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!
The name Hairy Maclary has been familiar to me for quite some time now, as it comes up again and again when I ask friends of the blog what their children are reading (and loving!) at the moment. I also knew there was a series of books about him which are apparently rather popular, so I thought it kind of strange that I had never heard of or seen his stories before. In fact, I thought that perhaps maybe this series was for older readers, which would explain why I had never come across it. But no. Hairy Maclary is a fabulously fun series of picture books from famed New Zealand author Lynley Dodd. Why her books aren't more popular in the U.S., I have no idea. Hairy Maclary is fantastic! I finally remembered to look for one of his stories when we were at the library a while back, and lo and behold, there was one: Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack. Both of my children instantly loved this story, and I couldn't help but get a little carried away as I read it. And really, how could I help it? The rhymes are delightful -- I'm reminded of Dr. Seuss and Chris Van Dusen, at times -- and Dodd's use of onomatopoeia helps build energy and excitement in all the right ways throughout the story. "It was drowsily warm, with dozens of bees lazily buzzing through flowers and trees. Hairy Maclary decided to choose a space in the shade for his afternoon snooze. He dozily dreamed as he lay on his back when... pittery pattery, skittery scattery, ZIP round the corner came Zachary Quack." This charming story of an unlikely (and at first, unrequited) friendship is great fun to read aloud and sure to delight young audiences. I look forward to finding more of Dodd's books, though I might have my work cut out for me a bit. There are only a handful of her stories in my greater library system, but we're looking forward to tracking them down and enjoying more of Hairy Maclary's adventures!
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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