Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10 Christmas Books for Children Which Focus on Jesus' Birth

Listen to this plea from a friend who called me recently: "My teachers are begging me for something other than stories about Santa or Christmas "fluff" to read to the kids (pre schoolers). Do you know of any I can buy?" 

I immediately understood the teacher's lament. I faced the same dilemma when a librarian. Our shelves had plenty of books about Santa, elves, cookies, presents, mischievous dogs who got tangled up in holiday lights, and of course, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," but very few exceptional titles about Christ's birth. You know the kind I'm talking about: books worthy of making the bestseller list because of their exceptional art and stellar writing. 

Loving a challenge and wanting to help, I told my friend I'd do a little research and get back to her. 

A Few Suggestions

After reading a stack of possibilities, these are the ten picture books I recommended to her. Not all are for pre school age but can easily be abbreviated for story time. 

Product Details“Mortimer’s Christmas Manger” by Karma Wilson. A sweet story, with colorful artwork throughout, about a mouse who takes over a nativity scene as his new home. All is well until he hears the family read the Christmas story and realizes his mistake and the importance of making room for Jesus. 

Product Details"The Perfect Christmas Pageant" by Joyce Meyer. I found myself smiling as I read this book, enjoying Meyer's humor pop up throughout the story. A hippo named Hayley is the main character who is determined to create the "perfect" pageant as a "perfect" gift to Jesus. After several mishaps the hippo switches her focus to Jesus, instead of delivering a perfect Christmas play. Illustrations definitely assist in telling the story, especially via the comical expressions on various zoo animals. Hard not to like this book. 
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“Christmas in the Manger” by Nola Buck. This 16-page board book presents a simple story about various people and animals at Christ’s birth. The basic rhyming text and graphics (one animal per page) are ideal for a 1-2 year old.                         
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"Itsy Bitsy Christmas" by Max Lucado. This master storyteller has done it again--written another charming tale which teaches a spiritual lesson. This time he uses two tiny mice, named Itsy and Bitsy, to help children understand that Jesus came for everyone, big or small. The illustrations are wonderful and the touches of humor Max works into the story made me wish I had my own personal copy.

Product Details“The Very First Christmas” illustrated by Kelly Pulley. Text for this book is based on passages in Scripture (Luke and Matthew) and comes directly from “The Beginner’s Bible” which has sold over 5 million copies. Apparently a lot of parents or grandparents like this book! Colorful graphics appear on each of the 32 pages. I like the way the story is broken up into segments so you can pause at different points if you so choose, or read all in one sitting. 

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“Who Is Coming to Our House?” By Joseph Slate. Though this book has been around since 1988 it does not seem outdated. The graphics are colorful, bold and complement the concise rhyming text about a group of barn animals busy preparing for a special guest. Story is a nice way to introduce young ones to Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus

Product Details“The Very First Christmas” by Paul L. Maier. Though only 32 pages in length this large picture book includes a lot of text. Meier wanted to provide a book that went beyond the basics of the Christmas story and delve into history and more. Its intended audience is older children, probably 7-9 years of age, who can read on their own and curious to know the facts found in and around the Christmas story. Design of book is nice and graphics definitely assist in conveying story. 

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“God Gave Us Christmas” by Lisa Tawn Bergren. This is a good book for a parent and child to read together. The story starts with a tiny cub asking his Mama, “Who invented Christmas?” She answers him using things they see in their day to teach him about God and Jesus. I like the book’s graphics but find the text and theology presented a bit too advanced for toddlers. 

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"What is Christmas?” By Michelle Medlock Adams. Great little board book with copy that rhymes! And we know kids like rhymes, right? Uses a repetitive question about all the different activities or aspects of Christmas to help children grasp that Jesus is what Christmas is really about.  

“The Crippled Lamb” by Max Lucado. A beautiful book by a popular author who knows how to write a compelling story. This one is about Joshua, a little lamb, who feels alone and left out as he is forced to remain in the barn. But by the story's end he finds God had a purpose for him there. Due to length of copy, book is probably more suitable for child who is a capable reader. But don’t overlook the idea of becoming familiar with the story, and condensing it so a toddler can enjoy it too. Very nice illustrations. 

Problem Solved

Even before I had this list done my friend bought several of these titles and plans to buy more. As for the teachers . . . pretty sure they are happy and looking forward to reading to the children this December. 

