Morris looked at the candy.
He liked the gumdrops.
He said, “Give me some of those.”
The man said,
“They are one for a penny.
How much money do you have?”
Morris looked. He had six pennies.
“I have four pennies,” he said.
The man laughed. “You have six!
Can’t you count? Don’t you go to school?”
Morris asked, “What is school?”
The rest of the book answers this question, as Morris immediately heads off to school and learns lots of new things. Perhaps most importantly, by the end of the day he knows how to purchase the right amount of gumdrops.
Morris takes things very literally, and the resulting misunderstandings (like in the picture above) really tickle my youngest (who is getting ready to start school himself). This book also presents many opportunities for him to participate in the reading (for example, by counting Morris’ pennies).
Author: B. Wiseman
Illustrator: B. Wiseman
The last time I wrote about Frog and Toad, this series didn’t interest the boys much. But recently they developed a strong interest in A Year with Frog and Toad, a musical based on the books (and a wonderful show, if you ever get a chance to see it in person), and now really enjoy the books.
Like Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggy series, the two best friends in this series have very different personalities. The Frog and Toad series is less laugh-out-loud funny than Mr. Willems’, but is still humorous and often tender. Some of our favorite stories are “Shivers,” from Days with Frog and Toad; “Spring” and “A Lost Button,” from Frog and Toad are Friends; “Cookies,” from Frog and Toad Together; and “Down the Hill” and “Ice Cream,” from Frog and Toad All Year.
Author: Arnold Lobel
Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Posted in Chapter Books, Early Readers
Tagged A Year with Frog and Toad (Original Cast Recording), Animals, Arnold Lobel, Caldecott Honor, Christmas, Days with Frog and Toad, Elephant & Piggie, food, Frog and Toad, Frog and Toad All Year, Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, garden, I read this as a kid, Mo Willems, Newbery Honor Book, Robert and Willie Reale, series, songs
Expecting her baby to arrive soon, a mother bird leaves her nest and egg to gather food. When the baby hatches ahead of schedule, he goes out to search for her (without having any idea what to look for). After much confusion, there is a joyful reunion.
The language here is basic. Prosaic, even. But the pictures are great and the concept reliably amuses (my mother used to read it to me).
Author: P.D. Eastman
Illustrator: P.D. Eastman
This very simple early reader has sweet pictures and rhymes that are not forced. But the biggest draw, of course, is that it is about one of the boys’ very favorite subjects.
Author: Marjorie Blain Parker
Illustrator: Stephanie Roth
Sure, I could talk about what a classic this book is. How funny it is. Its cadence. Its illustrations. All wonderful.
But the most wonderful part of all is that last night my oldest read (not recited!) about the first 25 pages of it to us. He’s an official reader now!
Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
The first Mr. Putter & Tabby book I picked up was Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears. I loved it. The relationships between Mr. Putter, his fine cat Tabby, their outgoing neighbor Ms. Teaberry, and her good dog Zeke are the heart of the series and the the soft, bittersweet tone and pictures grabbed me immediately. Much to my delight, my boys loved it too. So we’ve slowly been adding to our Mr. Putter & Tabby collection. Like any series, we’ve connected with some of the books more than others. But we’ve read most of the following over and over again (sometimes we’ll read the whole book at a go, other times we’ll read a chapter before bed for several nights running). We also have several others in the series on our wishlist for “someday.” Here is our current collection in the order the books were published:
- 1994 Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea (a great place to begin–the origin story of Mr. Putter and Tabby’s friendship)
- 1994 Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog (introduces Ms. Teaberry and her chaos-causing dog Zeke–the boys love Zeke)
- 1994 Mr. Putter & Tabby Bake the Cake (a nice Christmas story that we just take out for a short time each year)
- 1995 Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears (as mentioned above, my personal favorite)
- 1997 Mr. Putter & Tabby Fly the Plane (a particularly bittersweet entry)
- 1997 Mr. Putter & Tabby Row the Boat (great for a hot day)
- 2000 Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch (the illustrations here are priceless)
- 2001 Mr. Putter & Tabby Feed the Fish (Tabby’s “fish problem” is presented with both sympathy and humor)
- 2003 Mr. Putter & Tabby Stir the Soup (Zeke gets lots of giggles here)
- 2008 Mr. Putter & Tabby Run the Race (the boys are in complete agreement with Mr. Putter’s motivation for running the race–a second-place prize of a model train set)
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Arthur Howard
Posted in Early Readers
Tagged Animals, Arthur Howard, Christmas, Cynthia Rylant, food, garden, Machines, Mr. Putter & Tabby, series, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, toys