Saturday, May 23, 2009

Watching and Reading

We recently watched The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. Sidney Poitier is fabulous in this movie about an elderly gentleman who lives a very simple, hardworking life as a master carpenter. An out of town developer wants his land, and Noah has no desire to sell. Great family fare. Along the same lines, Sidney Poitier also stars in The Last Brickmaker in America.
Goodnight Mister Tom is a heartwarming, and heartbreaking, story of an elderly gentleman who houses a boy sent to the country to avoid the bombing in London. Their developing relationship is beautiful. Beware: this movie contains some pretty serious child abuse. I'm not sure how I made it through (I tend to be really sensitive to that), and I wouldn't recommend it for younger children, but the overall story is worth the heartbreak.

In the Town All Year 'Round is a wordless picture book full of delightful detail. Children begin the journey in the countryside, through town, and out again, once for each season. There are stories to watch unfold, a cast of characters to identify, and seemingly endless details to discover. The illustrations have a classic feel, yet are lively and fun. I love the similar book Anno's Journey, but this is perfect for a slightly younger crowd.

We've been eating up picture books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (of The Beckoning of Lovely fame). Little Pea is Luke's favorite. Little pea hates dinner time. His parents make him eat all the food on his plate before he can have dessert. But there is a twist. He finally makes it through his plate of candy and cheers when he is served a treat of spinach. Luke happens to love both candy and spinach, so he gets a big kick out of this one.

Another favorite is One of Those Days. I think we can all relate. It certainly brought a smile to my face. I'm inspired to start my own list. I Forgot to Restock the Dr. Pepper Day. Two-year-old Just Put Blueberries in the Laundry Day. It's Raining and I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything Day. I've Played On the Computer Way Too Much Day....
Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole is a lovely easy reader book reminiscent of Frog and Toad. The illustrations are adorable, and the relationship between mouse and mole is darling. Luke enjoyed A Brand-New Day with Mouse and Mole, as well.

I was pleased to find this series about an African boy named Akimbo, written by Alexander McCall Smith (of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency fame). Drawing on his experience living in Africa, the author introduces children to African culture and wildlife conservation through these adventurous simple chapter books. Levi flew through a few of the titles and gave them a thumbs up.

Digory the Dragon Slayer (and Digory and the Lost King) is a humorous simple chapter book, just right for a boy who loves dragons and knights and laughs. It might be just the ticket for a reluctant reader.


Diana (Ladybug Limited) said...

Too funny that you would post Little Pea! We just checked this out on Thursday, along with Little Hoot, the poor little owl who has to stay up late when all of his other friends get to go to bed.

We had also hoped to check out her latest, Little Oink, the poor pig who has to make a mess, but our library doesn't have it yet-- hopefully they will shortly to feed Bug's latest author addiction!

Heidi said...

Diana~ We loved Little Hoot, too, and our library doesn't have Little Oink yet, either. We'll have to keep checking back. Aren't they fun?!

Melissa Stover said...

we love little pea! thanks for the other recommendations.

ohio12 said...

Thank you so much for these recs Heidi. I just reserved them all at the library. You have great taste and save me so much leg work with your suggestions.

Jennifer said...

Again, thank you for the recommendations. You always lead me to great finds!

Happy Memorial Day!

Laurel said...

As always - great recommendations - thanks!

carole said...

Lots of great ideas! Thanks!