Beloved children’s books and the Absorbent Mind

Beloved Children's Books and The Absorbent Mind - Vibrant WanderingsMy brain is scattered of late, which has a lot to do with how little I’m blogging. This topic has been on my mind for weeks, but I just can’t pare it down, so I keep starting and stopping. Tonight, I’ll give myself a few minutes to get what I can down, because I really want to hear what you all think about choosing books for the young child. I’ll do my best to keep from following too many bunny trails here.

My oldest, Annabelle, is now three. She has what Maria Montessori referred to as an “absorbent mind,” and my goodness does that girl absorb things! In my early years of teaching, before Annabelle came around, I saw the tremendous capacity that children have for absorbing and recalling information and experiences, but it wasn’t until I spent all of my time with the same child that I truly got a sense of what this means. Annabelle absolutely takes everything in, not just experiencing and processing it, but actually making it a part of herself. I see the way experiences shape her, the way they come out in her play, in her interactions with others, in her overall behavior. I’ve really been shocked by the extent of this reality.

Among the things that Annabelle loves is books. She cannot get enough of them, and enjoys all kinds. I have a pretty respectable collection that I would expect to be age-appropriate already, since I taught three year olds long before I dreamed I’d have an Annabelle. The more books I pull out of my office to share with her, however, the more I find that what is presented as fabulous literature for the 3-6 year old child is not something I want to introduce at all.

A few examples: The teacher I worked as assistant to when I first discovered Montessori loved Robert Munsch and I loved watching and learning from her as she read some of his more popular stories to our class. They were so funny, so engaging, and they just seemed like perfect selections for the age group. When I became a lead teacher myself, one of the first things I did was go out and buy my very own copy of Munschworks, and I have since shared the Munsch love with many a young child. I pulled the book out recently, for the first time in a long time, and took it to group time with this year’s Montessori class. Of course the children loved it, but as I was reading, a few passages gave my mama brain pause. I hesitated, but the smiles on the children’s faces and the knowledge that I had read this book more times than I can count with nothing but a positive response, caused me to shrug my shoulders and carry on.

It wasn’t until I asked Annabelle to help with something or another at home one day and she replied, channeling one of Munsch’s characters, “No, no, no, no, no!” that I decided it was time to put that one back on the shelf. I don’t value unquestioning obedience, but I do value kindness and respect toward all people, and the way that character, and later Annabelle, shouted no was neither kind nor respectful. Then there was The Very Grouchy Ladybug, which I opened up for the first time in years with high hopes, and after which Annabelle walked around for several days repeating the phrase, “Wanna fight?”  After reading Curious George, she started climbing unsafe structures and I scratched my head and redirected for awhile before finally asking why she was suddenly such a risk-taker and getting the answer, “I’m being curious!”

Sure, these books are fun. Children enjoy them, so what’s the harm? Robert Munsch and Eric Carle are wonderful authors who have inspired a love of reading in many children, to be sure. The Curious George books are classics. I had to ask myself, though, is this the best we’ve got? There are so many wonderful books on my wishlist for Annabelle, and we have so many here at home already that introduce characters and concepts that inspire peace, love, kindness, compassion, respect for nature and for others, and so much more. Every time we visit the library, I find new books to love. The more I think about it, the more I see no reason at all to read the books mentioned above, or many others that are so popular for children of this age. We can laugh at Robert Munsch’s clever tales and enjoy his brilliant storytelling in a few years, but for now, I want to present only that which inspires the kind, caring, brilliant and wonderful child Annabelle is. She truly does absorb everything, so I’m finding myself being much more careful about what I offer her.

I’m sure that many would consider this stance to be uptight. What’s the harm, right? I think it’s more appropriate, though, to ask, “What’s the benefit?” particularly when there are so many other options out there. Others might argue that these books provide great opportunities to talk about the behavior some of the characters are exhibiting that might be ill-advised for one reason or another. That’s a topic for a whole separate post, but for this age group, I strongly believe it’s best to model the sorts of things we do value rather than drawing attention to the negative. I think there’s a connection between what we model for our children and the things on the news that have us shaking our heads day in and day out. We need to model something better for our children if we truly want them to inherit a better world. What we ourselves model in everyday life is, of course, far more important than what we read in books, but I think a lot more care can be given to the type of literature we choose to present as well.

