Sunday, April 4, 2010

Books We Love to Read Over and Over...

Eva has always loved books--and now she can even read a few words! She got some new books for her birthday that we love and thought you might enjoy them, too.

Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore
This charming story, with cute illustrations, tells the story of a little girl who "was just like everybody else" except for one thing...freckles. She tries to get rid of her freckles because the other kids, while not unkind, bring attention to her difference. In the end, she grows up, just like everybody else, and doesn't care so much about her freckles anymore.

I really love the message to this story that even if your situation doesn't change, you can learn to love yourself for your difference. Even if Eva doesn't get the subtlety of this message, it brings me peace to know that it's there.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney
This sweet story tells us about little Llama Llama who goes shopping with his Mama but, due to several reasons, gets mad at Mama and throws a tantrum in the store. The author does a fantastic job showing we adults the little (to us) things that happened to lead up to Llama Llama's tantrum.

This book has given Eva and me an opportunity to talk about feelings and reactions--Llama Llama's and Mama's. She and I have always talked about the "Store Rules" before going into a store. She says to me: No whining, no kicking, no yelling and listen to Mama. So we talk about how Llama Llama doesn't follow the store rules and what he could have done to tell his Mama he was bored/mad/hungry instead of throwing a tantrum. And the rhyming cadence is fun to read, too!

Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems
In Knuffle Bunny, we see young Trixie going on an errand with her Daddy. She loses her stuffed bunny and a communication breakdown ensues before she and bunny are reunited at the end. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too, tells the story of preschool Trixie taking her special, one-of-a-kind bunny to school only to find that another classmate has a nearly identical bunny. Trixie deals with conflict, hurt feelings and mistaken identity before the happy ending.

Mo Willems is a genius storyteller and illustrator. Like Anna Dewdney, he does a superb job telling the story how a child might by including things adults dismiss as unimportant and using a child's logic. I am also impressed by his unique style of illustrating his stories. He takes black and white photos of his neighborhood in New York City and draws his characters and selected accessories on top of them.

I hope these favorite stories inspire you to visit your local library or expand your home library. Happy storytime!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eva's Gymnastics

Eva just completed her first session at a gymnastics place in town. Her class is for 3 1/2 to 5-year-olds and introduces basic gymnastics movements and equipment. She had a great time playing with girls her age and learning how to do new things with her body. On the last day of the session, parents were welcomed into the gym to see a performance.

After the performance, Eva wanted to show me how she swings on the uneven bars. Her teacher, Kelsey, helps her in the video below.

Everyone got a ribbon!
I am very proud of Eva for doing so well listening to directions, following along, waiting her turn and being brave to try new things with her body. She learned how to do a summersault, walk sideways, hang onto a bar to swing and many other little things. She'll start the next session after a week break and is very excited. Yay, Eva!