February 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 17 Comments

Nerds. We are nerds, my husband and I. Math team? Yep. French club? Mais, oui. Marching band? You know it. Woodwinds, no less.

We’re the kind of adults who, as kids, wanted Santa to bring us briefcases and typewriters and a library card of our very own. Hence, it is genetically probable that Lollipop and Giggles will be nerds. (Yes, we loved Punett Squares, too.)

Probably the biggest manifestation of this “nerdliness” in our adult lives is our collection of books. His (science fiction); mine (cheesy romance); ours (travel, history, and two of everything Pat Conroy has ever written). Shelves and shelves and shelves.

There’s a Book for That
So what did we do when we found out we would be parents? We bought a ton of books. On how to be parents. Of course. In homage to Dewey Decimal, we even created a “parenting section” on our bookshelves.

Next, we started building a library for our children. The classics, from Seuss to Carle. Our own childhood favorites, from Miss Nelson is Missing to Bert’s Hall of Great Inventions. And new favorites, from Olivia to Chrysanthemum.

We also got lots of those books with squiggly black-and-white lines. And books with intriguing textures, like spongy pigs and scratchy dumptrucks. Because, as our trusty new parenting guides told us, it would be good practice for freshly minted rods and cones, fingers and toes.

A is for … As You Like It
And, while we entertained the fanciful notion, we didn’t really expect our children to come out of the womb reading Jane Austen and the Bard. (But when they’re ready, we have sections on our shelves for each of those, too. Right next to my Janet Evanovich and his Terry Brooks.)

We also starting reading to them, practically from the beginning. Even when they were clearly more interested in the bead of drool on their dimply little chins.

We built reading into their routine. We put books in every room, in the playpen, in the car. We gave them books to chew on. And puke on. (I’d like to extend my deepest personal gratitude to the inventor of the board book.)

The Next Chapter
And maybe we were just spinning our bookmobile wheels. Or maybe, no matter what we did (and continue to do), our kids are destined to love books. (I’m pretty sure the nerd gene is unstoppable.) Or maybe, their interest will wax and wane, like Lollipop’s hat addiction and Giggles’ fascination with trains.

But that’s the greatest thing about books: no matter what you like, you can find a book about it. And chances are, we’ve already got a section for it. Or a desktop link to our library’s online catalog. Or, at the very least, free super-saver shipping. (Thank you, Amazon.)

We are, after all, a family of bookworms. Proud carriers of the nerd gene. And our library cards.


I’m curious: What are your kids’ current favorites? Here’s what’s in heavy rotation at our house:
1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
2. Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
3. Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton and Tibor Gergely
4. The Gillygoofang by George Mendoza and Mercer Mayer
5. Little Bunny on the Move by Peter McCarty
6. Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz
7. What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz
8. Love Tails by Rachael Hale and Jane Gerver


Update: Check out O My Book Week at O My Family for lots of other great kiddo reads. Allison’s got me headed to the library!



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  1. Look at Baby’s House by Peter Linenthal. ! We love that one.

    • The illustrations on this look lovely!

  2. Some of my fondest memories are when we all sit together (quietly) in the living room, each reading a book. 8}

  3. Ok, now I am going to have to buy all the books on your list, as we don’t have any of those. We have been reading to Teva since birth…at 4 months old, she loves Dr. Seuss (the bright colors and rhythm can’t hurt), and also “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.
    My husband would like to add his favorite is Richard Scary’s “What do People Do All Day?”…a true classic!

    Another great blog post! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

    • We don’t have much Richard Scarry actually. (Maybe I need to visit Amazon!) If you get a chance, try the last four books on my list for Teva. They’re my son’s favorites and are for a “younger” crowd. =>

  4. My daughter is heavily into non-fiction. She prefers books about bats. Did someone say “nerd gene?”

  5. We love our books as well 🙂

    Right now, the kids are loving the whole “How does a dinosaur…” series. We have three of the books, and they’re constantly carried around and loved beyond belief!

    • Giggles is in love with his one and only dinosaur book, one of those from the “That’s Not My …” series. I’ll definitely have to check these out, too.

  6. HUGE nerds and bookworms over here, too. I love that book by Judith Viorst. It’s genius.

    Miss M. (4): Daddy’s Girl, by Garrison Keillor. Any and all Olivia books.

    Miss D. (8): The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, always and forever, Where the Wild Things Are.

    Awesome Stepkid R (17): Dune, anything by Stephen King.

  7. Ohhh… you need some Richard Scarry!
    Poem books by Shel Silverstein are in heavy rotation right now. Munchie likes Pinkalicious too (and Purplicious and Goldilicious). She’s also into the Bernstein Bears and Eloise.
    I was so glad my girl turned out to be a bookworm too!!

  8. Total bookworms here too.
    My son, 5, is really into Indian Legends lately, these wordy, no-picture, occasionally violent, loooong stories.

    We are also loving the Skippyjon Jones books, anything by McClosky (Burt Dow, Make way for ducklings), Madeline books.

    We go to the library weekly and load up. My poor two year old daughter ends up reading whatever we pick out for the boy.

  9. Love Chrysanthemum. One of my favorites was “The Day The Babies Crawled Away”. I have never questioned my spending money on books for the kids. They read and I wish I had more time to read. They have always been surrounded by them too.

  10. We are very much bookworms in my house too. My kids have both loved _Owl Babies_ by Martin Waddell and the Boo and Baa books by Olaf and Lena Landstrom as young ones. Sylvie (Who is 22 months old now) loves _Blue Hat, Green Hat_ by Sandra Boynton. Walter (who is 6) is really loving the series _My Father’s Dragon_ by Ruth Stiles Gannett. It’s so great to see him enjoying chapter books! Enjoy your book babies!

  11. My children, neither of whom can read yet (although the 5yo can ‘sight’ read familiar words) take books to bed with them. Every night. No matter what I am doing (cleaning, surfing blogs, folding laundry, reading my own book) my children have learned I will never say no to the request, “Will you read this to me?”

    Our current favorites: The Lorax, If I Ran the Zoo, Sneetches, etc., by Dr. Seuss; Knuffle Bunny, Knuffle Bunny, Too, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems; and SkippyJon Jones, by Judy Schachner.

  12. I love your description of nerdiness! I came across this book when I was teaching and I think it’s an absolute riot for both parents and a little older kiddos (probably 8+):

    I bet your house would love it!

    Thanks so much for linking up!

  13. PS: epic comment HTML fail on that last one. Here’s the site and the book is called The Math Curse:

    • Oooh, that does sound good. “Fournafish!” Love it. =>

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