An orchestra, a chicken, and a lot of yarn

Our community does an All City Read program, and they have great events for all ages. While the grown-ups are tackling Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, we’re reading the suggested books for the 3- to 8-year-old crowd. Blackout by John Rocco and Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin! by Lloyd Moss explored two themes of Station Eleven at a level that preschoolers could enjoy. More on that later.

Here are this week’s highlights. I picked out The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder because a) I love the Little House books, and b) today’s high temperature is -20 degrees F. That’s without the windchill (-50). We are all told to stay inside because human lungs aren’t supposed to breathe air that cold. We’re so thankful for all the workers, fire/police, nurses and doctors, plumbers and HVAC guys (and others I’ve missed mentioning) out there keeping us safe.

Eric Carle is usually a favorite, but not this week. Guess we weren’t in a kangaroo mood!

Disclaimer: all of the opinions I share here are my own or are a summary of my kids’ reactions.

The preschool reader suggestions for the All City Read

Both of these books have been read multiple times. Two themes in Station Eleven are gently reflected in these picture books:

  • What happens when we lose power? (Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic/epidemic book)
  • How do we teach children about the fine arts?

Blackout by John Rocco is about what a family does when all the power goes out in New York City in the summer. Read how they disconnect to connect. Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin! by Lloyd Moss is a fun counting book that introduces children to a 10-piece orchestra. Later this week, our library is hosting an event for little ones with orchestra members from a local high school. Can’t wait for this concert (and the warmer temperatures that will allow us out of the house)!

Picked this one just for the title

My kids regularly ask me for a pet. And not just a puppy or kitten, but something exotic like an ostrich or shark or a giant lizard. Thankfully, our neighbors have chickens so we can at least go visit those. However, if we got a chicken like the one Laura Gehl wrote about in I Got a Chicken for my Birthday, I’d take a whole flock. The moral of the story: be careful what you wish for!

Do those animals look familiar to you?

With the cold temperatures, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett just sounded like a cozy read. The illustrations are perfect, but what would you expect when Jon Klassen (I Want My Hat Back) is the artist? Follow the yarn trail as the young heroine makes her world colorful and cozy. Oh, and she thwarts a greedy archduke, too.

Wherever you are, dear reader, I hope you are safe and warm. Feel free to let me know if you’d choose to highlight other books from the stack? Or you know a book that falls in the “if you loved ___, then you’ll love…” category. Please share what to look for at our next library visit in the comments.

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