We love David Wiesner!

I wanted to share some of our latest favorite books–Mr. Wuffles!Flotsam, and The Three PigsP1060041All are by David Wiesner, who our family absolutely loves.  (When my husband saw me writing this he said, “We do love David Wiesner.”)  Wiesner also wrote the classic Tuesday about the flying frogs.  His picture books have very little text (if any) but tell thorough and clever stories.

Mr. Wuffles!Mr. Wuffles!

In Mr. Wuffles!, an alien spaceship lands on earth to make first contact.  Unfortunately it is very tiny and gets mistaken for a cat toy.  The cat, Mr. Wuffles, begins playing with the spaceship knocking around the poor aliens and breaking their ship.  The aliens get away and befriend some ants and ladybugs.  They then need to work together on the repairs and to get the aliens back to their ship so that they can escape from Mr. Wuffles.  This is without a doubt one of the most creative stories we’ve come across.



An old-fashioned underwater camera washes ashore while a boy is playing.  Once developed, the film reveals fantastical images from the ocean–islands that are really sea stars, cities made of shells upon the backs of turtles, a puffer fish used as a hot air balloon, and even the aliens from Mr. Wuffles.  The final picture is a girl holding a picture of a boy holding a picture and so on.  Using a magnifying glass and then a microscope, the boy is able to see how far back the pictures go–that each child found the camera and took a picture of themselves holding the final picture.  After taking a picture of himself holding the picture, he releases the camera back into the ocean for another child to find.   While the story might not be as complicated, the images are absolutely beautiful and encourage the imagination.  Wiesner also does a great job playing with size, magnification, and perspective.


The Three PigsThe Three Pigs

We all know the story of the three little pigs, right?  But Wiesner’s take on the story is such a fun and creative twist.  When the big bad wolf huffs and puffs, he does more than just blow down the first pig’s house; he blows the pig right of the story.  The big then goes and gets his brothers out of the story and they start exploring the white space.  They enter other stories, including Hey Diddle, Diddle, and meet some friends along the way.  While they decide there is no place like home, they also make up their own ending to the story.


Picture Books With Little Text

Here are some of my favorite books without words, well with very few words.  These were some of the first books the girls would “read.”  They loved that they could tell the story through the pictures and I liked that these are great picture books that allow them to practice early reading strategies.  While the girls do really enjoy them, I did say my favorite books because honestly these are all classics I bought before the girls were even born.

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Tuesday by David Wiesner_Cover

Something weird is going on in the marsh.  Suddenly all the frogs sitting on their lily pads take flight.  With only dates and times, the vivid pictures tell the story of the frogs wild night flying through the local town.  It’s an imaginative story that leaves you just a little disappointed when the sun comes up and the lily pads with their frogs drop to the ground.  Of course, there is always next Tuesday…


Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmanngorilla0

Gorilla steals the zoo keeper’s keys and while the zoo keeper says goodnight to each animal, gorilla unlocks the cages.  We love Peggy Rathmann in this house!  The girls think this one is hilarious; they especially enjoy the wide eyes of the zookeeper’s wife when she sees all the animals in her bedroom.


Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day


Really any of the Carl books could make the list.  Carl is black lab and a wonderful babysitter who keeps the baby safe during their adventures and gets the baby back before the mom returns.  Some might consider it questionable parenting to leave a dog in charge of the baby (although family legend has it that my parents did the same thing) but to a child it makes perfect sense.


Honorable Mention–Blackout by John RoccoJohnRocco-Blackout

This one received honorable mention because while much of the book doesn’t have words, there is enough dialogue throughout to be a bit too much to say “no words.”  Also it’s a newer book that the girls and I discovered.  Living in an apartment in the city,  one family is a disconnected and caught in technology when a blackout strikes.  Despite the dark, the neighborhood comes alive, both out on the street and up on the roof.  By the end, while the lights come back on in the city, in this apartment the family decides to keep them off and continue spending time together.



Sharing a Love of Reading

My post yesterday about the Goodreads reading challenge prompted a conversation about sharing your love of reading with your 560581_4169830516604_1861102797_nlittle ones.  As I said yesterday, we agree that reading is important and that parents are children’s best role models, so it’s important that parents role model reading for enjoyment.

But with active little ones in the house, it can be very hard to show that you read for pleasure.  I read their books to the girls, but how do I show them how much I love to read?  It’s not like I can just sit around the house reading all day.  (Hmmm, or can I?)   When it comes to reading, of course reading aloud is the most important thing you can do for your child.  But here are some other ideas to show your young children that you yourself are also a reader:

  • Have your books out where they can see them.  In addition to our bookcases filled with our books, we also leave our books around the house and let the girls know that those are the ones we are currently reading.
  • Talk about books.  I love books and talking so this is very easy for me.  At the dinner table, we talk about what we are reading, interesting tidbits.  We also reference books that we love.  (I’ll be honest, in our house that means a lot of Harry Potter references).  And of course we talk to the girls about their books as well.
  • Read when your children read.  At first I thought this was impossible with little ones.  Now when the girls are looking at books, I get out my book to read.  I try to sit with them during their quiet time at least a few times a week and read my book as well.  They especially love laying on our bed looking at books together.
  • Let them look at your magazines and books.  Of course you want to be sure that the magazines are appropriate for them to look at but the girls love flipping the pages in my magazines and making up stories.DSCN1198
  • Share books that used to be yours.  If you have any books leftover from when you were little, share them with your kiddos and tell them about how much you loved them.  If you don’t, see if you can find copies of your favorite childhood books and share those.
  • Show interest in your children’s books.  Usually the girls choose which books we will read, but sometimes my husband or I pick the books.  We will talk about which ones are our favorites or why we want to read a certain book.  It’s hard to make your children interested in reading if you show no interest in the books they choose.  And try to not sigh or complain if you hate a book they like.

But what if you aren’t a reader yourself?  Well, then this is one of those times you fake it until you make it.


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