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Kids’ Picks–Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant

kidspicksOne of the first things my girls say to me every morning when they get up is “Read a book!”  Of course, this is music to this book-loving mama’s ears, but believe it or not, there are times during the day when I simply cannot drop everything and read.  I mean, laundry still has to be done and meals still have to be cooked, which is sometimes the extent of housekeeping I get around to on any given day.  Some days I do not manage to get a shower before Steady Eddie heads off to work, and I need twenty minutes or so of “babysitting.”  What to do?

Well, our television died a startling death one evening a month or two ago while we were enjoying an episode of Little House on the Prairie, or I would plop my girls in front of Miss Patty Cake or some DVD we’d recently borrowed from the library.  (Yes, I did resort to using the t.v. as a babysitter in a pinch.)  That’s no longer an option, and we have no immediate plans to replace our television, so I had to come up with something else.  (Yes, I know they could watch a DVD on the computer, but that’s not knowledge I want them to have yet.  😉 )  I have discovered a solution I like much better, though, and of course it involves books.

We have been fans of chapter books on CD (audiobooks) for a while now, but it is only recently that I have begun borrowing picture book-and-CD sets.  They have been a hit so far, and one of them affords me just enough time to get into and out of the shower without two little girls peeking Mr. Putterbehind the shower curtain 100 times before I’m done.  Why not just use the longer audiobooks they’re so fond of?  Simple.  Once they begin listening to a longer story, they don’t want to stop, and sometimes that’s just not practial.  Besides, I like to save the longer ones for rest time!

We have just gotten to know Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter & Tabby, and my girls have found a new favorite.  We brought home Mr. Putter & Tabby Row the Boat this week in book-and-cd format, and the girls have listened to this story multiple times already.  This edition produced by Recorded Books is narrated by John McDonough.  McDonough’s voice is perfect for the gentle story of Mr. Putter; his cat, Tabby; their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry; and her dog, Zeke and their summertime adventure.  I think Lulu enjoys the story particularly because it is a beginning chapter book; it contains four short chapters, so it appeals to her need for a longer, episodic story, but it is just long enough to suit my needs, as well.  😉 

That’s our Kids’ Pick this month!  Click over to 5 Minutes for Books for other bloggers’ Kids’ Picks!


7 Responses

  1. Fun!

    This is timely, because I noticed that our library has a bunch of the Cynthia Rylant books on tape (and our car had tape and CD). I thought that they would be good for our car trip — something the 5 year old would enjoy — so I’m going to definitely check some of them out.

    I also got a book and CD cheaply on amazon that I will be bringing for him.

  2. We tried audio books one time but I do’nt think he’s quite old enough to really “get it.” But I’m kinda looking forward to them. =) We use our computer for DVDs and he DOES have knowledge of it and now we’re constantly having to say, “Don’t touch the computer!”

  3. I should really check more audiobooks out from the library– what a great alternative to the square babysitter. 🙂

  4. Amy, I’m embarrassed that I did my devil’s advocate audiobooks post the same day you posted this! Uggh. I knew you were enjoying audiob’s from your ‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’ post, but I was late in seeing this one.

    I do think audio-b’s have some great pluses, not least the way they immerse kids in spoken language. I know my daughters’ verbal expressiveness and vocabulary have benefited from the way our audio-b habit has augmented my own reading aloud to them.

    It’s that multitasking-listening thing that has started to develop in our house that concerns me these days — not really a problem with audio-b’s, but with the role I’ve allowed them to play.

    I’m over here looking for Read-Aloud Thursday…

  5. Janet–no problem, of course! I love being able to see and converse about both sides of an issue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Read Aloud Thursday is coming right up! : )

  6. […] Miss Teaberry, which is a name my girls recognize from the Mr. Putter and Tabby books (my thoughts here).  Lulu realized the first time we read it that this Miss Teaberry isn’t “her” […]

  7. […] find by Cynthia Rylant.  As it turns out, I’ve highlighted a few of her stories before–here and here.  It looks like you can hardly go wrong with Cynthia […]

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