Friday, December 2, 2016

Children's Book Suggestions: Russell Hoban

Once I discover a title the children enjoy I go online and research other books by that author or I ask friends familiar with the author for recommendations or I simply check out their other titles to see if we will enjoy them.  Often, not always, when you find a "good" book there will be more lesser known books by that same author.  

Today I am sharing a series we all have come to love by Russell Hoban.  I affectionally refer to them as "The Frances Books."  

The stories are about a clever, animated badger named Frances.  As a parent it is hard not to laugh at Frances while empathizing with her parents.  As a child it is hard not to laugh :)  These stories have engaged my children from age 3 up to 6 (I don't have children older than 6).  

To add another fun element we have checked out the Frances audiobooks from the library.  The British narration is wonderful and brings the stories to life.  

Bread and Jam For Frances is the most well known of the Frances titles.  Frances will only eat bread and jam for every meal.  She sings clever songs about bread and jam, but does she change her mind?

It is bedtime for Frances, but she has needs that only a parent can meet.  What crazy requests will she make and how many times will her parents respond?

It's her sister's birthday and she is struggling between generosity and jealousy.

Frances gets tricked into buying a tea set from her friend.  How will she handle the situation?  Will she accept that she has been tricked or will she teach her friend a lesson?

Frances isn't so sure her sister can be her friend.  When she is shut out of a game by Albert she learns that sisters may be the best friends.

And my personal favorite, A Baby Sister For Frances.  The over reaction of Frances and the tender, yet clever way her parents respond makes this book a fun read aloud for me.
We have the audio collection on our iPod.  My 4 year old daughter requests these stories in the car.  I appreciate the audio book collection, because they are the unabridged (full length original stories) version.

Other Children's Book/Author Suggestions:


  1. William Steig
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Children's Book Suggestions: William Steig

It is not a secret, we love books.  I love researching new titles my children will enjoy, reserving them at the library, and picking them up on a weekly basis.  I am often asked for book/author suggestions by my mom friends, so I have decided to share some of our favorites during the next few weeks.  

One of my son's favorite authors is William Steig.  His book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was initially introduced to him at age 4.  He continues to enjoy his picture books at age 6.  Today, you may know his as the author of Shrek.

His books are humorous, yet thought provoking which is why they are not only some of my son's (and my daughter) favorites, but some of my favorites.


 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is about a donkey that finds a magic pebble.  Anything he says comes true while holding the pebble.  One day Sylvester wishes to become a rock to avoid being eaten.  Once a rock he couldn't hold the pebble.  The story is about how he  returns to being a donkey.


At age 4 this was my son's favorite Steig book.  Here is my son's description, "Pete pretends to be a pizza.  It's really, really funny."

Brave Irene is my favorite (besides Sylvester).  Irene's mother the dressmaker is sick, so Irene offers to brave the storm and deliver a very important dress to the palace. A great story about perseverance.

Doctor De Soto is a dentist for animals.  His patient is a fox.  I'll let you read it to figure out the rest of the story.  It is a cute story that draws children (and adults) in.

The Amazing Bone and Amos & Boris are two other titles we enjoy.

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