book stack · home library · Jewish · lift the flap books · picture books

At the top of this week’s book stack…

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids’ version has been adapted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.

This week, there are four books that seem to be making it out of Isabelle’s wall unit bookshelf:

  • City Signs by Zoran Milich has a school bus on the cover.  My daughter is fascinated by all forms of transportation, especially school buses.  She wakes up around 7 a.m. at which time I open the blinds to her bedroom almost immediately.  While she’s still in her crib, we often see a school bus pass by, which delights her to no end.  However, the reason I think this book is out is because she likes it when I sing “The Wheels on the Bus” to her.  In fact, in order to get me to sing the song, she will often open to the page in Milich’s book that has the school bus and then she’ll sign “more,” which I’ve learned means, “Sing the ‘Wheels on the Bus’, Mommy.”  And, of course, I do.
  • Happy Birthday, Moon (Moonbear) by Frank Asch is an older book I recently added to our home collection since my daughter has a great fondness of the moon these days.  I was perusing moon-themed birthday parties (She’s turning two soon.) on Pinterest, which is when I first learned about this book.  Isabelle LOVES pointing to the moon on each page.  As time goes on, I look forward to teaching her about the concept of an echo by utilizing this book.  (Bear calls out to the moon from the mountaintops and believes the moon is answering him back.  In reality, as you probably already guessed, he is hearing his echo.)
  • Isabelle’s cousins gave her The Shapes of My Jewish Year by Marji Gold-Vukson several months ago.  It’s long been a favorite.  As Chanukah approaches, it is a reminder to me to talk about the shapes of things (e.g., the gelt, the candles, the dreidel) with Isabelle so that the holiday isn’t just about religion… it’ll also be a time that reinforces basic concepts as well.
  • Whose Toes Are Those? is a new lift the flap board book by Sally Symes.  Each page spread asks the reader to guess which animal’s nose and toes are hiding behind the flap. Once the flap is lifted the adorable animal is revealed and giggles ensue.  This is one of the cuter lift the flap books I’ve encountered in recent months and I look forward to buying it for friends whose kids also have second birthdays coming up in the next few months.

Come back next week Monday to learn about some of our favorite Chanukah books!

board books · home library · OBSERVATIONS · picture books · slice of life

Garnering a Spot on the “Real” Bookshelf

Some of Isabelle’s books are now housed in a cabinet on the bottom left of our wall unit. She’s responsible for the upkeep of the shelves now, which is why they’re a little disheveled. But that’s okay. She’s not even two yet!

I looked at the our coffee table with disdain, yet again, since it was hemorrhaging books.  Picture books.  Board books.  Isabelle’s books.  It was becoming had become an eye sore.  I had to do something with it.  Before Thanksgiving. Before the night was out.  Before one of us accidentally tripped over another book yet again.

“Isabelle,” I said, tapping my daughter on the shoulder to get her attention.  “Do you want a special place for your books?”

She looked at me strangely.  Not just strangely.  She looked at me with her teenager face.  She had no idea what I was talking about.

“You know how you keep a few of your books here?” I said gesturing to our wall unit.  “Well, what if we take all of your books that are under the coffee table and put them on these two shelves in the wall unit?  Then, these shelves would be all yours!  You would have those two shelves just for books!” My enthusiasm was growing with each sentence.  “You’d like that, right?” I paused. “Would you like to help me move your books from the coffee table to the wall unit?”  She paused.  Maybe I was getting too wordy.  “Do you want all of your books to go here?” I pointed to the two shelves that could belong to her and only to her.

“Ahp,” she said. (That means yes.)

“Yes?” I asked.  (She may say “ahp,” but I always say the word “yes,” since I want her to start saying “yes.”)

“Sssss,” she replied. (That’s what she says when this exchange takes place over 50 times a day.)

“Let’s do it together!  Will you help me?”

I began taking books out from the bottom shelf of our coffee table and placing them on the floor in-between the coffee table and the wall unit.  Isabelle helped me unload the books and put them in a stack.  Then the real work began.  We had to sort the books.  I decided that picture books and larger board books would go on the bottom shelf and that small board books would go on the top shelf.  Why?  Because it needed a system of organization and there was no way I was going to leave it up to chance (or to an almost two year-old).

I explained the system to Isabelle and together we sorted the books.  “This one is a small book so it goes on the top shelf…”  “This is a picture book so it goes on the bottom shelf…”  My husband, who had no idea what we were doing, walked over and handed me a book from the pile.

“I don’t think this is Isabelle’s,” he said handing me a book on adult writing strategies.

“It isn’t, but it is,” I stated. “She adopted it as her own. ” And with that I placed the professional development that should go in my office on her top shelf.

I repeated the top shelf/bottom shelf lines until all of the books that were on the coffee table got stacked up neatly in the wall unit.  And then, I silently hoped that I wouldn’t find the books strewn all about the floor the next day.

* * * * *

This afternoon I got home and found Isabelle and Nancy, her babysitter, reading a few picture books on the couch.

“I’m so sorry I forgot to tell you that we moved Isabelle’s books from the coffee table to the wall unit!”

“Oh, she knew where they were,” Nancy replied. (I glanced over the titles on the couch.  They were the ones that used to live under the coffee table.) “She went right over to the cabinet and took them out herself.”

Atta girl, I thought.

* * * * *

And tonight, when I got home from my board meeting, I scanned our great room and found just an Elmo phone beneath the coffee table.  All of her books are in the wall unit cabinet.  They may not be stacked like they were yesterday, but they’re all there.  Behind the cabinet doors.  Not strewn about. No longer a tripping hazard or an eye sore!

The AFTER Picture (There’s no chance of a before photo!): Now that I have our coffee table shelf back I have to figure out what to put there. Hmmm… Can’t put the Scrabble game back there since its pieces are a choking hazard. Will keep thinking about this.