What about you? Drawn to a book among my suggestions for your son or daughter, or grandchild? Hope so, as you are a key reason why I wrote this post prior to the holiday rush. I wanted to give you adequate time to request a copy from the library, or better yet, place your order online and have it arrive in time to enjoy before Christmas. 

Just my way to help you minimize the stress this Christmas! 

P.S. Can't exit without mentioning "The Christmas Jars." It's a remarkable little book for we adults. So inspiring. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Salute to My Dad, PFC Kermit Lyle Cave, and His Remarkable Letter About WWII

Hidden away in a security box for 70 years was a letter. It was penned by my Dad and addressed to Mrs. K. L. Cave, his "darling" wife.

The discolored, 16-page letter is a record of his “exploits in Germany” as a Private in the U.S. Army during World War II. Written in his own long hand are the details of what he experienced on the front lines. The postmark on the envelope reads June 7, 1945. (Stamped on the envelope is a notice: “Postage Due - 6 cents,” and an indecipherable comment by a carrier. Apparently foxholes don't come equipped with postage stamps!)

I, nor my siblings, ever knew this letter existed. It was only after my Dad’s death, as my sister helped my Mom go through their important papers that we learned of this remarkable document. Up until then, all we knew was that he had served honorably and had fought in Europe.

Why he never told us more I can only surmise. Perhaps it was too painful to revisit. He seldom talked about his stint in the military. He was a quiet man; even he would admit, “I’m not good at communication.”

Reading his letter again today makes me think differently. It’s true, he did not excel at verbal communication, but his letter reveals he could express his thoughts with pen and paper. In that way I am like my Dad—quiet and convey my ponderings best via keyboard and computer.

Which is why I opted to write this salute to my Dad and to thank him, oh so many years too late, for his bravery in fighting an enemy and writing about war at the tender age of 23.

A friend has urged me to submit my Dad’s letter to an organization which records such historical documents. I plan to do that, but for today I wanted you to see a sampling of what he wrote. I’ll start with this early entry which has him in South Hampton, England about to deport for France and beyond.

                                             * * * * * * *

Date: Feb., 1945. “We boarded a small ship, which was to take us across the channel. We were on it for a couple of days before we sailed. On the way over (the channel), the bay was loaded with all kinds of ships and there were lots of them on the bottom. Some you could just see the masts. It was a pretty tough site.”

Date: Feb. 28th, 1945  “I went on another patrol to see if a few pillboxes in our area were occupied. The first bunch we inspected were empty but our crazy lieutenant wanted us to go on so we went. We had to cross an open field and when we did a sniper opened up on us with a rifle. I was the last man that got across. The poor guy behind me got hit in his chest so another guy and I went back for him but he was dead . . .”

Date: March 24th, 1945 “The order came down for us (the company) to move to Rhens where the battalion was to cross. We marched there and took cover in a barn until we were supposed to cross. The 1st Battalion was going across then and the Jerries were really putting up a fight. They were throwing so much lead across that you could almost walk over. . .”

Date: April, 1945 “. . . then we moved forward which put us only a few miles from the Czech border. We camped near a dam. That was where we were guarding all the prisoners. VE Day found us there. Then moved to Schoneck and from there to here. Where we’ll go from here is the big question.”

                                             * * * * * * * 


I can see why some hate it so and why they don’t want America in another one.

I can also see why war becomes necessary at times.

Regardless of your view, I hope you’ll be grateful this Veterans Day and take a moment to remember the huge sacrifice others, like my Dad, have made on your behalf.

Flags flying at the Veteran's Memorial site in Hemet, California  -  November 7, 2015

I salute you Dad, along with your two sons, Chuck and Bobby, and others in my extended family who have served honorably in all branches of the military. 

I’d make you all top-ranking generals or admirals if I could.

P.S. Was your Dad in the military? Have any letters he has penned that are keepsakes? 

Friday, November 6, 2015

How Books Can Widen Your World and Enrich Your Life!

I went to England last week via two books. Had a wonderful time!

After traveling abroad, I then visited the Midwest, this time thanks to a memoir called “Maude.”  In those pages I learned about perseverance, severe hardship, the Depression, WWII, and a Mother’s love. From there I journeyed east to NY and then south to KY and TN while reading Lily Isaac’s autobiography.

