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Feb. 21st, 2008 @ 10:54 am books to read aloud
I finally found an book exporting format I could stand, so here are a few dozen of ivy's (and my) favorite books: Read to your kids! They're all linked to amazon for your impulse buying pleasure.

In the case of several authors, the book I chose is representative of dozens. You can't go wrong much with Sandra Boynton, Jack Prelutsky, or Dr. Seuss, although the doctor has a few clunkers. I included some lesser-known seuss books that I think are great.
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From:qwrrty
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
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Pretty!

I suppose I am in the minority but I found both Dinosaur Roar and Goodnight Moon dreadfully boring. Dinosaur Roar was not just boring but insulting, since we had already read Boynton's Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! and this one was clearly an inferior ripoff.

(I tried several times to make that sound non-ironic but failed, btw. I mean every syllable.)

Truth is that I moved on to story books and chapter books as soon as the kids would let me get away with it. I highly recommend Arnold Lobel's books, especially the Frog and Toad series and Mouse Soup. (I agree with the summary on that page, though: be careful about Owl at Home. That guy is just plain creepy.)

I also started reading Mr. Popper's Penguins to the boys as soon as they'd sit still long enough to let me.
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From:extempore
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I find frog and toad to be a bit banal.

A lot of these books are former favorites and not so much current. Right now I'm reading her a chapter of charlotte's web every night along with the usual assortment.

Goodnight Moon may be my favorite kids' book ever. I read it to ivy literally every night for close to a year. I think it's almost the perfect book for a certain age range.
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From:qwrrty
Date:February 21st, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
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True, but it seems to me that banality is kind of an unavoidable risk of kids' books. What I like especially about the Frog and Toad books is that the dialogue is accessible to preschoolers and yet appealing to adults at an entirely different level. I mean, how can I not love dialogue like:

"Frog, you look quite green today," said Toad.
"But I always look green," said Frog. "I am a frog."

Charlotte's Web was a wonderful thing to read to the kids.

I have said sometimes that one of the most magnificent things about raising kids is getting to reread the best books, and getting to read all the ones that I missed the first time around. A Cricket in Times Square has some absolutely magnificent moments in it.
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From:sneaux
Date:February 22nd, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Margaret Wise Brown is a genius. Dig how effectively she uses the coda at the end of *Goodnight Moon.* She could have easily called it a day after "And good night to the old woman whispering 'hush,'" but instead she makes a gorgeous shift into: "Good night stars, good night air..." etc. Fantastic. She does the same thing at the end of *Big Red Barn* too, for maximum soporific effect.

Also highly recommended:

- *While Mama Had a Quick Little Chat* by Amy Reichert
- Any of the Robert McCloskey books, especially *Make Way for Ducklings* and *Blueberries for Sal*
- We're working our way through the *Little House on the Prairie* series right now. The level of detail in Ingalls's descriptive prose is really astounding.
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From:d_c_m
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
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Sandra Boynton is one of my all time favorites. I wrote her a card once telling her how great she was. She wrote back and said thanks!!!!!

Her best book is "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion." Dear God/Dess in Heaven it makes me weep I laugh so hard.
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From:extempore
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
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I have that book! I went nuts buying all of her out-of-print books from used booksellers.
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From:d_c_m
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
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Hee hee heee!! I just bought myself another copy of the book for safe keeping. I think the "Turkey" personality is hilarious!

I bought a lot of her 1984 commemorative items. Such as the Xmas mug "Big Santa is Watching You." The woman is a genius.
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From:capn_ahab
Date:February 21st, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
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We love Sandra Boynton too! Gracie's favorite book is Snuggle Puppy. A book you can sing just covers all your bases.
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From:whipartist
Date:February 21st, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
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Wow. I had no idea Never Tease a Weasel was still in print. It was my favorite book as a child.
From:patch406
Date:February 21st, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
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My daughter and I are big fans of "From Head to Toe" as well...it's always fun to be a donkey. My personal favorite from childhood and to read to my daughter is "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf. He was cool even before Elliott Smith put him on his biceps.
From:tomonbelay
Date:February 22nd, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)

reading aloud and DRM

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I just bought my first e-book last night. While installing the software (Adobe Digital Editions) and downloading the purchased file, I discovered that reading my new book aloud was explicitly prohibited. I had to read that part of the purchase agreement twice (to myself, quietly) just to make sure.
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From:extempore
Date:February 23rd, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)

