Ditch the TV, grab the popcorn and hot chocolate and gather around the fire for some quality family time this fall. Children's book curator extraordinaire Susan Kunhardt (at Book Passage Corte Madera) has managed to come up with five home-run read aloud books for all ages. Read on for why your family is going to fall in love with these gems...
(or anything by Kate DiCamillo)
Susan totally won us over when she described a family camping trip during which her husband read this book aloud around the campfire and all were mesmerized. "It's simple and direct, which is great for kids, but there is great emotional depth. It's a story about Edward learning how to love. You kind of can't get more simple profundity than that," she explains. All we can say is: you had us at hello.
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . .
(by Bonny Becker)
Susan: "A great picture book with rich words - 'insuffrable, intolerable' - that just begs to be read aloud. And the grumpy old bear wears her apron up around her armpits, like my Grandma used to do."
(by Robert McCloskey)
Blueberries for Sal. Words can't express the love we at Hoodvibe (and Susan at Book Passage) share for this classic story of Sal, blueberries, and a great big, hungry bear. And the "ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk" of the berries hitting the pail. FYI, there is a Wikipedia page devoted to this book. You've just gotta.
(by Mo Willems)
"Elephant and Piggie books are great to read aloud, but my favorite is, 'There is a Bird on Your Head.' It's so fun, and great for teaching reading with expression," says Susan. Of course, Mo Willems holding a kind of Justin Bieber status for us moms with kids, we had to know if he (of course we knew it was a he!) had ever visited Book Passage Corte Madera. "Yes. And he's very hip and from Brooklyn." Ooooooh...
(by Anna Feinberg)
"There are lots of pictures, with a classic feeling." It's about Jack's imaginary (or is he?), gnome-like character named Tashi, whose brave and adventurous exploits captivate old and young alike.
(by Enid Blyton)
"Four children go out on adventures." An abandoned copper mine with secret undersea tunnels. A gang of dangerous spies. A lost treasure sought by a gang of villains. Enough said.