Our favorite Kid's Library Books 2019

"The library and Pinterest are your best friends" she said when I asked a relative for homeschooling advise.

We have a LOT of children's books. The girl's book shelves are full and overflowing with books. "We can just read the books we have, we don't need to go to the library" I thought.

A few weeks ago a friend invited us to meet her at the library. We had so much fun. The girls were bringing me books asking me to read to them. They had fun playing with the play kitchen and giving puppet shows.

BUT I was horrified that a lot of the children's books did not uphold our family values. Or, they were just SO silly and fictional!

My sister takes her children to the library once a week. "How do you find good books!?" I asked her.

When we went to our local library to drop off the books that we had borrowed, I let the girls play for a few minutes while I looked at the children's books. I just went down a row and looked at every one. Usually I can tell by the cover if it's a book we might want to read.

I actually found several really neat books! I was thrilled.

Now we have as part of our weekly schedule, to stop by the library for about 30 minutes on our way to adventurers. We take a supper lunch to eat in the car on our way from the library to adventurers.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the benefits of bringing library books home. Here are a few that I have noticed:

  • Increased love for books. Kathryn and Hannah ask for me to read to them 3-5 times a day, sometimes way more often then that. They are just so excited to read, and reread, the books that we brought home.
  • More time spent reading, which we all know is so beneficial for kids. 
  • Opportunity for increased exposure to various ways of life, cultures and vocabulary.
  • Conversation opportunities. With the introduction of new concepts and ideas come lots of questions, which results in opportunities for me to instruct and teach and share our family's values. When a book that we bring home ends up having some undesirable content, I stop reading and explain the problem and why we don't want to read it. In doing so, Kathryn will hopefully learn how to be in control of what her mind consumes, and when she is older and comes across supernatural, unbiblical, or other undesirable content, she will hopefully remember. "Oh yes, I remember my Mommy telling me...."
Our mission is to prepare our children for "launch" into the world. Preparing them to safely navigate the life-path the Lord has prepared for them. Reading can help prepare them for how big and complicated the world is, while I am still by their side to instruct them in the way of the Lord.

We read Bible stories every day for worship. I want Bible truths to be the main foundation of our children's education. But other children's books help to broaden their horizons in a good way.

I wanted to write down a list of our favorite books from the library, so that we can go back and check out some of our favorites in the future. And I thought, why not share our list with you!?

And guess what! Did you know that you can place books on hold? Yep, and its awesome! We have 24 libraries in the Tulsa area that are all interconnected. So I can just go online and request a hold on the books I want, the books will be delivered to my local library and they will notify me when my books are ready for pick up. Woohoo! You can also ask the librarian to place books on hold for you, while you are at the library, or just call to make your request if that is easier for you.

So if you don't have time to wade through the children's books, you might find my favorite library books list, helpful. 

I have included a few of my own thoughts on each book.

This list will be updated as we find new favorites. Next year I will start a new list.

AND, we would love to read some of your favorite books. Add your favorites in the comments bellow and we will see if our library system has them!

January and February 2019 favorites for my children ages 4 1/2 and 20 months:

Bread Lab! by Kim Binczewski and Bethany Econopouly Illustrated by Hayelin Choi
Very fun, educational book about Iris and her Aunt making sour dough bread. Bread facts and recipe in the back! The girls love this one! "Mommy, why do microbes burp co2?" This one is too long for Hannah, she starts begging me to read a different book. (I change "Saturday" to Sunday on the first page. I omit/substitute the words "magic" on another page. We haven't tackled that topic yet.)

Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel by Leslie Connor Illustrated by Mary Azarian
An immigrant chose to bring a shovel when she came to the US in 1856. She used her shovel in many ways throughout her full and interesting life. Teaches ingenuity and using what we have and working hard. The barn burning down was a bit concerning to Kathryn, "Why do buildings burn down when lightning strikes them?"

BIG CAT, little cat by Elisha Cooper
Introduces life cycles/generations, and death, in a gentle way. So sweet. My girls love cats so this was a favorite. "Look Mommy, now the black cat is the big one!" Kathryn said today "This book is my favorite that is MORE favorite then all the others."

Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements Illustrated by R.W. Alley
A patient and loving Daddy. So sweet, reminds me of how patient and loving God is toward us. Cute illustrations. We have read it over and over. "But he doesn't, but he doesn't, but he doesn't. Why doesn't the Daddy say those things?" (They are watching a ball game during supper in one of the illustrations.)