Taking trips is not something I normally enjoy. I prefer home-based, quiet adventures via books with dark chocolate nearby. And these four titles provided just that: a sweet escape which definitely widened my world this past week. Could be they’ll do the same for you.

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“84 Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff made the bestseller list in 1970, and became a huge success “across the pond,” as they say. I had never heard of this book but am glad I spotted a recommendation for this “oldie but goodie.”

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It’s a charming true story about a quirky writer in New York who contacts a London bookshop, specializing in secondhand books, in search of out-of-print titles she cannot find in the U.S.  An endearing friendship develops between the shops personnel and the sometimes demanding, yet kind, Helene as they correspond for some twenty years. 112 pages or you can watch the movie!

“The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street” by Helene Hanff is the sequel to the above title. The author takes us on her journey to London for an extended stay where she meets many of her British fans who want to show her the sites. Those of you who have visited the UK will feel quite at home as Hanff explores and writes about well-known places and her own quaint discoveries. Those who have never been there will want to take notes and talk to a travel agent soon. 144 pages

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“Maude” by Donna Foley Mabry is a memoir, a genre I find myself attracted to these days. Maude’s life is marked by repeated losses, starting with the death of her parents when she was only 14 years of age. Her entire existence seems to be one heart break after another, and yet she presses on despite the obstacles and pain.

As her story unfolds you not only receive an entertaining history lesson about America from 1906 to 1970, but are given a vivid picture of a work ethic within Maude that stands in stark contrast to what is unfortunately seen in our world today. 

Those who live in Detroit or familiar with Missouri will likely enjoy this book as these are the primary locations where Maude’s life is lived out. 498 pages or 10 hours on Audible.

Product Details“You Don’t Cry Out Loud” -- The Lily Isaac's Story by Lily Isaacs. This author is better known for her music and her key role in the group called “The Isaacs.” The group consists of Lily and her three talented children, all known for their unbelievable harmonies and bluegrass sound. I first heard them on a Bill Gaither special and instantly became a fan. Reading this autobiography about Lily’s Jewish heritage (her parents are Holocaust survivors), growing up years in NY, health struggles, conflicts with family over her believing in Jesus, and more, made for an interesting read. 

The book could have used better editing and proofreading, but the story held my interest and by its end gave me a greater appreciation for this woman. 200 pages or 6+ hours on Audible.

Currently Reading:

Now that I've finished the titles above three new ones are vying for my time:

“The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. Half way through this memoir. Very different. Surprised it reached bestseller status. Skilled writer. 227 pages, or 5 hours on Audible.

“One Perfect Spring” by Irene Hannon. I’ve read and liked other titles by this author, but this one has a very predictable plot. Hoping it will improve before I reach the end.

“A Women’s Guide to Overcoming Depression” by Archibald Hart, Ph. D.  This book came out in 2014 and full of useful information. I battle Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of mild depression triggered by insufficient sunshine/Vitamin D, so interested in what Hart has to say.

Have I got you in the traveling mood? Do let me know what places you are visiting via books in the comment box below.

And, as always, thanks for carving out time to read this blog.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Six Children's Books I Would Read for Story Time with Pre Schoolers

I'm down to the wire to make my selection for Story Time with pre schoolers. I've read a wide assortment of children's books and many of them are quite good. Here are my top six contenders.

“The Cow Loves Cookies” by Karma Wilson. Who doesn’t like cookies? In this book it’s a farmer and a cow who treasure the sweet treats while the other farm animals eat their usual diet of hay, slop, corn, and chicken feed. The combo of rhyme and repetitive phrases make this a book children will find easy to grasp and memorize. And no doubt hunger for a chocolate chip cookie. Might need to bring a bag of Oreos if I choose to read this title. 

“Moo” by David LaRochelle. Big surprise with this book: it only uses only six words to tell the story. The word “moo” turns up over 50 times. The story is simple, short and involves one cow who creates his own adventure. It’s a happy read providing there is creative expression and dynamics in the voice of the reader. Excellent way to show boys and girls how voice inflection is important when reading a story out loud.

“Mouse Went Out to Get a Snack” by Lyn Rossiter McFarland. Talk about a cute mouse! And a great illustrator. They are what make this book excel, along with a creative tale. Kids will enjoy the 10 different snacks the mouse attempts to confiscate, the mishap along the way, and cheerful ending.

