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Barbara F. Meltz writes the Globe's Child Caring column. She is author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes, Understanding How Your Children See the World," and a frequent speaker to parent groups. Join her chat on the first and third Monday of the month at noon.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A few good books

I love good children's story books, and I continue to collect them even though I am past the days when my son climbed into my lap and cuddled for a story. OK, long past.

On a shelf at home are the beloved books from Eli's childhood (if you're interested, I wrote about some of those titles in the early days of the blog) but in a drawer in my desk are books I've saved because, well, just because. Something about each one made me smile. Here are a few of the titles:


"Loud Lips Lucy" by Tolya Thompson, illustrated by Juan Perez (Savor Publishing, 2002). Hip-hop in a book! It's a touch moralistic, but the illustrations are fabulous (Perez is an artist with the New York Police deparatment), and the rhyming is downright delicious. Here's a sample:
"Now Lucy shouted out this and that. She loved to flap her lips and chat. She would take a deep breath, fill her lungs with air, and as loud as she could she would scream, Beware! Watch your step! Don't fall!' She'd scream these things for no reason at all."

"Kitty in the City, Mind your manners, s'il vous plait" by Kinsley Foster, illustrated by Kari McGaren (What's Inside Press, 2000). If you ask me, good childrens' books come in two categories, those that are purely delightful and those that have a message and manage to be delightful just the same. "Kitty" (there's a whole series, but this is my favorite) is in the latter category. She's perfect for girls in the 4- to 7-year range and best read with a sense of humor.

"It's time for school, Stinky Face" by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore (Troll, 2000). The perfect book for any 4- to 6-year-old with trepidation about going to school. McCourt out-imagines even the best 5- or 6-year-old's imagination.

"Time to PEE!" by Mo Williams (Hyperion, 2003.) I have to admit, I am biased against books for kids on toilet training. They are either cutesy or preachy. But Williams manages to catch just the right tone. If I was looking for a book on the subject, this would be it.

"When Katie Was Our Teacher," by Amy Brandt, illustrations by Janice Lee Porter (Red Leaf Press, 2000) I liked this book enough to build a column around it. Brandt does an incredible job of validating a child's loss when a teacher leaves, but still manages to help a child move on. These two also paired up to write, "Benjamin Comes Back," about a little boy having separation difficiulties at day care.

"My mother's voice" by Joanne Ryder, illlustrated by Peter Catalanotto (Harper Collins, 2006). Just because. I am a mom, after all, and a daughter.

Posted by Barbara Meltz at 05:06 PM
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