Day # 14 – Books Without Words!

How do you read a book that has no words?

By looking at the picture, of course!

Children’s book illustrators are experts at telling stories through pictures. Most of the time, picture books for young children are limited to about 1000 words, so obviously many of the details of the story must be “told” in the illustrations. Wordless books (or almost wordless) take the illustrations to a whole new level… they tell the entire story! And, they give children an opportunity to make up the story themselves! They are not just for little folks, either, but can even be appealing to older kids!

A few favorites…

Written by Shutta Crum and illustrated by Patrice Barton

Yes, this (almost) wordless book was “written!” Even though the only word in this book is “Mine,” the author still needed to create a storyline for the illustrator to follow! Mine! is a fun little story about sharing. (Or not.) Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy seeing what happens when someone yells, “Mine!”

Good Dog, Carl
CarlWritten and illustrated by Alexandra Day

Good Dog, Carl was one of our girls’ favorite books. Nana Mel had this and several other “Carl” books (there are sequels!) in her book bin, and the girls read them over and over and over! In this story, Mama is heading out the door, and says “Look after the baby, Carl. I’ll be back shortly.” And Carl, a big gentle Rottweiler, does exactly that. Baby climbs out of his crib onto Carl’s back, and the adventure begins! Of course, none of us would actually leave our little ones in the care of the family dog, but the story sure is fun!

Written and illustrated by David Weisner

Tuesday, by David Weisner, is another fun almost-wordless book. The story was actually inspired by a magazine cover that Weisner did for Cricket Magazine in 1979… Evidently folks were so intrigued by the illustration of frogs floating on lily pads that David Weisner finally wrote a story to go along with it in 1992! The story begins with “Tuesday evening, around eight,” and takes the reader through the night, only occasionally documenting the time. this fun book will appeal to elementary age kids, who will be old enough to see the subtle humor and the hint at the end of the book as to what happens “Next Tuesday, 7:58 P.M.”

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The Arrival
ArrivalWritten and illustrated by Shaun Tan

The Arrival is an incredible wordless book written for ages 12 and up. I can personally attest to the fact that even adults are fascinated by it! Shaun Tan’s sepia-colored pencil drawings are intriguing… Their mixture of fantasy and reality give the reader a hint of what it must feel like to immigrate to a culture completely different from your own. The story progresses from the feelings of leaving everything that is familiar, to the experiences of strange new places, and then finally to reuniting with loved ones. I think it would be a great addition to learning about Ellis Island!

As you can see, wordless books are fun for any age!

Do you have a favorite?

Attempting a Comeback… And Read-Aloud Day #13!


The past few months have been rather eventful.

I think I may have typed that sentence several times before on this blog.

But seriously.

Two new grandbabies.
That makes FIVE total !!!!!

(So far!)

Two weeks in California.

A very busy and very sweet little fella living with us.

Finishing up the downstairs house remodel.
(I almost have a finished studio again!!!)

Definitely qualifies as eventful…
…Awesomely Wonderful Events!!!

I’ve been hoping to pick back up the 31 Days of Reading Aloud
series, and hopefully finish it before next October. Just in case I
decide to try this month-long blogging challenge one more time!



Day 13… Alphabet Books!

One of my favorite types of picture books are those that teach the ABC’s!

Especially those with rhythm and rhyme!
I think I could quote this entire book…
“Big A, Little a. What begins with A?
Aunt Annie’s alligator, A – a – A”

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A new favorite…
“Skit skat skoodle doot,
Flip flop flee…
…I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!”

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I also love Alphabet books that are
written around a specific subject…
Like this one that takes little folks on a
journey around Colonial Williamsburg!

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Next time you’re in a bookstore or at the library,
check out the fun variety of Alphabet books!

Maybe I’ll eventually get this one finished…


Do you have any favorites?


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
Or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Just bumped into this prose by Emerson.
Though I don’t agree with all of his philosophical ideas,
many of his quotes hit home for me, this one included.
If I could tuck in a line or two of my own, they would be…

To love the Lord with heart, mind, and soul,
And let His light shine out to those around.


Before he had finished speaking…

This morning, I read the story of Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for his son from among his family back in Mesopotamia. The servant had to travel many miles and ask a young woman who didn’t know him to go with him to marry Isaac. An impossible task? When the servant arrived in the city, he said a simple prayer, asking for a definite sign from the girl that he should approach. And “before he had finished speaking,” Rebekah, the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor, was walking toward him. Pretty neat. The Lord already had her enroute to the well to draw water for the servant and his camels.

We pray.

But God already has the answer.

When we are faced with seemingly impossible situations, we need to remember that God’s grace is sufficient. This devotion helps paint a beautiful word picture of how big our God is… Can you imagine a tiny fish being worried that he might drink up the entire river and then go thirsty? How silly. That’s us, thinking we might somehow use up God’s grace.

But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
II Corinthians 12:9


It snowed last night…

We live in southern Delaware.

