This week’s Homeschool Help topic has been a marvellous excuse to delve through parts of our bookshelves I don’t often visit these days. Many of our picture books have been handed down to my young nephews, so those that remain are the special few that I couldn’t bear to part with.
But Excuse Me That is My Book
I have mixed feelings about Charlie and Lola. Slightly-spoilt, childish Lola is not a good role model. But her conversations with saintly big brother Charlie do make me giggle.
We love all the Charlie and Lola books, but my favourite is probably But Excuse Me That Is My Book (or “Beetles, bugs and butterflies” as it is known in our house, after Lola’s favourite library book).
If you haven’t seen it, watch the corresponding TV episode to get the cute voices and then have fun reading But Excuse Me that Is My Book aloud to your children. It’s one you won’t mind reading over and over.
A Squash and a Squeeze
No list of my favourite read-aloud picture books would be complete without a mention of Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffalo).
A Squash and a Squeeze earns its place here because the title has established itself so firmly in my vocabulary that I use the phrase almost daily.
The book tells the story of an old lady who grumbles, “There’s not enough room in my house… My house is a squash and a squeeze.”
A wise old man advises the lady to take into her home first her hen, then her goat, her pig and finally her cow. Barely able to move for livestock by this point, the old lady finds her house squashier than ever. Then, of course, the man instructs her to turn all the animals out, whereupon the old woman revels, “Just look at my house, it’s enormous now.”
Back in September I wanted to have a breakthrough in managing our busy schedule. After a long summer break, I was not looking forward to going back to chauffeuring my children to activities several days and evenings a week. Then … my husband broke his right ankle and my driving load doubled!
One of the consequences of his injury is that we’ve dropped a few activities (a good thing). Another is that when my darling husband is able to help out again, I will really appreciate it! “It’ll be like a squash and a squeeze!” I find myself cheerfully saying (probably far oftener than my family would care to hear).
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent
I know I’ve already included one Lauren Child book, but what with the Clarice Bean series, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book and Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent, I just couldn’t limit myself to one.
Hubert Horatio is the heart-warming tale of how Hubert’s delightfully random parents lose their fortune and their mansion home, but wind up happier than ever living in a tiny apartment where there’s always someone available for a game of Kerplunk.
Their son is also happy because, “for the first time ever, Hubert Horatio’s cocoa was still warm by the time he had walked the short distance to his parents’ room to say, ‘Goodnight!'”
Arnie and His School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions that Build Success
I ordered the book when I first began to suspect that J(8) had Sensory Processing Disorder. After I read it to him, I asked J(8) if Arnie reminded him of anyone. “Me!” he replied without hesitation.
Arnie’s “fast motor” used to get him into trouble, but now he uses special tools that help him learn.
In this beautifully illustrated story Arnie uses fidgets, heavy-work, weighted-blankets, ear plugs and other tools to help him focus. The story is helpful without being in any way patronising. In fact, re-reading it just now has given me lots of fresh inspiration for ways to help J(8) concentrate on learning.
Over the years I’ve bought my perfectionist-tending children a number of books about the value of making mistakes (another favourite is Mistakes That Worked).
The artistic Beautiful Oops appeals to C(9) in particular. Each new page transforms a seeming mistake or accident on the previous page into something beautiful.
This is another book title that has happily made its way into our everyday vocabulary – “Hey – we could make it into a ‘beautiful oops’!”. It was C(9)’s suggestion that I include it in this list. 🙂
Unstoppable Me: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life
I’ve given Unstoppable Me as a gift to all my Godchildren and young relations, safe in the knowledge that the messages it contains are pure upliftment and inspiration.
Wayne Dyer’s Incredible You: 10 Ways to Let Your Greatness Shine Through is wonderful too.
For more favourite read-aloud picture books, head over to:
Every Bed of Roses – Our Favourite Picture Book Read Alouds
Barefoot Hippie Girl – Top Favourite Read Aloud Picture Books
One Magnifient Obsession – The Wonderful World of Picture Books
Highhill Homeschool – Best Picture Books
I’m appreciatively linking up here:
The Homeschool Mother’s Journal
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