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!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 113: Mouse Soup

Today, in what was probably just the first of many times this will happen, my son sat down to read a story and informed me that he wanted to read it all by himself.  I asked if I could just sit and listen to him while he read, and he said, "No… I just want to read it myself this time."  He proceeded to read the book carefully and slowly under his breath, while I pretended not to be paying attention from the other side of the room.  I loved it.  What made it even better was the fact that when he finally finished the book, he proudly came running over to me and said, "I read the whole book all by myself!  Now you read it to me, Mum Mum," and we snuggled up on the couch to do just that.  It was really the best of both worlds:  I got to hear my (fiercely independent) little guy read a book to himself, and then cozy up next to him to read it with him again.  The book was Mouse Soup, one of our other Arnold Lobel favorites.  We borrowed it from the library once a while back, and my son loved it so much that I was thrilled to find a copy at our last library book sale (and for only 50 cents!)  It's an early reader chapter book, but unlike the Frog and Toad series, is really one longer story broken up into separate chapters.  In this fun tale, an unsuspecting mouse is caught by a weasel, who threatens to make him into mouse soup.  The clever little mouse convinces his captor that the soup will not taste good without several stories added to it, and proceeds to tell four silly stories -- Bees and the Mud, Two Large Stones, The Crickets, and The Thorn Bush -- all of which are as delightfully entertaining as the end of the story itself.  Our favorite ingredient in the soup has to be "The Crickets," for neither my son nor I can make it through this chapter without giggling.  I love the creativity of the whole book and the silly events within, but I think what I love most about Mouse Soup is how it highlights and encourages the art of storytelling.   I also should add that this book lends itself quite well to reading in fun, different voices, and is far more enjoyable when read aloud this way.  (I just love hearing my son try to imitate my voices for the weasel, the crickets, and the old woman in "The Thorn Bush.")   While I don't love this book as much as Frog and Toad, it is still a great read that never fails to make us laugh.


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