Once upon a time…a time that now seems a long, long time ago…I read only for my own pleasure. I read anything and everything that brought me entertainment and delight. When I was younger, this meant that every book I read had at least one horse in the story…this went on for many years and many, many, many books. Then, somewhere along the way I started reading YA novels that resembled soap operas. I got completely hooked and waited impatiently every time for the next book in the series to be released which I would then devour, often in one sitting.
As I grew up, I spread my wings and flew head first into the world of fiction. I was open to just about anything. If you handed me a book, I was going to read it. That part hasn’t changed. What has changed, is the type of books I’m being handed now and the person handing them to me.
You see, most of the books I’m reading these days are being chosen by my four-year old. They’re larger and thinner than the books I’m accustomed to, with huge fonts, fewer words, lots of pictures and best of all they are all geared towards pre-schoolers. Well, now they are…when I started reading to her they were written for babies. Not so very stimulating for me, but the joy they brought to my daughter were reason enough to keep reading.
Over the last four years, I’ve learned a lot about children’s books that I never knew. I’ve learned that some of them are just awful. Just really, really bad. Some, are simply bizarre and make me wonder WHY?! Then, every so often, you find a true gem. A book so wonderful that it not only delights your child, but is also entirely enjoyable for us mommies and daddies.
Last night at bedtime, we had an opportunity to read two new books by Barbara Bloom. First, we read Here Comes Pixie Pie: Her Special Day At The Rodeo Fair. We both instantly liked the cover which is pink and girly and has cowgirls on it. All things we happen to love.
The story itself was written in rhyme. It was easy to read and flowed well as we learned all about Pixie Pie, her family and their life on the farm. Parts of the story were interactive and my daughter had fun following along with the colorful images that helped bring the story to life. From observing her, it was clear that she really liked this book, from the pictures to the easy to follow story, she was perfectly content all the way through and eager to read it again.
From a parent’s perspective, I liked how easily the rhyme rolled off of my tongue (I hate when you get into a rhythm and then it stops abruptly or suddenly the line carries on for way too long). I also appreciated the fact that the while the wording was simple and easy for little ones to understand, the author used words like tandem and astrodome, which may not come up in everyday conversation and thus help in building vocabulary without overwhelming little brains to the point of zoning out.
After Pixie Pie it was time for Run Hide The Monster Is Outside: A Tale With A Twist. I have to say, while I really liked both, of the two this was my personal favorite. It was a cute story about being scared of the dark. Most importantly I think, it explained how often the things we think may be monsters, turn out to be completely harmless once we turn on the light and get a better look.
This book was also written in rhyme and had the same type of colorful animations to go along with the story. All in all, I’d say story time was very successful last night and I’m looking forward to a repeat!