When things are running along as regular around here, I keep a basket of picture books in the living room. Remember, we have a lot of children’s books. It’s easy for so many gems to get overlooked or forgotten, for new books to be shoved onto shelves, unread for months. I like to pick out a few seasonal selections and pop them in a big basket, right in the middle of everything. That way we’re sure to rotate through the whole collection, and it’s fun to be picture book curator once in a while. So, we’ve got some spring titles on hand now.
See that tall book at the back there? If I had to make a short list of books every household with young children should have, I’d put that one on it, for sure. In The Town All Year Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner. It’s full of excellent detailed drawings and you can follow the goings-on in one quaint little town through all four seasons in a year. It was my boy’s #1 favorite book when he was about three, but even now at six, he still looks at it all the time.
While I type this, my daughter is screaming into a pillow to keep from coming out of her skin in anticipation. She and I have a midnight date at The Hunger Games release tonight and it’s driving her mad that we’re not there already (nearly six hours to go!). We were early to the Hunger Games mania, she read the books a year and a half or so ago. Now, she’s one of those power readers who blows through a book a day, anyway, but she was so taken by the plot and the characters of this story, that she insisted I had to read it, too. She printed out about a zillion little labels and taped them in places all over the house I would be sure to see. So, for about a week, every time I made tea, or cooked dinner, or did laundry, or went to the bathroom, there was a little reminder for me to see:
After I read them, we passed them along to the mister. That was the first time we had a round robin kind of book club, just the three of us big readers in the house. It was fun and dominated the dinner talk for a while. I’m of mixed mind over the popularity of the books. We think they’re riveting page turners, so I’m not surprised that they’re popular. But it’s hard for me to imagine that everyone who reads them really “gets” them, you know? They’re full of such graphic imagery and powerful criticism of our present world, more that just a good book. I would like to hope that ALL the people who’ve read them have had the smart related conversations we did. We can be insufferably smug about books. So be it.
I have only read the series the one time, but my girl? She just finished the third book today for the TENTH time. That’s all the way through reading, not random skimming favorite parts reading, which she does plenty, too. So as excited as I am to see the movie with her, I know I’m going to have to pinch her to keep from grumbling over book to movie discrepancies. Literary adaptations are never completely satisfying, but we’re pretty stoked for the movie, anyway. We’ve been planning on the midnight opening since the date was announced over a year ago! We’ve had tickets in hand (for tonight and this weekend, so the mister and the girl can go, too) for over a month! I hope it’s worth being up past 2 in the morning, that’s what.
(the top picture is from In The Town All Year Round)