Monthly Archives: February 2016

What we’ve read so far, week 18


  • A sweet board book for bedtime: You Are My I Love You
  • A bedtime classic (already memorized, but nice to see the pictures sometimes too): Goodnight Moon
  • You clever mouse you!: The Gruffalo. The repetition, rhythm, and rhyme are good for early literacy, too.
  • Sing it: Baby Beluga
  • Fun every time: Oh No, George!
  • For the modern child who is more familiar with a computer mouse than the cute rodent: It’s A Book and It’s a Little Book (plus, in the former, you get to say “jackass.” Twice!)
  • And who should be there but Goose?: Goose and Goose Goes to School are great fun, though children who are more inclined to make friends with animals than other children should be warned that geese are not actually all that friendly. The simple illustrations are on brightly colored backgrounds, which seem to hold Lyra’s attention more than some other books.
  • Wordless picture books that encourage imaginative storytelling, with flat-out gorgeous illustrations: Aaron Becker’s Journey and Quest
  • From childhood: Paul Zelinsky’s Rumpelstiltskin and One Woolly Wombat
  • Folklore, jungle-style: Oh, No! has a slightly different rhythm and lends itself to sound effects, voices for the different animals, and clapping or tapping. Bold illustrations and comeuppance for the greedy tiger.
  • Good introduction to the subject of vigilante justice and the verb “to infer”: This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (see photo below).

And now…baby pictures! Four months and counting…


“And what do YOU have to say, Mr. Sun?”


Playing piano with Dad


Rawr! Lyra the Tall!


Funny Hat Club, membership: 2


“I’m flying!” (with a little help from Grandma)


“‘Nobody will ever find me’? This is not going to end well.”



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Years and months


Someone loooooves the front-facing carrier!


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What we’ve read so far, week 16

Stack of books, spine facing out

I Don’t Want To Be A Frog! is even more fun than I remember it being the first time. Finding Winnie was very good but I think I prefer Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker; I’ll have to get it out again and compare. Mo Willems is funny as always – guaranteed to get a laugh from the baby if the reader includes appropriate sound effects – and Bonny Becker’s Bear books are timeless and lovely with their two juxtaposed characters, big grumpy Bear and small bright-eyed Mouse.

I’m unable to read the award-winning Drum Dream Girl without lots of feminist commentary (“…only boys should play drums…” “that’s some sexist bull****, Lyra! You can play any instrument you want!”), but of course that’s the book’s message too. I loved the award-winning Last Stop on Market Street too for its unique voice and almost geometric illustrations.

Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat doesn’t get old (“Nobody will ever find me”); much of its humor derives from the interplay between the text and the illustrations. Emily Gravett’s Blue Chameleon is also a favorite; I love her soft, skilled pencil drawings and the chameleon’s imitation of those it hopes to befriend (including a boot, a goldfish, and a ball).

Rufus Goes to Sea is lively – I’ll have to get the other Rufus books. Olivia was fine; perhaps it will grow on me with re-reading. Mem Fox’s Let’s Count Goats was fun, but if you actually stop to count, it breaks up the rhythm of the rhyme; I prefer Where Is The Green Sheep?

I Am Small is sweet, and has silvery shiny pages; The Tortoise and the Hare is beautiful, but Lyra was cranky when we read it.

As always, suggestions are welcome! Leave a comment.

And now, the most recent baby photos:

Ben holding a smiling Lyra

Favorite activity: being held by Dad so I can stare at Mama while she eats. Soon that food will be mine!

Lyra in jumperoo

Ooooh, shiny.

Lyra in hedgehog outfit in boppy pillow laughing

Sleep through the night? Good joke!

Lyra holding a green ball

What to do today? Consult the orb…

Lyra in bear suit in carrier outside

“You and me, Little Bear.” “This Little Bear is going to hibernate till spring.”

And one of Sudo because we still love her:

Sudo looking out the window

“When is that baby going to follow my good example and start sleeping 16 hours a day?”


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Lyra and Pan and Iorek

At last, the obligatory Lyra-with-items-from-The Golden Compass photos:

Baby Lyra with stuffed animal polar bear and crocheted pine marten


Baby Lyra with stuffed animal polar bear and crocheted pine marten

Crocheted pine marten Pantalaimon courtesy of one of my library colleagues; my own stuffed polar bear (imaginatively dubbed “pink bear”) standing in for Iorek Byrnison; and an engraved compass for the alethiometer.

If you’re a bit lost, consult Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials, starting with The Golden Compass.

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Cake in the morn


“I’m not the milk and the milk’s not me!”

Improbably, we’ve actually been able to get a good amount of cooking and baking done with an infant in the house, through a combination of trading off baby duty, employing one-handed kitchen skills, and practicing moving pots and pans silently. (Is there already a YouTube channel called “I’m Hungry, But Don’t Wake the Baby” about ninja-style cooking? If not, maybe we’ll start one…)

Lately, we’ve made lots of oatmeal cookies (from the Flour recipe), “Chunky Lola” cookies (also from Flour), a batch of molasses spice cookies, oatmeal scones with maple glaze, this “taco torte” from Smitten Kitchen, granola, applesauce, and tiramisu. So…really healthy! (We have been eating real meals with vegetables and stuff, they’re just not as exciting to write about.)


Oatmeal maple scone and molasses spice cookies




Tiramisu: sponge cake, tiramisu cream, chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache. Major hat tip to our neighbor friend for the sponge cake and the recipe!

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