Friday, March 22, 2013

Whole-Family Story Time

Now that my children are ages 4, 6, 9, and 11, a whole-family story time is harder to pull off. Paul, age 9, still sits for most of the picture books I read to his sisters; he's a natural cuddler and he loves to giggle, both of which keep him coming back for more (even though he gets a chapter-book story time with Daddy).

But Peter, age 11, is harder to please. I miss having them all cuddle with Daddy and me on the couch, so lately I've hunted for picture books that promise to delight all ages.

Stella, Unleashed; Notes From the Dog House, by Linda Ashman (2008), is just such a book.

 Front Cover

Talk about family bonding time! Reading aloud as a family? Always priceless, as is shared laughter.

Is it just me, or do dog books seem to have universal appeal?

synopsis from the publisher: Stella’s got an opinion on everything: the baby (“cannot be trusted near tail”), her humans, the other pets, her sleeping requirements (“But for a truly peaceful rest, be advised: Your bed is best”), undignified doggie sweaters, and the dull dryness of kibble. She even waxes poetic on the exalted status of pups in Paris, who are welcome everywhere…even in restaurants. And thanks to author Linda Ashman, who practically channels the canine mind, Stella expresses it all in a series of humorous verses that will have dog-loving kids laughing out loud. Add Paul Meisel’s fabulous illustrations, which convey every facet of Stella’s winning, wonderful, and wickedly funny personality, and who could resist?

Yes, truly a gem for the whole family. We were all in stitches and we're not even dog people...not that they haven't asked. These poems are brilliant and hilarious.

What are the favorites at your house?

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