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What I’m Reading: Ethan Edition

2012 August 17
by Becky

Children’s books are funny.

Sometimes I pick one up and think, “Will Ethan like this?” For so long he wanted to read bright, glossy, and few-worded board books. And he liked to go fast. No talking about the story or characters.

But now, we take our time going through books. And we talk about everything. So his tastes are changing.

For instance, I never thought Ethan would be interested in the book Olivia. It’s illustrated and written by Ian Falconer and features his niece, you guessed it, Olivia.

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I loved the book for the beautiful and artistic illustrations, but thought the minimal use of colors would fail to keep The Peanut’s attention—he was all about bright colors and glossy pages.

At first, he wasn’t interested. But one day, at bedtime, nearly seven months after we received the book as a first birthday present, Ethan handed me Olivia. So we read it! He LOVED it, pointing and laughing and turning the pages with excitement. For weeks it was his hands-down favorite.

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He always says “Uh Oh” when we get to the page where Olivia tries painting like Jackson Pollock. It’s from me telling him 100 times that Olivia is in trouble for painting on the walls.

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And he loves the part about Olivia and her family going to the beach. He gasps at the amazing sandcastle.

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Another book I questioned was called Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! We received it, along with matching stuffed pigeon, at my very first baby shower waaayyyyy back in November 2010. It’s written and illustrated by Mo Willems who has a fascinating background that includes working as a writer and animator at Sesame Street.

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I again loved the colors and illustrations, and thought the interactive parts were a blast! (You are supposed to say “NO!” when the pigeon begs to drive the bus…it makes sense in the book, trust me) 

So, again, after over a year of trying to get the book into our reading repertoire, Ethan made the call all on his own. He said “Bri-ah” (birdie) and pointed to the pigeon book. As if this wasn’t cute enough, he pointed to the stuffed pigeon that has lived on his shelf collage for 19 months. He wanted to hold the pigeon while we read the book!

I know I’m biased, but how freaking cute it that?!

But wait, it gets cuter. So I thought giving him the pigeon would start a lovey-type situation where he would have the stuffed animal with him all the time, which I was OK with. But as soon as we closed the book, Ethan handed me the pigeon and pointed to the shelf…to put it back! It’s now what we do every time we read the pigeon book.

Heart = bursting.

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ian falconer, don't let the pigeon drive the bus, mo willems, children's books, reading with toddlers, toddler friendly books

We say “NO!” to all the pigeon’s requests, Ethan thinking it is super funny when the pigeon “peeks” on to pages. Makes him laugh every time. I guess it just goes to show how well the illustrations tell the story.

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I’m hoping this book will be a good way for Ethan to use the word “No” in an appropriate way instead of staying it to me constantly. About everything. I could say “Ethan, do you want some ice cream?” and his first response would be “No.” Then he would proceed to beg me for ice cream.

Or the other day when I asked him for a hug (which he usually runs over to do) he said “No. No hug”.

Infuriating.

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These two books are just a small part of our HUGE book collection…reading is something we spend a ton of time doing. But thank you to Deb and Erika for these two gems! We love them—I see more Olivia and Pigeon books in our future! I am, after all, a sucker for a series.

Anyone have success getting the word “No” out of their toddler’s vocabulary? I’ll do anything. 

7 Responses leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012

    So cute!!! Love the pigeon tradition…he’s getting so grown up!

    I’m obsessed with books, I want Baby P to be a reader too…I’ve actually had a way harder time restraining myself from buying oodles of books than I have baby clothes. :-) For sure adding these books to my list!

    • Becky permalink*
      August 19, 2012

      Just make sure you are all stocked with board books for the first year. Minimal words and lots of pictures. Course, those first four months or so I read Ethan all my old favs because he didn’t have the motor skills to stop me. :)

  2. August 17, 2012

    Those two are also in our collection, the pigeon books are so cute! Our favorite right now is Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski. Otis has to read it at every nap time and bedtime! I think he’s gonna be a cowboy for Halloween :)

    • Becky permalink*
      August 19, 2012

      Cowboy Small will probably be on our shelves very soon! Thanks for the suggestion! I need to decide on E’s costume…it may just be a pigeon.

  3. August 17, 2012

    Simon’s response to everything right now is “no mommy!”

    • Becky permalink*
      August 19, 2012

      Ha! I hope they grow out of this fast. I find myself trying to cut “no” out of my own vocabulary!

  4. Sandy Schon permalink
    August 17, 2012

    Love the blog. The pictures and expressions are priceless. Can’t wait to read to him in October.

    Will forward this blog to Deb just to make sure she sees it.

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