Friday, May 8, 2009

A 'pissalis'

The Very Hungry Caterpillar In the Night Kitchen We're Going on a Bear Hunt Rose Meets Mr.Wintergarten Grandpa and Thomas Too Loud Lily Owl Moon Moon in the Man Honey Sandwich Auction! Sam and the Tigers: A New Telling of Little Black Sambo The King of Capri Clarice Bean, That's Me (Clarice Bean) I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato

Warning: I am a proud mother as well as a very frequently interrupted reader, and what follows is a soppy announcement: My 3 year old daughter 'read' me The Very Hungry Caterpillar today. I was idly enjoying it as she sighed, over and over again, And he was still hungry... And then my heart did a great big happy flip flop as she told me that he made a 'pissalis' (a chrysalis, to those of you unfamiliar with the pronunciation of a 3 year old).

It renewed my already flaming passion to fill my house with good books for kids, books which respect the reader and are packed full of interesting language. To hell with the thousands of inane kids' books, soggy, bland and boring. May they rot. Here's a list of some of my favourite picture story books, in no particular order. These books are graceful, funny, beautiful, intelligent, and a joy to read. We've read them all dozens, if not hundreds, of times, and we're not sick of them yet! Some of their phrases have become part of our family language; now if that's not a test of a book, then I don't know what is. If you haven't come across them, seek them out, then settle in with a young child for a leisurely afternoon.

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak ('Milk in the batter, milk in the batter, we make cake and nothing's the matter.' Sung loudly while making Sunday morning pancakes.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle ('and he was still hungry').
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen ('we're not scared...').
Rose Meets Mr.Wintergarten by Bob Graham ('Catch, Mr Wintergarten!').
Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen ('Swish, swash, swoosh, sings the sea.')
Too Loud Lily by Sofie Laguna ('Lily Hippo, not so loud!').
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen ('and I almost smiled, too').
Moon in the Man and Honey Sandwich by Elizabeth Honey (two collections of poems, mostly memorized by my kids by the time they were three).
Auction! by Tres Seymour ('a dollar, a dollah, who'll give me a dollah?')
Sam and the Tigers: A New Telling of Little Black Sambo by Julius Lester ('Ain't I fine?!').
The King of Capri by Jeannette Winterson ('and the fifth thing that the Wind did was to blow the mustaches off the nightwatchmen'.)
and for slightly older readers, Clarice Bean, That's Me (Clarice Bean) by Lauren Child ('Right now you are NOT the flavour of the month young lady.') (My kids repeat this and laugh themselves sick. They also love the Charlie and Lola stories, especially I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato).

1 comment:

  1. Loved the anecdote, and the list too - I'll try to chase down the unfamiliar ones...