Our Favorite Picture Books This Year

A week or two ago, Wyatt mailed a letter to Santa from the big Santa Mail Box in our city – and to be honest, I had no idea that he was going to get a letter back when we did it, but wow did it bring a smile to my boy’s face! And, we found out that Santa loves books too! We have read some fantastic books this year, and I wanted to share some of our top favorites with you.

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Wyatt’s current favorite holiday book is the Llama Llama Holiday Drama. I read this a billion times a day, and when I am not, he is looking at it himself half the time. Thanksgiving in the Woods is a fun one that we actually won in a giveaway on Instagram this year- and while we both love it, I think it would be so fun to actually have a Thanksgiving in the Woods one year! I included Ohana Means Family, but it was more my favorite than Wyatt’s. I just loved the illustrations and the introduction to Hawaiian culture to Wyatt. Scout and the Gumboot Kids were a big favorite of Wyatt’s this year, whether on television or reading the books. He really loved The Case of the Wooden Timekeeper. Then finally, all the way back in January, we read Little Wolf’s Song and Winter Walk, and Wyatt loved all the howling in Little Wolf’s Song, and then surprised me by really loving Winter Walk.

Leo the Lightning Bug! This book also came with a CD, and Wyatt still listens to it and flips through the book, reciting parts out loud with it. It reminds me of me when I was his age, listening to books on tape and record and looking through the books. (For Christmas I bought him The Thousand Star Hotel by the Okee Dokee Brothers, which he can flip through while he listens to the story streaming..ah technology.) Nightsong was really cool, and Honey, adorable. Wyatt is a fan of David Ezra Stein. He is also a giant fan of the Little Blue Truck, and he loved this Springtime book. Which reminds me I never bought him The Little Blue Truck’s Christmas! Then finally we found two new to us owl books that we really enjoyed, Tanna’s Owl and Otto the Owl who Loved Poetry.

The Giraffe That Walked to Paris is my favorite picture book that we read this year. I liked it way more than Wyatt, so it is definitely my favorite, not his. I had never heard of this event before and it was sort of sad but neat to learn about it. Anatole was an old favorite of mine that I enjoyed sharing with Wyatt, who also liked it. And then finally, The Salamander Room – this book made me commit to adopting our leopard gecko Harry, which I realize is two different species entirely but it was still a fun way to segue to Harry for Wyatt.

I did miss the library so much this year, browsing the shelves and all the new books. If there are two places I miss going, it is the library with Wyatt and then Ikea with Billy. We would drop the boy off to my mom then head to Ikea and have lunch and shop. We are exciting.

I am looking forward to reading more with Wyatt in the months ahead, especially now as he is picking up letters and can read some of the words himself more and more! He loves reading, and I love that he loves reading!

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: Hawaii!

Our final week of summer homeschooling! I wanted to end our summer session with something fun – and also meaningful. This week, Hawaii week, was the first of our Heritage Weeks that we are going to start working on this year, that focus on Wyatt’s ancestry – and what better way to end the summer with a week “in” Hawaii.

Billy’s grandmother, so Wyatt’s great-grandmother, was a born and raised Hawaiian, and so was her family for as far back as you can go. Wyatt and I talked about how Hawaii is a chain of Islands in the Pacific Ocean, read about Hawaiian legends, gods, and goddesses, talked about the native plants and vegetation (including pineapples and coconuts of course, with a tasting!), surfing, volcanoes, geckos (although not like our gecko), sea turtles, and listened to Hawaiian music, especially ukulele music. Wyatt liked Elvis’ version the best. He learned Hawaiian words, like aloha, ohana, and mahalo, designed his own surfboards, and made a grass crown. We also talked about the importance of tattoos in the Hawaiian culture, and gave this little tough guy a few temporary ones.

Resources Used:

Coconut Learning Pack and Mini-Hawaiian Adventure from The Masterpiece Studio

Volcanoes Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Books Read:

Tell Me a Tattoo Story || Hi’aka Battles the Wind || Maui Hooks the Islands ||Maui Slows the Sun || Pele Finds a Home || Hina || The Magic Ukulele || Secrets of the Seashore || Nerdy Babies Ocean || Ohana Means Family

We of course also watched Lilo and Stitch, Moana, and a Disney short called Lava, which was adorable!

It was a great way to end our summer session! Next week we have a vacation week, as we rest up for his first week of homeschool kindergarten! (wish me luck!)