Full, Full, Full of LOVE by Trish Cooke Illustrated by Paul Howard
I love the illustrations! Showcases family love and togetherness. Also that we have to learn to be patient. "Uh-oh, Candy, candy, candy!!!" says Hannah (Unfortunately the little boy tries to eat candy before the meal, but I like that Gran says "no", and distracts him with watching out the window waiting for the others. The family eats food that we don't eat, but Kathryn has understood for a long time that each family chooses what they are going to eat. "If someone gave me some chicken I would say 'no thank you!'")

Can You Growl Like a Bear? by John Butler
What kid doesn't love to make animal sounds? A simple book with beautiful illustrations! "Look Mommy, now their eyes are closed. Why are their eyes closed?"

The Herd Boy by Niki Daly
Teaches that no dream is too big, and the importance of taking responsibility, and how that helps to prepare you for your future dreams. Introduces a few Afrikaans and Xhosa words. "Mommy, will that snake bite him?....Why does he have that look on his face?" (Its a little violent with the stick fight the boys play together, and a lamb gets hurt by a baboon. Not for sensitive readers. "Mommy, is that blood on the lamb?!!!")

I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrations by Patrice Barton
Absolutely love this book! Encourages children to love hand-me-down clothes. On one page she sees that a dress is too long so she hems it up herself! Written in a fun way! "Mommy, I like old clothes too! Do you like old clothes?"

Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall Pictures by Barbara Cooney (Not pictured)
Wow, so inspiring how this family worked hard all year, growing, making and preparing things to sell in the city. This is an old tale passed down from generation to generation. "How did they get the goose feathers? What do you do with goose feathers?"

March 2019 favorites for my children ages 4 1/2 and 22 months:

Valentine Surprise by Corinne Demas Illustrations by R.W. Alley
Sweet story of a little girl making valentines for her Mother. Even though the hearts she cuts are not perfect, its a perfect gift. "Sometimes my hearts are too skinny too." says Kathryn. Hannah loves to point out the kitties in the pictures.

A Special Gift for Grammy by Jean Craighead George Illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
This book almost didn't make it to the favorites list, but Kathryn urged me to add it. It shows how fun and useful rocks are. The story tells about what happens to each one of the rocks in the pile that the little boy left on his grandmother's porch. The grandmother makes a necklace from a few special rocks. "Why do we not wear necklaces?" Kathryn asked me. So if you do not wear necklaces, don't read this book unless you are ready to explain your reason. 

The Little Raindrop written by Joanna Gray Illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic
Recently Kathryn has been fascinated by the cycle of water on the earth. This fun book personifies a rain drop and tells its journey from falling as rain, to evaporating on the beach and joining other rain drops in the cloud again. It becomes more educational if you add in the proper terms of evaporation, condensation and precipitation, and would be a great addition when studying the topic in homeschool. Before reading I just explained to the girls that rain drops don't really have arms, legs, faces and feelings and this was just a fun and silly way that the book helped us to learn about the water cycle. "That's really what happens when a drop lands in the water, Mommy, it splashes up like that!!!"

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith Illustrated by Danielle Daniel
A simple book about how we can love and support one another. Kathryn took "holding up" literally, so I had to explain the meaning in the context of the book. 

Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten Hamilton pictures by R. W. Alley
Kathryn absolutely loves this book. It is important to me to teach my children how helpful police officers are. This is a fun book that's almost too silly, but I think that's part of it's appeal. "Why is the horse drinking from the fountain? What is that coming out of the horses nose? Why did the little boy go away from his mommy? Why did he chase the balloon? Why is the car off the road? Why did he step on the workers head? Why did they brake the window? Why did he jump on top of that thing? What are those things around their wrists? Why... Why.. Why..."

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
Such a fun book! If you ever plan to take your child on a roller coaster ride, read them this book first. Kathryn related to the little girl in the story, "I would be like that little girl, I would want to ride again!" but she was concerned for the two men who seamed to be sick, "Why are those two men looking like that?" It lead to a whole discussion and study on the inner ear and what makes us sick to our stomachs.

Hand Over Hand written by Alma Fullerton Illustrated by Renee Benoit
This is a fabulous book for girls. This story tells about a determined, hard working girl who goes fishing with her Grandthather, even though culture and the other fisherman said she shouldn't. "Why did they say that her place was on the shore?" We talked about how brave and strong Nina was, and how we want to be strong and brave too.

