September 12, 2013

Four Books NOT to Read to a Curious Preschooler (Unless You're Really, Really Patient)

Eleanor loves to read.

Eleanor loves to ask questions.

Eleanor loves to ask questions while I'm trying to read.

Her patented technique is to suddenly put her hand over my mouth, say, "Pause!", and then ask a question about whatever I just read. Which was cute the first few times, but is getting old, fast.

(Also: sign she's a Netflix/ Amazon Prime kid. The other day she was watching a show on actual PBS, and had to go to the bathroom, and then got all upset that I wouldn't pause the show for her. Trying to explain that you can't pause "regular" tv was fairly impossible.)

Anyway, here are four books we've recently read. I thought all of them were really cute, but she 'paused' me seventy bajillion times while I tried to read them.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly 
by Simms Taback.
The text is just the familiar song; but this book has gorgeous, fun illustrations that show each animal inside the old lady's belly. We've renewed it from the library twice, and we've read it so many times that now she insists on 'reading' it to me. ("But WHY mom? WHY did she swallow a fly? People can't swallow cows, etc...")

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep 
by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Brooke Dyer
My thought process: aww, a cute book about baby animals going to sleep. Perfect bedtime reading fodder! Eleanor's apparent thought process: What? Animals sleep differently than humans? Must ask ALL THE QUESTIONS. "Dream, little frog, dream/ At the bottom of your stream." ("Why does the frog sleep in the stream? What do frogs dream about?") "Snooze, box turtle, snooze/ Within the spot you choose." ("What does snooze mean? Why is it a box turtle? He's not in a box.") "Snore, little skunk, snore" ("Why do skunks snore? Why do skunks sleep all winter?")

The Day the Crayons Quit 
by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.
This book is adorable! Duncan opens his crayon box, to discover that his crayons are fed up. Blue is just a stub because he gets overused, pink feels neglected, orange and yellow are no longer speaking, because they each think they should be the color of the sun. ("But mom, why is the peach crayon naked? Why did Duncan take the wrapper off? Why is the black crayon mad? Mom, crayons can't talk...")

Pirate Boy 
by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry.
I probably shouldn't tell you about this book, since I think I'm going to buy it for Christmas for a few people. I love the sweet story about Danny, who imagines joining a pirate ship, and his mom, who promises that if he doesn't like life on the pirate ship she'll get a friendly dolphin to give her a ride to bring him home. And the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous! ("Mom, people can't ride dolphins! How does the mom shrink the sea monsters? Why didn't Danny want to stay with the pirates? Why did Danny and his mom make cookies?")

What's the best kids' book you've read recently?

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