Things have been quiet at Hope Is the Word this week because I have spent three days in professional development as I work towards keeping my state teaching certificate valid. I’ve been a part of a 7 Habits for Highly Effective People workshop, and I have gleaned a lot of useful information–transforming information, really, if I can manage to put a small part of it into practice. However, so many hours out of the house each day (I won’t even mention how busy we’ve been at night!) has meant that blog posts in draft form are languishing on my dashboard and I haven’t read a single book to my girls all week. Today is a new day, though, and I expect to spend a portion of it with the girls on either side of me (twisting, turning, hopping, prostrating themselves across my lap, etc.) and a book in my hands (while I also try to keep the DLM from plunging over the arm of the couch and cracking his head on the floor).
I’m reaching back into last week sometime when it was just the DLM and I were here at home by ourselves and I shared this lovely little book with him. We read it snuggled together in the rocking chair in his bedroom, which has been the location of many a sweet read aloud session in our home. The only way I can think to improve this book is to issue it in its entirety in board book format, so that it’s more toddler friendly. All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler is just pure, interactive sweetness. Every other two-page spread focuses on some adorable attribute of baby: “bright little eyes,” “a neat little nose,” “cute little ears,” “a plump little tummy,” “strong little legs,” and “ten little toes.” Each body part is further described with lots of figurative language and poetic devices: similes, alliteration, etc. Of course, the baby in the reader’s lap doesn’t know this; he just knows that he likes it when mama tweaks his little nose and reads the lines
Baby’s got a nose,
a neat little nose.
Sniffs at a rose nose.
Honks when it blows nose.
Wrinkles when it goes nose–
The alternating two page spreads answer the question “Who loves baby’s _________?” The answer? “Me! I do.” The appropriate way to read this (the only way to read this, really) is with enthusiasm and an accompanying squeeze.
The other part of what makes this book so appealing are the watercolor and gouache illustrations by Hiroe Nakata. (To view samples of this artist’s works, go here.) I only know a very little bit about art, but I think watercolor is one of my favorite mediums. Something about the soft look of the illustrations coupled with the color scheme in this particular book is just so perfect for the feel of this gentle read-aloud. It really is warm and lovely–a feast for very young (and not-so-young) eyes.
If you’re looking for a perfect book to share with the very youngest listeners, I give this one a Highly Recommended.
Are you making time to read aloud to your children during the very busy days of summer? What are you reading? Share it in your own RAT post and link up in the comments.
Happy Read Aloud Thursday!