The true challenge of Project 101, where I share 2 books each week that we are reading from the library (1 the boys are reading and 1 that I am reading), has finally hit me this week since the book I am reading this time happens to be quite long. I will probably be reading it for a few more weeks, so I will have to find some other short books to also read and share while I finish my behemoth book, but first I will share 1 of the favorites that the boys and I have been reading this week - a book that is perfect for Easter and for Earth Day and connects with my book in an interesting way too.
Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino is a newer book published in September of last year. I discovered it through a book list at a small, independent bookstore I stumbled upon a few months back. The book looked and sounded interesting, so I added it to our library list, and Wild Thing has really been enjoying it.
The book has a valuable message as two friends end up competing to see who can build the taller house, until both of their homes come tumbling to the ground, and they learn that it is better to share one small house. The choice saves their friendship and provides them with a happier, simpler way to live. This message is a good reminder for all of us - plus the illustrations and concise storytelling style engages readers. I am definitely glad we discovered this book. I have a feeling it will stay in heavy rotation from the library as a quick new favorite.
I am hoping to build a twig and mud house with Wild Thing outside (a small one of course) as a way to extend the book, since those are the materials Rabbit and Owl use. The book also offers a way to introduce Spring planting and gardening as Rabbit nurtures his garden (and waters Owl in the process!). I hope you will try out this new book too.
I am also reading a book about fierce competition, growth and two houses that become quite divided -- well one, initially, that really was two. As Lincoln asserted, famously: a house divided cannot stand, just as Rabbit and Owl build homes that are too tall to stand, the U.S. faces a deep schism over the growth and continuation of slavery. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a New York Times bestseller that requires a sustained commitment. At 700+ pages, to say that it is a thorough biography of its subjects would be an understatement. The book is not just a biography of Lincoln, but also provides detailed biographies for other political figures who competed against and ultimately worked with Lincoln. It provides a very complete picture of the United States at the time politically and socially and of many of the politicians struggling to make their mark on the budding nation.
While at times I feel like there might be too much detail, what has interested me the most is to know the tones and viewpoints of various thinkers and political figures regarding slavery -- which was the most heated issue of the time, of course, and which has undeniably left a deep scar on the U.S. I am not quite a third of the way through the book and Lincoln is not the President yet, but it is clear that very soon he will be and his surprising and unsuspecting rise is interesting. I look forward to continuing the read, learning the final details of how Lincoln finally does become President and then builds a team to guide the nation through one of its darkest and most challenging times.
Before I wrap up, let me circle back to what Wild Thing and Caterpillar are reading and share some other fun bunny/rabbit books that we enjoy, since Easter is right around the corner. A new bunny book is the perfect non-candy Easter basket item and the bunny books we have been reading are fun, heart-warming with meaningful messages relevant all year round.
Many of these books are classics, such as The Runaway Bunny, Tales of Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit and Guess How Much I Love You (though it was actually new to us and a sweet book that I LOVE). Others might not be as familiar such as Knuffle Bunny, from one of our favorite authors, Mo Willems, Rescue Bunnies and Too Tall Houses. The Velveteen Rabbit is a beloved book I remember from my own childhood. I appreciated finding a board book version at our library, since the classic version I have is a bit long still for Wild Thing and Caterpillar (3 and 1.5) and Peter Rabbit books can be found in so many variations and varieties, as well as in nursery rhyme collections, which Wild Thing prefers. The Runaway Bunny and Guess How Much I Love You have quickly become new favorites of mine for the wonderful tales of unconditional, grand parental love that they share. Rescue Bunnies was a discovery that did not excite me right away, but won me over in the end because of how much it captivated the attention of Wild Thing, who often wants to read it over and over. He now tells the story himself of a young Rescue Bunnie Trainee who bravely saves a giraffe stuck in the mud in the savannah. Perhaps this illustrates the beauty of your local library - a simple, free way to discover (and enjoy) new books.
Shared at: Kid Blog Hop #12,
I hope you have enjoyed our books and will share what you have been reading too! I love book suggestions. Share here or on Facebook at The Good Long Road. I also have a Library List Pinboard that you can follow for great book recommendations and book round-ups and lists like Best Read Aloud Books from Pragmatic Mom, which also features some fun bunny books.
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