Re: reading aloud and DRM

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Even telling me that violated your implicit NDA. Report to reeducation camp please.
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From:krizazy
Date:February 22nd, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)

Seuss and children's reading

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I was kind of lucky to have a niece that I spent a decent amount of time with in her early (1-5) years. My take was that he mother and grandmother would read her the typical books, but if she wanted to read with ME, she had to pick out one of my books. I thought that there might be some benefit in having some of her reading being far more advanced than she was technically ready for.

One of her first picks was Alice in Quantumland, and it came at a time when she liked to read to people. I'd sit there and let her try to sound out things like "probability distribution." It's not like those are difficult pronunciations, they're just pretty long for a kid to weed through.

Anyhow, she's one of the few kids in her school that knows what a probability distribution even is, and she got a chance to learn some biggish words in context. I don't know if it did a ton of good for her, and I think that if it were her only reading outlet it would have been negative, but I liked it as an experiment.

As for Seuss, I am a fan of "All the Thinks You Can Think." Also, there are a couple little ones from "The Sneetches and Other Stories" that I liked a lot. I think any kid will get a kick out of Oliver Boliver Butt from "Too Many Daves."

A while back my girlfriend made a joke to me in an e-mail about her being Dr. Seuss because she made a few things rhyme. I obviously replied in full anapestic tetrameter and informed her of the proper way to sound like Dr. Seuss.
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From:extempore
Date:February 23rd, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Seuss and children's reading

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It's OH the thinks you can think. That's one we knew by heart very early. You can think about kitty o'sullivan kraus in her big balloon swimming pool over her house! Or the best is the snuvs.

You can think about gloves.
You can think about snuvs.
You can think a long time about snuvs and their gloves.

I obviously replied in full anapestic tetrameter and informed her of the proper way to sound like Dr. Seuss.

Obviously! The only part that's not obvious is why you didn't refer to her as your EX-girlfriend.
From:good43
Date:February 22nd, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)

A few of my son's favorites

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Where the Wild Things Are
Katy and the Big Snow
Katy No Pockets
Corduroy


Of course Boynton, Seuss and some of the Curious George titles are in constant rotation as well.
From:good43
Date:February 22nd, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)

Re: A few of my son's favorites

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Totally forgot about Click Clack Moo, Duck for President and Giggle Giggle Quack.

Those get belly laughs out of my 3 year old.
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From:joepro
Date:February 22nd, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
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Sandra Boynton is an easy read, good for bedtime if you get a late start. I can't believe how much killing, poisoning, and other weird stuff is in some of the classics like cinderella, little red riding hood, etc. I had no clue.
From:absintheticsx
Date:February 22nd, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
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I don't see HIPPOS GO BERSERK! on that list, but I've got to think you've got it. My favorite of the counting books I've seen so far.
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From:extempore
Date:February 23rd, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
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Yah, that page shows less than one in ten of our books. We have every single boynton book that it's possible to get. ALL THE HIPPOS GO BERSERK!
From:mandelbrot_
Date:February 23rd, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)

Eloise

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Many great ones on there, but I have to say I can't stand the Eloise book. I appreciate the whole "teachable moment" thing, but it just gives my kids too many bad ideas...
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From:extempore
Date:February 23rd, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Eloise

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Eloise was written by somebody who understands how children actually talk/think better than almost any other kids' book author I know, and I find it hysterical. I'll agree she shouldn't be considered a role model... but on that basis I couldn't read ivy half the stuff I read her. As far as I know she hasn't had any trouble separating what's okay to do in books and what's okay to do for real.