Friday, June 8, 2012

Books for a Seventh Birthday

Usually, I have great ideas for birthday gifts for my older daughter.  By great I don't mean fancy or expensive - just things I'm 99% sure she'll love.  But this year, I was pretty stumped.  Her only request was for books, especially poetry books.  I wanted to give her at least one or two poetry books, one or two chapter books she could read to herself, a book or two that was meaningful to her and/or me, and at least one read-aloud.  As much as possible, they also had to be purchase-worthy, not just library-worthy.  After much agonizing, here's what I finally settled on.

From me and her dad:

Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan.  Two amazing feminist role models, a great story, beautiful illustrations by Brian Selznick.  The birthday girl loved it when we had it out from the library, so it should be a sure bet.

Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.  Another winner when we had it out from the library, it seemed appropriate for a big sister.  I'm just worried the little sis will be jealous.  It fills both the "meaningful" slot and the poetry slot!

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  This one is to fulfill the poetry request.  We already have A Light in the Attic.

Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn.  For me to read to her.  I'm excited to try something different, since we've mostly been reading about kids her own age (Ramona, Betsy-Tacy, Little House, Fudge).  Animal protagonists (here, mice) will be a nice change, I hope.  The birthday girl was eager to read it but we decided it was more prudent to read The Long Winter first, since that one's a library book.  I'm kind of regretting that decision as The Long Winter may take as long to read as the winter actually lasted. 

"From" her sister:

The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans.  Not pictured as it is the birthday girl's backpack for reading during downtime at school.

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey.  Did you know he wrote chapter books?  I didn't.

Both recommended by our local independent bookstore staff (and yes, purchased there), the latter because of the birthday girl's love of Ramona.

"From" our babysitter:

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.  Another mouse book.  I'm thinking Stuart Little will be next.

 I chose both of these with the idea of "If she loves Ramona she'll love..." in mind, too.

And I'm expecting she'll receive The Random House Book of Poetry for Children this weekend at her party (hint, hint!).

So, how'd I do?


  1. Those are all fabulous books. I'm sure she'll love them. And Happy Birthday to her!

  2. Excellent choices! We loved reading Homer Price. My little guy will sit still for chapter book readings which is quite convenient, but I know it goes over his head . Sometimes he will later tell me some bit of the story which he has interpreted in his own 3 year old way and he was fascinated by the donut maker in HP.

  3. These all look good; we've read most of them and approve.

    I might suggest Voigt's Young Fredle in between Mouse and the Motorcycle and Stuart Little; E.B. White's book is a huge jump in sophistication and it might be good to have a step in between. It's a very different tone from Charlotte's Web, if you haven't reread it in a while.

    Oh, have you looked at Eleanor Estes yet? I think The Witch Family is the perfect read-aloud/shared read family book, although as an adult I get a bit tired of the the Spelling Bee.