What do you think? Are you particular about the books you read to your children, or do you consider all children’s literature worthwhile? Any favorite books to recommend? Books you’ve chosen never to read with your child again?

45 thoughts on “Beloved children’s books and the Absorbent Mind

  1. Jessica

    I love this post. Reading is SOOOOOO important. Reading and reading well opens so many doors. Your right they do soak up so much, what a great way to learn. Great way to spend time together, learn to see reading as enjoyable and not work. A great way to engage young brains, challenging memory recall, sequencing, analytical thinking by answering questions about what was read. I love that A, integrates what she has read into her life. I can see her saying “I’m being curious”, C.J. has done stuff like that. While curiosity itself isn’t harmful it can lead to harmful activities, but lead to talks about safety and boundaries. It obviously encouraged her to test her own physical limits which will lead to trial and error, ultimately successfully achieving a new skill and feeling proud of her new achievement. Perhaps your “curious monkey” would like to try a children’s gym where she can climb and swing curiously with pads! I agree with you about respectfulness, we have had issues with different children’s books that make disobeying seem funny. Live and learn we now stay away from them. You are doing a great job. Reading to her and encouraging her learning has so many benefits. A and E are so lucky to have such dedicated and educated parents.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Thank you, Jessica! I definitely agree that there’s nothing wrong with curiosity – in fact, it’s a GOOD thing – and you’re spot on about the benefit of safe places to climb and swing. After reading Curious George, I was more concerned with doing unsafe things that are already known to be off limits in the name of curiosity. George gets himself into some pretty dangerous situations! Love your points about the benefits of reading – you are such a homeschooling mom ;)

      Reply
  2. Janine

    Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

    I recently went through all of the ‘upcoming’ books in the closet (upcoming meaning the ones which will be age-appropriate next, at least in terms of ease of understanding) and put so many in the Goodwill pile simply because they rubbed me wrong, even though they would probably be ‘fun’ for my son. I ask myself What’s the point? of each book, including ones I enjoyed myself as a child, and so few end up in the ‘keep’ pile with confidence.

    My husband lets Sebastian watch way more TV than I would like and I wish he would understand just how absorbent his mind is. — Actually, I think he gets the absorbency, but isn’t choosey enough about what is being absorbed.

    Then there are more subtle messages. We have a very cute book of Baby Animals… where all of the animals are male. (There is also a reference to ‘playing dead’, which isn’t something I’m ready to talk about with my two year old yet.) Dr. Seuss has all male protagonists. And we had one book of fairy tales that showed an old woman spanking a child! I tweeted a photo of the page and then promptly ripped it out.

    I assume a post of your top books for tots is coming up next, right? :)

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I am so relieved to know you feel similarly! So many books really don’t seem to have a point at all.

      I actually started a list of favorite books while writing this post, but decided I’d never publish if I tried to do both things at once. I’ll have to finish that up soon! :)

      Reply
  3. jaqbuncad

    I’m really glad you’ve shared this, because we’re in the same boat with our children and their media consumption. Granted, I’m more concerned about the habits and attitudes they’re picking up from tv and movies than from their books, but the effect is similar enough: they parrot what they see, they act out what they remember.

    So, I’m faced with this situation where my principles are up against the reality of raising these kids. I’d love for them to be able to consume whatever media they so choose, with the understanding that we’ll talk about it and figure it out together, because stories are important and have all kinds of truths and meanings in them, and because media literacy is really important to me – I want them to be able to identify what they’re being sold, whether it’s a product or a value or a way of life, whatever, because eventually they’ll be able to read all by themselves and they’ll need to know that.

    I haven’t really found The Answer yet, but at the present I’m doing my best to stack the deck in favor of media that supports the things I value (and being explicit about that with them: “Do you like this story? I like it because Elizabeth is a total BAMF, and tricks Dragon into going to sleep so she can rescue Ronald.”). I’m hoping that eventually those lessons will sink in too. They’re not as fun as swordfights so I’ll understand if it takes a while :P

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I totally love that about the Paper Bag Princess, and Elizabeth is a BAMF!

      Media literacy is definitely an important issue that is very much connected to this question of which children’s books are truly appropriate. “I want them to be able to identify what they’re being sold, whether it’s a product or a value or a way of life, whatever, because eventually they’ll be able to read all by themselves and they’ll need to know that. ” <--That is so important, and something I value as well. I think your strategy of stacking the deck in your favor is a wise one. We can't hide our children away from all of the less than ideal influences out there, but we can help them learn to critically analyze even the most ideal ones. I guess I feel compelled at this early stage of my children's lives to focus more on stacking the deck than on critical analysis, but that's definitely a strategy based on my own views.

      Reply
      1. jaqbuncad

        Hah, well, the critical analysis part just comes naturally – I’m personally incapable of turning it off, so I wind up subjecting my kids to it. It helps that it’s something I want them to learn anyway!

        Reply
  4. Jessica

    Word! It was exactly what happened after Mo Williams “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus”. His favorite word after that was, you guessed it, “NO!”

    So, now I am very mindful about things that we read followed by an explanation whenever necessary.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Ah, yes, that’s another I used to think was tons o’ fun! It’s too bad so many books offer so little aside from entertainment value.

      Reply
  5. Jacqueline

    What a great post; I completely agree. My daughter is 2.5 and I try to be mindful about the books we read: there are so many bad, or even just mediocre, children’s books available.

    I look forward to seeing your list of favourite books!

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Thanks, Jacqueline! I’ll definitely get that book list out soon. Do you have any favorites to share?

      Reply
  6. Discovering Montessori

    A very interesting post and well written! The examples you have chosen are perfect examples of good literature that if read to at a young age can definitely send the wrong message to the child. The Grouchy Ladybug is one that always inspires play wrestling by the end of the day, but if used in a elementary setting where kids may have a clearer understanding of rules there are some concepts that may outweigh ” You’re Not Big Enough”. I for one, whether teach the concept of time with the book ” I Love You Forever” by Munsch, it is a classic that you can always read to a child at any age and this is my example of a really good book.

    A book that I liked until I read it to an elementary African American was How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World.” The child didn’t like the pictures of the African Americans, she said “We are not slaves anymore”. I never thought about the connotation of slavery in this book until she pointed it out to me. I haven’t read this book again since that day. A book is suppose to make you feel good! Who cares about learning geography skills through a book if it makes a child feel sad.

    Thank you for sharing your point of view and encouraging me to think deeper before reading stories to children.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I love that a child’s perspective made you look at and reconsider a book. I agree that books should leave children with a positive message, and that often the educational value is lost in other themes.

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  7. Anita

    I often wonder similarly about the books that I used to think are great for kids and now wonder twice about them when I read to my three year old daughter. I am wondering if you would share a list of books that you read to Annabelle that you find as being peaceful, compassionate, love kindness, respect for nature etc.

    Reply
  8. Kayla

    I know this is a little off topic but when it comes to how and why books have meanings this is how I found my feet! When I was a kid I read the adventure books which told you to change pages depending on the action you wanted to take, far better than today’s video games and how i got into reading!

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Choose Your Own Adventure! I loved those books, too – couldn’t put them down. I’m glad you brought them up!

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  9. Rach

    Oh yes I know! I so agree but am not as “on” this as I could be. I avoid books about naughtiness (as don’t agree with the term!) and such but actually a book we read at the mo is about a lying fish, which is bit crap really (though lovely rhythm to the language).
    I got a “little house on the prairie” book which had a lovely simple message.
    B’s Nana bought her the don’t let the pigeon drive the bus book, and I didn’t like the message. And in fairness the absurd humour is often more for the adults anyway.
    Nature and factual books are nice of course, but it’s great to have a storybook too.
    I have a one “I’m Lost” about a lost owl which is about friend helping one another, although anthropmorphic (is that the right word?) may not sit well with Montessori philosophy.
    Hey maybe we should start a Facebook page for “appropriate books” that people can add to – would be fun.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Humor that children couldn’t possibly get seems to be all over books, movies, and all sorts of things. It really seems rather pointless.

      Love the idea of a facebook page! Perhaps I’ll make us a group this week!

