A Bookish Post

I have to smile at the title, "A Bookish Post" because of how much it reminds me of my Audra, who regularly adds the ending -ish onto her words.  She says things like, "Mommy, did you see what I drew? How it's kind of blueish and greenish?" Or she'll tell me that she is feeling "hungryish" or "tiredish" or other such Ish words.

I love her.

So. We're reading a lot lately, and as it's been awhile since I've told you what we're reading aloud, and since that's one of my favorite things to tell you about, here is that post.

In the picture book category, we're reading Mr. Putter & Tabby books.  I am VERY fond of these books.  I think Cynthia Rylant (author) and Arthur Howard (illustrator) are a brilliant combination.  If you're unfamiliar with these, do pick some up the next time you're at the library.

For those of you who don't know who Mr. Putter is, he's a kindly elderly man with a cat named Tabby.  They like to drink tea and eat snacks and generally stay calm, napping as often as they can.  However, Mr. Putter has a spunky neighbor named Mrs. Teaberry, who, along with her lively dog Zeke, is always looking for a new adventure and often invites Mr. Putter and Tabby along.

The characters are so likeable and the stories humorous, but what I appreciate the most is simply that these are books written for kids about elderly people, which seems such an unlikely idea, and yet it works.  They are engaging and funny and my kids love them right along with me.

This morning we read this one:


My favorite is the part where Mr. Putter, in an effort to ready himself for a marathon (Mrs. Teaberry's idea, of course), decides to work out by touching his toes several times a day.

But, alas- Mr. Putter can only reach his.... knees.  So he touches his knees each day and feels quite good about himself... until he gets to the starting line and sees all the other people touching their toes.

Here's a funny part from Mr. Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans.  Mrs. Teaberry signs them up for a cooking class and cheerily tells Mr. Putter that they are going to learn one hundred ways to cook beans.  From the book:
Mr. Putter looked at Tabby.
He did not want to learn one hundred ways to cook beans.
What he wanted was an ice cream soda.
He wanted an ice cream soda and a cherry on top.
See?  Hilarious.  Tell me you love Mr. Putter as much as I do.

I have been reading Mara, Daughter of the Nile aloud to the kids- because it's set in Egypt which goes right along with the Ancient History we're studying this year.  The kids are enjoying it and the plot is good.  I never intended on it being a read-aloud.  It was on Ella's Assigned Reading List, but she was having a hard time getting into it what with all the Egyptian names and places, so in an effort to get her interested, I began reading it aloud.  Once she was hooked, I was ready to pass it off to her to resume reading, but by then the boys were into the story and wanted me to keep reading it, so it became a read-aloud.  Before that I'd been reading The Swiss Family Robinson aloud, so we'll get back to that after we wrap up Mara.

Mark always gets to read the best books, though, in my opinion.  He began the fall with Man of the Family (book two of series by Ralph Moody).  It was just as good as Little Britches.  I have such an affection for these books.  I told Mark recently that when the kids are grown and I remember our evenings of reading aloud, these are the books I will likely remember him reading.  We loved this book.  Maybe it's because it was the second book, yet with the same, now-familiar-to-us characters.  And by now Mark has the voices of each character down- especially Ralph's, and the cadence of his voice as he reads is just.... familiar in a comforting sort of way. 


When he finished Man of the Family, he began Where the Red Fern Grows, which is what we're currently reading in the evenings.  (Another gem.  We read Rawls' Summer of the Monkeys a few years back and enjoyed that one tremendously, too.)  Ella and I knit while we listen, Adelia snuggles up next to Mark or myself- usually with another book in her lap that she's looking at, the boys play on the floor, and Audra colors or finger-knits.  The fire is often crackling and we're all cozy and hanging on every word.

Oh!  And for my own self I'm reading Sir Gibbie, by George MacDonald.  George MacDonald has long been my mom's favorite author, so I read all of his books as a teen, but I'm gradually re-reading them again, and I love them.

Hooray for good books!  (What are you reading?)


  1. I adore Mr. Putter and Tabby books and so do my kids! We just recently read the newest one, Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball, where Mr. Putter and Mrs. Teaberry join a baseball team.

    1. Kristin,
      YES! We just read that one again, too!

  2. Hi Stacy - I have a question. When you are looking for good books maybe at the library, or a book store or goodwill etc. Are there certain tells that you rely upon to find good books. I find myself over whelmed by the shelves and don't know where to begin, so I keep going back to the same authors and books I liked as a kid, but want to branch out more. Do you have any tricks that you can share for finding quality books?

    1. Hi Ramona,
      That's such a good question. I do have a sort of system, or at least several ideas. I'll organize my thoughts and get back to you in the form of a blog post.... soon!


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