This Year’s Books

As well you might know, if you’ve been reading a while, I am passionate about books in general (see our ever evolving library for evidence) and children’s books in particular.  There are very few gifts quite as special and meaningful as a well chosen book.

Every year our children get a new volume in their spring baskets and every year I take particular pleasure in picking those books out.


This year’s selection

The Swiss Family Robinson‘ by Johann Wyss for my Iain.  A classic tale for my classic boy, with his oh, so, adventurous heart.  He’s going to love it, I am sure.  He’s in the midst of another long book at the moment and I can hardly wait for him to finish so that he can start this one and we can talk about it together.

Uncle Remus: the Complete Tales‘ as told by Julius Lester for Mr. Elijah Rain.  Elijah and Julius Lester go together like peas and carrots (this isn’t the first time he’s been charmed).  By Monday night he was 120 pages in.  Elijah can just devour books.  I’m happiest when I can find him long, long books, beautifully hardbound and with wonderful illustrations so that he really has the time to read into the story and get to know the characters, to be able to carry the tale with him for a little longer then a day or two.  It is especially hard to find books that are both challenging and appropriate for his mere seven years.  Finding this one on clearance at a local bookstore felt like a major score!

A Child’s Garden of Verses‘ by Robert Louis Stevenson for Galen.  I’ve discovered that  Galen really enjoys poetry.  I thought that a collection of poetry just for him was in order and when I came across this lavishly illustrated version (also in the clearance bin), I knew I had found the one.  I’m very seriously considering copying some of the illustrations and hanging them on our walls.  And the poetry is such that a little child can understand it, both in it’s form and subject.

Baby Animals‘ by Gyo Fujikawa, with it’s charming and nostalgic illustrations (I want to try to recreate so many of the little dresses in here!) and simple text for Miss Màiri.  When she was brought in to the table laden with all of those interesting things, this book was the very first thing that she reached for.  Reading the animal sounds makes her giggle and try to copy us.  Several times a day I’ll find her sitting and looking at the pictures on her own, often times pointing out the “duh-duh”s (ducks!).


4 thoughts on “This Year’s Books

  1. renee ~ heirloom seasons

    I love that you are so passionate about books, I am too! For this spring our new book was The Springs of Joy, Tasha Tudor, my girls are absolutely delighted of course, because they so love her. We have the edition of A Child’s Garden of Verses illustrated by her too but I could see us needing to have the edition you have also… Some time I will enjoy exploring through all of your book posts.
    I just added Under the Lilacs to my book list and am very excited about it! That is a beautiful copy, we just got a copy of The Five Little Peppers that must be part of the same set, similar cover. I am wondering too how you are enjoying Among the Forest People, I almost ordered that recently for our nine year old, she sure is doing lots of reading these days…
    And now you know that I can go on too much about books…

  2. Michelle

    Oh Melody. The way you choose those books with such care is heartwarming. We also love A Child’s Garden of Verses. I got a cloth bound 1929 copy at a used book sale for one dollar! And like you said, the illustrations are wonderful.

  3. Melody Post author

    And I like you all the better for it renee! Who doesn’t love Tasha? I nearly got her version for Galen, but that other one, that I found first, being about a quarter of the price…well, it seemed the way to go!

    I think ‘Among the Forest People’ is excellent for nature stories and for gently introducing natural science. At least as I remember it. I read it aloud to the boys a year or so ago. It’s on the list again because Elijah recently picked it up himself.

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