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!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 149: Driving My Tractor

We have thoroughly been enjoying the spring weather we've been having lately, and one of our favorite new places to visit is a community organic farm that is just a few towns away.  They have all sorts of adorable animals to see (including, at the moment, 2 week old piglets!), trails to explore, log bridges to cross, and even a child's nature center hidden away in the woods.  Both of my kids love visiting there, and I am always so thankful for places like this farm who open their doors so graciously and offer such fabulous learning opportunities for children.

Our visit to the farm got us thinking of (and singing) one of our favorite sing-along books, so I thought it only appropriate to feature it today.  I'm also excited because after borrowing it from the library on several occasions, watching its animated video on youtube repeatedly, and singing the song more times than I can count, I'm finally giving my son his own copy of Driving My Tractor as an Easter gift.  I can't tell you how many times I've had this song stuck in my head, and yet, I'm still happily willing to add this sing-along to our home library.  That's got to say something about how great it is, right?

Driving My Tractor is an upbeat, fun, toe-tapping sing-along that is a favorite of both my son and daughter.  Watch the video clip mentioned above and you'll immediately see what I mean. The colorful, bold illustrations are wonderfully appealing to toddlers and preschoolers, and the fact that is a counting book about animals makes it perfect for that age group, as well.  The end of the book also features some fabulous information about other types of farm machines (such as combine harvesters and balers) and a beautiful two-page spread about various types of crops that farmers grow (including at what times of the year they can be planted and harvested.)  I love books that include informational "extras" like this, and love watching my son soak up all of that knowledge even more.  The other thing that is so great about this book, as with so many others from this publisher, is that it truly grows with your child.  My daughter (20 months) loves the bold pictures and the silly sing-along song, just as my son (age 4) has for quite some time.  Now that he is a little older, though, he appreciates other things about the book, such as the information about the types of crops at the end.  Plus, the book comes with a cd featuring the vocal talents of Steve Songs, so you'll know just how the tune goes and be able to add the song to your child's music collection.  In fact, the tune is so catchy and easy to sing, I don't think I could read the book without singing it now even if I tried.  Driving My Tractor is a perfect book to have in the car for road trips, afternoon story time, or any time you simply want to stop what you're doing and sing and dance with your kids.

** One last little thing... Driving My Tractor was one of the first Barefoot Books we read and came to love, and was part of the reason why I became a Barefoot Ambassador last summer.  I am continually impressed by the quality of Barefoot Books and their passion for art and literacy, and I always find it refreshing to know that there is a publisher out there whose books I am pretty much guaranteed to love.  I felt I needed to add this disclaimer here because I don't want anyone reading this to think that I am only featuring this (or other Barefoot Books) out of possible personal gain.  On the contrary, I just want you to know about them because they are truly great books that I think everyone with children should know about!  Find them in your local library and see what I mean.  After all, this is the whole mission of my blog:  to share fabulous children's books that are well worth reading so that no day goes without a great story.  No pressure, just great books!  That's what it's all about.


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