The reading list (found on the bottom of the right hand column of this blog) is 135 books. In the first seven days we read 13 books. Some were hits and some were misses.
There are two books that were our clear winners this week:
Madeline is a little Parisian girl (one of 12 who live in a house covered with vines, and walk around town in two straight lines) falls ill and must have her appendix removed. Written in 1939, the storyline, although predictable and not really interesting, is delightful in its simplicity and character development. The story is told completely in rhyme which is why it was a favorite of ThePrincess, plus I enjoyed reading it.
Bemelman went on to write six additional Madeline Books (a seventh was discovered after his death and published posthumously.) After his death the series was continued by John Bemelmans-Marciano, which actually defies the story's famous last line: "That's all there is; there isn't any more."
Our other favorite book this week was:
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaolaThe story is about Strega Nona ("grandma witch") and a magic pasta pot. Her young assistant, Big Anthony, learns his lesson the hard way when her pasta pot overflows unstoppably after he disobeys her instructions to not touch it.
The book is beautifully illustrated and the moral of the story is conveyed without being preachy or heavy handed. The simple line drawings, earthy colors and fantastical characters are timeless.
It also should be pointed out that this book is a 1976 Caldecott Medal winner for best children's picture book.
The princess enjoyed this book so much, that we actually went off-list read the sequel: Strega Nona's Magic Lessons (where Big Anthony once again is up to no good), and two prequels: Strega Nona: Her Story (a tale of her childhood) and Big Anthony: His Story (yes, a tale of his childhood.)
All in all, we had a great time this week. If we get nothing else out of this project, we have discovered a new favorite author or two and I would call that a success.