Monday, November 12, 2007

Give a Hoot, Read a Book

November 12-18 marks the 88th annual Children's Book Week designed to promote both the fun and importance of reading. According to The Children's Book Council (CBC) reading skills are slipping and only 1 in 17 high school seniors can gain information from specialized text. Reading practice needs to start at a young age, and children need to learn by word and example that reading is not only a life-long skill, it opens your heart, tickles your mind and ignites your imagination.

In the spirit of Children's Book Week (and because I own a LARGE number of children's books) I am going to highlight some of my favorite kiddy lit. Don't worry. You'll love it. Trust me.

It's rare that I can pick a favorite anything in my life, but here is a case where I actually have a hands-down, no questions asked favorite children's book.

by Leo Lionni

Frederick was an adorable little mouse who always had his own way of doing everything. When the other mice were gathering food for the winter, it always seemed that Frederick was sitting by himself doing nothing. But Frederick always explained that he was very busy gathering other things. Frederick gathered sun rays "for the dark cold winter days." Frederick gathered colors "for the winter is gray." And Frederick gathered words, "For the winter days are long and many, and we'll run out of things to say."

Sure enough, as the winter dragged on, the mice turned to Frederick and asked him about his "supplies." And Frederick, always a little different than the rest, fed the weary, dreary depressed mice memories of hot summer days, vibrant colors of the field in springtime and a little poem about the four little field mice who bring the seasons.

It's such a simple story, but I always loved Frederick. He understood that all sorts of things in this world are important and it was just as important to feed the soul as it was to feed the body. Not bad for a little mouse.

More tomorrow. But in the meantime, I want to know, what's your favorite children's book?


nk said...

i could go on and on and on about children's books!

if i have to pick just one, i will pick the giving tree, which makes me mist.

shout out also to harold and the purple crayon, where the wild things are, green eggs and ham, the cat in the hat and goodnight moon...just off the top of my head.

Anonymous said...

When I was a chld, I loved the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When my daughter was small, I especially liked books by Robert McCroskey, such as "Make Way for Ducklings" and "Blueberries for Sal".
Remember Pack, Mac, Lac, Quack, Jack, etc?

Peace Tuna

annie said...

I'm actually pretty fond of "Frederick," myself (he and I are both artsy iconoclasts who appear to be idle while others toil), but my favorite is a tie between "One Morning in Maine" and "Over and Over" which is a beautifully illustrated book about all of the things that happen every year in a child's life. Oh, and "Madeleine."

Kat said...

Mine was always "The Little Engine That Could" both for its message and for the rich illustration. Doodle's favorite so far is "Goodnight Moon."

Anonymous said...

AnnieClaus says:
FREDERICK is one of my favorites, too, along with SWIMMY and anything by Richard Scarry. Read on!!!

bozoette said...

Oh my! I thought I was the only person who loved Make Way for Ducklings! I also loved Alice in Wonderland and all the Winnie the Pooh books, and a lovely Little Golden Book called Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat, about a mean bear who sat on the other critters' houses and squashed them. Then the critters banded together and made their homes in a big tire, with predictable consequences for Mr. Bear SYAF.

bozoette said...

And the Madeline books, and the Jenny Linsky books!

Diddums said...

I haven't heard of Frederick the mouse before, but he sounds just my cup of tea! I have just been writing a couple of informal posts about George Mackay Brown; your description of Frederick reminded me of him. He felt that art should have a place in the ordinary person's life.

Antoinette said...

Never heard of Frederick before, but I love Children's Books. Mine are mostly by Dutch authors, but I've read the Little House books as well. My kids love reading and they both have a huge collection, of which I happily borrow something now and then :)