Sarah (5) and Tootie (4)
Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas -- yes, this book is beneath both of their comprehension levels. But it is quite funny, and Tootie requests it every couple of months. Cowboy and I have taken to quoting one part -- "Whoa, Daddy's whiskers!" -- when something surprising or sudden occurs.
My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall -- a great book for Valentine's day! The illustrations are all different animals that have bodies made from heart shapes. We're thinking of trying that ourselves for our own Valentine cards this year.
Olaf's Night Before Christmas by Jessica Julius, illustrated by Olga T. Mosqueda -- yes, I realize Christmas was a month ago. But I found this book on clearance at the book store and couldn't resist it. It's an enchanting retelling of "The Night Before Christmas," beginning with the familiar words and using them here and there, but telling the story from Olaf's perspective. He has no idea what all this Christmas stuff is about or who Santa Claus is! So it begins, "'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Stockings were hung by the chimney -- but why? Had they gotten too wet? Were they left there to dry?" Olaf has an encounter with Santa and gets exactly what he wants for Christmas: a warm hug. The book came with a CD that has Josh Gad reading the story in Olaf's voice, which might be fun for a car trip next Christmas.
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede -- I picked up the first book, Dealing with Dragons, at the used book store a few weeks ago because Sam loves The Runaway Princess and The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs so much that he begged to get them for his birthday, and this looked similar. Well, he loved the first book and asked if we could get the rest from the library, and we have, one book per week. He wants to keep renewing them, and has read them over and over and over now -- except the last one, Talking to Dragons, which we just got this morning. That one he's only read once so far.
Aloud to All of Them
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden -- I'm reading this aloud to them, a couple of chapters every day or two. I've been wanting to read something aloud to all three of them for over a year now, and I've finally gotten it worked into our daily routine. This is above the girls' reading level, which is good for them, but still something they can understand. Sam declares it is "boring," which is why he hasn't read it himself, but all the same, he laughs and laughs while I'm reading, and today he asked if we could please just read one more chapter, so he's more engaged than he wants to admit. I loved this book when I was a kid, and am really enjoying revisiting it.