We are in the season of fall. Some of us call it Autumn. The air is cooler and the wind’s picked up. Crimson leaves dance across the yard, drying in the breeze. While I almost always reserve evenings (that brief, quiet period after the boys’ bedtime and before mine) for reading, this time of year truly longs for it. Settling into a half-finished novel with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and wrapped in a fleece blanket, I am content.
I’ve written a little about story telling before, but if you’ll indulge me, readers, I’ll reflect a bit more on the art of story and some of my favorites.
I am a reader. My best friends are readers. We read good stuff: classic literature, new and prize-winning novels, and serious non-fiction that addresses important and timely issues. We read pop fiction (which is not trash, ahem), occasional chick lit, mysteries, and an amazingly addictive category called YA.
Young adult literature is cutting edge, compelling, and right on, even if I am close to 20 years past the target audience. Run to your nearest library or bookstore to pick up a copy of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games if you are skeptical of the quality of this genre.
And let’s not forget kids’ books. Here are a few of my favorites for the toddler sector (age 0-2):
- Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. This book has very few words and tells an easy to follow story for the little ones. We call it the “banana book” because my youngest son likes to point out the banana in each of the pages.
- About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill and John Sill. This gorgeously illustrated book will delight your littlest birder. It will also educate their older siblings age 3 – 8.
- Busy, Busy Town by Richard Scarry. A classic book filled with colorful characters and concepts. Never gets boring.
For the preschool crowd (age 3-5), I recommend:
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Also a classic, this charming tale of wild things and far off lands ends back home in the sweet comfort of a little boy’s bedroom.
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Written over 40 years ago, this story always makes me a little sad. We own it in English and in Spanish (Arbor Alma). A touching tale of the relationship between a little boy and a tree with a message open to interpretation.
- Froggy Rides a Bike by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz. The Froggy books are a fun series whose main character is easy for kids to identify with (especially boys). I also like Froggy Plays Soccer.
I’m excited to have just accepted a book reviewer position for www.luxurybooks.com. I am always grateful to friends who point out a great read, and I hope to do the same for them.
I’ll close this post by listing a few of my absolute favorite grown up books.
1. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
3. House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende