I decided my little guy deserved his own page and his own planning too. Because she's older, I tend to be more concerned with planning what I want Red to learn. Now that Tom Thumb is 3, it's time to start picking books for him too. My initial picks will be drawn from the Simply Charlotte Mason Early Years Book List. I'll add more from the Ambleside Year 0 list as we progress. These are not all the books we read, of course. We read everyday before nap and at bedtime. These are just the books that I plan in advance and check out from the library in an intentional way.
Stranger in the Woods - completed 1/11/11. Love this photo book. Lots of lovely shots of forest animals in the snow coupled with a charming story. I'm sure we'll read it again next winter.
Good Dog, Carl - completed 1/19/2011. Cute picture book with very few words that shows what happens when a mother leaves her baby in the care of the family dog Carl. Spoiler: The baby gets to ride the dog around the house and make a mess that is subsequently cleaned up by the dog. Adorable.
Millions of Cats - completed 2/8/2011. We are going to be reading this over and over forever. He loves the repetition of "hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats". I loved this book when I read it to Red and I love it now.
Make Way for Ducklings - completed 2/1/2011. I love Robert McCloskey books! This book is so sweet and I love all the illustrations of Boston too (I lived there for 6 years so it has a special place in my heart).
Caps for Sale - completed 2/14/2011. I love this one too! That's the beauty of reading all your favorites from child #1 to child #2. You already know they're good! I love this one about a peddler who stacks all the caps he has for sale on top of his head. When he stops for a nap and a pack of monkeys steal all his caps, hilarity ensues. Tom Thumb laughs every time the monkeys say "Tsz, tsz, tsz!"
Bats in the Library - completed 2/17/2011. Rhyming book about bats that sneak into the library to have their own personal party and storytime. My favorite are the illustrations of the bats like they're in different books (e.g. a bunch of bats crossing the road with the police officer like the ducks in Make Way for Ducklings, bats on the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, etc.). Very cute and Tom Thumb asked for it again today.
Swimmy - completed 2/18/2011. A small black fish is the only survivor after the school of red fish he's a part of is swallowed by a tuna. After exploring the sea alone, he meets another school of red fish. He convinces them to band together and swim so they look like a big fish (Swimmy gets to be the eye since he's black) so they won't have to be afraid anymore. The illustrations are interesting and Tom Thumb loved finding Swimmy on each page.
The Story of Babar the Little Elephant - completed 3/30/2011. I love this story of the elephant who runs away to the city and lives with the Old Lady. There is some violence when Babar's mother is killed by the hunter, but it is brief. Tom Thumb liked it.
Bread and Jam for Frances - completed 4/1/2011. I love Frances! This story is about Frances who only wants to eat bread and jam until her mother starts making it for her for every meal and snack. Tom Thumb loved it at nap time.
Home for a Bunny - completed 4/2011. I really liked the simple story with the sweet illustrations about a bunny looking for and finding a home. Tom Thumb was totally not interested.
Harry the Dirty Dog - completed 4/2011. Who doesn't love Harry? Red loved it when I first read it to her and Tom Thumb loved it too. This story of a dog who loves to be dirty so much that he hides the scrub brush in a hole in his backyard and wanders off to get more dirty is amusing and charming.
Harry by the Sea - completed 4/2011. Harry the dirty dog is back and better than ever! When he takes a vacation with his family to the beach, he gets covered in seaweed and has all the vacationers thinking that he's a sea monster. After he clears the beach, he saves the day when he leads all the beachcombers to a hot dog stand in need of customers and finds his family again. The kids laughed out loud for this story.
Carl's Sleepy Afternoon and Carl's Snowy Afternoon - completed 4/2011. Tom Thumb (and Red too) loves the Carl stories. There are very few words, but the illustrations are simply outstanding. It is fun to have him narrate the scrapes and adventures Carl the dog has on every page of these books. The kids were all smiles while we read them.
