Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Isabella Collection

Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton 2006
So-Big Whale by Sheryl Berk 2000
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone 1999
Curious George’s Are You Curious? Illustrations by H.A. Rey 1998
Walt Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy 1981
Oh The Thinks You Can Think by Dr Seuss 1975
The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins 1967
The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky 2002
Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems 2006
My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things by Judith Viorst 1973

Weight: 5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Giving to my niece, Isabella

I met my niece for the first time two days ago, and I am on track to see her again one more time tonight before she heads back to Colorado. I have collected some books for her, though I am not all that sure that the parents will want an additional 5 lbs of luggage. The prices keep going up on what you can carry. If not, I will ship it to her in the next couple weeks. I have put some incredible ones in the mix, despite the fact that I debated with myself all morning about whether or not I could let them go. I finally came to the conclusion that THE ONLY person who could have them other than me is Isabelle. So, I am a little selfish when it comes to my books—you should know that by now.

The two I had the most difficult time letting go of were Edwina and The Monster at the End of This Book. Edwina is a wonderful, modern, story about a dinosaur and the kid that cannot get along with her because he just knows she must be extinct. One of my favorite moments in the book is when Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie holds up a sign in protest that states, “This is not happening.” The Monster at the End of this Book is probably on my top ten favorite books of all time list. It is so much fun to read to kids, and they seem to love hearing it. I did. The graphics AND words are incredible. Grover tries so hard to stop you from turning each page, as he is afraid of the monster at the end of the book. This makes it an interactive book, and you are quickly drawn in—particularly if the story teller does a good job.

The So-Big Whale book is a plush book that I bought when I was 16 and have been saving for just the right child. I just like that it is a stuffed book. Madeleine, my dog, likes that too, unfortunately. I thought the Judith Viorst book was appropriate since it is almost Halloween. Peter Pan and Curious George were just to add some variety. I do not feel much of an attachment to them, though Peter Pan has my cousin’s childish handwriting scrolled across the back which is pretty cool. I added Your Personal Penguin because I LOVE Sandra Boynton and Penguins. I had been saving it for the perfect woman, but I am thinking that Isabella is just that. Not what I expected, but even better I suppose. The Thinks You Can Think encourages imagination and has fun pictures. The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders is full of short poems because kids should be introduced to fun poetry early.

The Digging-est Dog was mine as a child. I remember being in bed and falling asleep to my grandmother reading it. My name is written on the inside, in huge, fumbling, and insecure kid letters. I loved the dog in the book. He was a good dog gone bad. He had been kept unfairly cooped up and when he was free he just let loose and dug up the entire city to everyone’s dismay. I like that this dog was misunderstood, yelled at, and then understood/redeemed. They found a way to make his digging useful so that everyone was happy and that dog never had to go back to being in a cage again. There are a lot of adults who could learn from this book.

So, that’s it. 5 lbs of brilliant, life-changing literature for a tiny little girl who is growing older and bigger each and every day. I hope she enjoys chewing on them, falling asleep midway through them, and pointing out all the colorful animals in them while Rusty or Ann Marie try to read the actual text to her. Once these are devoured there are many more to come.

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