About Me

My name is Genevieve Woods and in addition to being the mother of an adorable preschooler named Oscar and his adorable toddler brother Henry, I am the Children's Buyer at Spellbinder Books, a small independent bookstore in Bishop, California. I am often asked by customers for recommendations...and thus the idea for this blog was sparked.

Many sites recommending books for kids are created by librarians and non-profits. While these are great sites, they often recommend out-of-print books. This site is all about the great books that are available now! While I am not being paid for these recommendations, I would appreciate it if readers would purchase the books I recommend from local independent bookstores, or even B&N. Basically don't buy from the evil empire (A_A_O_), because if you do much of our literary knowledge will be lost.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oscar's Favorites at 2.5

For the past couple of weeks Oscar has asked for one thing at bedtime: JACK. Sometimes he says "Read Jack?" and other times he'll make it more complicated by saying "Little Critter Jack now?" but the desire is always the same. He wants us to read him the Little Critter version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Little Critter, is, of course, the furry beast created by Mercer Mayer in the late 70s who, 30 years later, is still with us. (A couple of new books are published every year.) I love Little Critter because he is not perfect, (in fact sometimes he is downright naughty), but he tries, and the mouse or insect friends who follow him around from page to page are irresistible.

The Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk is a lift-the-flap book; it is hardcover and the pages are surprisingly sturdy for a book that retails for only $7.95. The words underneath the flaps are essential to the story, which is nice for 2.5-year-olds who want to feel like they are helping mommy read the book. I enjoy reading the book because it is FUNNY. The crow atop the cow asks if "this kid was born yesterday" when Jack trades the cow for a bag of beans. The little mouse is an adorable, doubting best friend to Jack. Every page has something to make you laugh or smile. At the end of the book Jack is a hero not because he brought riches to his poor mother, but because the hole that the giant made when he fell became an excellent wading pool that all the neighborhood kids can use.

Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk is actually one of a series of lift-the-flap Little Critter fairytale re-tellings. There is also Little Critter Red Riding Hood and Little Critter Hansel & Gretel. Oscar doesn't have them all, right now; they are hidden away as treats for future dates. But I'm sure, given his reaction to Jack and the Beanstalk, that the other Little Critter lift-the-flap fairytales will be well loved.