Friday, January 4, 2008

Tenth Day of Christmas and Friday Book Review

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Ten organic non-GMO seeds (we have to get back to gardening this year)
Nine vegan converts (or just nine people who eat lower on the food chain)
Eight Kucinich years (as president, why stop at one term)
Seven soups a-warming (living in a 100 year old house means many winters of hot soup)
Six geese a-laying ("adopted" at the animal sanctuary, of course)
Five containers of organic orange juice
Four Kucinich years (as president)
Three alternative heating options (multi-fuel stove, pellet insert, solar)
Two cast iron pans (one a skillet, one a muffin pan) and
A Bakfiet to easily carry Parker, Dema, and Josie

If you don't care or don't have a problem with me discussing the books we like to read, just skip to the "*". If you would like a detailed explanation then read on...

Since I've been living like a shut-in due to the cold and laziness the last couple days, we've been snuggling and reading books more than usual. People (okay veg*n parents) are always asking what books other people (veg*n parents) have for their kids. There are sooo many books out there which have what many people (veg*n parents) see as content they would like to avoid, at least at some ages or content they would like to seek out. It isn't like we expect all books to be free of such content or full of such content we just are happy to see a list of books which might possibly be appropriate for our kids as well. We are really no different from other parents. Some parents may avoid overly sexual or violent or whathaveyou content for certain ages (or all ages).

I personally don't like books for characters which are also TV cartoons (like Sponge Bob for example) or books which encourage the reader to buy more of this or that. Although, it is a case by case basis. I don't mind Blue's Clues as much as Sponge Bob. When the children don't read yet, I agree to read almost any book at the library, but will only buy books to have in our home which I like (we have hundreds of books so even though I'm sorta picky, we aren't wanting for books). Some books I didn't want to have for say my oldest when he was two, I find fine now that he is almost eight. It is what all parents do. Vegan parents aren't that different and just like other parents (even within a certain "grouping", say "attachment parents") not all of us will agree on books, but we tend to ask each other for lists as a place to start. Heck, even non-veg*n parents ask me what we own and read so I will stop over-explaining for the one snarky comment left on the blog the last time I discussed children's books.

*Whew! Glad the small print stuff is over. We have a series of books we've read since Parker was almost two years old so I'll highlight an author this Friday.

Children's Book Review:
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Arthur Howard

We love the Mr. Putter and Tabby books. Mr. Putter reminds me of my dad. My dad was often seen walking his cat (was my cat, but when I left home she stayed with my parents) around the neighborhood. I wish my dad had a Mrs. Teaberry living next door. The stories are adorable and interesting and the illustrations make the books.

Our favorites:

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea
Tells the story of how Mr. Putter and Tabby's lives started together. Nice plug for getting animals from an animal shelter.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Fly the Plane
Mr. Putter finally gets the toy of his dreams, then shares it with all the neighbor kids. I like how different ages are together in this one and how sometimes it feels better giving things away than keeping them.

Mr. Pu
tter and Tabby Paint the Porch
Mr. Putter doesn't do anything without Tabby and Mrs. Teaberry always has her dog Zeke around, but when it comes to painting porches, sometimes it is best done without any animals.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Row the Boat
To beat the heat, the four friends go on a boat ride. They share stories and yummy food. Food is an element in almost all the stories. We've avoided the Mr. Putter books with meat. Some have cream for tea. I like children's books which have thinks like tomato sandwiches and kiwi salads like this one.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears
Mr. Putter has a hard time picking the pears from his tree so he tried to get them down with a slingshot and some apples. It doesn't work, but Mrs. Teaberry finds the apples in her yard and make apple treats for the them all to enjoy.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Take the Train
Mrs. Teaberry talks Mr. Putter into taking a train ride, which gets complicated when they try to take the animals with them. As usual, the everything works out and the two humans, one cat, and one dog have the best train ride of their lives.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Toot the Horn
Mrs. Teaberry decides she and Mr. Putter should learn how to place instruments. Learning all the time (look up John Holt) is a great theme for children's books, in my opinion, and even though Mr. Putter's horn ends up in his garden it all works out.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn
Mr. Putter tries to help Mrs. Teaberry out with her knitting club, but causes quite the mess when Tabby gets into the act. In the end, all is well and Mr. Putter and Tabby charm the knitting club like they've charmed my children.

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