My Convertible Life

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday's Favorite Five

Partly because lists of favorite things are so much fun to make and partly because it seems like a lot of bloggers have some regular items they post on specific days, I've decided to make Fridays the day to post five favorites around a particular topic.

For our inaugural Friday's Fave Five, here are five children's books that Junius loves to read -- and so do I. As parents, we often get tired of reading the same parade of Curious George, Dr. Seuss and Thomas the Train -- or maybe that's just me. Meanwhile, there are so many wonderful books out there that haven't had time to become classics (yet), but are fun bedtime reading for all involved. The links for each title will take you to Quail Ridge Books & Music (my most favorite bookstore) -- if you're not within driving distance, you can order online from their store (and feel good about supporting an independent bookseller, which is a rare breed these days).

In no particular order...
  1. Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride: Written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, this is the second title in a chapter-book series about a pig named Mercy who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson and eats lots of hot buttered toast (which became a breakfast staple after we started reading these books). Junius likes this one because it involves the "porcine wonder" in a madcap outing in the family convertible.

  2. How I Became a Pirate: Written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon, this picture book follows little Jeremy Jacob as he joins with Captain Braid Beard and his crew on their quest to bury the pirates' treasure. With pirate-speak written into the story, it's a great read-aloud. Our favorite line is, "ARGH! Soccer!" The sequel, called Pirates Don't Change Diapers, is also hilarious.

  3. Albert: Written by Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by Jim LaMarche, is a beautiful picture book about a man who can't seem to find the right day to go outside. Then one morning when he puts his hand out the window to check the weather, a bird begins building a nest in his outstretched palm. The sweet story describes how Albert helps the birds and learns something about himself in the process.

  4. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything: Written by Elise Broach and illustrated by David Small, this funny picture book shows what happens when a boy goes on errands with his mom and discovers that everyone -- the doctor, the barber, the baker -- is giving away a free dinosaur with each purchase. Where will all the dinos go and how will they all get along? Trust mom to make it all work out for the best.

  5. This Jazz Man: Written by Karen Ehrhardt and illustrated by R. G. Roth, this finger-snapping, toe-tapping picture book spins the traditional rhyme "This Old Man" into a history lesson about great jazz musicians. Learn about counting, musical instruments and famous artists all in one terrific package.

Note: I have received no compensation from Quail Ridge Books & Music or any of the authors or illustrators of these books. However, if any of them wanted to send me some freebies, I wouldn't say no.


  1. Okay, how can you pick just 5 books? As a primary grades teacher (gr. 1-3) I have favorite chapter books that I never tire of reading aloud to the class. Here are a few off the top of my head...
    1. My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Actually this is a series of 3 books, perfect introductory chapter books to be read to children who are ready for chapter books. (First and second grade)
    2. Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. Also a series. My second graders LOVED this modern day Ramona.
    3. Stuart's Cape also by Sara Pennypacker. Another good beginning chapter book with illustrations.
    4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. A classic tale, though a bit stereotypical of the roles of men and women. There are zillions of Boxcar sequels.
    5. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. This classic story from 1944 addresses issues of teasing and social justice. While a bit dated, the message is as relevant today as it was in 1944. Third grade and up.

    Darn, that is five. I hope Junius and Pippi will have a chance to hear these great stories as they get older.

  2. Quail Ridge is awesome!!! I love going there, did it a lot in college!

  3. Thanks for the list -- we'll save that for the coming years! It's always tough to pick just five, so I started with 5 that we own (not library books) that are currently in favor with the little man.


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