      Reply
  10. Alisha

    I had this exact experience with my son. When he turned 2, I got some of the How Do Dinosaurs… books from the library. He did not understand that the first part of the book was all negative examples (“Do they throw down their toys and stomp out the door?”), then a turning poing, (“No, they…”) followed by positive examples. We had so many meals explained by “I’m eating like a DINOSAUR!” So yes, we’re being more careful now.

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  11. Amy G

    Excellent topic, as usual! I totally agree with you! We read a book recently, it was a Llama Llama book, which I haven’t read many, but I do think do a good job of showing kids feelings, and the book used the phrase, “I hate that book.” Now, the llama was angry, so it was understandable, but hubby and I thought we still didn’t need to teach Q-ball about such strong negative feelings.

    I have found that our best books are when I find a topic- whether a holiday or books around something we are doing (gardening, watching the sunset, etc.) I like the connection between all of the books, and these books are typically pretty “clean” and can still be fun!

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Those really are the best sorts of books! I can’t remember which now, but another book I otherwise adore has the word, “hate,” in it, too. Of course it’s a word my kids will encounter one day, but I really don’t think they need to face it head on just yet.

      Reply
  12. Annicles

    You wanted some suggestions, so here are some that won favour with all of my three and me, at this age. Bear in mind that what is really popular here might not be in the states!

    Anything by Shirley Hughes.
    Anything by Julia Donaldson.
    Dr Seuss. I know someone didn’t like them because there weren’t many female characters but balanced out with other books the rhythm and rhyme was a winner.
    Nursery rhyme books, especially with beautiful illustrations.
    Fidgety Fish.
    Sam who was swallowed by a shark.
    Mungo and Clementine.
    Thomas the Tank engine.
    Charlie and Lola.
    Mog books.
    Captain duck
    Winnie the Witch.

    These are what Johnny and Livi have remembered. They are now eight and ten.

    Reply
  13. Laura

    I have found myself in the same situation, have even written, together with my husband, a document for the family about the way we choose to do things, so grandparents and uncles/aunts know why we do things the way we do. This includes what we understand as “absorbent mind” and how important it is to model behavior, among other things. When it comes to books, you are right, there are so many that are little more than cheap entertainment. In our family we read many Australian children books, Mem Fox, Simon McLean… The illustrations are beautiful, the language carefully chosen and rhyming. The drawback I guess is that it’s full of animal characters who “sip tea, cook, or dance…” full of anthropomorphism, as Rach says.
    Oh, and were we to start a Facebook page, I would also like to include possible discussions about other materials than books.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I started making a page that did cover other materials, too, so I’ll finish that soon, when I’m less distracted :)

      I wish there were more excellent books that are totally reality-based, but anthropomorphism I’ll indulge so long as the book has plenty of value besides. I’ll have to look into some of the Australian books you mention. They sound excellent – Annabelle loves books with rhyming.

      Reply
  14. Sylvia

    I do agree with you. What is the point pf reading books that may teach impressionable children like Annabelle habits that we don’t approve of, especially when there are more suitable options out there.

    Reply
  15. Noelle

    I completely agree! We are currently in love with Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books. Both my 3 and 1 year old are fascinated by the whole series.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Those look like fun! Thanks for mentioning them :) I’ll have to add them to my list of things to look for at the library next week.

      Reply
  16. Lyndsay

    I agree with you 100% about the importance of literature and following a parent or teacher’s gut around the content and the impact that the literature has on young minds. I don’t think you are being uptight at all about it, we have done similar at our house. I also agree specifically about Munsch. The only text of his we have allowed is the paper bag princess and we have modified a few of the passages because of the use of ‘stupid’ and the destruction caused by the dragon.
    We are currently very fond of The Magic Tree House series as they never use terms like ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I love The Magic Tree House! :) I find myself modifying the Paper Bag Princess, too. I know dragons aren’t vegan (well, there is Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon, but he’s a rare gem!), but my vegan heart just can’t bear to read the bit about horses’ bones aloud. The overall sentiment, I love, but there are rough bits.