"How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. This series of ten books about dinosaurs are popular among boys. The simple stories are told in rhyme which most pre schoolers find fun. The colorful illustrations make these dinos seem friendly and aid in conveying the book’s message. One pre school director told me recently, “I bought the entire series simply because the kids love them.”

“Boom, Chicka, Rock” by John Archambault. Don’t get this book confused with “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom,” the very popular title also by this author. This one is entirely different and just as good. Perfect for any child who is trying to learn to count, or tell time. The rhyming text and silly phrases make this book a winner. 

“Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” by Simms Taback is more suitable for a group of first graders, but could be enjoyed by a younger child with adult’s guidance. The artwork is unique and it's no wonder it won the Caldecott Medal for best illustrated book. The use of die-cuts to convey the story definitely keeps children interested and guessing. The theme to "make something out of nothing" provides opportunity to talk to boys and girls about re-purposing rather than discarding old objects. 

And which one did I choose to read at Story Time? 

I went with "The Cow Loves Cookies."

But I'm also taking "Moo!" with me. If there is time I'll have my puppet, Spice, read that title. She loves tacos, books and being around kids.  

Plan to be back later this week with a batch of books for we "older" readers. Happy to report a number of them rate at least four stars! 

P.S. What are you reading these days? Any worth four stars? Would love to know about them. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

An Easy DIY Fall Table Runner Anyone Can Make

 This scenic picture was taken during one of my trips to New Hampshire.

Seasonal craft fairs are my kind of fun. But I’ve found something almost as good: a friend who frequents the "Sugar Plum Festivals" in Southern Cal and buys items which transforms the atmosphere of her home, inside and out. You can be sure whenever a holiday approaches I pay her a visit. 

Every year she seems to add something new. Last October it was several strands of orange pumpkin lights hung above the entry way. Very cute.

The table runner goes perfect with the sign which my sis gave me.

Another time it was an eye-catching table runner (similar to one in above photo) with colorful flowers and leaves. It was so charming I had to ask: “Where did you get that? It’s darling.” If I remember right, she told me, “Oh, I bought it online after the holidays. It was the last one and I got it for 90% off!”

A few weeks later I got to admire it again and took a closer look at how it was made. Then it dawned on me: “Ah, this is my type of craft! No sewing machine required. I could make this!” Being that Nancy and I are good friends I asked her if she would mind if I created one for myself. A short time later she was at her printer making a color copy of her runner so I’d have a visual from which to create a pattern. 

A few inexpensive supplies are all you need!

When chilly weather arrived, I gathered together my supplies and while I watched TV each evening, began to work on the table runner. I’m not a great seamstress, but the end result of this homespun project came out better than I expected. It's not perfect, but it got my sister's seal of approval so that's good enough for me. 

It's been tucked away in the buffet since last November, but earlier this month got to return to the ol' maple table. I love how it brightens up my kitchen.

Then last week, while sitting at the table to plan future blog content it struck me: this table runner might make an interesting story. Maybe even be the easy DIY project someone is hoping to find on Pinterest! One that is pleasing to the eye, doesn’t cost much to make, and can be done quickly . . . or over a span of weeks.

Each flower design uses different colors of felt.

Only a few materials are needed (felt, thread, and needle) and the required skill level is minimal. If you can thread a needle and know three simple stitches you are good to go. Don't know the stitches? Pretty sure instructions can be found online, or in a book at your local library. Better yet, if your grandma lives nearby ask her if she knows how to embroider. Most likely she does and would be delighted to help you with this project.

So, what will it be? Go to a holiday craft fair or create your own fun and make a table runner?


P.S.  I do have an instruction sheet for the table runner I made. If you'd like a free copy leave a comment below, and also enter your email in box at top of page + click “submit” button.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

7 Books Worth Your Time and Money!

Enjoyed the photos in this unique book: "Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their books"

Seven books have my attention these days: a memoir, a non-fiction work, four novels, and one novella. 

Curious to know their titles and what each is about? Good, because that’s what I came to write about today.

Let’s start with this new release.

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Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon – They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Not in this case. “Come Rain or Come Shine's" attractive cover sparkles and so does the story inside!

This new title, #13 in the popular Mitford Series, returns us to that quaint town (Mitford) where Father Tim and his wife Cynthia reside, along with a few eccentric characters guaranteed to make us laugh. But in this delightful page turner, the upcoming wedding of Dooley and Lace is the focus. That is until “Choo-Choo” the bull makes his appearance, along with an endearing new personality, Jack Tyler. 

