board books · OBSERVATIONS · slice of life · touch and feel books

Slowing Down Because of the Snow

Around 9 a.m. I found Isabelle amusing herself by looking through one of her baby photo albums. Perfect! She was occupied and I could write this slice of life story.

Before the snow started falling again…

Before I watched her devour an English muffin with cream cheese for breakfast…

Before she played with her toys…

Before we walked downstairs…

Before I applied liquid bandage to the cut on her foot…

Before I got her dressed for the day…

We read.

Isabelle kinda whiny this morning.  She heard something scraping outside.  (It was my husband shoveling the driveway before he departed for work.)  Seeing as all of the schools were on a two-hour delay, I knew we weren’t in a rush to go anywhere this morning.

“Would you like Mommy to rock you?” I asked her.

“Yah,” she whined.

“Yes or no?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I scooted back in the glider, picked her up, and placed her on my lap.

“Reeeeeeeeeeeead!” she said grabbing the nearest book in her board book basket.

“We have time to read,” I said wishing that was true every morning.

noodlelovesthefarmShe handed me Noodle Loves the Farm by Marion Billet.  I glanced at the back of the book.  Ages 1 – 3.  We’re getting close to the end of the age range on this one, aren’t we? And then I shifted my thinking. Don’t be like that. She can use this book as her reading skills develop. The age range thing is just a guide.

We began by talking about the cover of this touch and feel book. Then, as I read the text on each page, Isabelle delighted in touching the animals. We talked about how each animal felt, the color of their mane/fur/feathers, named them, and described the sounds they made.  We lingered on each page and then read it again.

Slow, snowy mornings are wonderful.  Just wonderful.

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board books · picture books · raising strong girls · touch and feel books

Transportation & Construction Books That Feel a Little Less Boyish

A friend recently asked, “What would Isabelle like for her birthday?”

“Honestly? She likes cars and trucks, so that could be a good present,” I replied.

This friend has a son who loves trucks. She recently gave birth to a daughter and is trying to figure out how to navigate the girly-girl world. Therefore, she didn’t respond in a judgmental way. Instead she said, “How about a dump truck?”

“That would be perfect!” I said.

This friend did buy Isabelle a dump truck for her second birthday. She loves putting things in the back of it and making it go.

Yes, that’s my daughter. She plays with cars, looks out for buses and trucks, and reads about construction vehicles. She isn’t into princesses, nor is she into dinosaurs. But, she wears pink and plays with trucks!

I’m constantly on the lookout for transportation and construction books that don’t feel overly boyish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those books. Heck, we have them and we read them. However, girls can be into these things too!) I’m not talking about books with Barbie riding on a pink truck. (Does that even exist?!!?) I’m simply looking for interesting, well-made books that will honor her interest as a girl. Recently, two books that fit the bill came across my radar!

construction kitties

Construction Kitties written by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges and illustrated by Shari Halpern (Henry Hold and Company, 2013): Four cool cats live and work together in this book that is filled with bright illustrations and easy-to-read prose. All of the cats, even the one who wears a pink hard hat, operate heavy duty machinery like a backhoe and a roller. All of the kitties eat breakfast together, drive to work together, hang out on a park bench after eating lunch together, and play together. I may not be a cat person (allergies — ugh), but I have quickly come to adore reading this book to Isabelle.


Go! Go! Go! by Nicola Bird and Fiona Land (Scholastic, 2012): This board book encourages young readers to touch and feel their way through the vehicles that go. There are motorbikes, semitrailers, ambulances, steamrollers, tractors, planes, and hovercrafts to see and touch. What I really like is the way each new page invites young readers to say the words that are colorfully illustrated on each page. That is, each page spread starts off with the words “Baby, say.”

Both books have females on the pages. In addition, there’s enough pink and purple to satisfy the tastes of any girly-girl without being nauseating or unrealistic.

lift the flap books · OBSERVATIONS · touch and feel books

Morning Reader

Isabelle has done something interesting two out of the past four mornings once I’ve lifted her out of her crib.  Instead of wanting to be held by me, on my lap, while we sit together in her glider, she has nearly leapt out of my arms to get a hold of her board books instead.  The first time Isabelle wanted to get a hold of her books in the morning, she specifically opted for her touch and feel books.  She flipped the pages and felt the fuzzy animals’ fur.  This morning, however, she seemed to prefer a lift the flap book.  She has learned how to lift the flaps of these books independently.  Sometimes she’s a little rough with them causing the tops of the flaps to rip a bit, but the fact that she knows there’s text and a surprise picture underneath is fascinating to me.

To that end, right before Isabelle decided to look at her books this morning, I picked up Where is Baby’s Puppy to read to her (she was pointing at it from her position on my lap).  Today was the first time that she lifted all of the flaps while I read the book to her.  I was quite impressed.  Usually it’s me lifting the flaps.  I suppose this advancement is either developmental (She’s 13 months old now.) or has to do with the repetition of hearing and seeing the book read over and over to her (or maybe both).