Near the ocean.

And do not get much snow.


Every time a big storm blows in from the west, and the media goes bananas and predicts blizzard-like conditions for the eastern seaboard, we suddenly become “The South” and get nothing but slush and ice. Seriously… my friends and family that live 15 minutes north or west get snow. We get freezing rain. And slush. And ice-covered everything. (Which IS actually pretty!)


When the snow comes from the south…

…And the media ignores it until the last minute…

…THEN we get our snow, and it’s a good one!


Grace upon grace…


I grew up saying grace at every meal.

I knew what it meant be a “graceful” young lady…
…and gave up on wearing high heals because they
were definitely not adding to my “gracefulness.”

(I walk like my Dad. It was kind of hilarious.)

But not too many years ago, I discovered the
real meaning of the word “Grace.”

God’s unmerited favor.

His love and forgiveness for us…
His favoring us…
His laying down His life for us…

… When we didn’t even deserve it.

As Christians, we can demonstrate a small portion
of grace to those around us by helping, forgiving,
loving, being patient, and offering kindness.

And we can offer a bit of grace to our own selves…
…by realizing we all fail, we all fall…
…and by not expecting perfection from ourselves.

So, for this next year,
my One Word is going to be

For from His fulness, we have all received grace upon grace.
John 1:16

Day #12 – Books that Inspire Creativity

Feeling creative?

Or not so much?

Below are some new picture books that help kids get in an artsy mood!

Mouse Paint is a  fun little book that teaches primary and secondary colors…
…Three white mice have a grand time splashing about in paint!


And a little more color fun for the older kids…
The Day the Crayons Quit is a book of protest…The crayons are fed up with
their normal jobs and are mad at each other, so they write letters
to a little boy named Duncan, telling him all their woes.


The Dot is another book with a bit of attitude…
Vashti is having a bad case of artist’s block, and in frustration makes a
angry jab at her paper, creating a dot in the center of the page.
She discovers that The Dot can be a beginning of a great work of art!


And for those of us who have kids that get Very Upset when making a mistake…
Beautiful Oops! gives lots of ideas to turn a mess up into something beautiful!


And… Though not necessarily about being creative, Press Here
will get your kids creatively involved in the reading process…


Day #11 – Cute Critters

Who were your favorite personified picture book characters?

Personification is a popular character development method used in children’s picture books. It’s fun to imagine animals that can talk, walk around in people clothes, and who sometimes act up or get themselves into a bit of a fix. One of the benefits of reading books about animal characters is that we can discuss their behavior and attitudes, the mischief they get into, and how they solve their problems with just enough “distance” so that it doesn’t feel like it’s pointed directly at any behavior or situation that might be cropping up in real life. These cute critters can give our little people examples of friendship, leadership, sharing, obeying, curiosity, and much more. Definitely worth including in our read-aloud repertoire!

Just a few that you’ll love introducing your kids to…










Day # 10 – Picture Books that Rhyme

Did you ever get the feeling There’s a Wocket in your Pocket?

If so, I’ll bet you grew up reading Dr. Suess!

Hubby and I both loved Dr. Suess books when we were little. Hubby absolutely loved Green Eggs and Ham… Mom-Mom Frey must have read that book several thousand times! My favorites were And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? When I was little, these wonderful books arrived in the mail at our house, two or three at a time, via the Dr. Suess and His Friends Book Club. So, when the sun didn’t shine and it was too wet to play, there were lots of fun, whimsical rhyming books to read!

Besides being super fun to read aloud,
did you know that Dr. Suess books,
as well as other rhyming books,
can help your child learn to read?!?

Hearing lots of rhyming words… whether it’s by reading Dr. Suess books or chanting Mother Goose poems… can help establish pre-reading skills for your little folks. Rhyming helps kids develop auditory discrimination so they can distinguish those tiny little differences in sounds of letters and words. Rhyming helps them understand what a “syllable” is. Rhyming helps kids recognize word families, such as cat, hat, mat, and pat. And it helps them learn to spell using those word families or patterns of letters.

Plus, rhyming can be downright silly and fun.

I mean, who doesn’t want to Hop on Pop?


Make sure you have some Dr. Suess books in your home library!


Day #9 – Bible Friends

There’s a small stack of books in our home that have been around quite a while.


They belonged to my brother and me when we were little.

These books are definitely favorites around here. Reading these stories over and over again as a little girl made the people of the Bible so familiar. David, Esther, Samuel, Daniel, Josiah… and especially the Lord… felt like friends I had known forever.


The illustrations were realistic and beautiful, and God’s people were courageous.

Queen Esther was one of my heroines…
“For such a time as this” is such an amazing thought.


I loved reminiscing over these storybooks from my childhood…
and then as I flipped through to the back pages, I saw tell-tale signs
that these books had been part of our daughters’ childhoods as well…


…The girls played “Library” with them!


What were your favorite Bible story books as a child?