Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!

I Am Not Going to Get Up Today by Dr. Seuss is a perfect story to read to the young one who never wants to get out of bed in the morning, which makes it particularly fun if mom is trying get the child to day care or school. Fortunately, for this mom it appears to be a weekend or some other day where the child doesn't have to go anywhere. Simply, the boy decides to stay in bed. Now one can't imagine he's getting too much sleeps as he tells his mom and anyone who will listen all the things that the outside world can do to attempt to wake him, e.g. tickle his feet, pour cold water on his head, or bring in the U.S. Marines! Towards the end of the story, he's in bed with numerous people watching him. Finally, mom gives up and feeds his breakfast to a policeman whom also apparently came to attempt to wake him. Written in rhyme, I will have to say that this is one of the more enjoyable Dr. Seuss books I've read to date! Source: Library Book

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Eye Book

As a mentioned last week, I'm not the biggest Dr. Seuss fan. Something about the peculiar illustrations and made-up words turns me off. This one is okay; cute red head. The story is good for sight words and recognition of common items. However, the kid's bug eyes, as well as his companion bunny's are a little disturbing. As always, the rhyming flows very well and the story is humorous. Definitely a good early reader. Source: Library Books

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Berenstain Bears - The Big Honey Hunt

Though I love the Berenstain Bears, they have no shortage of gender stereotypes which are mostly amusing more than harmful. In The Big Honey Hunt, Mama Bear tells Papa Bear to buy some honey at the corner stand. Being rather obstinate and thinking himself clever, Papa Bear insists that he can get honey fresh from a honey tree for free. Thus, he and Brother Bear (called "Small Bear" in the story because Sister isn't born yet) embark on a romp all over the country side following a lone bee looking for honey. Naturally, they experience all sorts of mishaps and eventually wind up doing as Mama asked. Always humorous, this story, written in rhyme, is a fun read. Source: Library Book

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Berenstain Bears - We Like Kites

When I was little, my favorite soft paperback books were from the Berenstain Bear series. I still remember my absolute favorite which was all about junk food and cavities. It never occurred to me that stories about this lovable bear family came in all sorts of reading levels. We Like Kites is an great early reader recommended for the pre-school kindergarten years. With the typical vibrant illustrations, this story features Brother and Sister Bear on a day of kite-flying. Super simple, yet adorable as always. Source: Library Book

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Little Bear

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik first published in 1957 is an early reader book of short stories featuring the adventures of a little bear, named Little Bear, and his mother. The stories cover Mother Bear making clothes for Little Bear, his birthday party, trip to the moon, and finally bedtime. There was something peculiar about the dialogue in this story that made me think it had been translated from another language although that is not the case. The book is charming but easily forgettable despite the cute cub. In general, it's good early reader with lots of repetition. Source: Library Book

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Can't I Fly?

Why Can't I Fly? by Rita Golden Gelman is a funny little story about a monkey who wants to fly and just can't understand how she can do all these things but can't fly. As the story progresses, each of her numerous friends (who can fly) offer solutions to her. Inevitably, they all fail. Finally her friends band together to take her for a ride, finally giving her the opportunity to "fly." Written with a fair bit of rhyme, this story is a good early reader. The illustrations are simple drawings with only a few colors per page, but track the story well. Source: Library Book.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Crack in the Track (Thomas & Friends)

A Crack in the Track is a Thomas & Friends Book published in 2001. Though debuting in the mid-1980s in the UK and soon making their way to the US, I'm not sure whether the books, toys and cartoons weren't available in Hawaii where I grew up or they just weren't on my parents' radar. In any event, although I'd seen the toys in stores and was familiar with a big lead paint class action lawsuit a few years ago, this was my very first experience with Thomas the Tank Engine. Other than the "crack in the track" line, this is not a rhyming story, although it does seem like a good early ready. The story is full of adventure, teaches cause and effect, as well as problem solving. I also like how it features a number of modes of transportation and a nice color palette. Source: Library Book

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Little Cookie

The Little Cookie by Margaret Hillert features the adventures of a cute cookie that everyone wants to eat. Very much the traditional nursery story, this story features a bit of rhyming and colorful illustrations. Geared as an early reader, the book features lots of repetition aimed towards that purpose. I wasn't particularly engaged in the story and very sad to learn that the cookie appears to be eaten at the end, but young kids with short attention spans will likely enjoy the illustrations and adventure. Source: Library Book

Friday, March 23, 2012

Library Trip

Yesterday, I went back to the library to return all the books I'd borrowed on my first visit and, of course, pick up a fresh batch. What I found on my first visit is found on the Book List tab above. Mini-reviews from those books will post every day throughout the rest of March.

