Ah, another episode of We Recommend, in which we attempt, by hook or by crook, to find the absolutely perfect book for people who write in. Got a kid in your life who needs a recommendation? Write us with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot.
Why does it feel like about a million years since I have done a We Recommend? A quick glance at the record shows that's not true…and yet. I've been struggling with the whole idea of this blog of late: I am not reading any books for 5 year olds with my kids, I go to the book store and I see Pinkalicious and I know people are into it but I've never read it. I have nothing to say, no wisdom to convey (if I ever did).
But at the same time, I have this truly awesome group of readers, which so many excellent librarians and other book-lovers among them; it would feel somewhat evil to stop being a connection between them and those searching for books.
So, on to the questions that face us!
I was hoping you would have some suggestions for my 5.5 yr old daughter. Lately we have been enjoying heavily illustrated books with detailed stories. "Paddle-to-Sea" and other Holling works as well as "James Herriot's Treasury for Children" have been a hit. We asked at the library today but she didn't have many suggestions that were just right.
This is the sort of question that makes all the sense in the world to me. For one thing, great taste, kid! Paddle to the Sea is amazing. A truly great book, very strange in the way that all great things end up being strange and anomalous. But if it's anomalous, how do we find her something like it?
I am guessing, from the age, that these books are being read aloud, yes? And that she's got a certain earnestness, based on the two books she's loved. And she's cool with nonfiction, as long as it's narrative.
First, I thought of one of the greatest read-alouds of all time: Winne the Pooh. It is just the best. Sweet and interesting and delicious.
But that may not be what this girl wants. She seems to enjoy more things that are nonfiction-ish, about animals or nature if possible, narrative.
Hmmmm. Heavily illustrated. I would almost want Little House in the Big Woods for all of its nature and animals, but there aren't enough illustrations.
OK, it's probably something she's already read, due to its classic status, and it's not exactly nonfiction, but I think she might really like it:
A lovely book, without question. Nature, earnestness, lots of text.
But I really wish my brain could have coughed up something even more perfectly aligned with her desires. If I were sitting in a library to write this, it would be a lot easier.
So I implore you, helpful people: send this girl some nature-girl nonfiction love in the comments!