Playing by the Book is calling out for Books About books this month… so we have gathered a list together of books that contain stories within stories… Books about books is a whole gendre of book that is so delightful to find, and when you find a good one, you really want to just hang onto it!!!
Let’s begin with the Mother Person:
This is a new one, we haven’t read it yet because it was only recently released and I love Anita Silvey’s blog and her daily post on a significant book associated with every day of the year… Everyday there is something to celebrate and everyday there is a relevant book that you have read as a child, or wish you had read – a new discovery… this book is an open invitation to the world of reading and just waiting to arrive in our home. This is a reference book that won’t be sitting on the shelf ever… the sort of book that will be out and read constantly.
And these are two books about books that we refer to all the time:
1001 Children’s books is a list of books, filled with illustrations and summaries of each book – inviting you to dive in and read each one of them… they are sorted according to age group… beginning with 0-3 year olds and working your way up to teen reads. Lots of classics and books that you would have read as a child and then a whole lot more new and lovely new books that are lovely surprises. My kids use this book before they go to the library… they look for new authors to explore.
This book, The Well-Educated Mind, is one of those books that should have been written forever ago!!! Seriously, this book contains a list of books in historical order, that should be read in order to build for your self a classical education… it sieves through the mountains of classical classics and provides a list, with lots of ideas on how to read them, and what to look out for when reading a book. My kids haven’t read this book, but I couldn’t put it down and slowly but surely I am working my way through the list…
And now for the kids:
Hood #1: When I said have we read any books about books, Hood #1 was adamant that this book goes into the post – the quintessential book about writing a book… And it does fit the theme. My kids have been overpowered with novel writing this month, the daily call to build their word count for the junior version of NaNoWriMo. Hood #1 was well equipped by having read this book a couple of months back. He has always wanted to write a book and “On Writing” was a natural book for him to discover… It is a masterclass of all the tips of the writing trade: techniques, skills and tools, it is also the memoir of Stephen King… woven through out the lessons. This isn’t a childs book by any means, but Hood #1 loved it and has returned to it, as the guide book it is, many times.
Hood #2: The Book Thief is one of those strange books, the title appealed so I looked at it a little closer and then didn’t think it would appeal… but when this book came home from the library I had to read it – compelling and heart wrenching – you won’t put it down. It is set in Nazi Germany and is the story of a young girl, who is mesmerised by the books that she steals, they are her escape from a very tragic world. The things is, while the story rushes you forward, you have to read it slowly to absorb the beauty of the writing – word for word, it is written in a way that one has to linger over the words to appreciate them. This book is a little strange but if you can get into it you won’t be able to put it down and I think it is one of those books where “unforgettable” really does fit!!!
Hood #3: This is a series full of lovely fat and unputdownable books… If you are looking for a series of books that highlights the delights of books then this is the one… In this series of books that Meggie and her father, Mo, are reading come to life, literally the characters pop off the page… whenever they read aloud. The world becomes a dramatic adventure… leaving just enough of a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter for the reader to dash onto the next!!! Before you know it you have read through the tombs, with breathtaking speed – trying to absorb the adventure as quickly as it unfolds.
Hood #4: Gooney Bird Greene is everything to love, a young girl who inadvertently becomes the centre of the classes attention!!! This book is all about how to write a good story and each chapter has a new lesson about story writing hidden within the story about Gooney Bird Green and her amazing life. This is a fabulous fun read, makes a great read-a-loud. We have written about her poetry book and how it inspired us before and this book in the series is just as inspiring!!!
Hood #5: Matilda is another one of those books that our family just absorbs… we have read it again and again. The story of good overcoming bad… the story of a little girl that discovers books and reads and reads them… she whizzes through Dickens at age 5!!! Turns out she is quite a clever little thing and she overcomes the rather wicked and terrifying Head mistress: Mrs. Trunchbull. A classic tale, where a book loving underdog conquers all – with a heap of “Dahl-ian” drama thrown in for good measure!!!
Hood #6: A Library Lion… how cool is that!!! And just the sort of book that would appeal to our animal loving child!!! A beautiful loving lion that helps in the library and dusts off books and listens attentively at story time… the lion may stay as long as he doesn’t break the rules. Of course he does, he issues a mighty roar for a very important reason – but he is out of the library and the reader can see that the lion is heart broken. A principled lion, even though he has raised the alarm on an emergency, he won’t return to the library because of the broken rule. Of course the library is nowhere near any fun anymore. One of those stories with a happy ending, it all turns out for good – the lion returns and the library reclaims its happy lion-centred rhtyhm.
Hood #7: This book was one of the first ever “Books of the Week” on our blog… Delilah Darling has a trip to the library that epitomises our trips to the library… A young girl who is magically transported into the world of books, great cushions, fabulous stories… The “Library-Anne” is less magical… perhaps she has been surrounded by books for far too long and they have lost their magic!!! The only thing wrong with Delilah’s trip is that she just kind of wishes they served buns. My sentiments exactly… I wish their was a compulsory coffee spot on the way out of the library because my word a trip there with eight kids deserves some sort of reward. More than that I wish our “Library-Anne’s,” especially the children’s ones were still excited about books, a little less disdaining about children’s books and a lot more enthralled by the magic of reading…
And the se7en + 1th Book:
Hood #8: A list of books about books would be incomplete without Charlie Cook. This is such a clever book about a chain of favourite books within books and the story has a lovely rhythm and rhyme as you launch from favourite to favourite!!! Charlie Cook’s favourite book is about pirates, the pirates favourite book is about… and so on… it is a circular book and our kids all love it!!! The whole family loves it… one of those magnificent literary works that can unite a family… our kids can recite this book from start to finish… in fact just start them on a phrase and they will go the distance!!!
That’s us – our list of “Books about Books… ” why don’t you tell us what you are reading right now in the comments…