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Things of a childlike nature
Baby Rhino

So DH and I have some out-of-state friends who have a little boy who's about two.  Apparently the male half of the couple -- we'll call him Joe -- doesn't like for their son to call him by his first name.  Of course, whenever Joe gets irritated about something, what does his son say to him? 

"What's the matter, Joe?"


Personally, I can't wait for the day our future kids run around telling anyone who'll listen that, "Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina!"


Since I've been able to feel the baby moving around for the past 2 weeks or so, I decided it was time to start reading to her.  Given who her parents are, it's probably unlikely this kid won't love books.  But if the unthinkable happens, it won't be because we didn't try, damn it. :P So sometimes I've just read her snippets of whatever article or book I'm reading.  Then I read her her first actual kids' book one night when DH was traveling for work -- Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.  It's a pretty inspirational little book. :) 

So, since I know there are lots of other parents, aunts, librarians, readers, and friends of children out here in LJ-land, I thought I'd ask if you all have any kids' book recs for me.  You don't need to worry about the age or reading level; I can sift through the list and save "older" books for later.  Oh, and if anyone knows of a book of feminist fairytales (i.e. fairytales that don't all consist of women being rescued by charming princes), I'd be much obliged.  The world will teach our daughter all sorts of tough lessons soon enough; we'd like to try to teach her that girls and women can take care of themselves and pursue their own destinies.  

Thanks, guys! : )

de-lurking "just this once" to say a belated congratulations on your pregnancy and to recommend a few books -- my all time favorite is Harold and the Purple Crayon but as it's heavy on pics and light on text, you may want to wait 'til the baby arrives before sharing.

Also, The Snowy Day was a big hit in our family as was Corduroy, the story of a stuffed bear who gets left behind (*spoiler alert* -- heh).

And for the feminist in you and your daughter, the CD Free to Be You and Me is TERRIFIC. Yes, it's old but great songs and wonderful lessons about ability not being confined to one gender.


Thank you for the wonderful stories you write -- I'm always delighted when I see you've posted something new.

Aw, I love Corduroy! And The Pokey Little Puppy is a classic.

When I was a wee one, I remember reading a delightful little fairy tale called The Ordinary Princess: http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Princess-M-Kaye/dp/0142300853

While I'm not sure it could be considered "feminist" per se, I do remember preferring it to a lot of the sugar-coated fairyfluff that I grew up being surrounded with.

And of course, there's always Anne. :)

"Snow White and Rose Red" is a classic among the "girls who save the day" fairytales. Sure, there are princes, but they're all cursed and the girls must be the heroes. And this story is hundreds of years old!

Also, "Cupid and Psyche" is very much a fairytale, despite it actually being mythology. Sure, there's technically a "prince rescue," but only after Psyche's worked her ass off to gain everything. She works for her blessings and her immortality, whereas most fairytale princesses just...well, lie there and take it. *cheeky grin*

stream of consciousness book answer

ditto on the ones avid1reader mentioned--"free to be you and me" especially. and i adored "corduroy". i also loved "the greek myths" by the d'aulaires, for music and books ("the nutshell library") you have to check out maurice sendak and carole kings "really rosie"--i still sing those songs and read the stories to my little nephews. "make way for duckings" and "blueberries for sal" are 2 wonderful robert mccloskey books. "ferdinand" is one of my all time faves and is a beautifully drawn book too. for older kiddos, the little house books by laura ingalls wilder are perennial faves of mine that i still re-read. don't let the tv show make you think that's all they were about! you can still get a subscription to cricket magazine too for when your tadpole is older. i still have mine saved from when i was 7. "from the mixed up files of mrs. basil e frankweiler" is a wonderful girl-centric story. "the phantom tollbooth" and all the l. frank baum stories are wonderful--i think we started reading those when i was 4 or so. oh and there's a fabulous new liitle kid one called "gallop" which uses cool book technology to make the pictures move. also "hug" is good--bobo the monkey is looking for a hug--very picture heavy--pretty much the only text is the word hug. almost any of the seuss books is still a good way to go as you already know. but there are odder less well known ones like "the tooth book" and "hand hand fingers thumb" that are fun too. and don't forget "goodnight moon" and "runaway bunny" also "pat the bunny". of course you will most likely receive those for shower gifts since they are the classics.

a really fun way to spend some time is to go online to powells.com and just wander through their online kids section. they have a tremendous selection of classic and newer books for kiddos. and sometimes you can find them used online. i think they're easier to use than amazon. plus as a portlander, i'm supporting a local business. and finally, the library is really amazing--we get tons of good books from them and they're free!! plus it's fun to just sit and peruse. whew. i think i may be fresh out of ideas.

oh have fun!!!!

*This* girl (waves) loved reading so much when she was a kid that her mom once thought about getting her to the doctor thinking about any hearing impairment. She was *so* concentrate that wouldn't get out of the book world. Once her mom asked if she was hearing well, and she answered: "Yes, I DO hear you, it's only that I don't listen to you".

After high school or so, I've never read a book again. Don't ask me why, it's just that I lost it. I open a book and get bored only by thinking of reading it all. :( When someone asks me: "Have you read...?", my answer is: "Did Kellogg's write it? Then no".

So, if your kid happens to like reading, don't let her quit it.

Anyway, I don't know if this helps, but my niece loves Pocoyó since before she could say a word.

