Wait, what? Book Talk? That sounds like it's some kind of new series here or something.
Because it is! Whee!
I've been working up to this ever since I did this post asking for book recommendations for our tiny school library. You all responded with so many great suggestions, and several people mentioned that I should compile the suggestions in a list for other people. And that made me think that of course I should do that, but that I have so many other personal recommendations for books that I should just do a series of recommendation lists for different ages of children and book subjects.
Because if there is one thing we do a lot of in our family, it is read. I have now been reading children's books with my own children for about eleven years*, and I have shepherded my oldest two children through all the levels of reading that I am capable of. They read at a higher level than I do in many cases now, so I've turned them over to their father for more technical and philosophical things.
The point is, I have a lot of opinions about books, especially books for children. A. has a lot of opinions about books. All of my children have a lot of opinions about books.
And all of those opinions are going to be posted right here. Lucky you.
I think this would be an excellent time to note my own biases with books. We all have them, because of course book preferences--like food preferences--are highly personal.
I am, as a general rule, strongly disposed to classic books. That's not to say that there aren't wonderful current authors producing high-quality stories with a high level of writing, beautiful illustrations, and important themes. There are! Some will be on these lists. It's just that I find those particular things have gotten more rare with time. And those things are important to me.
Just like with food, I mostly want what my children are ingesting while reading to be something nutritionally positive. Meat and potatoes, you might say. I do not want them wasting their reading calories with the junk food of literature. I mean, they occasionally read some junk--like, say, the Lego books for beginning readers, or Dog Man--but I certainly don't want that to be the entirety of their literary diet.
If you'll pardon the drawn-out food metaphor.
You may not agree with my choices of what is worthwhile, and that is totally fine. Just as I don't expect that everyone will enjoy eating, say, Holy's cabbage even though I love it myself, I don't expect everyone will enjoy reading the same books that I do.
There's that food metaphor again.
So! Tune in next Saturday for the first in what might end up being an interminable number of book recommendations. I really love to talk about books, and once I get going, it might be hard to stop me.
Don't say I didn't warn you. But I hope you have as much fun with this as I will.
* Despite the expert advice to read to your children from birth--if not while they're still in utero--to encourage literacy, I did not read to Cubby (or my other children) when he couldn't even hold his head up. And yet, he could read at an adult level by the time he was ten years old. Just one example of why I believe expert advice should be taken with some grains of salt.