If you have a small person in your life who needs a Christmas gift, why not consider a book? Here are some of the fun ones we have read lately.
Fannie in the Kitchen - Author Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrator Nancy Carpenter
If you're thinking that Fannie and the word kitchen sound familiar together, you're right. This is the story of Fannie Farmer - as in the Fannie Farmer cookbook. Credited by some as the inventor of the modern recipe, Fannie was among the first people to create written guidelines for cooking and baking with exact measurements. As a mother's helper in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shaw, she teaches their young daughter Marcia how to cook by writing her a gigantic book of recipes. Of course, she's soon on her way to being a published author. Very cute book with old fashioned looking dresses and a bonus recipe for griddle cakes in the back. That's pancakes, in case you didn't know. I just like the name griddle cakes better.
The Brave Little Seamstress - Author Mary Pope Osborne, Illustrator Giselle Potter
I picked this book for nostalgia's sake because I recognized it as a take on an old Grimm's fairy tale - The Brave Little Tailor. When her shop is overrun with flies, the little seamstress smashes 7 in one blow. She is so proud of her accomplishment, she make a vest with the boast written on the back, "Seven in One Blow!" Of course, no one realizes she's talking about flies and she's soon making a name for herself across the kingdom as a kind of super-knight. What happens when she runs into the king who is intimidated by her accomplishments? Read it and find out!
Jack and Jill's Treehouse - Author Pamela Duncan Edwards, Illustrator Henry Cole
The illustrations are what drew me to this book. They are colorful and, I think, pencil drawn. The words have a rhythmic quality and follow the pattern of "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly". Jack and Jill build a lovely little tree house with simple tools and proceed to invite their friends over to play. The story was simple enough but the pictures made it was one of my daughter's favorite books this week. She keeps telling me she wants to build a tree house and I keep explaining that a quarter-mile tall pine tree is not an ideal spot. Regardless, if you like the illustrations in this book, check out Henry Cole's site at http://henrycole.net/main.php?link=home
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous - Author Leslea Newman, Illustrator Peter Ferguson
The star of this book is a little boy who possesses a unique joie de vivre. He is so captivated by the wonder of life around him that he tends to be late to everything. His parents decide he needs to quit dawdling so they tell him he can no longer say his favorite word, "Fabulous!". He only mopes for a moment before he realizes there are plenty of other words to express his delight at the world around him. Thankfully, his parents realize how wonderful he is and pronounce him, "Fabulous!" The illustrations in this book are nostalgic and remind me of the movie, "Up." Very cute.
What a Good Big Brother - Diane Wright Landolf, Illustrator Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Another book whose illustrations captured my attention. Big Brother Cameron's face covers the front of this book and he is darling with earnest brown eyes, wide lips and a freckled nose. He loves his new little sister and spends his time helping mom and dad change diapers and feed her. In the end, he is the first to make her laugh. This is a great book for those of you who are either getting ready to welcome a new baby into the family or might be experiencing a little jealousy over a baby whose already arrived. Nothing like reading with your toddler-preschooler to let them know they're still important after the baby arrives!