Summer Review Medley: The Color Kittens, Blue Moo & The Velveteen Rabbit

School’s out and we’d rather be outside. While that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped reading, it does mean I don’t want to spend a lot of time reviewing. Naturally, I feel guilty about that, so I’m going to experiment with giving you three quick hits on books (and music) that we’ve enjoyed over the years, rather than one long review.

The Color Kittens
By Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen
Golden Books, 1949 (reissued 2003)

We first read this book when The Five-Year-Old was just a Two-Year-Old, but our love for it remains strong. Back then I used it as a way to introduce the idea that mixing two colors makes another color. That made this book a fabulous introduction for a fun (and appropriately messy) toddler art project. Now that The Five-Year-Old is beginning to read on her own, this book is enjoying a surge of popularity thanks to its prominent place in the roster of The Five-Year-Old’s Favorite Books to Read to Mommyo.

Blue Moo
By Sandra Boynton & Michael Ford
Workman Publishing Company, 2007

Really a CD packaged inside a book of sheet music, Blue Moo is a medley of silly songs written and sung by well-respected artists like B.B. King, Neil Sedaka, and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Although the humor in the songs appealed immediately, I’m not a fan of 1950’s style music, so I had to listen to the CD once or twice before I liked it. Now I’m addicted to it, which is convenient, since it’s just about the only thing my daughter wants to listen to right now. Other than Elvis.

The Velveteen Rabbit
By Margery Williams
Illustrated by William Nicholson
First publication: George H. Doran Company, 1922 (We read the Doubleday edition)

The Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a stuffed rabbit who becomes real through the love of a little boy. As such, it’s the perfect tale for The Five-Year-Old, who has a rather impressive collection of stuffed animals and enough love and determination to make them all real. Be warned that while it’s possible to read the entire thing out loud to your child in one sitting, it will be a 20-minute commitment on your part. The first time we read the book, we picked it as a pre-bedtime story, so had to stop in the middle and continue the story the next day. Since then, I’ve been using this book as an excuse to take a break in the afternoon. Thankfully, it stands up to repeated readings.

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Cross-posted on Caterpickles.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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