In the next batch, I picked up several more Berenstain Bears books and I also found a few by another favorite Mercer Mayer. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Dr. Seuss, I did get a couple more because it's an easy pick for rhyming books. The other 5 or so books were randomly selected based on cuteness and a cursory read.

I'm slowly learning the organization of the children's section of my library. Signs appear to indicate what you might expect--that it's organized by reading ability, but I'm finding that's not particularly true. For example, the 1st-3rd grade level Berenstain Bears books are filed under "B" at the beginning of the "easy (or maybe it's early) reader" section which wraps around the wall of the children's room, then a hop skip and a jump over there's a chunk of the pre-K readers under "ER" in the same section. However, the Mercer Mayer books, which are at the same reading level as the 1st-3rd grade Berenstain Bears books are in the aisles which are supposedly the higher level books. It's confusing, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually. Next week will be extremely busy since we're moving but if I still to reading 20 minutes night we'll be ready for more even with a few repeats.

A Bear and His Boy

A Bear and His Boy by Sean Bryan is a nice little store about, as the title suggests, a bear who wakes up with a boy on his back. As they're attached, the boy accompanies the bear to a number of ordinary events from eating breakfast at a diner to receiving an award, to watching a horse race. It's hard to discern the boy's age, but it's presumably that of an older high school student or a college student. As many students are, this bear has a hectic schedule and it's up to the boy to make him stop and smell the roses, uh lilacs. Definitely not the cutest bear story I've ever read, it was an amusing read. Interestingly as well were the illustrations which were drawings colored in only five colors (black, white, brown, yellow, and a skin tone). Since I've read that young babies recognize monochromes best at first, I'm guessing these illustrations will be good for the transitional period. Source: Library Book

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Panda & Polar Bear

Panda & Polar Bear by Matthew J. Baek is an absolutely charming book perfect for story time and for learning to read, though not written in rhyme. I love bears of all sorts and these two baby bears--a polar bear from the top of a mountain and a panda who lived at the base--made for an exceptionally sweet story about differences, learning new things, and overcoming adversities. The illustrations are gorgeous watercolors which I admired when I could tear myself away from gushing over the cute bears. Source: Library Book

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss is a book I received when I graduated from college. Published in 1990, it's about all the exciting things one may do when embarking out into the world. In Dr. Seuss tradition, it's rhyming verse and eye-catching illustrations make it an interesting book even for adults. I chose this book to read to my baby at 20 weeks in the womb as it was the only rhyming book I had on my shelves other than poetry, which I also read, but this was it for children's books. One of the things I dislike about Dr. Seuss books is made-up words, places, and creatures which are meant to amuse but could confuse a child learning to read. This book doesn't have too much of that, but it does have some. Plus, where it talks about inevitable disappointments, it felt a little dark for a young child. Although I'll inevitably read to my child one he or she actually makes an appearance, it'll likely not be for awhile.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Things I Didn't Know - #1

While I could probably fill an ocean with the number of things I don't know, this category will feature baby-related tips I didn't know until Project Blueberry began.

Tip # 1 - throw away pacifiers after age 6 months and do not introduce them until age 1 month (or until breastfeeding is well-established. (Source: Baby Bargains 2012). Pacifiers apparently reduce the risk of SIDS from 1 month to 6 months, but after age 1 can lead to dental issues. I'm a little unclear on the period between 6 months and 1 year, and in fact that American Academy of Pediatrics, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, recommends use until age 1. However, Baby Bargains indicates that pacifier use can also interfere with a baby's ability to self sooth. My thinking is that I don't want to have to pick up the darn thing whenever the Blueberry throws it so we'll do our best not to become reliant upon them. Oh, and we'll invest in a Pooh binky clip or a Buddy Bear.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Welcome to our new blog. Like the real "Project Little Blueberry" or simply "Project Blueberry" or "Blueberry" for short, this blog is in its early pre-infancy stages. We're 21 weeks pregnant, sex still unknown. At the moment, I'm recording all the gory details of my pregnancy in a private journal, but will attempt to cross-post the more pleasant memories on this blog.

At 20 weeks in the womb, a baby's hearing is apparently fully developed. Although it will be a few more weeks before it can discern its parents' voices, I figured that it was never too early to get into the habit of reading to the little one. Thus, every night for the last week or so, I've made it a point to read to the little one for 20 minutes. Though it took a bit of cajoling, my husband got into it too. I hope to keep a list of books borrowed from the library, with mini reviews, so when it comes time to build our child's library in a few months we'll be prepared. I'll attempt to keep the Book List as current as possible but may space out the "reviews" depending on my time.

I'm glad you've joined us and look forward to sharing all about our Blueberry as we go along.