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Bonkers for books

When my kids were first born--my son especially--I tried to keep a pretty detailed record of everything we were reading. That flew out the window over time. But they're both bonkers for books. My daughter even asked to turn off a movie and read one together this morning. We read 1 book before nap. 3 books before bedtime. And a stack of others throughout the day if the mood strikes. They're piled on shelves, they're lined up on the floor against almost an entire wall of the dining room/playroom. They sometimes accompany them IN the bed while falling asleep.

So I'm going to try to periodically mention a few books that really stand out. In some cases--like today--it may be a whole collection of one author or illustrator's books.

That's the case with Kate & Jim McMullan...they have a whole series of books revolving around work vehicles (and dinosaurs). I Stink is about a garbage truck. I'm Fast about a train. I'm Mighty about a tugboat. And so on. Each vehicle is a spunky little character who is surprisingly good at their job. We see their typical day, learn how important their job is, and the kids really relate to these underdog-ish heroes who are everyday ordinary at first glance. You can visit Kate's website for more info at:

Another current hit in our house is the Otis the Tractor series. The illustrations are beautiful, the stories sweet and tender, and they're the perfect length/difficulty for a 3-4 year old. The original is about an old tractor who befriends a calf, the tractor is replaced by a new, stronger yellow one, the cow gets stuck in some mud, and his old friend, Otis, is the only one who can get him out.

And, last but not least for today, is a story the kids received from their grandmother for Easter. It's a cute animals-in-Spring tale with excellent pictures called Icky Little Duckling by Steve Smallman. The book follows a very neat, tidy Mr. Rabbit who collects sparkly items. One happens to accidentally be a duck egg. The egg hatches. There's oatmeal, a search for the duck's mama, and chaos. In the end, the very tidy Mr. Rabbit realizes he is lonely without a messy duck around to make him happy. Both my kids ask for this one again and again.