I live with my own personal weather man (he can apprise me of tomorrow’s weather in thirty seconds flat, no matter where we are, thanks to his Blackberry) and two weather girls. Lulu and Louise often want me to read the weather forecast that is printed on the second page of our local paper over breakfast, and a healthy respect for thunderstorms keeps the weather foremost in their minds when it is cloudy or overcast. It is no surprise, then, that Ida Fanfanny, by the prolific author and illustrator Dick Gackenbach, was a hit here at the House of Hope. Unfortunately, neither Amazon nor the world wide web has a picture of this book to offer, but trust me when I say that Gackenbach’s rendering of Ida Fanfanny perfectly fulfills what my mind conjures up when I hear that name. Ida Fanfanny is a woman who lives in Glebe Valley, located between the mountains of Yurt. The mountains of Yurt are so tall that no weather ever reaches Glebe Valley. Peddlars often come there to sell wares that Ida cannot appreciate: umbrellas, galoshes, weather vanes, and the like. However, one peddlar shows up there one day with some magical paintings that Ida Fanfanny cannot resist. The paintings are of the four seasons, and the peddlar gives Ida the instructions on how to be magically transported into the paintings. Ida does this, of course, and once she experiences the seasons, she realizes both the good and bad about what she’s been missing. Ida Fanfanny’s pet geese, who are wiser than she, make this story even more delightful. This one is good for the children and the adults!
Another book we enjoyed this week will probably only be good in a household where the daddy (or at least someone near and dear) is bald(ing). Since this is true here, my girls got a real kick out of Where Did Daddy’s Hair Go? by Joe O’Connor. The illustrations by Henry Payne are cartoonish and really appealed to my girls. They remind me of something I’ve seen on television, but I really can’t be more specific than that because I’m not exactly up on most kid’s shows (or adult shows either, for that matter). The story here is simple: Jeremiah’s dad is losing his hair, and after someone calls him “baldy,” Jeremiah notices for the first time. This leads to Jeremiah’s search for dad’s hair and, failing to find it, an understanding of exactly what happened to it. This is not fine literature, but it is fun.
What have you enjoyed reading aloud this week? Tell me all about it in the comments, or leave a link to your blog post!