Friday, April 6, 2018

Snip Snap & Vampire Baby: What the kids are reading this week

I've been catching up on my old X-Files episodes this week after bedtime.  It may be more proof of our hive-mind theory that the kids picked up two urban-legend themed books on their latest trip to the library: Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman and Nick Maland; and Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett and Paul Meisel.

Five year-old No. 2 took the time to snuggle in so we could read Snip Snap! What's That? as I was recovering from whatever kind of sinus/allergy/snot sort of croop has hit this month.  I loved the book, and it's clearly one of 2's favorites!  To be honest I liked that 2 is picking up more and more letters and their sounds all the time.  He's pointing at letters, making the sounds, and sounding things out!  Now that he's started in on this learning to read thing, it seems he's unstoppable.  I also enjoyed it because it brought up two tropes I'd forgotten about long ago.

The first is a big-city trope I had as a child.  From watching television, and reading books, it seemed fairly clear to me that all big-city kids lived in giant apartment buildings.  Sure enough, in Snip Snap they do!  Not only an apartment building, but an apartment building covered in snazzy bird-patterned wallpaper, (second childhood trope: all classy people have wallpaper!).  I think the birds might be cockatoos, but 2 is convinced they're chickens.  This may have something to do with the chicken that lives behind us.

From a more objective, less nostalgic standpoint, the book is fun to read because it frequently rhymes.  It also has a number of repeated phrases like "You Bet They Were!"  These repeated phrases let 2 practice reading the same words over and over, getting better and better each time.

Vampire Baby didn't rhyme, but was right up this week's X-Files themed alley.  The main character can't quite convince his parents that his baby sister has become a vampire.  The book is really fun to read, and we made good use of "Chomp" showing up every few pages to emphasize the 'ch' sound, and how it's different from the other plain-old c sounds like 'c as k' and 'c as s'.  The book's pictures are fun, and the scheme hatched by the main character is a riot!

Thanks to our library and the kids here, new books show up every few days that I've never heard of before.  What were your favorite new reads for the week?


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