Saturday, March 28, 2009

What to Read (part 2)

So after I checked out all the knitting picture books in our library, I learned something: knitting isn't as popular as losing your first tooth when it comes to children's book themes.

Ok, I lied. I fully expected not to find many knitting books. I needed a new way to pick books out for Margaret.

We were at story time at the library and I was looking at books on the shelf, when suddenly I turned around an saw a book, one of the most wonderful books I have ever read to Margaret. It was

Brave Margaret by Souci and Comport. Now, I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOOK? Look at it! There's a woman on a horse wielding a SWORD! Clothes blowing in the wind, hair in her face and a SWORD. Seriously. How could I not get this book? I'm a sucker for strong female characters. Yes, there is love: a handsome man comes and Margaret thinks he's attractive and talks her way onto his boat because she wants to see the world. They are attacked by a sea monster, she gets off the boat and kills it. Later, her attractive boyfriend tries to go slay a giant to free her from a witch. He dies. Seriously. Dead as a door nail. Margaret declares, "What fools we are for thinking it must be a man who slays that great, dirty giant!" and beheads the giant herself. Indeed what fools we are! This woman does NOT need saving. She does find a way to bring her boyfriend back to life and their wedding lasts for over a week, so you needn't worry about the lack of a classic happily ever after. But swords! Beheaded giants! Sea monsters! Burning bras! Ok. No bras are burned. But if you want a fairy tale where the damsel saves herself after her boyfriend gets himself killed, then this is it.

So after finding Margaret this great book about another Margaret, I wondered, "Do other books have a character named Margaret?" It turns out that they do. I found more intermediate readers and chapter books with Margarets than picture books, though. Here're a couple I've found so far.

Margaret by Dubow. The pictures are beautiful and simple, as is the writing. It's a short book that is about a girl who simply enjoys herself and her day. I loved this one and my own Margaret loved it too, and has requested it multiple times. The short phrases and quick page turning help keep her attention and the simple water color pictures are interesting for her to look at.

Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret by Reiser. I found this one with the Spanish picture books. It's about 2 girls: Margaret and Margarita who both don't want to go to the park because there isn't anyone to play with. They meet each other, and though there is a small language barrier, they play and teach each other words and phrases. For example, Margaret introduces Margarita to her stuffed little rabbit, Susan and Margariya introduces Margaret her her stuffed gatita, Susana. It's a really wonderful bilingual book. They both go home telling their mothers that they can't wait to go to the park the next day. I'm not great with the Spanish pronunciations, but I try. Also a great bonus: Margarita's mother knits on the park bench.

Need a book to read to your child? Look up her/his name. It was a lot of fun for us. I'm still on the look out for more Margaret books.


  1. I have the "Dirty Bertie" series, and of course "Bertie" from Thomas the Tank Engine.

  2. What a good idea! I never thought to look up books by my child's name.

  3. That is such a neat idea. I'll have to try that. Being in Utah they might have some 'Sariah' books.


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