I found Scranimals (poems by Jack Prelutsky, pictures by Peter Sis) at the library this week, and the boys and I love it. For a grown-up, the text is enjoyable enough to read over and over, as are the illustrations. For a kid, it introduces wonderful words and really captures the imagination. Tonight as we read it together, Eli kept a list of the page numbers of his favorite scranimals. They include: the rhinocerose, the hippopotamushrooms, the porcupineapple, and the radishark. In the car on the way to church Sunday we tried to come up with some new scranimals. I thought of the persimmonkey. Can anyone answer this question: one of the scranimals is called a petrelephant, and it is a mix of a bird and an elephant. What is the name of the bird? I've never heard of a petrel(?), has anyone else?The second book I want to highlight is Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. Adam and I were first introduced to this book last year by his preschool teacher, Ms. Juli. We re-discovered it at the library last week, and brought it home to share with Eli and Dan. I don't know if Dan has been able to develop a proper appreciation for it yet, but the boys and I think it is hilarious. One of the best parts is when little Trixie, who can't yet talk, is trying to convey a very important message to her daddy. She gets so frustrated that she 'goes boneless'. We used to call this 'getting floppy', but either way, it is infuriating. We also love the angry expression on her face when her daddy finally carries her home.
The third book for the evening is Angel Coming by Heather Henson and Susan Gaber. This book didn't grab our attention until the Author's Note and pictures at the very end. The Note begins: "Not so long ago in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, if a child asked where babies came from...folks would tell of babies brought up the steep paths, tucked safely inside saddlebags, carried by an angel on horseback." The author goes on to explain that these angels on horseback were the nurse-midwives of the Frontier Nursing Service, founded by Mary Breckinridge in 1925. Mary apparently grew up in a southern family with money, and decided to become a nurse to help the women and children in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. She "built a clinic and advertised for nurse-midwives who wanted adventure and were not afraid of hard work." These women wore blue uniforms and made monthly visits along their assigned routes to check on the mothers and children. I've included a photo of Mary Breckinridge and the link to the Frontier Nursing Service, which is still in operation today. Of course, as soon as I read this I said to the boys, "I want to be a nurse-midwife in the Frontier Nursing Service, too!" To which Eli replied, "you'll have to move to Kentucky." http://www.frontiernursing.org/