What We're Reading: Princesses, Ballerinas, and Fairy Tales {Five Favorites}

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cecilia's been on a princess kick lately, and has been begging me to get more "beautiful" books from the library, so I put several on hold for her and think I'm going to end up buying them, she and the twins love them so much!

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The Starlight Princess (And Other Princess Stories) - I love books that use nontraditional means for illustration, and this one is so beautiful to look at - all the pictures are embroidery, and the stories are written in a manner that makes them pleasing to read. They're on the long side, so you won't be able to read the whole thing in one sitting, but we've been doing a story or two every day. It's out of print but there are many used copies available, and I think we'll be adding it to our library!

7 Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak) - This is one from my childhood that I loved back then, and the illustrations by Maurice Sendak make me love it even more! Again, some pretty long stories, but there are plenty of pictures to keep everyone's attention. The language is engaging enough that I enjoy reading it aloud, which is always a plus! Also out of print, but easy to find used.

Ella Bella Ballerina (Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker - a new one is coming out in October, also!) - we spotted these at a friend's house and Cecilia immediately asked if we could get them, too. They're fairly new (the first was written in 2008), and go through abbreviated versions of the accompanying fairy tales. They also have a page at the back explaining who the composer of the actual ballet was, and I think we'll be watching some YouTube videos and listening to the music to go along with the books - you can't go wrong with Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and others!

Beauty and the Beast - Really any Jan Brett is going to be wonderful, no matter what. The illustrations beautiful and detailed as always, and everyone loved pointing out specific details in the pictures. This is one that the girls are happy to look at quietly for long periods of time, and they also love having it read to them. My mom read it to them several times on her recent visit, and it's NOT short! But it's another that's written well enough that it's enjoyable to read aloud. And did you know that you can get free coloring pages on her website?

The Princess and the Goblin - I'm really not sure what the best edition of this book would be to buy... Ours isn't illustrated, and I wish it were! This is the one I'm currently reading aloud with John Paul and Cecilia and they LOVE it. Not all of the books we read have strong male and female characters, but this one is so perfect for them - Curdie is a very strong but skeptical boy and Irene is sweet and compliant but fiery at the same time (remind you of anyone?). George MacDonald was one of C.S. Lewis's favorite authors, and didn't write this specifically for children but for ALL to enjoy, which is apparent from the rather lofty vocabulary. I'm finding myself having to explain a lot of tricky words to the kids, and sometimes the sentence structure is complex enough that I have to go back to make sure I've put the proper emphasis on things... But it's so beautifully written and engaging that I don't mind!

Linking up with Jenna for Five Favorites and Jessica for What We're Reading!

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