Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!
This fantastic book first caught my eye on the new books shelf at our local library. The cover is brilliantly illustrated with a ship full of circus animals, and the author's name sounded vaguely familiar, though I couldn't remember why. As soon as we started reading this story and learned it took place off the coast of Maine, I remembered that my cousin Heather, a Maine native, had recommended this author to me. In The Circus Ship, Chris Van Dusen has written and illustrated a creatively clever masterpiece. We just love his bold, colorful, and marvelously detailed illustrations of the circus animals who swim to safety and make themselves at home on a remote Maine island town after their ship sinks at sea. At first the villagers aren't sure what to do. The "animals were everywhere, and into everything. 'There's an ostrich in the outhouse! There's a hippo in the spring! There's a tiger in the tulips! There's a lion on the lawn! There's a python in the pantry!' It went on and on and on..." But once the flame-jumping tiger rescues a little girl from a blaze, the town embraces the kind animals and will do anything to keep them. When the cantankerous circus owner comes to reclaim his menagerie, the townspeople craft a clever plan to keep the fifteen animals hidden. We just love looking for them and know you will, too! The story's alliteration and lyrical rhymes make it an absolute joy to read aloud, and this is definitely a favorite of ours at the moment. I also was fascinated to learn that this book is inspired by the true events of the circus ship the Royal Tar, which sank off the coast of Maine in 1836. Though the real story has a far more tragic ending, it's a little bit of history that I would have otherwise never known... yet another reason why I love this book. I'm eager to find Van Dusen's other titles at our next library visit. If they are anywhere near as wonderful as the Circus Ship, we're sure to love them.
As anyone living in New England will tell you, this winter's weather has been particularly brutal. Consequently, my family and I have spent a lot of time cozied up on the couch reading stories and sipping hot cocoa, and have made many trips to our local library. I just love the feeling of discovering a wonderful new story, but often find it is not as easy as it might seem (though perhaps this is because I am usually chasing my 3 year old around the library or trying to keep my 6 month old from chewing on all of the books.) So begins my quest to find a great new book to read to my little ones every day for a year. And I don't mean just any good book. I mean one that I won't mind reading 10 times in a row. One that we'll read so often and love so much that we'll need to go out and get our own copy. My friends have shared their personal favorites with me and I am happy to do the same with you. Thanks for joining our journey!
Busy Mom Disclaimer:
Ideally, my great-book-a-day-for-a-year blog would have one amazing post for each calendar day and be all neat and tidy like that. But I know myself too well. And besides, I'm looking for the best of the best here. I don't want to settle on posting about a book that I don't love, simply to be able to add something new every day. So, my posts will simply be numbered 1 to 365. In the end, we'll still have a year's worth of good books (or so I hope!) Hopefully you'll find my list to be worth the wait. And please, by all means, if there is a book you love that you think should make the list, let me know. Just leave a comment telling me the title and author and I would love to check it out. I'll be sure to give credit where credit is due. Thank you!
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