See Catie holding I Wonder Who? Now you now have a visual of this book that I/Amazon couldn’t provide on a previous post. My greatest shock came in seeing how gentle she was with it. No flap-ripper, my granddaughter!
She also chose Cat, the Cat (see previous post) several times and could understand its humor well.
For four days while we visited, the G’ma-Catie Bookclub transformed into a book-of-the-day-club. I arrived from our hotel bearing new titles each day. I was surprised by Catie’s favorite, Kenny Harrison’s Hide and Seek Harry Around the House (Candlewick, ages 21/2-4 years).
It’s one of those deceptively simple board books. The text begins, “Harry is our friend. Hide and Seek is always on his mind.” The two children riding on his back on the first page are soon spotting Harry around the house in different (ridiculous) hiding places. He’s behind a skinny lamp, in a tub of bubbles, etc.
On the first read I saw that the humor was more sophisticated than I’d imagined. There’s a lot for a toddler to put together–playing the game of hide and seek with a hippo, why a hippo would be in a house, most of all, why the enormous would hippo thinks he’s hidden. (Anyone who’s ever parented knows the author-illustrator is probably riffing on the game babies play when they hide in plain sight and imagine they are invisible.)
Catie asked for this book four times in a row and I witnessed her comprehension increase with each reading. To begin with, I eased her in by adding a chorus “they could see him because he was tooooo big.” After a bit Catie anticipated my refrain and joined in. Finally she stated the refrain without prompting.
Catie’s figuring out relationships in terms of space and size and (though I didn’t intend this), Harry gave her great practice.
The final book I read a sleepy Catie before we left for our evening flight was Sandra Howett’s Sleepyheads (Beach Lane, ages 1-3), a lovely wind-down story that shows animals readying themselves for bed. In a twist ending, there’s a missing sleepyhead, a baby who is sleeping in her mama’s arms. The sweet rhyming story and its bold appealing illustrations hit just the right lulling tone. The only one who wasn’t comforted was Catie’s departing G’ma, who just barely managed to quell her own tears. So hard to leave that little one!
I can’t wait to return in a month when Catie’s brother is born.