Sleep Train by Jonathan London Illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
This story is about a little boy who is in bed trying to fall asleep. He pretends that he is in the sleep car as he counts the train cars in his book. The girls really love trains right now, so this is a favorite. The composite illustrations really bug me though.

Little i by Michael Hall
This book teaches about spelling, punctuation and upper and lower case in a very creative and captivating way. Kathryn loves it! In the story, little i loses his dot and sets out on a journey to find it.

I Wonder by Annaka Harris Illustrated by John Rowe
Be sure to read the author's note in the back where she explains the importance of teaching and modeling for our children that it is ok to not know the answer sometimes, and to just wonder together.  "I know what there was before there was anything? It was just black!" Kathryn informed me. There are no direct creation or evolutionary thoughts in the book, but when the little girl wonders about what there was before there was anything, she says "I wonder if there were feelings." I stop right there and energetically explain that there was SO much feeling. That God was even thinking about Kathryn, and Hannah when he was about to create the earth. "He was thinking about how much he loved YOU and how much you would enjoy the world that He was about to create." I tell them. "Why didn't the person that wrote the book know that?" Kathryn asked. Hmm, so yeah, this book is sadly laking when it comes to Bible truth. You just have to add it in where needed.

April 2019 favorites for my children ages almost 5 and 23 months:

The Hallelujah Flight by Phil Bildner Illustrated by John Holyfield
With their Daddy and Papa being pilots, this book is a favorite! James Banning was the first African American to complete a transcontinental flight! True facts about the flight have been woven entertainingly into this work of fiction. Be prepared to answer the question "Mommy, what's prejudice?", though I was thankful for the opportunity to explain to Kathryn the importance of treating everyone with kindness and never judging someone before we have gotten to know them. There is a map inside both the front and back covers, with their rout outlined. So this helps teach a little US geography as you look up on the map each place as it is mentioned in the story.

Gwen the Rescue Hen by Leslie Crawford illustrated by Sonja Stangl
In a way that has a very happy ending, this book introduces the fact that the eggs we get from the store come from Chickens who are living in very cramped, sad quarters. Hannah loves to make chicken sounds, all the while I am reading, "Ach ac ooo!!.... bac bac.." Kathryn asks me to read it over and over again! I change two little things as I am reading. I say that the chicken doesn't remember hatching, rather then being born, because chickens aren't born. And on the last page of the story I leave out the "Let's hit it" phrase just because I am not fond of it. The additional information about chickens in the back is terrific, (except the evolutionary bit).

On Gull Beach By Jane Yolen Pictures by Bob Marstall
I almost didn't include this book as a favorite because there is so much suspense as to if the gulls will eat the poor starfish! But Kathryn insisted. The story is in poem form which is always so much more delightful. The "Life on a New England Beach" section in the back is very interesting and educational. There are even QR codes and a free app to download so that you can hear the various bird calls. How awesome is that!?

How Do You Sleep? by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud illustrated by Kristin Kest
The artwork in this book is superb! It's an adorable going to bed book that the girls love, though Kathryn wishes she were a frog, "Why doesn't the frog sleep at night?!"

North Woods Girl by Aimée Bissonette with illustrations by Claudia McGehee
A girl and he Grandma both love the woods, but what would happen if they have to take Grandma to live with them in the city? For now, Grandma is staying where she belongs, among the things she loves so much. "I want to be a woods girl when I grow up." says Kathryn. "So do I, " I tell her, "but you know what? We can be woods girls right NOW!"

There Might be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi illustrated by Laurel Molk
Sukie, the dog, has terrible cognitive distortions when she goes with Eleanor to the beach. I think that it is very important to explain that what Sukie was thinking was lies, and that we should try to never tell ourselves lies. In the end Sukie saves her stuffed monkey, and oh what happiness comes from overcoming our fears! "But there's a lobster on her bag!" Kathryn points out with a giggle.

One Mitten by Kristine O'Connell George Illustrated by Maggie Smith
The things that can be done with only one mitten are quite hilarious! Hannah especially loves this story about a mitten that was lost, and found. "Other mitten? Other mitten?" she tries to ask. There is much excitement when the other mitten is discovered. "Peek boo, peek boo." she says as she joins in with the fun! For Kathryn I try to weave in an emphasis of keeping track of, and taking care of our belongings.

