Monday, August 1, 2011

5 Exceptional Children's Books

Hey everyone! I'm so happy to have Amanda from OED back with us this week!

Oed trytwo

You may remember the post she did at the beginning of June here with the incredible recipe for Spicy Chicken Soup? Or the beautiful baby goodies that I used as photo props with my new little one? Yes, she is quite talented!

I'm so glad to have her back today to share one of her passions, and one of the little tidbits that I always enjoy reading when they crop up on her blog - some of her newest and best discoveries among the children's books. She's here to share a few of them with us today.

Thanks Amanda!

I'm Amanda and I'm so honored to have been invited to do this guest post on LTC! Thanks, Erin, for the opportunity!

One of my favorite things about parenting has been the books. Not really the “how-to” books, though I do read those as well. But the kids’ books. The pictures. The stories. The crinkly plastic library jackets protecting the hard covers.

Finding good kids’ books is not nearly as easy as I’d always assumed it would be. (Kind of like everything else in parenting?) And it can certainly be frustrating to go to the library and come home with a stack of books that don’t interest your kids and you don’t really want to read. But it’s worth it to keep looking.

Here are some of the ones I’ve loved sharing with my kids.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Fly the Plane by Cynthia Rylant

Mr. Putter is an old bachelor and Tabby is his cat. They have sweet adventures together and take lots of naps. In this particular series installment, Mr. Putter buys a remote controlled airplane. As a child, he had dreamed of being a pilot so, by buying the plane, he felt like he was getting something he’d always wanted as a kid. Then Mr. Putter meets a boy who reminds him of his young self.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

Mem Fox is a well known name in children’s literature. She’s written many, many books, but this one of hers is by far my favorite. Wilfred is a little boy with four names who lives next door to a nursing home. He visits regularly and has many friends who live in the home, but his favorite is a woman who also has four names. When he hears his parents talking about how sad it is that she’s lost her memory, he goes on a quest to find out exactly what a memory is and then to help his friend find her memories again.

Mole Music by David McPhail

This is the story of Mole who digs tunnels by day and watches TV by night. As he’s watching one evening, he sees someone playing a violin. Mole is so inspired by the music, he decides to buy a violin and teach himself to play. He only ever plays underground, alone, and he starts off kind of squeaky but he dreams of having his music heard by others. It’s a lovely illustration of how the beauty we create makes the world a better place, whether we realize it’s happening or not.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

A little mouse with a big name, bestowed on her with such love by her parents, for the first time runs in to people who don’t think her name’s as perfect as she always thought it was. Kevin Henkes seems to take seriously the emotions and problems that kids have, with a sweet and tender style. Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse deals with getting in trouble at school. Owen deals with dilemma of what to do with a favorite blanket while he goes to school. The problems are those of school-aged children, but the stories are completely accessible and enjoyable for the pre-school crowd.

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen

Going to the library is like thrift shopping. If you go enough, now and then you’ll find something amazing. This was my amazing find. I don’t really remember the circumstances that brought this book to me, but I feel like I just found it on the shelf, picked it up blindly, and brought it home. It’s is the story of a crocodile who is hatched into a family of ducks by accident. One day, he’s approached by other crocodiles who try to convince him that he is supposed to be eating ducks, not living with them. The story reminds us that, as people, we should be defined not by our appearance, but by our spirit and our heart. The author was inspired by the experiences of a friend who was of Korean ancestry but was adopted by a non-Korean family.

If you’re interested in more book reviews, come visit me at I document daily life with my two boys through lots of photos and lots more words. I have a “books” label that links you to all the books I’ve blogged about. Also, check out my other ventures. is my picture-a-day blog and my etsy shop is oed&me, which is full of crochet and photography treats!


Alice August 1, 2011 at 7:18 AM  

I love this post and these suggestions. My son is a bit older, and right now we are enjoying Love That Dog. I blog a lot about books, but I see now that chronicling the ones I share with my son is important, too. Thanks for a sweet post.

Bellenza Wedding Bistro August 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM  

Good children's books are true treasures!

Amanda August 1, 2011 at 11:13 AM  

Alice -- we'll have to check out Love That Dog! I love new book suggestions! Thanks!

Tiffany August 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM  

Thanks for sharing! I am a huge fan of children's books! I can't wait to try some of these that are new to us with my kids! : )

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