"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Monday, February 01, 2010

February Picture Book Basket

As I started to put together this month's book list, I was thinking of saints' feast days and St. Valentine's Day. However, after adding Eve Bunting's The Valentine Bears and Else Homalund Minarik's A Kiss for Little Bear to our basket, I went down a little bear trail.  In addition to reading the books below, I am looking forward to hopefully doing some bear-related and St. Valentine's Day crafts with the children.

The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
Johnny decides to go hunting for a bear, so that he can hang a bearskin on his family's barn wall.  He comes back with a live bear cub.

Big Sister and Little Sister by Charlotte Zolotow*
Little sister grows tired of big sister always telling her what to do, so she runs away.  When big sister comes calling for her in the field, little sister does not answer.  My two eldest listened to this story over and over again when they were young.

Blessed Sebastian and the Oxen by Eva K. Betz (February 25)*
This is one of the books in the Saints and Friendly Beasts series published by Neumann Press. The hand-drawn illustrations add to the beauty of the story.

Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story by Bryce Milligan* (February 1)
Bryce Milligan tells a tale about one of Ireland's most beloved saints and her cloak.

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell
Little Bear is afraid of the dark, so Big Bear responds with loving kindness.

Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett*
This story is very familiar to my children.  The red in the delightful illustrations inspires me to pull it off the shelf several times in February.  Hedgie and Henny attempt to outsmart the Tomten and save Henny's eggs.

The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris* (February 10)
Kathleen Norris shares the loving story of St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica.

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom

A Kiss for Little Bear Else Holmelund Minarik
After receiving a wonderful picture from Little Bear, his Grandmother sends him a "thank you kiss".  It is given to little bear in a unique way.

Our Lady of Lourdes by Father Lovasik, S.V.D.* (February 11)
Fr. Lovasik tells the beautiful story of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette in an easy to understand and read children's story.

Saint Bernadette (A First Book for Little Catholics) by Father Gales (February 11 or 18)*
In clear simple language, Fr. Gales retells the beautiful story of St. Bernadette and the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes.   I pray that this book is eventually reprinted, as it is perfect to read to young children on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, or the traditional Feast of St. Bernadette, or on April 16.

Saint Brigid and the Cows by Eva K. Betz* (February 1)

Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert (February 14)
Ann Tompert weaves together fact and legend to retell the story of Saint Valentine, a priest who lived in Rome during the third century.  The watercolor illustrations depict ancient Rome.  My readers have enjoyed learning about some of the legends surrounding Saint Valentine from this book.

Sleepy Bears by Mem Fox
Sleepy Bear gets ready for his long winter nap and then wakes up in the spring.  I have not read this book before and the cover doesn't really appeal to me, but we have enjoyed other books by Mem Fox. 
Update:  We will be checking this book out again.  My older children have read it over and over again to their younger siblings, laughing at the descriptions of some of the bears.  The illustrations add to the story.
The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett
Mrs. Bear plans a Valentine's surprise for Mr. Bear, despite the fact that they are still in hibernation.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
This book has been read many times, since my oldest pulled it off a library shelf 9 years ago.  It has also been reenacted by several of my children.  The lyrical words and fun illustrations grab their attention and feed their imaginations.

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