Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My 3 favorite children's books

Today I thought I would share my 3 favorite children's books and why they are my favorites.

I will start with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. This is my all-time favorite. Basically it's about the town of Chewandswallow, where the food falls from the sky. That is how the town gets its food to eat. Ultimately the "weather" gets too crazy and the people have to abandon the town ad go somewhere else. I used to crave pancakes because of this book!

There is even a follow-up book called Pickles to Pittsburgh by the same author. It's cute, but not as good as the first. I had to get both of my copies on Amazon because I couldn't find them in bookstores. BUT...they are coming out with the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs so I'm sure that the books will once again be easy to find. I am really looking forward to seeing how they adapt it for the big screen.

My 2nd favorite children's book is Weslandia by Paul Fleishman. I was at the library one day and it was on top of the shelves on display and it looked so colorful I picked it up and read it and was totally hooked!

The story is about Wesley, an outcast at school. Summer comes and he finds these unknown seeds and plants them in his backyard. They grow into these huge flowers and Wesley finds tons of uses for them, food, shelter, clothing....just about everything you can think of. He creates his own civilization and even his own language.

Soon enough the classmates who once tormented him want to know more about what he's doing and they end up becoming friends. I think it's a great lesson to be yourself. You don't have to try to impress anyone to make them your friend. A good book for self-esteem.

Plus, how cool would it be to create your own little self sufficient world for the summer? I think that would be awesome.

The last book is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends author). I have a copy of this book that I had bought for Anthony while I was pregnant with him and I didn't know if I was having a girl or a boy. I dedicated it to my baby in January 1996 and he was born in May. I have read this book to him so many times in his life, he should know it all by heart.

Just the other day I read it to the girl's and as soon as Anthony heard me start the story he ran over and jumped on the couch, snuggled up to me and told me that this was his favorite book and he wanted to hear it too. My baby is so sweet.

I actually have something good and something bad to say about the book. First the good...the story is about a tree and a boy. The tree loved the boy. As the boy got older he came to visit the tree less and less and when he did come, the tree offered whatever she could to help the boy out. It's just a nice story to read. It's a story about love, how can you go wrong with that? the bad. Man oh man does that boy seem selfish to me. He takes and takes but doesn't seem to give. Yeah, that doesn't change throughout the book. The tree just gives and the boy takes.

Back to some more good. Even though it seems that the boy is selfish (maybe it's just me who thinks that), I see the tree as a mother. A mother gives and gives to her child as they grow, no matter how old they get. She only wants her child to be happy in this world. A mother does it because she loves her child, not expecting anything in return. Sometimes we, as mothers, don't have much to give, so we give all that we can. In the instance of this book, each time the boy has a need, the tree fufills it the best she can and it's enough.

That is why it is still a favorite book. I read the underlying story. I know as a mother that as long as my children are happy, it's enough. I mean, that is the ultimate goal right? To see your children happy?

So there you have it. I might not be the best at describing the stories but I didn't want to paste and copy the storyline from Amazon! I am always looking for awesome children's books to read to my kids, so please let me know your favorites!!

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