Awesome Books for Smunchkeroonies Day

So I guess it's about time for a book post (inspired by Lauren, of course, my book diva homegirl)! 

"Encyclopedic" Disney Books

Copyright 1972

Each page is covered with montaged images of often awkwardly hand-drawn Disney characters (favorites and Disney-esque animals) engaged in various activities and each is accompanied by a word or words.  This would be an excellent book for spelling practice with bigger kids, but right now we use it for speech, vocabulary, number, shape and  color practice.

The pages are fun and quirky...some of the pre-computer Disney images in this book border on creepy at times.  Stars include the White Rabbit (who is apparently married with children), Merlin, Toad, and even the creepy cow chick version of Goofy.

  (Her name is Clarabelle)


This is an amazing set of books I have loved since I was little.  Now we're working on building a collection, but we're only up to two, which does not quite constitute a collection, I don't think.  These are currently in Arthur's library: 

(both copyright 1973) 

 These books are straight up RAD.  They are loaded with fabulous retro-beautiful pics of banyan trees, close-ups of gears, produce bins, the cosmos, all kinds of amazing images, all interspersed with Dis characters; for example, there's a very Cleopatra-d out Daisy Duck.  Pretty sweet.  We use the books mainly to discuss images at this point, but I consider it all part of the Bot's science curriculum and hopefully someday his homework will be to read a chapter or two a day.  In the meantime, I am hoping to pick up a scanner and will scan some of these beautiful pics for you all to enjoy (until Mickey's minions come and shut me down, at least!)

 Books about Global Community

This is My House - Arthur Dorros, 1992  

 First of all, dude's name is Arthur.  A solid start.  Of course, I am biased, as two of my best people are Arthurs (The J is an Arthur as well).  Each page shows a home from a various culture or geographic location, featuring homes from Thailand, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Egypt, New Guinea, and many, many more.  My favorite thing about this book is that on each page, above the writing about the type of home, the phrase "This is my house" is translated in the language of its dwellers.  Arthur giggles as we stumble over the pronunciations, which I quite suck at.   

I also love that the book discusses different types of homes in the US, beginning with a family reroofing an old home built by a grandfather, including high rise apartments, city homes, country homes, and even a family living in a car (which choked me up the first couple of times I read it: "We will move into a home when we can."). Beautiful illustrations.

Home or supplemental educators: f you want to do a little extra with this book, check out the classroom activities site on the author's page

 More breathtaking illustrations.  This is a book for our little crystal children, a book about universal love and compassion,   The author, Mem Fox, has a terrific page with a recommendation list of excellent children's books to own and a guide to reading aloud to kids.

Whoever You Are

© Mem Fox, illustrated by Leslie Staub,
published by Harcourt, San Diego, USA, 1996;
and HodderHeadline, Sydney, Australia, 1996.

Little one,
whoever you are,
wherever you are,
there are little ones
just like you,
all over the world.
Their skin may be
different from yours,
and their homes may be
different from yours.
Their schools may be
different from yours,
and their lands may be
different from yours.
Their lives may be
different from yours,
and their words may be
very different from yours.
But inside,
their hearts just like yours,
whoever they are,
wherever they are
all over the world.
Their smiles are like yours,
and they laugh like you too.
Their hurts are like yours,
and they cry like you too.
whoever they are,
wherever they are,
all over the world.
Little one,
when you are older
and when you are grown,
you may be different,
and they may be different,
wherever you are,
wherever they are,
in this big wide world.
But remember this:
Joys are the same,
and love is the same.
Pain is the same,
and blood is the same.
Smiles are the same,
and hearts are just the same -
wherever they are,
wherever you are,
wherever we are,
all over the world.

My World 

This book is a little trip around the world, chock full of bright photos of people, children, places, creatures, et cetera, and each page includes a clever map of the location it discusses (for example, Africa is dotted with pyramids, lions, even an offshore oil rig).  Arthur loves this book, and I love that it's an intro to geography, which is kind of Daddo's specialty.

 Poetry Books
  Poetry books are great for little people because you can read them in short sections, they teach children literary devices and they sound fun. Here are some we're into these days:


This is a very long story, more appropriate for older children, but it's a tale of a lonely boy who befriends a prairie dog and is filled with lovely images and is in poetic form, mostly couplets.  Arthur enjoys listening to the meter and rhyme, and I love reading it.

(originally written in 1939)  

It's no secret that I do not care much for T.S. Eliot's work, but I feel about this book the way I do about Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox: I think his work generally feels a little pretentious and forced, but adding whimsy of a child's tale is like taking the bite out of espresso with a little sugar.  This book doesn't have many illustrations, but A enjoys the rhymes and we have fun tripping over the crazy words .   

Read it online here

And I can't forget this book:

 Falling Up 

Trippy, silly, whimsical, short poems, long poems, what more can I say? 

More books later. Cheers, friends. 

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