Sunday, April 10, 2011

Books and Calvin

I really appreciate blogs that suggest books for toddlers. So, for this post, I'm going to give a status report on Calvin's current book favorites.

Calvin is your average 20-month old. He likes his tiger, his milk, and being outside. But there are two things he insists on every day, and those two things are Winnie the Pooh and books.

The book thing makes me proud, but still being in the collection phase of our children's library, we end up reading a lot of the same books each day. Over and over and over and over. And over. That, of course, means we go to the library about once per week. Calvin loves it there, and it's only a little embarrassing when he goes to the "echo-y" part of the children's section and yells as loud as he can. I try to discourage that, but really, echoes are too much fun.

Now we get to the point: I've created a list of books that are categorized into six topics: Human world, animal world, shapes, alphabet, numbers, and behaviors. I've done such a silly thing because I want to give Calvin a variety of books to look at and it gives me a place to start from when I try to find good books. During my research, I've remembered several books that I had forgotten I loved when I was young, like Caps for Sale.
We had a book and tape version of this book with, as I recall, an awesome reader with sound effects. Calvin fell in love with this book at first sight and had me read it not once, not twice or thrice, but five times the day I brought it home. Yup, he liked it, too. My only complaint is the sound that the monkey's make in this book. They say "tsz" instead of "oo oo!" Not a huge deal, but kind of breaks the flow of the book when everything you know about monkey noises is challenged without any sort of explanation.

Calvin has mysterious taste at times. There are some books he refuses to even open. No way, no how. He doesn't usually like books with very furry, fluffy animals decked in ribbons. He's not a fan of pastels or flowers. This does not concern me, but there was a book that I could not understand for the life of me why he would not tolerate me opening the cover. It was brightly colored with simple shapes, a book called, When a Line Bends a Shape Begins.

He hated it. Could it be the disproportionate body builder? The confusing array of shapes? More than likely it is that scary clown peaking out from the edge. Granted, it was a little advanced for Calvin, but this kid likes to get encyclopedias and Ensigns off the shelf and leaf through those, no kidding. Whatever the problem is, I'm sure he'll be more interested later on. He couldn't stand Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the longest time, and now he loves it. But it's probably because he knows some of his letters so the pictures aren't quite as boring. But I'll never figure out what makes him fall for a book immediately. These are some others he loved right off the bat:

These among others that he considers his favorites are brightly colored, with the exception of King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, The Napping House, and Bright and Early Thursday Evening. Hey, and those are all Don and Audrey Wood books, by the way. He is also very much attached to the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin books.

Even with this variety, though, I am still amazed how quickly I memorize these books, which comes in handy when I am just too tired to read a book to him, and so I recite it half asleep while turning the pages. That, my friends, is talent.