what we are reading

by breannruthwhite

I asked my doctor if she thought my son was on-track developmentally at his 18 month well-check this morning. She assured me he was doing great, and then suggested that if I was concerned, I should read to him to encourage language development. “Do you read to him?” she proceeded to ask. “Yes. Lots”, I answered. And she looked at me with the disbelief she probably gives all moms who promise her their kids love vegetables.

Whatevs, doc…

We don’t have cable or access to local channels. So, reading in an important part of our routine. Since I am home with my son this summer, we have been frequenting the library at least twice a week to keep up with his rapidly developing little brain. Honestly, it’s surprising how many awkward or ridiculous children’s books are lurking in the library book shelves. So I am always grateful for smart mom recommendations.

I also always appreciate a good book recommendation, myself. Interestingly enough, my favorite food blogs have been excellent resources for exactly that.

So here is what we, as a family, have been reading lately… or at least since Easter.

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The Best Behavior Board Book Series is an always go-to. These books offer positive alternatives to typical kid behavior. For example, there are individual books that cover issue of hitting, kicking, sharing, being nice to pets, etc., and encourage kids to understand that they are capable of cooperative and loving actions. My son loves the simple, colorful illustration and you can tell he connects with the content. At the end of each book, there are tips for parents on how to deal with the issues.

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Who doesn’t love Biscuit? My kid loves this sweet puppy and all of his cute, furry friends. Whenever I spot a new biscuit book in the library, I am quick to scoop it up. I personally love the soft, gentle images.

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The Duck in the Truck Series is another of my son’s favorites. I don’t quite understand why my son would prefer this series over others. Maybe it’s the quick, rhymed language. Or the fact that it’s about a duck and he is really into ducks right now. But we rarely get to the end of a Duck in the Truck book without needing to reread it from beginning to end.

And my current reads…

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The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis. This is a beautiful and heart-breaking story about young woman battling lifelong issues of identity and attachment. Despite the effects of her mother’s terrible past, they both seek out their place in the world, together or separate.

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Can you believe that I wasn’t required to read this is high school? I thought I ought to read it before I watched the movie. It’s a quick read about a hopelessly obsessed man who ransoms his life for extravagance. Even though the extravagance isn’t what he truly desires.

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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. This is the only Aimee Bender book my local library carries, so though I read it a few years ago, I took the opportunity to reread it. It’s a story about a girl who has the uncanny ability to taste people’s emotions through the food they prepare. I highly recommend this early Aimee Bender book, and any of her books, for that matter.

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I recently finished The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell. This was a difficult book for me to get into, but I was very glad I finished it. If I had a daughter, I am not sure I could have. The story is graphic and tragic, but redemptive.

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1 2 3 Magic. My son is a little young for these discipline strategies. Alas, he is entering the age of temper tantrums. So I thought a bit of preemptive educated advice would be beneficial. The book provides practical strategies for differentiating child misbehavior and effectively dealing without yelling and or spanking. I am only half-way through, but very intrigued.

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Next on my reading list,We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride. I bought it for myself as an early birthday present. From what I understand, the book is meant to test and restore our faith in humanity, which is pretty much an everyday thing for me. I am not very good at investing in two books at once, so I am greatly anticipating a sit-down with this book.

Happy reading.

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