Louie's Goose by H.M. Ehrlich Illustrated by Emily Bolam
This adorable story about a beloved stuffed goose teaches that as part of growing up, kids learn how to solve their own problems.

Sky-High Guy by Nina Crews
This is a fun little story about two little boys playing. Kathryn loves it! I especially appreciate that the boys obey their Mom, even when they are in the middle of trying to rescue "Guy".

May 2019 favorites for my children ages almost 5 and 2 years old:

It's Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf Illustrations by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
This is an absolute favorite that we have read over and over again. I have recently been re-introduced to Charlotte Mason's description of "living books" and this is definitely one of them. There is so much information in this book but it is told in a way that makes you feel like you are there helping to name the calf, scooping poop into the gutter and carrying a pitcher of milk up to the house. The thing I love MOST about this book is that it shows the satisfaction that helping, hard work and a job well done, brings. The little girl and her Daddy are working side by side to get the milking done. Oh, and the artwork is just perfection! "Why does it call it 'steam'?" Kathryn asked when I read "...Holstein parade." Haha. So after I told her I was saying "Holstein" and not "whole steam" I explained that there are different breeds of cows, just like there are different breeds of cats and dogs. Kathryn says that she wants a horse, AND a cow to milk.

The Perfect Pony by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley pictures by Shelagh McNicholas
With Kathryn wanting a horse of her own one day, this book is definitely a favorite. Along with it being an adorable story with beautiful artwork, this book teaches that good things are worth waiting for and often take a while to find. It also teaches that it's whats on the inside that maters, and that looks are not as important.

Lion of the Sky, Haiku for all Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas illustrated by Mercè López
I had never heard of Haiku before! Such fun, I think this book was just as much fun for Edwin and I as it was for Kathryn. Each page is a guessing game. It was so good for Kathryn to use her brain to try to come up with what each Haiku was. "Wicked whine with wings, that's me, buzzing in your ear- closer... closer... ouch!" is a favorite! We skip the jack-o-lantern page. This book did not captivate the two year olds attention though.

In the Garden with Dr. Carver by Susan Grigsby pictures by Nicole Tadgell
Another living book, this book introduces George Washington Carver to young readers. In a historical fiction way, it tells of the amazing things that Dr Carver invented, and his desire to help people to learn and grow better gardens! We absolutely love this book! It also teaches the importance of close observation.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
This book has me in tears by the end. The simple way in which the story is told, makes it all the more powerful and captivating. It tells the story of what lighthouses once were and what they sill are, beacons of light!

Heroes of the Surf by Elisa Carbone illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Almost a little too much for me with the boys pretending to be pirates. But in the end the boys are pretending to be part of the life saving team "Heroes of the Surf." It teaches resilience and bravery in times of disaster. It is based on true facts, so teaches a bit of history as well.

Octopus Escapes Again! Written and Illustrated by Laurie Ellen Angus
"Will she eat today? Or be eaten?" Full of facts, this book is a living book as well. Both girls love this book and ask me to read it again and again. "This Mommy?" Hannah asks "Bite me? Bite me?"
"Mommy, is this a snake or a fish?" Kathryn asks about the Eel.

Counting Chickens by Polly Alakija
An adorable counting book! It also teaches the names of baby animals, and that there are rewards to waiting. The last page is full of chickens to count, Kathryn loved it!

The Dandelion Seed's Big Dream by Joseph Anthony Illustrated by Cris Arbo
The journey of one little dandelion seed. Will it ever be able to grow and bloom? This story is about perseverance, endurance and waiting patently. "Why wouldn't the dandelion seed give up it's dream?" Kathryn asked. There is additional information about dandelion plants in the back.

June and July favorites for my children ages 5 and 2 years old:

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
This book made me cry, cry for the children of the slaves long ago, cry for my own loved ones who have become forgetful, and cry with thankfulness that we have the opportunity to help others remember who they are, like Tosh did. This sweetly written book introduces our history of slavery and really got Kathryn asking questions. It introduces the idea that sometimes the elderly become forgetful, and that we can help them. And to top it off, there is a recipe for Tea Cakes in the back. We haven't made them yet, but plan to. Children's story books that include a recipe have become a favorite of mine!

