Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brief Children's Book Reviews

I've been reading to Bowen since very early in his life. As Brain Rules For Baby indicates, it almost doesn't matter what you read to baby --- you can even just read the phone book to him and it'd have the same impact. However, it makes a big difference to the person who has to read the book --- Bowen might not mind reading the same book over and over again, but I mind! I wouldn't say that Bowen hasn't exhibited any taste in books --- in fact, he seems to enjoy chewing on quite a few of them.

Here's a summary of the books I've been reading to him:

  • Thieves and Kings. This is a great comic book series interspersed with text and pictures. In his early days, Bowen didn't have color vision, so black and white comics were fascinating to him. Recommended.
  • The Princess Bride. I got through about 75% of this before he decided that books without pictures were lame.
  • Astro City, Vol 1-3.The colorful pictures were great. But the paper quality definitely would not withstand a 6 month old's chewing, so I abandoned these in the middle of volume 3.
  • But Not The Hippopotamus. One of his first board books. After about 20 readings, I have the darn thing memorized. Thanks a lot, Scarlet. Recommended.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Another gift from Scarlet. He's thoroughly fascinated by the holes in the book. Recommended.
  • Boynton's Greatest Hits: Volume II. After the introduction to Boynton, I went and bought a few of the boxed sets. They're nice and short and easy to read. But also too easily memorized. I'm pretty bored of them, but it took about 30-50 readings of each before I got bored, which is good. He loves turning the pages of the board books because he can do so easily. Recommended.
  • Big Box of Boynton. I didn't think this set was as good as the above. The best of the lot was Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! I guess there's no boy who isn't fascinated by Dinosaurs.
  • Big Blue Book of Beginner Books. These didn't survive 3 readings before I got bored. The pages aren't as flippable as a board book. I wouldn't get another one of these until he starts reading by himself.
I've left out many books that either he or I didn't enjoy. The more substantial books will get a separate review later.

And no, I won't add these to my 2012 Reviews list. I don't want to artificially inflate that list with books that Bowen's reading.
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