Sunday, July 23, 2006

Carol's Nightstand: A Great Read-Aloud

It's summer and I'm finally making a dent in the stack of books on my nightstand.

I've got kids, and one of the things I do when we travel is try to buy children's books signed by local authors. On Cape Cod a few weeks ago, we stopped by the Brewster Bookstore, a wonderful little bookstore in Brewster, MA, where illustrator Timothy Basil Ering had just been that morning signing books. I picked up a copy of The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread which I have been meaning to read, and The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, which was new to me.

My five year old got a big kick out of Frog Belly, a picture book set in grey Cementland. Not to worry, though, things get better.

It wasn't until this week, however, that I finished Despereaux, which is truly a beautiful tale filled with light and dark. I was a little worried that it might be a bit too dark for my kids, but we started reading it aloud last night, and they wouldn't let me put it down until we were five chapters in. Everything about the experience was magical, including the mouse-chewed paper edges! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, kids or no.

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