Applesauce Season written by Eden Ross Lipson Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein 
Here is another book with a recipe in the back, yay! This well written book tells of a family's togetherness, and happiness that comes from buying apples, then making and eating apple sauce together. Our family has a history of making apple sauce together, so this brings happy memories for me. One thing I love about this book is that it shows that old fashioned country traditions can be kept very much alive even while living in the city. 

Nora's Chicks by Patricia MacLachlan illustrated by Kathryn Brown
This story is a little sad. Nora and her family moved to America from Russia. Nora didn't have any friends... It shows the joy that pets can bring, and the need for friendship. It's sad because it took Nora and the neighbor girl so long to become friends. To me, the lesson is that we need to work hard at befriending newcomers. The illustrations are adorable and very well done.

Stormy's Hat Just Right for a Railroad Man by Eric A. Kimmel Pictures by Andrea U'Ren
Kathryn doesn't like the part where Stormy's hat catches on fire!!! I love that this story is based off of the true story of how the railroad hat was designed. I little tidbit of history! Very well written, though I do change a couple of the expressions that I don't care for. An underlying message is respect for a spouses opinions and ideas. I also enjoy seeing how Ida is starting to make a dress in the first pages and by the end she is wearing the dress she had been sewing. Very well done book!

Aunty Yang's Great Soybean Picnic Story by Ginnie Lo illustrations by Beth Lo
A longer book, Hannah gets weary of it, but Kathryn and I love this story! It's a story of love, family traditions, and building community! It also introduces some Chinese words and traditions. 

The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll Written by Patricia C. McKissack Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Yes, yes, I know, a Christmas story in July! Kathryn loved this story, I loved this story, it goes into our favorites list even if it IS July. Be sure to read "A Note About This Story" at the front. The story starts out talking about "Santy Claus." You can edit if you wish. We have told our girls what people believe about Santa and how it's not true. This story is about three sisters, my Mommy grew up with sisters, I grew up with a sister, and I am raising two sisters. So there is a lot there that we can relate to, in the relationship of the sisters in the story. I feel that this book is a little snippet of history, showing how this family lived. I grew up in rural Alabama myself, and my Mommy's family grew up in rural Mississippi, so I find it easy to imagine, and close to my heart. The little fight between the sisters is a little hard to take, but in the end when they are all playing happily together, it makes it a heartwarming story.

Passing the Music Down by Sarah Sullivan illustrated Barry Root
We have decided that this book really isn't a favorite after all. We read it again just now and Kathryn said, "part of me likes it, but part of me doesn't". It has a good message, but I think that it is poorly written, in that when it first starts out it seems to be written in poem form, but it's not. 

Lorraine, The Girl who Sang the Storm Away Written by Ketch Secor Illustrated by Higgins Bond
The real intriguing factor about this book, for Kathryn, was the fact that... well I won't spoil the punch line for you! I do edit some of the expressions that I do not care for. It's a sweet story of the friendship between a girl and her grandfather. 

The Apple Doll  Written and Illustrated by Elisa Kleven
This is a super duper favorite of all time! The girls adore this story and beg for me to read it over and over again. Lizzy is a little girl who loves her apple tree, and enjoys make believe. Starting school was hard for her, but having her apple doll helped. In the end everyone in her classroom makes an apple doll too, and become her friends! Best of all, there are instructions for how to make your own apple doll. Edwin and I helped Kathryn and Hannah make their own apple dolls! They enjoy playing with their apple dolls and smelling the sweet fragrance of their dolls dried apple heads, Hannah took a bite though! Haha, so she may be a little too young for an apple doll. 

August favorites for my children, ages 5 and 2 years old:

Babymoon by Hayley Barrett illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
"...We'll invite the world in soon, but for now - we're on our baby moon." We all loved this book written in poetic form, with it's adorable illustrations. The girls like to point to the sign on the door and pretend to read "SEE YOU SOON", another favorite of Kathryn's is to try to figure out what the baby's name is, using the extra scrabble pieces! I recommend this book to all new parents, it beautifully lays out what a babymoon is all about. So, so sweet, with spot on advice in story form.

Time for Cranberries Lisl H. Detlefsen Illustrated by Jed Henry
"It's harvesttime and I'm finally old enough to help." I love the family teamwork in this book, that encourages helpfulness. This book is very educational, simply by showing the process of how the family harvests their cranberries. AND there are two recipes in the back! What a great way to help children learn to love cranberries! The little boy in this story keeps asking his parents if it's time to taste the cranberries, they tell him to wait. When the boy finally eats some cranberries, the story doesn't say that the Dad gave him permission, though that could be assumed. So you could replace the phrase "I can't wait any longer" with "'Time for eating.' Dad says".

