Books with Baby

Here are some books my daughter has enjoyed having me read to her — and that I’ve enjoyed reading right back.

Duck and Goose Colors by Tad Hill. A cute book with the Duck and Goose characters, comparing things that are the same color. “The tip of Goose’s beak is black, like ants.” I think she likes the shortness, and the bright colors.

Babies on the Farm. A lift-the-flap book where a couple of goat kids go around meeting the other baby animals. It’s a thick board book with thick board book flaps, so she can’t easily destroy this book, and the art is very cute.

Hello, Cape Cod! by Martha Zschock. A pair of seagulls show you all the things you can do on Cape Cod. The rhyming is fun and easy to read in an upbeat voice. I also love when the seagulls are obviously in Provincetown, and you see a book store, a candy shop, and an LGBT flag.

Llama Llama Trick or Treat by Anna Dewdney. She loves baby Llama and has no sense of when holidays take place, so this book is perfect.

God Bless You, and Good Night. This was a gift for my daughter from my mother-in-law after her baptism. Sweet-looking fuzzy animals going to bed. I love how the text reinforces how much the parent loves the baby.

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak. Speaking of reinforcing how much I love my baby, the text declares love for all parts of the baby, both fun and difficult. “I love your happy side, your sad side, your silly side, your mad side.” Plus Church’s illustrations are very sweet, and my daughter has actually leaned forward to kiss the baby on the face while I’ve been reading. (And yes, I almost died because my insides melted from the raging fire of adorable.)

Those are some of my daughter’s favorites, this week at least. What do you read to your kids over, and over, and over again?


Recent To-Read Pile Additions: SciFi, Roller Derby, Serious, and Fun

I add books to my To-Read list faster than I can actually read books. I know at least half of what I want to read will go unread forever — but here are some that I’ve recently become interested in that I really, really hope I can get to someday.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I don’t know too much about this book, except it’s about humans colonizing Mars. Recently I’ve wanted to read more science fiction, and I’ve heard good things about this series from multiple sources. Plus, there’s apparently going to be a TV series of it in a couple of years, because everything is a TV series now (thanks, Game of Thrones, you started a trend!) so I better leap on that bandwagon before it gets too overloaded.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein. I just read the first book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, and I thought it was a fun book with good characters and really fun puzzles. (Probably helped that the puzzles made me think of Gravity Falls…sigh.) I want to stay on top of what’s pretty popular for kids books, too, and this is a quick read, so I hope to get through this one soon.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. A kid’s graphic novel about a girl who joins roller derby to get over losing touch with her best friend. This has been out for MONTHS, I have no excuse, I should have read this long ago.

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork. This is a contemporary young adult novel about a girl who survives trying to commit suicide. I’ve read Stork’s other young adult book, Marcelo in the Real World, and I was floored by his complex characterization of Marcelo and the way that character grows by the end of the book. I’m so positive I’ll love this book, I’ll probably fall into a fit of rage if I don’t.

Will I get to these books? Probably, maybe, someday, we’ll see!

What’s on your list?

The Continued Love of Baby-sitter’s Club

Earlier this weeMary Anne Baby-sitter's Clubk, when I worked in the children’s room at the library, a girl dropped off a stack of Baby-sitter’s Club books. Then she checked out a new stack. “I love these books,” she said to me as I prepared to check them out for her. “I love them, too,” I replied. “I read them when I was your age.” I worried that this comment would sound weird, or would make her not want to read these books anymore, but she was excited. Through a gap of 16 years, we had a connection of taste.

Baby-sitter’s Club — along with Boxcar Children, Animorphs, and Goosebumps — was a distinct part of my middle-school-aged childhood. I read these books at home, on the bus, under my desk at school, got them from the library or made my mom let me get one or two or five on a trip to the bookstore. Probably there were others, once I read like eating potato chips and forgot about within months. When I see these series, I think of the 90s, and it’s funny, and great, to see them still gracing the library shelves.

Sometimes these books have fallen to pieces, or they simply haven’t been read to the point that they can’t earn their spot on the shelf. I had a depressing day when I marked up and stamped DISCARD on every Animorphs book, then stacked them up in the pile of recyclable trash. But I understand. Like I said, these were a product of my childhood, and there are plenty of new book series, both great and awful, to check out in piles and devour.

But sometimes, the things that I loved as a kid are still loved today. That girl isn’t the only one I’ve seen run through Anne Martin’s books. It’s a little strange, seeing kids pick up something that seemed tailor made for a couple decades ago, but it also gives me the idea that there’s a part of my childhood that I really liked that kids are still sharing in. And that’s nice.