Archive for January 2012

King Hugo’s Huge Ego by Chris Van Dusen

I had a few moments to sit in a coffee shop this morning and randomly read some blogs. It doesn’t feel like I often have time to just do that kind of undirected wandering, but when I do, I’m always so thankful for the world of blogs and for all of the thoughtful, interesting and “wish you were my friend” kinds of people who are out there! So many blogs are humorous and thoughtful. These are traits that I sure hope my daughters will develop!

Our recent reading has included King Hugo’s Huge Ego and it is going to be hard to return this humorous and thoughtful book to the library. As you can guess from the title, it is all about overcoming an inflated sense of self and developing some consideration for others. This book has infectious rhythm and well-thought-out rhyme to keep everyone involved. It also has a few words that are unusual (thou, ermine, kismet, rivulet, etc.) or long (sheepishly, haughty, preposterous, adoration, etc.) that we don’t come across often in our reading. It has engaging characters including a spunky sorceress, so really, what more could you want from a book? Oh yes — the drawings are fun! This book was created by a very talented author/illustrator.

Finally, this book has Elizabeth volunteering to read alternate pages aloud! For all my complaining last fall about her reluctance to read herself, just know I am one happy reader/listener mom these days!

King Hugo rules! (in a fair and friendly way)

Check it out when you have a chance!


How are your New Years’ resolutions starting off?

There is all sorts of new years’ advice available right now. Here is one more idea to add to your list – add the TPL website to your internet favourites/shortcuts and schedule a quick weekly visit. I guarantee you will not be disappointed with the time you invest. Today I found information about the annual Family Literacy Day and all kinds of related events. I’m planning to take my daughters to a reading that will help introduce them to a new author! We have had such a great time attending a variety of live theatre and dance performances over the holidays that I’m quite excited to see how the girls will enjoy a reading by an author.

I also quickly browsed the New for Children books section and made a reservation for a new natural science book – Coral Reefs by Jason Chin. Elizabeth is keenly interested in natural science right now. I want her to know that I’m in tune with her interests and help to encourage her love of reading by ensuring we have books on the topics that interest her the most.

I took a few minutes to check out the blogs section which always has something of interest.  I am particularly a fan of the blog Growing a Reader: Kids Books, Tips and More.

Finally, if you live in Toronto and don’t already know about an excellent program offered by the library to increase access to a variety of venues in the city, check out the Sun Life Financial Museum & Arts Pass.

The Toronto Public Library website has so much information to offer. Make it a regular destination to keep your emerging readers interested and find great, often free, things to do all year long!

Born Yesterday – The Diary of a Young Journalist by James Solheim, illustrated by Simon James

What does a baby really think about his/her sibling? The young journalist in this story has a variety of superlatives to describe the older sister. After having lots of time to observe Sophie and Elizabeth and some other sibling interactions, I laughed loudly and long while reading this book. Right now, my daughters seem to spend more time arguing and fighting than getting along with each other and lots of days I find this excruciatingly draining. So I was happy to be reminded of a time, not so long ago, when big sister was EVERYTHING.

I really do embrace my daughters’ development as individuals. I have faith that this fighting phase will pass (in 10 or 20 years – anyone interested in a long-term bet?!). In the meantime, they will find something to quibble over every time a book is selected and there are many times that I impose a mama’s-choice rule.

If you have a new addition to your family of three or if you feel like a quirky book, take the time to read this one out loud a time or two. The baby is a character – very informed about the US states, movement and what to chew on. No doubt this sibling pair will have some years of fighting ahead, but in the meantime it is just nice to think about how the members of our families are also stars and touch-stones to each other.

Hope your New Year is off to a peaceful and reading filled start!