All the way to Havana by Margarita Engle illustrated by Mike Curato
So much in this book reminds me of our time in Georgetown Guyana. Mike Curato actually made a trip to Cuba in preparation for illustrating this book, so its a fun introduction to what Cuba is like. This book exemplifies the ingenuity of Cubans for keeping their old cars running. And in this story, one of the boys favorite things to do is helping his dad keep "Cara Cara" sounding like a busy chicken! This story is full of positive family connections, love and helpfulness. Another thing I appreciate about this story is that even though they see lots of neat old colorful cars in town, their own noisy blue one is the boy's favorite. "Read Cara Cara!" Hannah begs, which must be begun on the inside cover where she points to each old car and asks "This one Mommy!" and I read her the name of each one.

Baby Loves Coding, Baby Loves Gravity and Baby Loves Structural Engineering by Ruth Spiro Illustrated by Irene Chan
My Sister, Sarah, showed me "Baby Loves Coding" when we were at their house last Summer. "Laura, we love Ruth Spiro's books. See if your library has any books by her." So I did, and we checked out all three that our library has. We love them too! "Baby Loves Coding" is my favorite! "Baby Loves Gravity" had Hannah holding a noodle over the edge of her chair saying "Puppy eat it!" So that's my only complaint about that one haha! My Girl's Papa is a Structural Engineer, so we loved that book. Now my girls are building "Piggy house!" with their blocks.

September and October favorites for my 5 and 2 year olds:

I Am So BRAVE! A book about overcoming fears. by Stephen Krensky illustrated by Sara Gillingham
Kathryn loves this sweet board book as much as Hannah does. For years, I was grateful that Kathryn was not a fearful child, but now at age 5 she has more fears then she ever has before. Maybe that's why she likes this book so much. Written in poem, the author describes how the baby discovered joy and wonder in place of each of his fears.

MAMA, IS IT SUMMER YET? by Nikki McClure
Another sweet board book, and yes, very out of season. This is best read in the spring as you are longing for summer. I love summer! Kathryn not so much. "Mommy, can you change the words so it says 'Mama is it snowy yet?'" I just laughed, and explained that words like that wouldn't go with the pictures at all. Hannah likes to say "Not yet!" for every page. I love the illustrations and seeing what the Mama and boy are doing together on each page. It inspires me to be a more patient mother and to make time for spending meaningful time with my girls.

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root illustrated by G. Brian Karas
What does it take to have an anywhere farm? "Just one farmer - you- and one little seed." Growing things is so therapeutic, and no wonder, our Creator placed Adam and Eve in a garden and told them to tend it. I love that this book encourages children everywhere, to plant a garden anywhere, even if its just corn in a horn. Kathryn and Hannah think that part is so funny!

LIFE by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
A simple but powerful message about life. Enjoy the little things, every wilderness comes to an end, find something to love and something to protect, that we see God's hand in nature in how he cares for the animals. I easily make it God centered by adding on one page, when it says "All these know something about Life:" then I say "That GOD is in control, and that all things work together for good, to them that Love the Lord." And then I continue reading.

Windows With Birds written and illustrated by Karen Ritz
We all know how cats get attached to their home. This story is not only about the cat that had a hard time adjusting to his new home, it's about the boy who tried to make the transition easier for the cat, and also about how we have an adjustment period when there are big changes in life, but when we look for them, there are still "windows with birds", and new and exciting things to discover and explore.

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
Family! This book embraces the craziness of family get togethers. It's so relatable for me. The long drive, thinking about my garden back home, all the hugging, and music, trying to take a family picture and trying to find places for everyone to sleep. The illustrations are a little too crazy perhaps, some may just laugh, but my girls are concerned about the suitcases bouncing off the top of the car, and the car smashing into the picket fence etc.

TO MARKET, TO MARKET written and illustrated by Nikki McClure
Nikki visits her local farmer's market each week to gather food for her family. She became curious about how the food got to market. This book tells in a very engaging way about how apples and kale are grown, how salmon is smoked, where honey and cheese come from, how blueberry turnovers are made, and even how indigo fabrics are dyed. I learned a lot from this book! So fun!


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