Thursday, July 19, 2012

G's list of Ag Books

I enjoy making lists. Then I quickly lose them.  I painstakingly print grocery lists on bright post it notes, arrive at the grocery store and promptly need to “wing it”.  No note can be found.  I end up at home with five cans of French onion soup I didn’t need. (true story)

Part of why I like lists is the marking off.  The quick slash through an item feels good. 
Surely I can’t lose a list posted online.  So here it goes
My list of books to read to G in the future:  Topic Agriculture

  1. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  2. Fantastic Farm Machines by Cris Peterson
  3. Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth.  
  4. Who Grew My Soup? By Tom Darbyshire and C. F. Payne
  5. Cattle Kids: A Year on the Western Range by Cat Urbigkit
  6. Corn by Gail Gibbons
  7. Farming by Gail Gibbons
  8. Extra Cheese, Please!: Mozzarella’s Journey from Cow to Pizza by Cris Peterson
  9. Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
  10. The Cow that Went Oink by Bernard Most
I gathered ideas from a couple of cool sources. A blog called Small Nebraska Farming: The Smaller Guy You Don't See shared a fun post called Top Books for Farm Kids. Also Minnesota's Agriculture in the Classroom lists a children's literacy book bundle with fantastic reads. 

Although I love books that feature farm animals such as Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin, the portrayal of a farmer feels somewhat cliche.  Do all farmers wear a straw hat, bib overalls and a scowl on their face? I suppose if playing Pictionary and my topic was television, I would definitely draw an old box TV with two V-shaped antennas (not a flat screen) Nostalgic image… I get it. 
If I ever became an author of a children’s farm book, my main character will sport dirt-covered, holes-in-the knee blue jeans, college T-shirt, and seed corn hat with red Gatorade in hand.  Just saying. 

A recent video on You Tube called “Farm It Maybe” parody to "Call Me Maybe"  displays a young farmer doing what he loves: working on a dairy farm.  My favorite verse of his song: 
"Yeah, I'm a Farm Boy
And here's my Holstein
It's just a heifer
It has no baby"
Great job representing agriculture in a fun and educational way littlefred2008!
Let’s go back to my list.  It’s only 10 books long, and my goal is 50.  I need some help here.  What’s your favorite ag-related kids’ book?  
I’ll keep adding books to my list… and when we get to #50 there will be a prize involved (meaning G will get a new book for his library… and so will someone else).  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

great moments of "pow"!

I gravitate to Dr. Seuss books.  If I get to choose what to read, a Seuss book it will be.  The rhymes and what I call “great moments of pow” catch my busy son’s attention.  I can get G laughing too, if I really get into the story. 

Doing a little research online, I found Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote most of his books in anapestic tetrameter.  (huh?) describes this as four rhythmic units, each composed of two weak syllables followed by one strong, syllable (the beat)    

Aha… The POW!  Often the first weak syllable is omitted or an additional weak syllable is added.   Seuss also slips trochaic and amphibrach tetrameter in his stories.  Whatever he is doing, it sure sounds great reading aloud. 

These days my little guy doesn’t sit still for long.  He didn’t walk early, but now he GOES.  Literally while tooting “GO GO GO ” under his breath.  Seuss books are great to catch the attention of this 22 month old who sweeps with a broom one moment and then immediately stirs a Lego stew with a spoon.  "Oh hey momma, were you reading to me way over there??”

I can vouch Mr. Brown Can Moo saves us on a long car ride and will keep all passengers in a good mood.    “Buzz Buzz,  Stomp Stomp”  *Silly gestures from mom in front *   G forgets the constraints of the car seat.  Seuss books lend for good noises, where I can create a STOMP with a hand slap on the truck console.   
A person at my workplace told me about how his daughter came home from school frustrated at Seuss because he used words, that weren’t really words.  His story makes me smile.  I am certain I’m mispronouncing these Seuss words too.  They are sure fun to try to say, especially when reading fast. Really fast.  
Horton Hatches the Egg

“They took him to Boston, to Kalamazoo,
Chicago, Weehawken and Washington, too;
To Dayton, Ohio; St. Paul,  Minnesota;
To Wichita, Kansas; to Drake, North Dakota.
And everywhere thousands folks flocked to see
And laugh at the elephant up in a tree.”
Our favorite Seuss books are:  The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham,  ABC book,  Mr. Brown Can Moo,  The Grinch who stole Christmas.  Most of these books were found at the Covered Bridge Festival last fall in Bridgeton, Indiana.  What a neat place to find treasures.   I plan on going again this fall.

Earlier this week Grandma Pat brought over a G-sized table and chairs set to our home.  I love this piece of furniture because its seen three generations of crayon, puzzle and toy time.  I sat at this table as a child, and so did my father when he was little.  I envision years of future reading on top this vintage charm.  Perhaps our “let’s read it fast” Horton Hatches the Egg.

I now “get” why hundreds of Pinterest pins are devoted to Seuss birthday parties, decorations, food, costumes and crafts.... including an idea to mod podge book pages onto canvas to create Seuss art.  Fabulously Flawed blog gives directions on how to create this, although it might be heart-wrenching to cut apart such a good read!  
This Seuss-thing is pretty catchy.  What are your favorite Seuss sayings?