WWRW: Children’s Books and my Book Club

Well, howdy there!  The last time I posted was last Wednesday.  What the what?  No excuses, amigos, but here’s a brief listing of the haps ’round these parts.

Friday we went north for a Mass and party celebrating my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, and upon return we had the pleasure of hosting Meg Hunter-Kilmer for 2 nights.  While I’m sure she would have allowed me time to blog, I had so much fun chatting theology with her at night, and then watching her catechize my kids during the day, I hardly had a moment to think of it.  (As an aside, if you want to shock people, tell them you’re hosting a complete stranger in your home for a couple of days.  The looks you get will be priceless.)

We’ve been doing a lot of reading around here.  Like a whole whole whole lot.  School started, and my library cards are maxed out.  We’re using Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven for the boys (Gabe) and there are some fantastic reading selections.  All of this reading has left me a little bit overwhelmed at writing about the books, though.  I mean, HOW (?) do I even begin?

Enter Jessica, the lovely and vivacious hostess of WWRW.  Her reviews this week are Twitter-style, and I’m gonna take a leaf out of her book.  140 characters, mas o menos.

[Insert 48 hours since I started this post.  The max-140-character-plan doesn’t take into account all the linking and photos.  And school and field trips and dentist appointments and and and…]

Adult books in progress:

My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carrol-Campbell

Began it last week.  Enjoying so far.  Hoping for a little more depth, but already enjoying the saint bios.  Join us on Facebook for the book club.  #inprogress #bookclub




Strangers and Sojournersby Michael O’Brien

Started several months ago, and still working on it.  Like but don’t love… yet.  #inprogress #slowreading





Elementary books:

Charlotte’s Web

Classic.  Kids love it and can’t wait to watch the movie.  I’m a little bored, but that’s okay. #inprogress





Leif the Lucky


Now this is what I call making history interesting.  Detailed illustrations, interesting prose. #lovetheseauthors




Knights of the Round Table


History supplement for the age of Arthur.  Prose is overly simplified.  Short sentences, etc. #inprogress




The King of the Golden City, an Allegory for Children


An allegory for the love of Christ and the Church.  Beautiful, but takes a bit of explaining. #Catholic #inprogress




Picture Books:

Letter A:

Adelita by Tomie dePaola


Mexican Cinderella tale. DePaola’s style shines in this one. Think we read it 5 times last week. #Mexicanlit #dePaola




The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola


Autobiographical tale of dePaola’s budding art career.  Not my favorite, but the boys liked it. #dePaola




Armadillo’s Orange by Jim Arnosky


Just discovered Arnosky.  Love. Sweet story about an Armadillo and his life, home, friends.



Letter B:

Can You Do This, Old Badger? by Even Bunting


Adorable.  Curious Little Badger asks grandfather if he can do all the things.  Grandfather is patient and funny.




Little Bear’s Little Boat by Even Bunting


How have I never read this book?  Short, cute.  Little Bear outgrows his favorite boat, to his dismay.  #growinupishardtodo



The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter


Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny: not my favorites.  I keep trying, but without success.  Why does Old Ben Bunny insist in beating his child?  #disturbing




We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen


I love this game, though we usually go on Lion Hunts.  Fun, whimsical illustrations.  Lots of repetition. #funreadaloud




The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris and Tomie dePaola


Love the story of Ben and Schola. (Can I call her that?)  #whattsupwithallthedepaola




Letter C:

The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle


Bore, boring, bored.  Also, kinda confusing.  What does a chameleon have to do with zoo animals? #dontreallylikeericcarle




Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga’g


Where has this been?  B & W illustrations, funny story.  Mildly disturbing that cats went all cannibal at the end.


Christopher, the Holy Giant byTomie dePaola


Legend of St. Chris.  Dude was a giant.  No, really #seriouslymakethedepaolastop




Five in a Row:

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack


A new favorite.  Ping gets separated from his family on the Yangtze River.  All kinds of trouble, but it ends up okay.  #geographysongs




Lentil by Robert McCloskey


My second favorite McCloskey book.  Lentil’s a hilarious kid who saves the town from a crotchety old guy.  Old guy turns out okay, too. #McCloskeyrocks



That’s it, that’s all.  Visit Jessica for more (timely) lit suggestions.


  1. Geeze, lady! That’s a lot of books!!! I agree, the King Arthur book is overly simple–and doesn’t even use complete sentences. It’s bothering me. But D is loving it, and we switched from read-aloud to independent reading.

    I LOVE all the dePaola books. I grew up with them (not these specifically, but lots of dePaola in general. My mom worked for the publishing house his books were published by, so we got advanced copies–some of which have my mom’s name in them, I think!). Strega Nona was my favorite.

    P.S. I don’t really like Eric Carle either.

  2. You’re doing FIAR and 26 Letters to Heaven? I have 26 Letters to Heaven in my Amazon cart, but I bought FIAR for Jill age 3. “Before FIAR” was a little too young for her. She knows her shapes and colors. If you could just keep blogging your books for preschool every week, I’ll just copy you! Mmkay? 😉
    Jessica @ housewifespice recently posted…WWRW: Twitter StyleMy Profile

    • I agree about BFIAR. I have them on my (insanely long) library list, but I don’t try too hard to get them.

      Yes, we are doing 26 Letters and FIAR. But the FIAR is mostly done through our co-op (basically everything other than read alouds), and I’m only doing one or two of the 26 Letters activities (but reading lots of the books) per week. So even though it *sounds* insane, it’s not, really.

      I’ll do my best to keep you informed. I reserve the right to take November/December off. 😉
      Micaela recently posted…WWRW: Children’s Books and my Book ClubMy Profile

  3. Count me in for the dePaola fan club. Except for “The Art Lesson” – also not my favorite. But I really love all his saints books. Also love D’Aulaire, Ga’g, Ping, & Lentil. I can’t wait to hear what you’re reading next!

  4. I was telling some people about your Saint Christopher book and they hadn’t heard of Tomie De Paola. None of them. So I showed them pictures of his books and they didn’t recognize them. Not even Strega Nona. I was *very* confused.
    Meg Hunter-Kilmer recently posted…Resting in BeautyMy Profile


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