The View from the Classroom Window

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Week Pt 2


Just for fun, I thought I would share with you all the second, and even more fun, part of our Book Week: reading, reading, reading!


We do not own many pieces of furniture (understandable in a house our size!) but we have two big cherry bookcases we bought when we first got married.  One faces the front door, and holds more "school-y" books.  (I'll have to show you in another post.) This one faces the living room, and holds mostly fiction, with some non-fiction picture books mixed in. 

Eldest girl asked a month ago if we could spend Spring Break reading through the bottom two shelves of this bookshelf--the favorite picture books she doesn't really get much chance to read anymore, but which still give so much pleasure.  I thought that was a great goal! 


These are the two shelves we are reading through this week--most of our picture book collection.


 
This is starting at the right of the top shelf, which has picture books geared to a slightly older child (or the taller books that don't fit on the bottom shelf). Normally I enjoy keeping the shelves somewhat organized first by genre, then by author, with size variables accounted for--I know, I know--but with the crazy reading going on this week, they are currently a happy, disheveled mess.


Favorite titles from this first pic:

Homeplace

The Biggest Bear

The Scrambled States of America

Small Beauties

A Child's Calendar

This version of Snow White

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Lion


Yes, I am such a book nerd that I am going to show you ALL the books. Some of them are special friends, which is why I'm introducing you by name.


The Tale of Three Trees

The Fourteen Bears Summer and Winter

The Long and Dangerous Journey

Moses

A Time to Keep

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch


Of course if you no longer have kids in this stage of life, you will be glazing over at this point. But if you love books, or memories of when your kids were young, or if you just want to snoop at my bookshelves just like you would if you came over sometime, here you go!


The Velveteen Rabbit (I'm not sure my edition is the best out there--so many versions of this story have gorgeous illustrations!--so I didn't link it)

This version of Little Red Riding Hood. I'm a fan of this author's work, and have quite a few on the shelf  by her.

This edition of Beauty and the Beast (alas, out of print and highly collectible--sounds like the affordable paperback is a shortened version)

The Maggie B

A Fairy Went a Marketing


Hiding over against the bookshelf wall to the right are the fragile antique books my mother has passed down to us from her own childhood. I keep them tucked away behind Stuart Little just so little hands don't grab them automatically. Out of sight, out of mind. ; )


The Kitchen Knight

The Water Hole


Now we get to the bottom shelf, with the books geared more for the earlier readers, and the books shorted in height.


George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends

This version of Mother Goose

Tuesday

The Giant Jam Sandwich

The Adventures of Mole & Troll

The Little House



Cookies: Bite-Sized Lessons

Norman the Doorman

Mama, Do You Love Me?

The Marble Cake Cat


As you can probably guess, a lot of these books are from my childhood.  : )


The Frog and Toad Treasury

Let's Look at the Jungle

The Fire Cat

The Best Loved Doll

Bears in the Night

The last books on the shelf to the right are not in the picture because they are large and have to lay on their sides--mainly Smiley's collection of Richard Scarry books. Those are favorites of mine just because they occupy him for good lengths of time while I'm helping his sisters with school. : )

Child of Faerie, Child of Earth

The Hat

Eloise Wilkins Treasury


Some of these books made me smile just reading the titles.  : )  I am only specifically mentioning my favorite favorite of those on the shelves.  But all the books on the shelves have to meet at least two out of my four criteria for what is worth the precious in-house real estate:

* The story has to be well-written.
* There should be something the child learns from the story, or it should broaden the child's mind, or ignite imagination in some specific way.  In other words, it has a greater meaning beyond the story itself.
* The illustrations should be exemplary.
* Or the book should be especially nostalgic for me, or someone special gave it to us.
* Bonus points if it makes me smile or cry every time I read it.

I have a loathing for pointless stories and silliness for silliness's sake.  I abhor twaddle.  It makes me so sad when an excellent story is printed with lame, uninspired artwork.  Yes, I'm a book snob.  But that does not mean I'm too picky--there are some books I love that have very silly elements (The Giant Jam Sandwich is a prime example)  but there is something about them that is clever and whimsical too. And condition does not bother me either, as long as pages are not falling out (and I can't just tape them back in) or the book is molding--what's inside the book is way more important than the outside. Often, the best books are no longer in print, so I am perfectly willing to put up with ragged old books if need be! 

There are a lot more excellent books on our shelves I'm not specifically mentioning because they are considered childhood classics (like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Where the Wild Things Are, and Madeline's Rescue.)  I just wanted to share with you some of the titles that you might not be familiar with. 

I also have a LOT more books in bins under the house. Most of them are more educational in nature, so have been separated and stored according to subject.  But there are also just a lot of good books that were not *quite* worth the in-house shelf space, but which I can't quite part with.  And a bin of broken books that require serious mending, but which I am sorry to part with (or can't replace). And a box of books to take to add to our little homeschool library we are starting for all of you. And a box of books to eventually give away. Ahem.

Have I mentioned that I love good books?

Happy Reading everyone!

(And if you have a favorite favorite picture book you want to recommend, please share it in the comments!)

Or, even more fun, share pics of YOUR bookshelves!

(If anyone likes this post, I will work my way through the rest of the books too. : )


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