Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Emma Kate

In Emma Kate, a little girl and an elephant are the best of friends. They go to school together, eat lunch together, and most importantly reads books together. Then, at the end of the day, the two say a sweet goodnight to Mom and Dad.

Does anyone else like Patricia Polacco? I do. Patricia has a very original style of illustrating, and once you are familiar with one or two of her books, they are easy to pick out as well as fun. I have not read all of Polacco's many books, but so far, this is my favorite. Elephants are heavy, and wrinkly, and they have long eyelashes --all fun things to notice with your child when viewing these excellent illustrations.

My three year old daughter and I really enjoy reading Emma Kate together. I began wondering if this story might have her thinking a little, when after a few reads she began asking what the little girl's name was. We know that the mom calls her daughter sweet pea at bedtime, just the same as my daughter. But the elephant is of course Emma Kate. Or is it? It might take a while for a child to catch this! This book is worth rereading to find new details in the pictures, but Emma Kate is still short, sweet, and one to smile through together.

To enjoy some Emma Kate printables, see Patricia Polacco's website here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Humbug Witch

This has to be the most charming witch you have ever met! However, she can't seem to get her spells to work right. She tries all kinds of peanut butter- ketchup potions, and casting-the-cat-away spells to no avail. This adorable witchy-witch then gives up for bedtime, and it becomes a little more clear what's in the way of her magic. The first time you read Humbug Witch, you and your child will enjoy the surprise, but you will not tire of reading it over and over. Don't miss this one! In my mind, this is a book that just happens to be extra fun to read around Halloween, but it's also a classic I wouldn't want to be without.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Hoodwinked, written and illustrated by Arthur Howard, is full of kid appeal. The story features Mitzi, a small red-haired witch, who likes everything to be creepy. She prefers creepy breakfast cereal, creepy slippers, creepy relatives, and now she is searching for a really creepy pet. The lady at the creepy pet store, (who has long blue teeth!) tries several times to please Mitzi, but some pets are too buggy, some are too batty, and some Mitzi decides just need some thinking over. What to do? Mitzi's new pet practically comes knocking on her front door, but is it creepy enough?

Mitzi reminds me an awful lot of my children, who only think they like all things creepy. This creepy-loving, small and freckled, red-headed witch is anything but creepy, which makes the illustrations perfect for young children. My three year old daughter really enjoys this book, but even as uncreepy as it really is, for younger kids it's best read in the daylight, because according to my daughter, nightlight shadows have a tendency to become a little creepy otherwise.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too Many Pumpkins

Isn't there just something magical about pumpkins? All kids seem to love them. Even more so, there is something magical about Too Many Pumpkins: filling the porch, the lawn, and kitchen. This story gives you and your child your fill of pumpkins, and all the magical things that go with them. The pictures in this book, by Megan Lloyd, are wonderfully detailed and perfect for entertaining old and young eyes both.

The cute old gardener Rebecca Estelle remembers a time where they had nothing to eat but pumkins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and so she never wants to see a pumpkin again. But somehow a stubborn pumpkin plant, originating from a smashed pumpkin, grows despite neglect, and Rebecca Estelle meets her match of pumpkins. She manages to use up the pumpkins she thought she detested, to the delight of the town.

I love the fact that this story is based on a true experience by author Linda White's grandmother, who lived during the great depression, and really did eat pumpkins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An enjoyable book my kids and I haven't tired of yet-- and although we read it anytime, it's perfect for October!