As always, Karon weaves wisdom, along with humor, sweet surprises, and tender exchanges in her writing. By the books end I wanted to pack my suitcases and move to Mitford. Pretty sure you will too. Page length: 287

(Note: I do not recommend the audio version. The quick changing scenes in the story are hard to detect creating confusion at times.)

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The Source by James Michener – This book is not new, and not short. Anyone who tackles the 1,104 page tome (equal to over 50 hours on audio) deserves a reward. Whew! I'm at the 40 hour mark and determined to make it to the end.

The novel starts with an archaeological dig at an unearthed city discovered in 20th century Israel. Soon, though, the story shifts back in time when evidence turns up at the site, revealing multiple levels of civilization. You acquire an expansive view of history as Michener develops his story using various findings at the dig to move us through the centuries. 

Yes, it’s a long book, requires perseverance to finish it, and may not be 100% biblical, but it’s giving me exactly what I wanted: a better understanding of Israel’s past. 

(Note: Audio version is quite good!

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Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark – She’s been writing suspense novels for years. But unlike many books out there these days, hers are free of foul language, sex, and other objectionable material. How refreshing! This particular title I listened to on audio and though it isn’t exceptional, it kept my interest and made for enjoyable reading/listening each afternoon by the pool. I always like to see if I can solve the mystery before the guilty party is revealed and Clark usually keeps me guessing to the very end. Length: 9 hours

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The Pilgrim by Davis Bunn. – I’m familiar with this accomplished writer so when I spotted his latest book, (released in September, 2015) at my library I snatched it up.

The setting for this historical fiction is Israel during the time of Roman rule when persecution of Christians was rampant.

The main character is Helena, former empress who has been stripped of her marriage, title, home and more but as a believer responds to God’s call to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is a perilous journey which she anticipates will result in her death. Though based on legend Bunn did a masterful job in creating a novel where you too feel like a pilgrim, walking for days on the hot, dusty roads to Jerusalem where the cross of Christ awaits . . . and altered by the experience. This is a book I would read again! Length:165 pages

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Life Lessons From the Hiding Place by Pam Rosewell Moore -- Among my library at home are 13 books either by, or about, Corrie ten Boom. Why do I need to read or own another? Simply because this title is by someone who traveled and cared for Corrie more than five years, and includes information other titles about Corrie do not contain. There's also this reason: I never tire of learning about this woman whose life continues to inspire others and honor God. Though I've not finished this book I've already benefited from it and have no regrets in buying it. Page length: 241

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The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett -- This 120 page novella was added to my “Want to Read List” a year ago. I kept seeing positive reviews about it and since literature was its underlying theme I had to give it a try.

The Queen of England is the story’s central character who, unexpectedly, discovers the joy of reading when she spots a mobile library outside her residence. Curiosity takes over and as she becomes acquainted with the option to check out books, she becomes an avid reader, much to the dislike of her staff and advisers. As she reads a variety of titles she is transformed by their content which alters how she sees herself and her role as Monarch. Sounds like a serious read, but trust me, it’s not.

It’s a charming little book, well written, and expands your understanding of the British ways. But I must warn you: it contains some objectionable content. I hesitate to recommend it for that reason, but wanted you to be aware of its good qualities and let you decide whether to read it or not.

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Life is Mostly Edges by Calvin Miller -- I've not reached the end of this very candid memoir but what I have read I like. So much so that I want to give it a separate post, plus tell you about the time I heard this gifted writer/poet speak at a Christian Booksellers Convention who silenced us with his words.  

While today's post has been all about books, next week a DIY table runner for Fall will be my topic. Hope you'll return to see this colorful craft.

P.S. Any of the books today pique your interest? If so, do let me know in the comment section below! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

How I Chose a Great Children's Book for Story Time

I read more than 50 books last month! Impressive, huh? Well, you won’t think so once you hear most of them were children’s books.

There was a reason for my reading so many titles: I was asked to do Story Time for a group of preschoolers and was searching for a book they'd enjoy. I actually wanted to read more titles, but with only days left before the scheduled event I forced myself to stop and make a choice. “Duck and Goose” ended up the winner. Runner up was “It’s (Not) Mine,” another fun read. 

