2014 Reading books

January 2014 in Children’s Books

February 5, 2014

Here are a few new books we enjoyed reading during January.

Young Readers/Read Alouds We Enjoyed for the First Time


Be Polite and Kind (Cheri J. Meiners)

I’ve found the books on behavior by Free Spirit Publishing to be a helpful set of resources that plainly presents good behavior for a potentially wide audience, without coming across as preachy or disrespectful toward children. This book was no different, and establishes some of the basic manners for dealing with others.


The Seven Silly Eaters (Mary Ann Hoberman)

Our friends gave us this book for Christmas, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. The rhyme and rhythm of the words are delightful, as are the illustrations. Justus, who is now twenty months old, loves to sit down and look at the illustrations. This was my first time to read this classic book, and I truly enjoy it, too!


Emily’s Everyday Manners (Peggy Post and Cindy Post Senning)

This book is co-authored by two of Emily Post’s relatives, so my expectations were high. One frustration that I find with children’s book on manners is that they often demean those without manners to show the importance of manners or they highlight poor manners more than good manners, inadvertently focusing a child’s attention on the negative. Thankfully, those elements were mostly absent from this book, but I was still a little surprised to see a couple of instances of both here and there.


Puss in Boots (Jerry Pinkney)

A great classic book with beautiful illustrations.


The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 (Alice and Martin Provensen)

While it’s a great read at any time, it’s perfect for the child interested in aviation or this era of history. It’s long enough to be read in multiple sittings, but the illustrations and text are engaging enough to keep it to one, if desired.


Llama Llama Red Pajama (Anna Dewdney)

This was my first encounter with this book, and we all loved it! They cadence is lovely for kids, and the story amusing to children and parents. Even Justus loves to say “llama mama” whenever he sees the book! (We also bought him the board book, Llama Llama Nighty Night for Christmas.) This was a library find, but I hope to add the entire Llama Llama set to our library at some point. Since we only had this copy, we searched YouTube and listened to some of the readings of some of the others.


The Big Honey Hunt (Stan and Jan Berenstain)

This was a fun book that we read at a bookstore, and then I ended up getting for Hana Kate’s birthday. This has been great for all of my children (6, 4, and 20 months), but is also great for early readers to practice their reading. I sometimes don’t like the Berenstain Bears books due to the derogatory light in which the father bear is portrayed. This was minimal for this book, though still present.


Flap Your Wings (P.D. Eastman)

Since they were quite little, my girls have loved Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, so this was a fun book to read as they thought the birds might be the same, judging by the illustrations. This is a cute story about a bird couple who finds an egg in their nest, and assume it is their duty to raise.


Inside Outside Upside Down (Stan and Jan Berenstain)

This is a simple, catchy book that focuses on demonstrating prepositions through an interesting story of a bear’s location to a box.


Bears in the Night (Stan and Jan Berenstain)

I remember reading this as a child, and it was fun to read in this season of life! Fun illustrations and a simple, not-too-scary plot make this a winner.

Chapter Books


Begin (The Growly Series, by Philip and Erin Ulrich)

Begin is the first in The Growly Books, a recently written series about the adventurous lives of the civilized bears of Haven. As bears transition from cubs to grown bears, they all go through a rite of passage called The Adventure, where they must go out on their own for a month, after which they return for a celebration and as adult bears.

Life is happy in the village of Haven, but one mystery brings grief to many of the bears. Years ago, during the time of Growly’s grandparents, his grandfather’s friend C.J. was flying in his glider (common transportation for the bears for certain travels) when his glider went over The Precipice. No one has seen him since, and only one message has come from him all these years.

Just as Growly is about to depart for his Adventure, a mysterious, urgent message appears to indicate that C.J. is still alive, but in danger. This is the story of how all those stories intersect to become the Growly Series.

My girls really enjoyed this book, more than I expected. We recently finished The Chronicles of Narnia and have now started The Lord of the Rings, but so far, this is their only other series of this nature, so I wasn’t sure how it would compare. Technically, we finished in February, but read most of the book in January, and are now starting the second book in the series, Widewater


The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkein)

The pictured cover is not the cover of the book we are reading, but it’s lovely! 🙂 Daniel reads this with the kids as their bedtime book time, and they are loving it. It doesn’t hold the same appeal as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but they are really getting into it.


Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments (Kara Durbin)

This book is a great resource that can be used in a myriad of ways. Currently, we are going through the topics, learning a passage to correspond, and talking about each topic for about a week. While it can be used with young children, the material includes detailed questions and writing to use with teens, as well.


In general, I try to avoid life-size petri dish situations, which at some seasons of the year includes the library, and children’s books in particular. Thus, January is generally not a stock-up-on-as-many-library-books-as-you-can month for our family.

Few things give me the desire to avoid interaction with the Dewey Decimal system as seeing someone’s Facebook status that reads something like, “Kids are vomiting everywhere. Headed to the library to get all the books we can read while covered in particles of Black Plague.” (After January, I’m (only-every-so-slightly-at-least-when-compared-with-January) okay with getting sick since the encroaching warm weather rules out the flu blues, and there’s a small chance some of those books have been wiped down and said microbes may have evolved into anaerobic ones.) Thus, we read mostly books we owned, books at the bookstore, or the adults picked up library books we found listed as “brand new.”

(Thankfully I won’t be picking up this book, but books as disease carriers is a legitimate, albeit minimal, concern. ;))

What great children’s books have you read lately? Any recommendations? (I do plan on visiting the library quite a bit more in coming months! ;))


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  • Carrie February 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing!