children's books, children's literature, books, book reviews, parenting, kindergarten, old books

The Fantastic Few Books #2- Oldies

We’re all starting school and getting into our new routines and I keep remembering my commitment to put out some good book reviews out there and haven’t done it. Who knew that doing something two times in a row would be so difficult? I’m blaming it on #momlife #gradschool #kindergarten #threeyearolds #parenting #laundry #kidseatingfood

All excuses aside, I have some books here I’m super excited to shine a new light on. They’re oldies that withstand test of time.

Hotter Than a Hot Dog!
By Stephanie Calmenson, Illustrated by Elivia
Ages 4-8

Written in 1994, this oldie deserves another look. The story is so sweet, with a little girl and her grandma spouting off similes and figuring out endearing ways to beat the heat and end up taking public transportation to the beach. I appreciate the way the illustrations depict full bodied women and girls and that are more realistic than the girls so many books show. Here’s a glimpse into their conversation:

“Granny and I were sitting on our stoop, trying to decide who was hotter.
‘I’m hotter than a hot dog in a campfire!’ I said.
“I’m hotter than a salamander in the sun,’ said Granny.
‘Hotter than a turkey in the oven!’ I said. And I started trotting around the sidewalk like a big, fat turkey.”

The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes
By Phyllis Krasilovsky, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Ages 4-8

Alright, the eldest of the group written in 1950, this libro is about a man washing dishes. Which is odd if you think about it being written in 1950… which is also why it shows the man smoking a pipe on the last page, but you could pretend that page was partially torn off or make the pipe into a bubble gum bubble. The story line is about procrastination and how failing to do little things can make for a big problem. It’s a helpful concept for getting children to clean their rooms everyday, or whatever other chores you’re trying to talk them into to being responsible human beings. Here’s a quote:

“But the next night he was TWICE as hungry, so he cooked TWICE as big a supper and took TWICE as long to eat it and was TWICE as tired by the time he’d finished. So he left THOSE dishes in the sink too.”

Aren’t you just dying to find out what happens?

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie
by Laura Rankin
Ages 3-6

I LOVE this book. It might be one of my top five ever. Ruthie, the main character, is captivated by tiny little toys (like those weird Shopkins). My kids have the same fascination. The deeper message reveals all the emotions that surface when you want something so much, you do something regrettable to get it. The story walks us through Ruthie’s feelings and how she comes to terms with herself to make things right. The illustrations are engaging and it’s a great message for all ages, since we all make mistakes and have to decide how to recover from them.

Quote: “Mrs. Olsen didn’t make her sit in the time-out corner. She didn’t even look mad. Instead, she gave Ruthie a hug and kissed the top of her head. ‘Thank you for telling the truth, said Mrs. Olsen. ‘That took a lot of courage.'”

Happy reading!

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