June's Kid Lit

I was inspired to take photos of the books I read to my son this month because our local bookstore, The Twig Bookshop, is hosting their Summer Reading Program. For every ten books read, kids get a prize and get added to a drawing for a bigger prize. What a fun way, especially when many children are at home more than usual and summer plans are altered or cancelled, to have a great reason to pick up a book. It made me realize how fun it would be to have a monthly post for the children's books I read to him, so this is our first Monthly Kid Lit post.

The First Two Weeks in June

Oregon-themed Books
At the start of the month, my husband, son, and I traveled on our first flight as a family of three to visit my family in Oregon. It was a wonderful trip and Elliot adored all the attention; he is quite the social butterfly, so I suspect he gets a bit bored with just Greg and I to entertain him at home :)
I chose books about Oregon and the Pacific Northwest early in the month. It was fun to show Elliot illustrations of places in Oregon that I was looking forward to seeing, though we ended up not seeing any of them since we hung out at my parent's home for most of the trip due to the pandemic. But still, it hyped me up for the beautiful Oregon scenery, so maybe those books were more for me than him :) These four books below are all filled with bright, colorful illustrations and short phrases appropriate for infant and toddler's short attention span. They mention iconic places in Oregon. I look forward to future trips to Oregon when we can snap photos of Elliot when we visit the specific places mentioned in these books, such as Multnomah Falls, Cannon Beach, OMSI, and the Portland International Rose Test Garden.

Romanian Book
I also brought a Romanian book along with us to Portland. I am Romanian and Greg is American and learning the language on his own. We'd like for Elliot to someday be fluent in Romanian and to know more about his Romanian culture. My sister bought his cute book called La Ferma (At the Farm) while at a bookstore in Romania last year. It has lift-the-flaps with adorable baby farm animal illustrations. It was fun asking my dad to read the story to Elliot.

The Second Two Weeks in June

Here is the first set of books we read for The Twig Bookshop's Summer Reading Program

I love reading to Elliot during our lunch. It doesn't always happen, especially if Daddy joins us for lunch, since we want to chat and laugh with him during his lunch break. But when we do have the opportunity to read during a meal, these are two books I return to often. When I have energy, I like to grab whatever fruit or veggies we have in our fridge and fruit basket to show Elliot what that specific fruit looks like in real life compared to the illustration. I am hoping he will continue to love veggies and fruit as he grows up, and maybe reading about them will help with that a bit? I am definitely willing to try it out!

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Filled with illustrations of fruit and veggies both recognized and obscure, this is a fun way to help kids identify the colorful fruit and veggies on their plate. The illustrations remind me of Eric Carle's style. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Speaking of Eric Carle, we have inherited quite the collection of The Very Hungry Caterpillar memorabilia  from hand-me-downs as well as Christmas gifts, and I love using them while I read this classic. When I am feeling energetic enough, I will start the story with the small caterpillar toothing toy and then after Saturday's (Cheat Day, haha) feast of delicacies like cake, ice-cream, pie, and muffins, I will switch to the bigger caterpillar toy because he's now a fat cat(erpillar). I don't think he understands my humor, but I always think my comedic creativity is on point with this one, haha!

Nap-Time Books
I have been reading The Napping House as part of Elliot's afternoon nap routine for the past few months. It is a sweet and fun book that has a lot of repetition and fun illustrations. It builds and builds as more animals pile high on the bed during a rainy day nap, but then gets silly (and painful) when a flea joins the party.  However, after so many re-reads, I was ready to add a few more books to our mix of nap-time books, especially since I am trying to be more consistent with reading to him during his morning nap as well.  Time For Bed is generally a bedtime book, but Elliot is typically not in the mood for books at nighttime (he wants his breastmilk and he wants it NOW!), so I pulled it out for his naps. We read a lot of books about animals, so this is a sweet one to imitate animal noises quietly as each baby animal is resisting sleep. Lastly, Bunny Roo, I Love You is absolutely darling. The illustrations are whimsical and the mother's sweet comparisons of her baby to different adorable animals is so sweet. This is not necessarily a nap or bedtime book, but it is a calmer book, so it fits nicely for our naps!

Play-Time Books
I loved having these books piled in a stack in our living room play area because they were easy to grab in between bubbles, blocks, and other toys.
Digger, is a fun boy book with its wheels attached to front and back cover. It names a variety of tractors, many of which were new to me and Elliot enjoys spinning the tractor wheels while I read it.

Dear Zoo 
Animal books are always fun. I am looking forward to the time Elliot starts to imitate the animal noises and recognize which animal noises make which sound. For now, I make the noises and try to find toys he owns that match with the animal in the book. Old MacDonald Had A Farm is a favorite song of his, so I will sometimes sing that in between pages as well. Dear Zoo is an adorable light-the-flap book with simple illustrations (and a lot of white space, which actually works well) about different animals that don't quite fit the bill for a child's desired pet. 
I checked out two bird books this month from our library (which recently re-opened with curb-side delivery!) because Elliot enjoys starting our mornings on the porch searching the sky for birds and listening to their birdsong. Balance the Birds is a fun way to introduce the mathematical concept of equilibrium as birds rest on branches of the tree. Birds goes into simple details about different birds. These are both more appropriate for preschoolers, but we enjoyed the bright illustrations and short sentences. 

Courageous People Who Changed the World
I have always loved reading biographies of people I admire, so I want Elliot to grow up with stories of courageous people as well. I have learned a lot from reading about people I consider my spiritual heroes such as Corrie ten Boom and Elisabeth Elliot, and I want Elliot to have a basic knowledge of people in history who were brave and fought for what was right, even when they were not popular because of it. We want to raise him to love people who look different than him, to be a friend to the kids with disabilities who get picked on or the lonely ones who never get chosen for group games.  One way I hope to accomplish this is through books like this one. This sweet children's biography picture book gives short introductions to courageous people including Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and Malala. 

Lastly, I like to incorporate faith-focused books to our reading time. I want Elliot to grow in his knowledge of the gospel in the coming years, so I try to find books with simple explanations of Biblical truths that are also fun.

Psalms of Praise 
is a "movement primer" that mentions different ways we can use our bodies to praise God using verses from Psalms. I look forward to Elliot memorizing some of the shorter verses as he couples them with their motion. We are working on clapping right now, so the clap page gets extra attention from us these days.

The Great Farmapolooza by Jill Roman Lord 
I adored Lord's other two recent picture books, The Quiet Crazy Easter Day and The Silent Noisy Night, so I was ecstatic when B&H/Lifeway offered a free copy of this new book on their blogger review program in exchange for an honest review. Lord's lyrical rhymes with animal sounds on every page and colorful, cute illustrations, as well as the lift-the-flap surprises, was a delight. I love that her picture books focus on worshiping God the way we are created. Animals moo, oink, coo, and squeak to His glory and we can use our voices and bodies to praise Him too.

Mamas, Grandmas, Aunts, Teachers: Have you read any fun or darling children's books lately? I would love to hear what your children are loving!