Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Books

I don't need an excuse to buy new books. In fact, my kids rarely get new books for Christmas (except for the books they get from Grandma) because I buy them new books all the time. Yesterday afternoon when the kids were home from school and Utah Dad had a break from his students, we went to the book fair at the neighborhood elementary school. It was the "Buy One Get One Free" book fair which is our favorite and a pretty dang awesome deal. We spent some time perusing the selection and came home with eight new books. Utah Dad picked two historical books. Neal picked a mystery and a fantasy novel. Amberly, who is becoming an excellent reader, picked two beginning chapter books about princesses. And I helped Thomas and Lilly pick out two picture books (my favorite). Since I was holding Molly in one arm and keeping a second hand on Lilly, I didn't get to read through any of the books. I picked solely on the delightful illustrations.

When we got home, we wasted no time before enjoying our new books. Thomas and Lilly gathered on my lap so that I could read to them.

The first book is Queen of the Class by Mary Engelbreit. We've long been fans of her unique and nostalgic illustrations. Her style is unmistakable and beloved. I'm sure you're all familiar with it. I bought Engelbreit's illustrated version of Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses when my first children were small and it has consistently been one of our favorite books to read together. I was thrilled to see that Engelbreit has continued illustrating and writing books for children. Queen of the Class is a charming story about Ann Estelle who longs to play the role of the queen in her class play. Instead, she is given the role of stage manager. Disappointed, she resolves to do her best and ultimately saves the play. Ann Estelle is a darling character who is creative, energetic and definitely the star.

Next, we read The President and Mom's Apple Pie by Michael Garland. It seems a paradox, yet the computer-generated illustrations are folksy and hearken back to the simpler time of bunting, parades and marching bands one hundred years ago. President William Howard Taft, who was known for his immense size and appetite, steps from the train into the midst of a cheering crowd of small-town America. Led by a delicious smell, the President discovers the unique and tasty flavors that make up an assimilated United States of America. If the clever story doesn't make you chuckle, the pictures of a profoundly prodigious (a few more of Neal's vocabulary words) President Taft running down Main Street, U.S.A. certainly will.


Kate Weber said...

I always loved book fairs. My last one was in Middle School and I always wished they had they in Jr. High and High School. I suppose they figure High School kids are too busy reading required stuff. Psh.

Love Mary Engelbreit. The Mother Goose book is wonderful, isn't it? I love her art. Beautiful stuff!

I hope that when I have kids they are as into reading as yours. I love reading and really want to pass that love onto them.

Booklogged said...

I love Mary Engelbreit, too. In fact, I have lots of stuff for my Mary Engelbreit room - first conceptualized when Katie was younger.