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Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 08 Book of the Month

Introducing Planet Silas' November 08 book of the month:

Engine, Engine, Number Nine by Stephanie Calmenson ; illustrated by Paul Meisel.

Okay, two things to mention before I describe the book. First, I'm really late with this, as I normally try to publish the book of the month post on the 1st day of the month. With Halloween and the election, I pushed it back. Second, I don't have a bunch of pictures of Silas reading the book. I mean, do you really need to see pictures of him reading books every month? It's a little boring, right? And to be honest, I was getting tired of doing a kid-with-book-in-hand photo shoot every month. It's not that easy to get good shot when he's got his head in a book. So, from now on, unless there happens to be a nice picture of him looking at a book, or there's some other reason to post such pictures, the book of the month post will feature book cover images and a write-up of story in question and that's that.

So, let's get to it! This is a book that I used to read to Silas in the olden days when the worst thing he could do to a book was drool on it. In other words, we both really seemed to like this book when I could sit there and read it to him and there was little interaction on his part. At some point, it got shelved and forgotten about. Not too long ago, Silas brought it down and asked me to read it to him. "I remember that book, we loved that book" I said. I doubt Silas actively recalled it, but regardless, after just one or two readings, this became a frequent request. It's also the sort of book wherein after completing one reading, Silas shoves it in my face yelling "Mom, mom" until I agree to read it again (several more times).

Now, to the book itself. This is the story of a train picking up a myriad of passengers, from Bess and her pet pig, to Jake and his prize cow, to an entire marching band. They're all on their way to a county fair and it's the engine's mission to get them there on time. I don't know why both Silas and I love this book so much. Certainly, it's got a nice rhythm and there are lots of characters to follow. It's also humorous and sweet and, speaking as someone who went to the state fair every year, somewhat nostalgic. But there's something more to it that I can't quite place my finger on, even though I should be able to for the purposes of writing this review. Well, it's enough that we enjoy reading it, and I don't sigh and say "not that one again" when he asks me to read it for the hundredth time.

Sorry to say, but there's no honorable mention this month. Maybe I'll get back into the swing of it next month. Stay tuned...

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