Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's Basbusa reading?

Look out, Jack! The Giant is Back! was a recommendation from Amy at Hope Is The Word, and she described it so well that I needn't duplicate her comments here! Suffice it to say that this story is a sequel to the traditional Jack-and-the-beanstalk tale, and that Basbusa has been stomping around the house for weeks shouting, "Wham, blam, hickety hack! I'm gonna get that boy named Jack!" :)
Perfect Square was listed by Mama Smiles as one of their favorites, and Basbusa certainly loved it too. It's not exactly a story in the sense of having characters or even a plot, but nonetheless it manages to convey both the beauty of perfection and the beauty and possibilities created by imperfection. It also shows how versatile and exciting even the most ordinary supplies can be - in this case, a square of paper - given some imagination and creative thinking. As for what actually happens in the book? Well, a square of paper gets torn apart and reassembled a bunch of times. Doesn't sound too fascinating, I know, but Basbusa enjoyed it!

After our joyful discovery of The Lorax a while ago, I'd been keeping my eye out for other Dr. Seuss books we hadn't heard about. I walked past I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew a few times because the name seemed kind of cumbersome, but I'm so glad I finally bothered to actually look at the text! Like The Lorax, both the plot and the rhymes were very funny, and there was an inspiring message thrown in to boot (namely, that there's no point in trying to run away from your troubles; you just have to face up to them). Such a good read-aloud, and Solla Sollew has become one of the primary destinations of Basbusa's imaginary train journeys.

As for chapter books, we've been ploughing through them at (what seems to me like) an incredible rate. That's actually one of the reasons I haven't posted a book-review post in the past two weeks - Basbusa has been completely wrapped up in chapter books, which of course take a little longer to get through than the picture books do, so there weren't as many books competing to get onto my must-be-blogged-about list. One of her favorites so far is The Boxcar Children. I could tell that it was almost too old for her - she sometimes had to pay an awful lot of attention to follow the details of plot elements that weren't even particularly significant to the story overall - but that didn't seem to distress her in the least. She carried this book around for about three weeks straight, "reading" it to herself when she couldn't prevail on anyone else to read it to her, and the four Boxcar children showed up in all kind of pretend-play adventures. We did go on to read the second book in the series, which she also enjoyed, but by that point we were really pushing it in terms of comprehension, so I didn't happen to mention to her that there are about twenty more books in the series :)

The Enchanted Wood, however, was right at her level. It was one of my own childhood favorites, and Basbusa loved hearing about the adventures of Jo, Bessie and Fanny up the magical Faraway Tree. There are two sequels, which I remember reading just as eagerly as a child, but actually, reading them again now through a mother's eyes, I'm putting them aside for now rather than reading them to Basbusa. Both of the sequels have "naughty child" characters, and the plots tend to center around these children's faults. Their failings are also continually commented on by all the other characters - not exactly name-calling, but too close to it for (my) comfort. The first book in the series, though, is a celebration of children's delight in magic and adventure.

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


  1. I love the Perfect Square book. I recently reviewed it too. I know I read the Jack one this summer, but I don't remember it. Thanks for the other reviews. I was not familiar with them.

  2. Oh, the Boxcar Children . . . Escape while you still can!! ;-). Just kidding. My eldest LOVES those Alden kids. Thanks for the reminder about Enid Blyton. She's an author I keep meaning to explore.

  3. My girls LOVED the Boxcar children when they were younger!

  4. Now I'm curious to read The Perfect Square :)

  5. I have a big Boxcar children fan at my house too (though for the past couple weeks she has taken a break from them and devoured many, many American Girl books instead!).