I've been reading history books for my little girl, it was bound to happen since I've been working on my thesis ever since before her conception so, so mostly that's what I've been reading - it hasn't been alot but there you have it.

Even more so though I've been playing music for her. The way I've done it is that I've had my iPod in one ear and the other earbud pressed to my belly. It's been all sorts of music that I've been playing - one night i did a nice mix of all my favourite tracks by The Doors which at first I think woke her up and then she seemed to clam down and just gave me tiny jabs now and again.

Most of all though I'm constantly talking to Blyp telling her random things like how her Daddy will be home soon or how I'm trying to sort through some things at home or maybe singing a bit for her (poor child but hey I like singing even if I don't do it well)

My favourite kids' books were The Rainbow Fish and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. They're kind of old now, but pretty awesome. (I never read Dr Seuss as a kid, but I guess these were the equivalent for me.)

Can't think of any particularly feminist fairytales, but Politically Correct Bedtime Stories might make you smile a little. (Not sure it's child appropriate though. *g*)

My favorite books when I was a young child were the Frances series, by Russell and Lillian Hoban. Frances is a badger, and in the books she learns all kinds of valuable life lessons. I just looked them up on Amazon, and they're available in audiobook format too!

OMG! Totally loved Frances... there's one we had about her getting a new baby brother...
wOw! just so clear in my mind right now... she was hiding under the table or something.
thx for the memories!

My Dad was always a pretty firm disciplinarian so I never would have even considered calling him by his first name. Now he's a pastor so I still wouldn't be able. Got nothing against it though.

My parents mostly made up stories when I was young, they had pretty crazy imaginations. When they did read to us though it was mostly Robert Munch, which I love since he teaches at the University my brother attends, or Dr. Seuss. Out of all the Robert Munch books "love You Forever" is my favourite even though I've cried every time I've read it for as long as I can remember.

Can't really help you out on the feminist fairytales though. You're an excellent writer, you could probably come up with some good ones:)

I well recall walking from one end of the house to the other (when my daughter was very small and prone to screaming blue bl**dy murder in the wee small hours) with the baby clasped against one shoulder and a copy of White Fang in my other hand reading aloud to try to soothe her.

Book Recs:

For younger children the Lynley Dodd books are lovely (beautifully illustrated and with a wonderful use of language and rhyme). My personal fave is 'Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack' - how can you not love a book that includes the word skedaddled?

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's 'The Gruffalo', 'The Gruffalo's Child' and 'Room on the Broom' are all worth buying.

For older children, I love the Debi Gliori series about the Strega-Borgia children (Titus, Pandora and their baby sister Damp) and their very strange managerie (including a rat, a dragon, a crocodile, a yeti and a gryphon).

Oooh, and Isobel would probably think it most remiss of me if I forgot to mention Terry Pratchett's 'Where's My Cow?'. She was 5 when it came out and we went through the typical phase where it was the only book that she wanted read at bedtime, to the point that she could quote large sections of it.

Edited at 2008-10-07 08:31 pm (UTC)

Em hears Goodnight Moon every night-- it has a very soothing rhythm that gets her right into sleepytime mode. Her attention span is such that we still stick mainly to short books, and a couple other favorites are Guess How Much I Love You and Snuggle Puppy.

I'm a huge fan of children's books, and although I don't have kids I have a *ton* of books. So I may get back to you later if any more come to mind, but my favorites to read out loud are any by Shel Silverstein and Dr. Suess. My favorite series was always the Trixie Belden series, although out of print now you can probably find tons in paperback on ebay. And I always loved anything by Beverly Cleary, particularly the 'Ramona' books.

Llama Llama Red Pajama is quite possibly one of the cutest books out there for kids. I read it to my little (and little bigger) ones in therapy all the time. Plus, it will keep you entertained as well!

There's another one on the tip of my tongue, but I just can't remember it. I went to B&N search it and promptly lost the name. I'm sure I'll be back when I remember it! :)

'possum magic' by Mem fox was always a fave of mine.
'Shoes From Grandpa' also by Mem Fox.
'The Magic Pudding' by Norman Lindsay.
'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie' by May Gibbs.

there are so many I can't even think of them.. lmao.

oh and a late congratulations on your bundle of joy.. :D


Anything by Maurice Sendak, obviously
books by Chris Van Allsburg, especially his earlier picture books
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
books by Arnold Lobel
Make Way For Ducklings & Blueberries for Sal both by Robert McCloskey. Highly recommended
Tuesday & June 29, 1999 both by David Weisner

I could esaily rec another 100 picture books. These go up to about age 5, I'd say as some are fairly sophisticated

Read aloud books:

The original (not the crappy Disney versions) books by A. A. Milne
Winnie The Pooh
The House at Pooh Corner

The above are the classic stories

When We were Very Young
Now We are Six

These are his two books of poetry featuring Christopher Robin and friends. Some of these poems I've remembered for over 40 years. My kids loved all 4 books. Do yourself a favor and get the boxed set.

Chapter Book
The very first real chapter book both my children read was "Half Magic". It's the first chapter book I read too and I loved it so much, I went out and bought it when I found out I was pregnant.

As far as the penis and vagina comment, when my neice was three, she proudly went up to every kid in her nusery school class and announced "you have a penis" or "you have a vagina" depending on gender. Every mom there wanted to kill my sister. My sister simply smiled at my neice and siad, "that's right!".