      Reply
  17. Aubrey @ Montessori Mischief

    I’m a Munsch lover from my kindergarten teaching days and while Love You Forever remains beloved, I have found most of his books very funny for ages 5+ and a little inappropriate for the younger crowd. I think sometimes we forget that books are a form of media, just like TV- and children can learn positive or negative behaviors from them. I had the EXACT same grouchy ladybug experience! Of course now Jude hears all kinds of inappropriate literature by proxy and I am not at all bothered by it! Secondborns are so odd like that!

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Kindergarten or later sounds about right for Munsch. As someone who loves storytelling, I find his work so enjoyable to read – I suppose I’ll just have to wait! Excellent points about books being media, too. I tend to think of books as positive and screen-based media as neutral or negative, but there is definitely some screen-based media more valuable than poorly written books. I can definitely see that Elliot will be exposed to more, sooner than Annabelle has been! It will be interesting to see those differences as time goes on!

      Reply
  18. courtney

    Fascinating post! Lorelei is just getting to the age where she cares about stories (rather than just being interested in pointing at pictures), so we haven’t had to think about this very much. Someone gave us “The Giving Tree” when she was born and I still to this day haven’t read it to her because I just can’t get behind the one-sided relationship presented (I know that some people love this book and its message, which is fine – it’s just not for me). I also always skip the last page of Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back” because it’s just too hard for me to tell Lorelei how the bear solved his problem by eating the rabbit who stole his hat! Yikes!

    We don’t do much of any TV, but I also read an interesting article at some point (maybe in the book Nurture Shock?) that discussed a similar problem with TV shows even on stations like PBS – in order to ramp up the “plot” of children’s shows, there’s a focus on the conflict (even when the conflict is benign) and so kids encounter a lot more of the “negative” behavior during that part of the story, which has a detrimental effect. PBS also has shows like “Sid the Science Kid” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” which don’t have a plot per se (science education and character education shows, respectively) and therefore might not be as “gripping” to watch, but they avoid that problem of showcasing “bad” behavior from the main characters.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I totally get your stance on The Giving Tree, though I wouldn’t admit it to my former employer at Giving Tree Montessori School ;) I have never seen I Want My Hat Back, but I think I’ll steer clear!

      We don’t do TV shows, either, save for the occasional episode of Mr. Rogers online, but the idea of keeping the plot exciting makes sense, and seems like a terrible idea all at the same time.

      Reply
  19. jaqbuncad

    I hope this isn’t too off-topic – this discussion is wonderful and valuable, and I’m just wondering how our habits as readers (or non-readers) is influencing the way that we present stories and books to our children. What are our reading habits like? What do we value in the stories we read and how is that reflected in the stories we read to our children?

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Such great questions! I have really been quite surprised by all of the comments here, as I fully expected at least half of commenters to encourage me to lighten up. It’s obvious, though, that most of us are making decisions based on our own values, plus a number of other things.

      My husband and I both love books and read often, and I imagine this has something to do with Annabelle’s love of reading. I have definitely been surprised by her preferences with regard to books sometimes, however, and I think a lot of it is unique to her. The books she wants to read over and over are often those that I find little value in and, while sometimes I’m spot on with my selections, I often find that she has no interest in hearing the books I want to share with her most. Maybe that’s the natural rebel in her, feeling the (unintended) pressure to appreciate certain books and choosing to go her own way.

      I hope others will chime in on this, because it’s a very interesting thing to consider.

      Reply
  20. Talia's Travel Blog

    I found this post so interesting and have really enjoyed the comments. Our apartment is full of literally thousands of children’s books including quite a few which are from my childhood and much, much less age-appropriate than children’s books today. I did have a brief period when I was very protective of what we exposed my daughter to (and we have no TV and she gets no other screen time, so books really are her media) but we have since stopped, and her little brother listens to everything she listens to. I think that I really want her to be exposed to challenging issues in books before she faces them in real life so that she has some preparation and has had time to think through these issues in a safe environment (things like mean kids, inequality (Love, love, love “The Hundred Dresses” and also “Gypsy Girl’s Best Shoes” (entirely not P.C. but very sweet)), being called names (we love “Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon” for a good read at this age), death). I should add that although we have no screen time, we live in an urban area and at least every day we pass someone who is homeless/mentally ill so it is not as if my children are sheltered from scary things.

