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What I’m Reading: Ethan Edition

2013 February 4
by Becky

**If you haven’t voted for my blog at Apartment Therapy, PLEASE do!
Voting ends Feb. 8th**


It’s been a while since I’ve shared Ethan’s favorite books, and since my last What I’m Reading: Ethan Edition post, The Peanut’s tastes in literature have only advanced in both length and complexity. He’s also become quite opinionated!

The kid could read ALL day long, but only on his terms.

Every night we head up stairs, change into pjs, brush the teeth, and sit in the big orange chair. Then it’s Ethan’s time to rule the world.

“I pick out new book!” he exclaims every single night, running to his overflowing bookcase in search of the evening’s entertainment.

He doesn’t want the first book to be one from our favorites stash in the bin by the chair. The first book must be “new”. This process can last a little too long. We start with encouragement.

“Common buddy! Pick a good one!”

Soon idle threats sprout forth.

“Ethan, if you don’t pick one we can’t read any.”
(He totally knows we’re lying)

Eventually he runs over with something “new”. Sometimes it’s just a book we haven’t read for a few weeks, other times it’s a never-before-read (to him) adventure.

Since the majority of our books are from my childhood (paintstakingly cared for and saved by my parents), most are blasts from the past…flashes of my young self, each image a memory I’d thought forgotten. So many are books I’ve been looking forward to reading with Ethan since before he was born.

So here are a few of the current “vintage” favs.


Ethan reads most of this one himself. He think the pickle nose, ears, and hair are hilarious. As a pickle lover, he seems to know exactly how weird all this pickley craziness is! I fondly remember the pickle shake (yuck!)


Finding the ant throughout this gem never ceases to thrill. The Peanut commiserates with Henry when the beautiful dinner gets ruined. I love the quirky illustrations and smart plot. I can relate to Henry’s OCD ant-chase behavior!


I remember LOVING this book as a kid. All the pictures like tattoos on my brain. The man and his cat run out of food and come to find out the forest around them can provide all they need. I’m not so sure acorns really make good pancakes, but hey, makes for a great story!


We love watching this story build, the chicks collecting animal friends on their journey to find the sun as it has disappeared from the sky for three whole days! Whenever we have a dreary day stint Ethan and I talk about going to find the sun, polishing him up to shine again. I love that he knows about hedgehogs from reading this book.


As an elephant lover, Little Man can’t get enough of this book. After Grandma Tildy agrees to buying each (totally unreasonable) pet, Ethan loves joining in saying “But NO ELEPHANTS!” This is a another one he can almost read himself.


Ethan can’t contain the giggles while we read this ridiculously cute tale. A bow-tie clad pig tells his house full of friends to go hide while he counts to 100. When he starts to look, he can’t find anyone! Let’s just say he’s not the best “looker”. Though most of the hiders are in plain sight, the hero has to trick them all to end the game. Classic.


OMG. This book is Ethan’s obsession. He cannot get enough of Mike and Maryann. He asks to read the book constantly, has a steam shovel shirt, a windup steam shovel, and loves to watch the musical version of this story on my iPhone. Not to mention his playground time (at preschool and the public park) is consumed by carrying toy steam shovels up and down the jungle gym. (I can’t wait till he discovers “The Little House”, another Virginia Lee Burton classic). 


Another hilarious animal story. The farmer, overwhelmed by his messy farm, takes a break in the city while the lambs do the laundry, pigs paint the barn, and cows take out the trash. It’s a cute story about everyone chipping in to make life better. And the illustrations rock…I especially love the cows.


I’ve even learned something from reading this very-detailed account of how a city port operates. Ethan shocked his teacher by identifying a “cruise ship” the other day…Big City Port is to thank. What toddler doesn’t enjoy a book about giant ships, cranes, and machines?

So these are some of our “vintage favorites” as of right now. Next month I’m sure we will be on to different books!

That said, I’ll admit there are books I actually hide to avoid reading. Books that don’t make sense, annoy me, or have inappropriate content (really rare, but there are at least two I refuse to read).

I’ve tried to include links to all these books to some are out of print and very rare. But I’m sure your local library has them all!

Do you have any books flood your mind with childhood memories?
What about annoying books…what won’t you read? 


5 Responses
  1. February 4, 2013

    I LOVE the vintage books you are reading! Particularly LUV Ducks’Awful Mistake and But NO Elephants…. Keep up the great blog and I will vote for you! VB

    • Becky permalink*
      February 4, 2013

      Thanks Vicki! And thank you for your vote!! Every single one counts :)

  2. February 6, 2013

    These are such great picks!! I LOVE But No Elephants so so so much. Fun to meet you!

    • Becky permalink*
      February 6, 2013

      Thanks Carter! I am so glad you commented…I LOVE your blog and will be visiting often. I see our book collection doubling in the next year :)

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