The Week In Books, No. 45B – Hannah’s Edition

When my dad was in Holland on business recently, he got Hannah a copy of The Cow Who Fell in the Canal.
She adores this book. She will even point to the title and say, “C…dubblayoooo…COW! Read it!” as though she is reading the word cow. I think that’s presh, but I’m her mama. Anyway, the illustrations are really great, with pictures of Dutch folk wearing wooden shoes, and windmills and tulips and tons of cheese. Mmm. Cheese. Hendrika the cow gets out of the pasture, hops on a boat, and floats down the canal to the market, where she gets to see the sights and eats a colored straw hat. It’s entertaining, even after the 19th time of reading it in a day. And that’s saying something.

Alligators All Around is a really fun alphabet book. It only has the uppercase letters, but it’s still good. Each page features the letter, with an illustration of what alligators might do that starts with that letter. It’s not a serious nature book, unless you believe that alligators lie around in bed “having headaches” or dance in circles singing, “Zipitty Zound!” The lack of realism doesn’t bother me, because I like silly things, and Hannah does too. She’s getting pretty good at identifying her letters, and that works for me.

Before Hannah was born I went on a business trip to Alaska and bought A Caribou Alphabet
. It was late November and I was stuck in the airport for a while before my plane could take off (why was I always going to the Great Frozen North in the winter – like Canada in January – and the Great Boiling South in the summer – like Texas border towns????) and I saw it in a bookstore and hoped we’d have kids someday. Now that we have them, I still like this book. The alphabet part is not terribly instructive, as the letters are part of beautiful paintings of caribou and their habitat, but then again, the letters are part of beautiful paintings of caribou and their habitat so it’s all right. Unlike the book above, this one really IS going to teach you a lot of information about caribou, with well constructed rhyme and big words and even a compendium of additional information in the back.

The Olivettis gave us Henry’s Important Date and Henry’s Awful Mistake
a month ago when Jack was baptized. Lisa, if you’re reading this, I am SO going to write you a thank you note, please don’t hate me for being so rude!!!! Hannah has appropriated these books until Jack is old enough to assert his ownership, and she can’t get enough of them. Both are tales of Henry, a duck for whom everything goes wrong, and his friend Clara, also a duck. They are funny stories, and “Henry’s Important Date” also has a clock on each page telling what time it is (as Henry gets later and later for Clara’s birthday party) so if you’re teaching time to your children, it might be a useful prop. We aren’t quite there yet with Hannah, that just occurred to me as an aside.

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