Enjoyed reading to this attentive group. All attend Community Christian Academy, Hemet, CA

Now that Story Time is past it seems a shame to not pass along my findings. If you are like me, I lean on book recommendations from others. With so many titles out there it’s wonderful to have others steer you towards a good read. So, with that in mind, here are a few titles which merit recommending from my recent hours of research and reading, plus a few of my all-time-favorites for beginner readers.

What is my criteria?

For anyone interested, the criteria I keep in mind when evaluating a children’s picture book is noted below: (Not interested? Just skip this section and go right to the book listings.)  
  • Story: Does the book keep child’s interest, entertain or teach a lesson? Is it too wordy or long for little ones who have a short attention span? Is it an exceptional story and truly original, or is it predictable and boring?
  • Writing: Did the author use correct grammar and words familiar to intended age level of audience? Are concepts easy to grasp/understand for age of reader?                                   
  • Visual appeal. Does the art assist in telling the story or does it distract? Is the type easy to read? Too small? Placed wrong on page?  

Enough criteria. Let’s get to the books.

Duck and Goose by Tim Hills. This book succeeds in every way. Colorful. Not too much copy. Fun story with a teaching element about sharing, but a few words are too advanced for pre-schoolers. The "frog who burps" offers a bit of humor making up for the book's one weakness. Yep, both parents and kids will go for this title. Note: Best to read this title first, which introduce the characters, before going on to 11 others in series. 40 pages.

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin, also by Tim Hills. Very few words in this simple story. Suggest you read it to your child prior to heading to the pumpkin patch this October. Ideal for children, age 2-3, or any beginner readers. Graphics are rich and colorful. This is a 22-page, large, board book. 

That’s (Not) Mine by Anna Kang. A big shout out to the book’s designer who knows the value of white space, proper size type, and drawing characters with expressions that tie in perfectly with copy. A terrific book for a parent trying to help their child learn to share. 

You Are (Not) Small also by Kang is equally good. Comical and interesting way to teach children how to see themselves correctly. This 32-page book is the winner of the 2015 Theodore Seuss Geisel Award. 

Let’s Go For a Drive by Mo Willems. Take one elephant and a pig and what have you got? An adorable series. This one starts with one great idea that requires a wonderful friend and teamwork. Length: 64 pages. Ideal for a young reader. (Note: Anytime you see a Theodore Seuss Geisel Award sticker on the cover of a book take notice. Those books rarely disappoint.) 

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamarra. One of my favorite titles I read to classes who visited the library each October. Book is loaded with oodles of information. Got good participation from students when I brought in a pumpkin and asked everyone to guess how many seeds were in it . . . and later disclosed actual seed count. Author wins my vote for how she incorporated math and science while telling a good story. 40 pages.

10 Little RubberDucks by Eric Carle. I'm a fan of this artist/author who wows kids with his unique style. In this title children are taught their basic numbers (1-10) via a story about a box of yellow ducks which topple off a ship. As they drift and separate from each other, one little plastic duck ends up part of a “real” family of ducks. Like the surprise ending.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. I can see why this book is a bestseller and award winner. It is charming, funny, and imaginative -- due mostly to the clever writing found in letters penned by various crayon colors to their owner, Duncan. Parents will enjoy this title as much as kids. Best suited for children, age 5 and up. Length: 40 pages.

Books for young readers

In a future post I will give you more recommendations for young readers. But for today, here are two books by an author who is on my favorites list.

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo. Love this 6-book series about a winsome pig. The short chapters and artwork appeal to kids and adults. 80 pages.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo. This is the first title in a new series she has developed called:Tales from Deckawoo Drive, 96 pages. Illustrations are super. 

Now it's time for me to get back to my normal reading material: wholesome novels, a couple biographies, and quite a few non fiction works. 

Late last night I started "Life Lessons from the Hiding Place" by Pam Moore. It's a captivating read and I've barely begun. But then, I cherish learning about this remarkable woman called Corrie ten Boom. Though no longer alive God still uses her life and words in profound ways. 

Enjoyed telling you about my world. Thanks for giving up your precious time to read my words. 

P.S. If you were asked to read at Story Time what book would you choose? I return to those preschoolers in November so suggestions are wanted. So too are people to "subscribe" to my blog at top of page. Hint. Hint.