Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cluck Naked Cuckoo for Books

I have a weakness for books that cannot be denied. I love reading them, I love collecting them, I love shopping for them, and I love reading them to my kids.

Over the course of fourteen years of motherhood I've amassed quite a collection of children's books that is threatening to take over every ounce of shelf space in our house. Every time I do a purging spell to get rid of things in our house, I can't bring myself to try too hard with my books. Occasionally I'll come across an old book that's falling apart or a board book that the kids have totally outgrown, but to me, the books are like old friends that bring back memories whenever I see them and I can't spare a single one of them.

Like, how can I ever forget how Adam learned to read by sounding out, "Are You My Mother?" to me over and over again?

Or how Cami used to giggle and sing along every time we read, "What is Your Language?"

Or how Ellie stamps her feet and laughs hysterically when the monkeys won't return the peddler's caps in, "Caps For Sale"?

Or how Emma had memorized most of the, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" after we read it three times a day for weeks on end?

Or how Spencer went on daily 'bear hunts' after my sister read him "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" 47 times a day!

And well, then there's Anne of Green Gables who will always be my kindred spirit.

Although I'm quite careful about what books we choose to buy and keep in our home, I'm much more liberal when we go to the library. I preview the older kids' books to make sure they're appropriate, but I give free reign to the little ones in their book choices figuring that anyone who makes picture books gears them for young children.

Mostly picture books are great, but every now and then they bring home a book that reminds me a little less of a friend and more like a crazy old lady that lives in the run-down house with the yard full of pink plastic flamingoes.

Take this book Ellie just chose:

"Chickerella" by Mary Jane & Herm Auch--Ellie chose it because of the chicken in a princess dress on the cover and when I tell you that it's a creative adaptation of the Cinderella story, just know that when I say creative, I don't mean that as a compliment.

At first I was fairly amused by the gawdy costumes and goofy story line with liberal doses of words like, "eggs-celent" and "eggs-citing" and "coop-life", but when Chickerella shoots out a glass egg right into the prince's face at the stroke of midnight, then ran "cluck naked" all the way home I knew this book was one I wouldn't soon forget.

Read this page and just try to keep a straight face:
Not only have I never made it through without going into complete hysterics whenever I get to this page, but I have single-handedly ensured that it's my kids' favorite book ever. They beg me to read it to them just to hear me laugh at it then they take turns reading it to each other laughing maniacally at all the same parts I do.

Can't you just picture a middle aged lady and her husband sitting in their living room surrounded by their 46 chickens and 12 cats just dreaming up ways to make their pets famous?

So what are your favorite children's books? Are your kids' favorites different from your favorites? Which ones do they like? Are there children's books you HATE reading? I can't stand reading the Cat in the Hat. It's just too long and too nonsensical for me.


Sandra said...

Are You My Mother was a favorite for all of my kids. Anne of Green Gables is the favorite of my girls. When my oldest was young I read, "The Little Engine That Could" nearly every day to him. Our kids each have their own favorites and I LOVE books!! I love to read. When I first started homeschooling I had wished for my own library as ours is not very good. It's small and takes forever to get a book if you order one. Now I have more books than I have time to read!! But I LOVE seeing them all on the bookshelves.

Charlene said...

LOL!! I read that book to my daughter too and lucky for us it hasn't been brought back to our home. My daughters favorites are, "Belinda, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious." My boys don't have a specific favorite but if involoves cars, trains, animals, dinosaurs and silliness they love them!

Lincoln said...

I like books, but unfortunately I can not read yet. But I love it when Mommy reads me "Goodnight Moon" and other such quality books. By the way, I am super cute.

annalisa said...

lara! you are hilarious! i love all of the costumes and facial expressions in the pictures:) cami and ellie look especially cool! i must say i do not remember any books that mom read to me when i was younger.
p.s. chickerella is a special book.

Mom said...

I enjoyed reading "Make Way for Ducklings", "A Fly Went By", "Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose", "The Gingerbread Man",and "Freckles" and especially for you "The Lonely Doll".

alexandra said...

Great post! Gotta love those kinds of library books! We pretty much keep the kids flush with library books because I'm too cheap to buy a lot of children's books. Thank goodness for a highly literate, gift-giving grandpa!

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