Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a Thanksgiving/I'm Thankful For...Freebie.
I am forever thankful that God chose me to be Eleanor's momma. I am amazed and inspired by this mighty girl every single day. She makes me a better person, and is the reason for everything that I do. I don't even remember what life was like before her, and I can't imagine what life would be like without her. That is not a place I would ever want to be. I am thankful that she is a #BookDragon just like me and in honor of our book-devouring abilities, here are some of our favorite books and series we have read together in Eleanor's seven years.
I have told this story before, but I will tell it again and again, forever. This is the very first book I began reading to Eleanor, back when she was a six month old fetus swimming around like a sea monkey in my belly. I read it to her first thing in the morning, then last thing before bed during the school year, then multiple times per day once summer break started. When Mom and I brought her home from the hospital (and Mom stayed for two weeks, something else I am forever thankful for!), one day Mom was holding Eleanor and I began reading this one again. Eleanor immediately tuned her head toward the sound of my voice, and she stayed that way the entire time I read. She remembered, and to this day it remains one of our fave bedtime books.
Eleanor love Love LOVED Pow, as she called him. We would read this book endlessly over and over and over. We went to the children's theatre here to see an Eric Carle show when she was around 18 months and she was mesmerized. Then at our library system's Storybook Land one year, Pow was one of the guests and Eleanor was THRILLED. She also helped our fave librarian Ms. Nancy locate every copy of this book in the entire library, and by 'helped' I mean she took each one off the display shelves and handed them to me or Nancy as though we were going to check them all out...despite having three of our own copies at home in board book and paperback form.
One of the first books Eleanor read all by herself, around age three. I was able to record a video of her reading part of the book and it is one of the most precious things I have ever seen in my whole life. She loved this one so much and I can still hear her little voice saying, "But the spider didn't answer..."
Other Favorites From The Early Years (0-5ish)
We love Llama! I can not count the number of times we read this one in particular, but also the series as a whole. We were so sad to learn that Anna Dewdney passed away a few years ago, but are thankful for those who continue to write Llama adventures for him and his Mama.
We love Mo Willems a whole lot in this house and Eleanor STILL loves to read the Elephant and Piggie books especially. Pigeon remains a fave as well even though she knows the books are too 'easy' for her now. I don't think I have laughed harder at a children's book than the first time we read these two, as well as 'I Will Surprise My Friend' (E&P). Willems is such a fantastic author and I have a feeling there will still be room on Eleanor's shelves for these for a very long time.
The Later Years (5ish - present)
When Eleanor hit Kindergarten, we started moving up to books that were a little bit more challenging, such as reading some of the Disney Princess Beginning books. They're chapter books, but held Eleanor's attention because they are characters she already knew and loved - the stories were simply about the princesses as young children, around ages 8-10 or so.
There's also a series about the various pets that the princesses own, as well as short stand-alone adventures which also pivoted us toward chapter books.
We also started reading the Magic Tree House series, as well as A to Z Mysteries. I am glad that both sets of books eventually get a little more involved, and have a bit more of a plot to them. The timing really could not have been better from when we started reading them, to how they progressed. Magic Tree House is also where Eleanor really came to start liking non-fiction, because of the Fact Trackers and Research Guides that go along with the two sets (the regular Magic Tree House books, and then the Merlin Missions books). The A to Z Mysteries also have super editions, which involve longer/a bit more complicated mysteries that we have fun solving.
We also stumbled upon a third-grade Fancy Nancy purely by accident, and a character we loved so much as a Kindergartener was now a little more grown, and we loved that series as well. And I very happily introduced Eleanor to my most favorite books from when I was a kid - the students of room 30 at Wayside Elementary School. This is probably Eleanor's most most most favorite set of books. We've read them together, and she has read them countless times on her own since then. They are also the books I most often catch her reading after she is supposed to be asleep.
The remaining five sets are books we have recently (in the last year, to the last couple months) discovered and have loved so much. We are nearly finished already with the Notebook of Doom, about a boy and his friends who are the Super Secret Monster Patrol and fight various monsters who are trying to take over their town. 43 Old Cemetery Road is a very new-to-us series about a children's author who rents a house to try and work on his latest manuscript, only to discover he shares his lodging with a boy whose parents are traveling the world, and a ghost who basically takes care of the boy. Of course, Eleanor will never tire of the Descendants, which I absolutely love too. I love reading about the offspring of the various heroes and villains in the Disney-verse and hope they continue to produce books on the various Villain Kids for a long while to come. Last, but certainly not least, is perhaps our second most-fave, the Araminta Spookie series. We have laughed and laughed SO MUCH while reading these books and I do hope the author publishes more. The first books in the series came out in the 90s, but the two most recent ones were published in the last couple years. We can read these over and over also, we never get tired of them.
So, there you have it, the most favorite books that my mighty girl and I love, and I am so, so thankful that we have gotten to share so many wonderful adventures together.
Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!
Sarah and Eleanor