Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Basbusa reading?

Woo-hoo, I'll finally be done with the backlog of un-blogged books, after this post! Which is just as well, too, because I have another giant list building up already. Al7amdulillah for good books :)

Of these five books, Basbusa's favorite was Angelina's Birthday, but I won't spend too much time describing it, because I'm sure everyone already knows about Angelina Ballerina! We read most of the rest of the series afterwards, and Basbusa liked them all. In this particular story, Angelina doesn't look where she's going while riding her bike, and takes a big spill, a tale that provides a useful reminder when Basbusa's attention is wandering while out on her own bicycle. I just call out, "Watch out, Angelina!", and she giggles and keeps her eyes on the sidewalk again :)

I'm often a bit conflicted about Rosemary Wells' books - I frequently like almost all of a story, but find one little part of the message a bit jarring. Noisy Nora, for example - it was such a cute story of a middle child who felt like nobody had time for her, with a happy ending that really rang true. But the refrain was - well, not the kind of model I'm aiming for. Every time Nora makes an attention-seeking ruckus, her family responds, "'Quiet!' said her father. 'Hush!' said her Mum. 'Nora," said her sister, 'why are you so dumb?'" If it wasn't for that last line (which keeps repeating throughout the book), I would have loved this book.  Max's Chocolate Chicken, however, was one we both enjoyed unreservedly. (Well, except that it's really an Easter book... But it didn't say "Easter" anywhere in the text, and Basbusa has never heard of Easter or of Easter eggs, so she just thought it was about an ordinary treasure-hunt.) Max is just plain mischievous in this story, and he gets away with it, an idea which Basbusa finds enthralling. And she sympathizes whole-heartedly with Max's love for chocolate, which provided an extra draw :)

Piggie Pie Po is one of our favorites of Audrey Wood's books, and we bought our own copy soon after checking it out of the library. Basbusa still enjoys it, but she may be outgrowing it just slightly, so maybe this one would be ideal for two-to-three-year-olds? It has three (very very) short stories about a pig called Piggie Pie Po, all in rhyme. The first one starts out, "Piggie Pie Po likes to dance / When he wears his Party Pants! / When he wears his rubber fins, / Piggie Pie Po swims and swims." And finally, in the tub, "... Piggie Pie Po wears no clothes - Only bubbles, head to toes!" It's cute, with very simple-to-predict text, so Basbusa was soon "reading" it herself. And she particularly liked the line, "he tromped upon the yummy cake," which we re-enacted endlessly :) 

Now One Foot, Now the Other was one of Basbusa's own selections at the library, and again, it's one I would never have chosen for her. It's about a boy and his grandfather, who have been very close ever since he was a baby. Then the grandfather has a severe stroke. The rest of the book deals with the boy's sense of loss, then his fear when his grandfather comes home again but cannot walk or talk, and then finally, how the boy's love for his grandfather helps the grandfather to recover his health. (The title of the book refers to how the grandfather taught the boy to walk when he was a toddler, and how the boy teaches his grandfather to walk again after his stroke.) It's the kind of book I would never have gotten unless a child needed to understand about strokes due to their own circumstances, but actually Basbusa really enjoyed it (?!?). She didn't seem to find the plot alarming, and we actually had several meaningful chats about aging and illness and the ways in which love can and can't cure things.

Linking up with What My Child is Reading and Read-Aloud Thursday.


  1. My 2 year old is a little obsessed with another Max treasure hunt book -- but he's hunting for those awful marshmallow chicks that are around at Easter!

  2. That Tomie DePaola book looks good and heart-wrenching, especially for slightly older children. And I know what you mean about the refrain in those Rosemary Wells books!