Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LOUD! ...............quiet..................

One of my fantastic aunts came to visit us recently.  Her gifts are always spot-on.

A monkey scarf.  Not just a regular-old flat scarf with a monkey image on it, this is a furry, stole-like monkey with arms, legs, and a cute little face.  And it happens to be the softest thing you've ever felt in your whole life.  (Not that I steal it to cuddle with during nap-time or anything, ahem.)

And two books: The Quiet Book and The Loud Book both written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska.  They are simple in format, but so clever and complex in both evocative emotion and illustration. I really love them.

My daughter is too young to love them, or so I thought after the first few attempts at reading them.  But then one day she asked for them.  Now she often asks for them.  She whispers while we read the quiet book and shouts while we read the loud book.  (Might I suggest that if you are using them near bedtime, start with the Loud Book and work your way quieter and quieter as you move through and to the quiet book.)

Each scene really captures a feeling and a sound.  I know they will take on more and more meaning for my daughter as she has more life experiences, so I imagine older children would still love these books.   And what a fun activity to try to come up with your own quiets and louds.

The book is good at avoiding the common, expected ones... so I really had to think hard to come up with some quiets and louds that are meaningful to us right now.  But so you get a feel for the book, here are a few quiets and louds from our lives:

-- Hugging your favorite stuffed animal quiet.

-- Buckle in and color quiet.  (That's what we call sitting in her highchair, "buckle in" but it also extends to car seats  shopping carts and strollers)

-- Dance to Zangalewa loud.  (Next time you need a dance party, grab some noisy shaker and go to that link)

-- Being loud just to practice being loud loud.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Productive Parenting Blog Post -

Ah, how I love to write.  Sometimes you need to spread your writing wings a bit and contribute to a different corner of the universe.

So how about, just for today (well and maybe a few more times coming up) take a click on over to the Productive Parenting Blog and read me there?  Eh? Eh?

<a target="_blank" href=""><img border="0" src="" alt="Productive Parenting Contributor" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beautiful Books

I love books.  I love art.

So whenever I find a book that effectively combines the two, I am so pleased.  When that book also has nice, soothing text, easily identifiable themes, and you have a recipe for a new favorite.

Enter: A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

The illustrations are amazing.  Woven into each animal friend is this layered, lyrical texture.  Upon closer look, the animals are highly worked, beautiful images with flowers, shapes, and sophisticated patinas.   My daughter also loves this book.  She chooses it several times a day, naming each animal, describing its features, and mimicking its sleeping style.

We read this book all day long, but it would be a nice addition to a bedtime routine.  I want this book printed poster size, make that mural size, so I can lounge in its beauty as I lay my own head down on the pillow at night.  Truly a magnificent book.