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What I’m Reading: Ethan’s Summer Edition

2013 July 29
by Becky

It’s been a while since I jotted down what we’re reading, so I figured it was time to share a few of Ethan’s current favorites.

As always, Ethan is a book lover. We still read at least three books every night before bed, plus another before nap and a few more throughout the day. The majority of our book collection comes from my childhood—dozens and dozens of beautiful books that bring floods of memories each and every time we read them.

And there are plenty of new books too—books are my weakness. When I see them, all shiny and crisp, especially ones with unique illustrations, I have a hard time controlling myself.

So here’s a mix of new and old—Ethan’s Top Picks of Summer.


After watching Iron Giant, Ethan requested a “robot book”. I looked through our stash but couldn’t find anything even resembling a robot. So to Amazon I went and found this adorableness. Boy + Bot is simple, cute, and totally satisfies Ethan’s robot cravings.

The robot gets turned off while playing with the boy and the boy thinks it’s sick. Later, the robot gets turned back on, but the boy is asleep and the robot thinks the boy has “malfunctioned”. Classic mix up!


His favorite part is when the robot or the boy says “Affirmative!” It’s our new family word.



I couldn’t resist grabbing another book illustrated by Jon Klassen (also illustrator of another favorite, This Is Not My Hat). Extra Yarn is a dreamy and sweet story of a little girl who finds a box of colorful yarn that never ends. She knits sweaters for everyone—even the animals—of her colorless winter town. She even knits covers for cars and houses. Ethan loves saying the girl’s name, “Ann-a-belle!”


Ethan loves these “Good Night” books. We have three—Virginia, Washington DC, and Oregon—and we’ve all learned something from them. They highlight main attractions in each state with cute depictions of families enjoying them. We’ve never been to Oregon, but he loves pointing out the places he’s been in the other two. “I’ve been there!” he shouts when we get to the Mount Vernon page and “There’s Cap-tol” when he sees the DC Mall.

I’ve noticed there isn’t a book for Nebraska and I have a few ideas for what would be included…



I remember this book, but it was not in our collection. So Harry the Dirty Dog was quickly worn in…Ethan looooves it. Harry is a white dog with black spots that runs away and gets SO dirty he becomes a black dog with white spots. His family doesn’t even recognize him! Ethan especially likes when Harry runs through the construction site, complete with dump trucks and a digger.



One of our oldest and most abused book on our shelves is Horton Hatches the Egg. It’s a little-known Dr. Seuss book my family challenged themselves to read so often—it’s LONG and tough to read. Ole Horton takes over a lazy bird’s egg-sitting responsibility. He sits through rain, wind, snow, and sun until he’s picked up by the circus (he’s discovered by some hunters complete with very large guns…not my favorite part) and guess what hatches? “A Baby Ele-Sant!!!” Ethan is downright tickled over this turn of events.

Yeah, I’m kind of teaching my kid elephants come from eggs. Eh, he’ll get it figured out.


Another Dr. Seuss classic, Scrambled Eggs Super! is one of the most difficult-to-read books we own. The rhyming is record-breaking and it’s very long. But I love it. It’s a challenge I take on with gusto (and since it just goes on forever, it’s easy to skip pages) pretty much making me Ethan’s hero by the end. Basically, a kid tells his sister about an unbelievable omelette he made using all kinds of exotic eggs he collected from around the world.

It’s ridiculous and awesome.


Ethan has become pretty attached to Little Whale. It’s a very detailed story of a whale family—baby whales, migration, eating habits, predators, you name it. There’s even a page about illegal whaling which I am sure to skip…a little too graphic for my two year old. But the book has taught us a lot. “Humpback”, “Blow Hole”, “Baleen”…all new words we use frequently. An apparently it’s valuable…a paperback is going for $1,999 on Amazon!


Finally, a throwback I always enjoy reading with Ethan, Sand Cake. The bear family gets creative while playing on the beach. Baby Bear makes a “cake” with his dad by drawing all the ingredients in the sand. Simple but precious and Ethan thinks it’s great. Can’t wait to make a sand cake of our own on our upcoming vacation.

So there’s a few of the books we’ve been loving lately. I love reading other blogs to find new books for Ethan, so I hope these help build your collections. I could really go on forever, there are so many incredible children’s books. Someday I will write one of my own…someday.

What are you reading? Please share a few favorites!
6 Responses
  1. July 29, 2013

    The Day the Crayons Quit!

    Hilarious. Frances chose to read it three times in a row the other night for her “three books”.
    Kristin recently posted..scenes from a saturdayMy Profile

    • Becky permalink*
      July 29, 2013

      I ordered it as soon as I saw you post about it! Can’t wait.

      • July 29, 2013

        I have to admit to a love/hate relationship with Dr. Seuss. I love them, but some of them are soooooooo long. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins has to be the biggest bedtime delay tactic ever.
        Kristin recently posted..scenes from a saturdayMy Profile

        • Becky permalink*
          July 31, 2013

          HA!!! Hilarious! If it’s too late or we’ve already read a bunch of books, I straight up tell Ethan “NO” when he grabs a big Dr. Seuss.

  2. carmel permalink
    July 31, 2013

    I love, love, love this post!! THANK YOU!! I am always looking for new books to read to Sven and a trip to the library for new books is like his birthday (“new books? fooooor meeee?!?!”).
    Susan Middleton Elya has some really fun books that have Spanish words thrown in here and there (Fire, Fuego, Brave Bombero) is a current favorite (you don’t have to speak Spanish to read them).
    For throwback, I love, love Richard Scarry and a current fave is “Busy, Busy World” (there’s a story about Sven Svenson). :)
    “Roaring Rockets” and “I want to be an Astronaut” are also popular ones since he currently wants to be an astronaut.
    Eric Carle also has a REALLY cute “Papa will you please get the moon for me?” book…highly recommend.

    Looking forward to an update when you guys get new books! :)

    • Becky permalink*
      July 31, 2013

      Be so proud of your restraint, that you go to the library instead of Amazon. I will be heading to the library (which is exactly one block from my front door) this week to check out your suggestions!!! Love new books. Four arrived in the mail today and I was more excited to read them then Ethan!

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