Fall Book Series: The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

Have I mentioned that I love Fall?  The weather is cooler, we've already made a visit to our first Harvest Festival of the year and I splurged on Starbucks Hot Cocoa mix from Costco.  We've also read some really great Fall themed books, including The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll.

This book follows two mice, a house mouse and a field mouse, as they unknowingly care for and nurture the same pumpkin.  They both have their own idea for the pumpkin - the house mouse wants it to win the grand prize at the town pumpkin contest and the field mouse thinks it would make a great jack o'lantern.  In the end, they have both contributed to making it the biggest pumpkin ever and get to both enter it in the contest and carve it.

What I thought about the book:  It's a great story overall.  It's really fun in the beginning to see the two mice care for the same pumpkin and anticipate them finding out about each other.  The illustrations (by Jeni Bassett) are fun and engaging.  It's not a long story, but there are a lot of words on each page.  I think it's ideal for kids age 4 and up, but if I were reading it to a younger child I think I would just skim the story and kind of make it up as I went along and it would still be good.

What Jack thought about the book:  Jack thought it was a pretty good story, but he wasn't overly enthused about it.  He said his favorite page was the last page that shows the pumpkin carved into the biggest jack o'lantern ever.  (I think he also likes seeing his name in print, haha!)

What Colin thought about the book:  Well, true to form, I could barely get Colin to hold still long enough to listen.  He did manage to catch the part where the mice spread manure over the garden though, imagine that.  Jack asked me what manure is and of course them Colin wanted to see the poop. Sigh.  He also really loved the part where it took one hundred mice on motorcycles to drag the pumpkin into town.  Something about mice on motorcycles really cracked him up.

We got this book as a hand me down from a friend, but you can pick it up at your local library or on Amazon, where ranges in price from 97 cents to $4.99.

Fall Book Series: When Autumn Comes

You may recognize this book from my Book Haul post from Saturday.  With the light rain and cooler weather tonight, I thought it would be great time to bring this book out.

I had some stiff competition from a certain toy catalogue that showed up in our mailbox today.

 Finally, after some convincing, we got down to business.

When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass is a book that uses real photos and simple words to show the beauty that is Autumn (yes, I'm biased - it's my favorite season).  It shows people painting fences, fixing roofs, putting up storm windows (ha! a totally foreign concept for us), beautiful red & yellow leaf piles prime for jumping and much more.

What I love about this book:  I can't say it enough, but I love the photographs.  The book was originally published 21 years ago, but the photos actually don't look too dated.  (Side note:  when I looked at the copyright date I thought, "oh, that wasn't too long ago".  Umm, yeah, it's been 21 years.  I'm old.)  I love that the book progresses in photos and words from the very tail end of summer to the first frost of winter.  The many fun colors for little ones and great conversation starting photos for the older kids makes this a great book for all ages.

What Jack loves about this book:  Jack can't help but love autumn because of my enthusiasm.  His favorite page, however, is one showing the first snowfall of winter.  It shows a family walking out on a snow covered dock to the river.  He said, "Mama, why are they walking out into the ocean?!?".  We had to stay on the page for a while.

What Colin loves about this book:  Colin absolutely loves the page with the "pumpkin people".  I don't know if it's the phrase or the photo that cracked him up more, but he wouldn't stop laughing.  If you go to Amazon, this is one of the pages they show you in the preview.

I paid a whole 25 cents for this book, but you can buy it at Barnes & Noble on-line for $8.09 (plus, it looks like some sellers are charging only $1.99) or from Amazon for $8.99, but it also qualifies for their 4-for-3 promotion.  Honestly, I don't think I could bring myself to pay that much though.  I would definitely try my local library first.

Book Haul!

A couple of weeks ago, I won a book giveaway from Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves and received the books pictured below:

Jack was super excited to get books in the mail and wanted to read the Babar book right away.  I know Colin will love By the Sea too.  It was really fun to win a blog giveaway!

Today we went to the book sale at the local library and picked up these books:

All of these books only cost $7.75!  The kids books ranged in price from 25 cents to 50 cents each and the one book I bought for myself cost a dollar.  As you can see, we picked up quite a variety.  Some fall books, some Christmas themed, some new, some old.  The older women in charge of the sale doted on Jack while he was picking out books & paying for them - it was so cute and he just ate it up.

When I buy books in bulk like this, I usually put most of them away at first and give the kids one or two new books a week.  This is a great plan especially when the weather is poor and the kids are restless.

With this haul I think I could do my own giveaway!