The Carrot Seed - completed 4/15/2011. I had actually had this originally on Red's kindergarten reading list, but Tom Thumb wanted to read it and it was right up his alley. It's a short simple story about a boy who plants a carrot seed and tends to it when no one else believes it will come up. In the end it does, and the boy hauls away a carrot the size of a wheelbarrow. The illustrations are by Crockett Johnson who wrote and illustrated Harold and the Purple Crayon. Tom Thumb liked it so well that he had me read it three times in a row!
The Chick and the Duckling - completed 5/2011. A chick and duckling try to do all the same things until they discover that they can't. Cute illustrations, but lackluster story.
Stellaluna - completed 5/2011. I love this story about a bat separated from its mother who is raised as a bird. Beautiful illustrations and original story. Tom Thumb has had me read it to him repeatedly.
Katy No Pocket - completed 5/2011. This story rocks! Katy is a kangaroo on the hunt for a pocket in which to carry her baby Freddy. She asks the other animals and winds up in the city during her search. Katy ends up with a multi-pocketed utility apron and carts all the forest animals around with her. So cute!!! Tom Thumb loves it.
Good-night Owl! - completed 5/2011. This repetitive story is about an owl trying to sleep during the day and all the other little creatures who won't stay quiet so he can sleep. Don't worry---the owl gets them back by waking them all up that night. Tom Thumb liked it!
Circus Caps for Sale - completed 6/2011. Since Tom Thumb liked Caps for Sale so much, I got him this one. The Cobbler read to him and Tom Thumb told me today that he really liked it.
The Giving Tree - completed 6/2011. I've always liked this book about the love between a boy and a tree. Tom Thumb seemed to enjoy it.
Chicken Chuck - completed 6/2011. We didn't plan this one (Red nabbed it off the shelf and said,"He'll like this one. We read it at school!"), but Tom Thumb likes it so well I decided to include it on the list. Chicken Chuck eats a blue seed in the farm yard and grows a blue feather out of his forehead (it's metallic blue in the illustrations. Very cool.) When he sees a circus poster that shows a horse with blue feathers on its head, he and the other barnyard animals set out to meet it. It's a funny story with great illustrations.
The Ox Cart Man - completed 8/2011. A unique story about an 1800s family that prepares by making goods to sell in town. The father (AKA The Ox Cart Man) goes to town, sells everything, and returns home to start the cycle over. I liked the illustrations. Tom Thumb liked the repetition in the story.
Whopper Cake - When Granddad decides to make Grandma a "whopper cake" for her birthday, there's no stopping him --- not even oven size. Karma Wilson's fun rhyming style makes this one a keeper. I did a short review here.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog - Tom Thumb loves these books about the pigeon who tries to convince the reader by every means possible to let him drive the bus. Later, a duck tries to get the pigeon to share his hot dog with comedic results. Here's a link to a post I wrote about it.
Sneaky Sheep - Rocky and Blossom are intent on escaping their meadow to get to the more luscious meadow on the side of the mountain. The problem --- Rocky the sheepdog foils there sneaky plans every time. This one has awesome comical illustrations! See my review here.
Bear Feels Sick - Another good Bear book by Karma Wilson. We love this series!
McDuff Comes Home and McDuff Saves the Day - That silly Westie McDuff gets lost while chasing a rabbit and finds a new picnic lunch for his family after theirs gets eaten by ants in these two cute tales. The 1940s-esque illustrations are sweet. Tom Thumb just likes the dog. :-)
Katie and the Sunflowers - Tom Thumb adores this book about a girl named Katie who goes to the art museum with her grandmother. When she tries to touch Van Gogh's Sunflowers, she knocks the vase out of the masterpiece and mayhem ensues as she tries to set things right. A wonderful book that incorporates many great works of art. My review is here.
The Circus Ship - We loved the illustrations in this book about a ship full of circus animals that sinks off the coast of Maine. The animals come ashore and help the villagers save the day. Will the people of the village in turn protect the animals from the unkind circus owner. My review is here.