Choosing books at the library

November 18, 2009 § 1 Comment

It always feels good when you pick up a book at the library, peruse it’s story, illustrations and cover, bring it home to find that the little girl you chose it for loves it.

flora

Flora’s Blanket is such a book. The story is very simple. I love it. Flora is having a hard time falling asleep so her mami and papi ask her what’s wrong. Turns out Flora can’t find her blanket. So first her brothers and sisters offer her their blankets but Flora wants hers. Then, they all go looking for Flora’s blanket. Flora ends up falling asleep as they are looking for the blanket so mami and papi put her in their bed and get in with her so they can all go to sleep. Then, her papi finds Flora’s blanket underneath his pillow.

Repetition makes this story work. Even baby brother repeats Flora’s “no” when she doesn’t want her siblings replacement blanket. It’s the sort of book that bilingual baby can repeat and tell back to us. It’s also innocuous enough that she can continue living a simple life (though she seems to be getting more and more complex in her thinking).

I say this only because we read her a book (two in a series) that turned her world upside down. They were Pinkalicious and Purplelicious. They’re about a girl who loves pink and one day, after eating too many pink cupcakes, turns pink! She ends up eating things that are green so she can turn back to normal. That one was fine. And bb loved that the girl was called pinkalicious. Bb was calling us bluelicious and blackalicious and so on for a while. It was fun.

Then Purplelicious came into the scene. In this book, the girl who loves pink is in art class and some other girls tease her for loving pink. They say black is the new pink. Funny, to those of us who can separate a book from ourselves. Not the case with our little girl.

Bilingual baby has a tendency to embody any book she’s reading and processing. So, when she reads Harold and the Purple Crayon, she walks around town with her imaginary purple crayon drawing streets and bicycles and helicopters and … you name it.

Maybe it’s because I was given a verbal slap on the hand by another parent for reading Purplelicious but it really did seem to affect bb.

We went through the moment with Purplelicious and we’re learning a lot about how affected bb is by books. In turn, we pick out books that vary in intensity. Some kids books are simple but push a message. She doesn’t like a lot of those. Some of these moralsy books she really gets into and wants to know why one character treats the other in a mean way.

It gets us talking.

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