The Gingerbread Man – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

The Gingerbread Man illustrated by Karen Schmidt
Published by Scholastic Paperbacks, an imprint of Scholastic

I’m sure you all know the basics of this one: gingerbread man comes to life, taunts those who attempt to chase him, becomes over-confident, gets eaten by a fox.

We started reading this with Daniel around Thanksgiving and it became a favorite in no time and has been an oft-requested book for the entirety of winter (or what has passed for winter this year, anyway). Most of the time Daniel now “reads” this to us, at the very least reciting the gingerbread man’s lines “Run, run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!” Actually, he doesn’t just recite those lines when we’re reading the book, if he’s running (particularly if he’s running AWAY from us around the house) he is extremely likely to be shouting the same lines.

The predictive text in this book is great for a pre-reader like Daniel, but what is even better is how much it has captured his imagination.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Little Rabbit’s Christmas – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my new feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy, since we are definitely reading more than one book a week!

Little Rabbit’s Christmas by Harry Horse
Published by Peachtree Publishing

All Little Rabbit wants for is a red sled and, once he gets it, all he wants to do is play with it himself. Those paints and tools his friends got? BORING. Who wants paints when you could go sledding? So, after being really fairly obnoxious in begging for/demanding the sled for Christmas, he wants nothing but to go and play with his sled by himself, he doesn’t want to play with his friends and their toys, and he certainly doesn’t want them to play with his sled. Until he runs into some trouble, and his friends come through for him and he realizes that Christmas is really about friends, family, and togetherness, not just getting things.

Harry Horse is really convincing with Little Rabbit’s greedy, obnoxious selfishness, so much so that I was actually worried at one point that he would continue to be obnoxious the whole book long. However, he was totally redeemed, and he was totally redeemed in a very realistic way. I really enjoyed this, and I’m looking forward to reading it with Daniel over the next few years. It was ever so slightly too long and with too many words on the page for Daniel right now at 18 months, but it still managed to keep his attention pretty well, because of all of Little Rabbit’s whooshing around on his sled.

Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Publisher
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear (audio) – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my new feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy, since we are definitely reading more than one book a week!

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle, narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow in English and Adriana Sananes in Spanish
Published by Macmillan Young Listeners, an imprint of Macmillan

“Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” companion or sequel to “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” Like “Brown Bear,” it has predictive text with each animal hearing another, which then hears another. In some ways, I actually prefer this one, because of the rich descriptions of animal noises (the boa constrictor ‘hissing,’ the elephant ‘trumpeting’). Plus, we’re huge Eric Carle fans around here, so anything he has written or illustrated is a big hit.

I will say, that even with my confidence in all things Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, I was a bit hesitant to try the audio book with Daniel. For one thing, I was totally unsure how Gwyneth Paltrow would do as a narrator. What I didn’t take into account was that she is a mom who clearly has lots of experience reading to her own young children, because she read with spot-on ‘mom reading to toddler’ enthusiasm, fun voices and all. Because of this, Daniel definitely enjoyed the experience of listening to the audiobook while sitting in my lap and having me turn the pages. It isn’t an option I would use frequently at this age, but I can see doing it when I have a sore throat or otherwise don’t feel well.

One nice thing, though, is that there are three different options on the audiobook, depending on what age and level reader you have. The first track is simply the book being read without any interruptions, which works well for reading the book with a parents or potentially for an older child who can read along or determine when to turn the page through animal cues. The second track would be wonderful for an emergent reader or even a pre-reader, as there is a chime to indicate when the page should be turned. I can even see Daniel being able to turn the page at each chime on his own in a few months. The third track is in Spanish for bilingual families, or, I suppose, simply if you wanted to expose your child to another language.

I really appreciate that we can pick up just the book itself, or add the cd if need be. Although I don’t think we need any more audiobooks for Daniel for the stage he is in, I can definitely see him growing into this format on his own as an older toddler or preschooler.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.