Thursday, April 12, 2012

The "Read it Again" List

Yesterday, as I was packing for a speaking engagment this weekend, my crew saw me grabbing one of our newer favorite books, Balloons Balloons Balloons by Dee Lillegard.  I found this gem last year at Barnes and Noble in the "bargain books bin" for $5.95.  Just recently I introduced it to the children, and it has become an instant favorite.

As I was packing it, I decided to check on it's availability.  I hate to share books that people can't get any longer, and since I found it in the "bargain" section, chances were pretty good that it might not be in print anymore.

So, to the trusty internet I went.  What did I learn?  It is available.  For an amazingly HEFTY price!!!  Get this...on , the cost of a new copy ranges from $129.95 - $297.85!!!  Now, if that is out of your budget...perhaps a used copy for $73.95 - $273.37!!  CRAZY!!!

My first thought:  " shoes and a purse!!"
My second thought:   " is a fantastic book, I should feel honored that I get to share it with young children."
My third thought:  "....but....if it was worth a million dollars, THEN we would only have a top 19 list!"

Anyway, I posted this moment on my "Play Counts" Facebook page and one of the responses was "I'd love to see your list of top 20 books"  And thus.....this blog post was born!

So then...without any further a duex......I present you with the

"Top 20 Read it Agains"
(according to the children at Giggles and Grins Daycare and Playschool)

Each of these selections are uniquely loaded with their own treasures.  Listen to the children in your program.  Books that are favorites at my program may only get a so-so review at yours.  The love of a book has a lot to do with the reader.  It's not only the story, but also how the book  is presented, read, interpreted and what the interests of the audience are.  Read aloud for the enjoyment of a story....yes, there are math skills, literacy skills and social/emotional skills that can be addressed in all of these books... but the main reason we read to children is to instill a love of reading in them.  Allow the children to get lost in the book and let their imaginations run wild!

When children voluntarily recite a story during KNOW it's
a good one!!!  That is the case with Boom Bah by Phil Cummings! 

One cannot read this book without their
imagination going CRAZY!!  Read my previous
blog post about My Garden to see how this
book has inspired imaginations in my

EXTREMELY funny, and VERY imaginative!

Julia Donaldson writes with such a unique rhythm that is
very enticing.  Her books also rhyme and the storyline
is very appealing to young children!

As the reader of the story, I LOVE TO READ THIS!!!  It is my time to shine
as a former theater nut!!, what about the children?  They love it as
well....the illustrations are amazing, and the storyline is very creative!

Children LOVE ice cream!  Steve Metzger knows
what children can relate too!  Most can relate to ice cream. 
This selection has inspired SO much imaginative
play!!!  Check out the blog post that is all about The Ice Cream King  for
more info.!

The reason for this post.... if you can find it for a reasonable price, I guarantee
the children in your life will LOVE IT!!  It's not, however, worth $297.00!!!

This word-less wonder is one of our most favorite of the
favorites!!!  Imagination OVERLOAD (in a good way!!)  Make sure
to be prepared with chalk and a water source for some
amazing imaginative play!
Virginia Walter (or anyone that knows Virginia):  PLEASE put this
book back in print!!  It's a wonderfully, ridiculously simple book that
young children LOVE!  They LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  If you find it
at a rummage sale...snag it! It's another WAAAY over-priced gem
on Amazon!

This is a new favorite for us.  I just discovered it last week, and
it has quickly made it to the "read it again" list!  The author, Laura Leuck
knows how to spark the imagination of a young child.  Who wouldn't love
to fly through the sky like a butterfly... for just one day?!!

An oldie, but a goodie!  Loved by all!

This book is pure GOLD!  So much fun...a nice read on a cozy
rainy day!  Use your imagination as to how children can
truly break beds!!  (If you've seen me present, you know what
my children LOVE to do...but, come on now, I can't give EVERYTHING away!!) 
Be clever...and listen to the children's ideas!!

This was a favorite of mine as a child, so it's wonderful
to be able to make it a favorite for so many more children!! 

This book is a joy to read and listen to.  It gets the children involved as they cannot
keep from joining in with the rhyming style and sneaky rhythm! 

Another one that inspires imagination!  This is NOT your typical "I want to be a policeman when
I get big book"  NOT in the least bit!!  LOADS and LOADS of fun!!  My children
love to debate between the different "jobs" this book talks about and why they would
prefer to do one over another!  "Would you rather be a Puddle Stomper or
an Apple Chomper?"

Every single rainy day comes with the promise of
"reading" The Yellow Umbrella.  This is another wordless wonder
that is absolutely magical.  It comes with an instrumental CD that
makes sharing this book a very calming experience for all!

Seriously.....just get this one!  It's a rhyming, giggling, super fun
read accompanied by lots of tickling!!  There are "tickle monster gloves" available
as well.  I HIGHLY suggest them!

Another Julia Donaldson masterpiece (The Gruffalo).  Amazingly, this
book has the same rhythm and feel as The Gruffalo.  It has rhythm, repetition and rhyme that
always encourages children to read right along with you!

This is a HILARIOUS read, and another FANTASTIC
choice for those with a love of the stage!  Pure enjoyment for the reader and listener both!!  Practice
up on your Spanish, French and Southern accents, and be prepared for laughter! 
Catherine Friend HAD to have had a blast writing this!!  And John Manders
illustrated it PERFECTLY!

Holy imagination inspiration!  This book has been the catalyst for HOURS
and HOURS of grand imaginative play!!  We haven't read this book for a few months,
yet the imaginative play inspired by this book continues!!  I would
love to meet the author's (Jason Hook) grandpa!!  Read the blog post all
about Where's the Dragon for more info!!

And there you have it!  The top 20 "read it agains" according to some brilliant young minds!! 

I could write a blog post about the learning potential of each of these books, but for now -- share these with your children, then follow their imaginations and ideas!  Children LOVE to bring books alive!!  I'll work on further blog posts --- you, just go enjoy!!, be inspired and GO PLAY!!!