goes fast and saves the town while everyone watches; a little boy gives a winning suggestion to keep Mary Anne useful. And yet there is still a sense of sadness surrounding the story. Mike Mulligan is about how changing technology makes the familiar technology of the past obsolete: Mike’s plight and Mary Anne’s inevitable (or is it?) “death” make the reader sad that there are no jobs for steam shovels and the operators. Mike Mulligan is a mournful reminder of the constantly changing world and the inevitable stage in everyone’s life of old age and uselessness.

Then again, maybe it is just a fun story.

What are you reading your children this week?

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. My little boy (20 months) love all the Usbourne That’s Not My….. books. I think they’re great for teaching them textures and body parts.

    I haven’t heard of any of the other books before – thank you for drawing them to my attention!

  2. What a wonderful post. It brought back many fond memories of when my 21 year old was small. He loved Mike Mulligan too.

  3. Jackie, It’s a fun age, huh! I must find more of the Usbourne. We have some touch-and-feel books but none of them had a “story” like the “that’s Not my…” book did.

    Kathy, I loved Mike Mulligan too when I was little! I just had to revisit it. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to love that kind of book too. Sometimes I get kind of tired of the board books….

  4. My kids loved Mama, Do You Love Me? (I don’t remember who it’s by) and The Hiccupatomus, which is full of silly, made-up words. The first lines are “There was a hippopatomus who hiccupped quite a lotamus, and every time he gotamus, he’d fall upon his bottomus.”

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