    Some of my favorite childhood books deal with very serious issues, like “A Chair for my Mother” (starts with a fire, the girl faces the loss of all her possessions, there is no father in the story and yet is a very upbeat family story). I also tend to agree a bit with Maurice Sendak that children have a dark side and the best way to handle that is to let them have a fantasy life/pretend play. Since Talia goes to public school she is exposed to any number of ideas which we cannot pre-screen, and I find the best way to counter this at the end of the day is to sit and read and discuss what we are reading.

    If you are compiling a list of issue-free books, I would start with Miss Rumphius (although it is rather essentialist towards the “natives”), include anything by Oliver Jeffers but especially books like “The Way Back Home,” anything by Arnold Lobel from age 4 up.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate your perspective, and it does make total sense. Annabelle is with me virtually all of the time, so I’m very aware of what she has been exposed to and what she hasn’t. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not, but it does help when it comes to decisions on whether it’s time to read about a certain issue or not. Books really are so valuable in helping children to understand and process the world around them, though, so I can absolutely see the value in being less selective, too.

      Oh, and I love Miss Rumphius! I’ll have to look into your other suggestions – thank you so much for those! :)

      Reply
  21. stefanie

    The same thing happened to me: I had much different ideas about language when I didn’t see its immediate transferral into my kid’s mouth! What IS the deal with stupid, dumb and idiot being all over stuff for children?

    Anyway, I tried to be a careful curator, but then G discovered the beauty of the library/bookstore’s free pile, and I caved. I basically let the kids bring anything they want home (one magazine or book each), and we read it at least once, and then many of them find their way to the… less conveniently located shelves. Which lead to the Goodwill pile. It makes for good conversation, and I don’t have to worry much about forbidden fruit syndrome, I guess.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      I often think that many of these authors either don’t have children, or have children who are far older than ours and long since out of the repeat everything verbatim phase.

      I definitely find myself reading things I’d otherwise prefer not to, since books are everywhere (a good thing!), but I have gotten relatively good at translating and passing on subject matter I just am not ready to discuss with this age group.

      Reply
  22. tree peters

    well, I can tell you from my perspective, with Em now almost 6, that it’s our biggest challenge to get her to speak nicely all the time.
    She’s always been voracious and even our huge collection isn’t enough. She gets a new stack from the library every week.
    We do translate some things as we read… it’s sort of shocking to us how freely children’s books use the word “hate” or “stupid” for example. She got to the stage where she’s loving chapter books… but we keep having to stop a series because the characters are mean or unsafe or speak rudely, etc…
    Finally we got her some “Tiptoes Lightly” books and she is absolutely enthralled and satisfied and will choose these books first. Do you know these?
    They’re prominent in our Waldorf school. And really mirror much more the story telling in her school.
    i would have thought them too simplistic or childish for her, but they’re not. They’re beautiful and soothing and wonderful.

    Reply
    1. melissa Post author

      Ah, yes! The more time passes, the more I see that Annabelle is becoming her own unique person and will soon know things and speak on topics I had no idea she was familiar with. Politeness is something we can model, and that’s about it! :) We do translate books a good bit, too, just to hold some topics off a bit longer.

      I haven’t read any of the Tiptoes Lightly books, but they look pretty wonderful. I’ll have to give them a closer look!

      Reply
  23. Rach

    Thanks so much for your list of books in the book post! They all sound great. I didn’t know there was an Ireland version of those Simsek’s book though we have the London one. I’m from Ireland so must get it! As for the alcohol, well I can remember babies being given a drop of whiskey to sleep! Or Guinness for iron. terrible.

    http://www.amazon.com/Were-Going-Bear-Hunt-Anniversary/dp/1416987118/ref=la_B000AP9NHG_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366844621&sr=1-1 I like this one, especially if you watch him perform it on YouTube.

    We got this from Tassie cousins, a lovely book about everyday life http://www.amazon.com/Bumping-Bouncing-Alison-Lester/dp/1741755115

    A classic about kids being babysat for the day. Love it as so everyday, plus a male babysitter, a billboard about teachers strikes, and groovy 70s fashion http://www.amazon.com/Helpers-Red-Fox-Picture-Books/dp/0099926504/ref=sr_1_30?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366845107&sr=1-30&keywords=Shirley+Hughes

    Lots more…

    Reply

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