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Texas 2×2 Reading List for Children

The Texas Library Association created the Texas 2×2 Reading List to encourage reading to and by children age 2 to grade 2. The lists for each year since 2000 are provided. Many of our favorite books have come from the 2×2 Reading Lists. The 2009 Reading List includes links to parent & children reading time activities. Here are some books from the 2×2 List with links to purchase at Amazon.

What are your kids favorites?

Visitor For Bear A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Ages 4-8. One of our favorites! Beautifully illustrated! A love-hate relationship between Bear and Mouse turns a clever children’s picture book into a tale of learning to be friendly and making new friends.

The Littlest Llama Jane Browning Buxton. Ages 3 and up. Little llama wants to play but his family is too busy, so he wanders off to find a playmate and finds adventure and a wonderful surprise when he returns home

Quinito, Day and Night/Quinito, dia y noche by Ina Cumpiano, Illustrated by Jose Ramirez. Ages 4-8. Little Quinito and his family take the reader through a day filled with opposites, including short/tall, quiet/loud, and rainy/sunny.

On the Farm Ages 2-6. Beautiful woodcut illustrations and simple humorous verses about farm animals will delight children.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Mem Fox, Fox, Mem. Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Rhyming text compares babies born in different countries and in different circumstances, but they all share the commonality of ten little fingers and ten little toes

How to Heal a Broken Wing Written & illustrated by Bob Graham. Ages 3 and up. Told in small panels, this sweet, gentle story is for all ages with a reminder to take time to care and help in a busy world.


10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh. Ages 3-6. Using cutaway pages and one lift-the-flap, Walsh has created an informative and wonderful book for showing young children how they can help conserve and take care of our earth.

Chicken Said, “Cluck!” (My First I Can Read) Judyann Ackerman Grant, Illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Ages 4-8. Pearl and Earl set out to grow pumpkins with the help of a pesky chicken in this story for emergent readers.

Sort it Out! by Barbara Mariconda, Illustrated by Sherry Rogers. Ages 4-8. This little pack rat presents one of the basic science methods by sorting the things he has collected. The pictures have all kinds of surprises in them, including another packrat who turns out to be the sister.

Duck Soup by Jackie Urbanovic. Ages 4-8. Max the Duck wants to create the “perfect” soup. When he steps out the backdoor to find a missing ingredient, his friends Brody and Dakota fear the worst when they see a feather floating in the boiling soup.

Baseball Hour by Carol Nevius, Illustrated by Bill Thomson. Ages 4-8. Outstanding photo realist-like illustrations combined with clever poetic verse, supercharges young readers with a thrilling game of little league baseball

Jack Wants a Snack Pat Schories. Ages 2- 6. Children will love exploring the illustrations and following this wordless story of puppy dog Jack as he attempts to obtain a snack of popcorn during an outdoor tea party.

No Babysitters Allowed Amber Stewart. Ages 4-6. When his parents go out for the evening, Hopscotch works out his separation anxiety with the help of Mrs. Honeybunch and some good books.

What Can You Do With a Rebozo? Carmen Tafolla. Ages 3-6. Colorful illustrations reflect a simple, joyful family setting and present the many creative ways to use the rebozo, a traditional Mexican woven shawl.

Grumpy Cat Britta Teckentrup. Ages 2-4. A street cat, increasingly grumpy due to loneliness, changes his attitude when a small, abandoned kitten decides to be his friend.


The Doghouse Jan Thomas. Ages 3-5. Cow, Pig, Duck, and Mouse are afraid to retrieve their ball when it goes into the dog’s house, but when they do go in they are pleasantly surprised.

Books & Parenting Chris 30 Sep 2009 No Comments

Daddy No Habla Espanol?

One of Saxon’s favorite books is Curious George. She often brings me the book to us saying “read a book, read a book, george, george.” One minor problem: the only Curious George book we have is titled Jorge el Curiosa and it’s, you guessed it, in Spanish. Well, neither Carey nor I habla much espanol (but Saxon’s nanny, who speaks almost all Spanish to her, does), so we make up the story.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the Curious George books, written in the 1940’s and I bet many of you read them as kid. So, you can imagine, making up the story isn’t impossible considering the wonderful illustrations, it’s just harder than reading.

So, the other night when Saxon wanted me to read “george, george,” and the bait & switch for a book I could actually read to her didn’t work, I figured I’d give it a try in Spanish.

Reading as clearly and quickly as I could, I felt pretty confident reading about the “amarillo sombrero” the evil “hombre” used to lure Jorge into his net so he could capture him and take him across the “grande mer” and lock him up place him in the zoologico.

About this time, Saxon, sitting in my lap, turned her head around and stared at my mouth with an expression that ranged somewhere from confusion (my being optimistic) to disgust (realistic). Determined to pretend as if Dad was fluently bilingual, I continued on, getting this same look from Saxon every three or four pages.

Since Saxon can count to three in Spanish, says “mas” when she wants more, leche (sometimes) when she wants milk and probably knows as many, or more Spanish words than I do, I guess she could tell my Spanish sucks. Oh well.

Carey’s sister, Teresa, flew in from Chicago to join us for Easter weekend. Here are some photos from the weekend.

on the move at my office

saxon and her kitty
hanging out with kitty
tongues are cool

posing with aunt teresa

group shot with mom, too

Books & Photos & Relatives Chris 02 May 2008 No Comments

Reading is Fundamental

On a beautiful, sunny, 67 degree Saturday afternoon, I’m typing away while Saxon is napping. Since Saxon is down to one nap per day, I find it critical to enter Tasmanian devil mode during the 1.5 to 2 hours of her afternoon slumber, spinning around painting, blogging, more garage organizing. I’ve pushed the envelope today and Saxon is standing up in her crib (thank you MobiCam for the Truman World-esque peek) saying “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy…softie, baby, doggie, Mommy, Daddy…book, book, book”

Another peek into Saxon’s World shows her sitting up in her bed Indian-style reading to her doll “nanna,” who is sitting in her lap.

One of Saxon’s very favorite activities is reading - mainly having us read to her. Of course, this thrills me. My parents read to me all the time and to this day I still love reading. Saxon, who is now 20 months old, has her favorites and is very vocal about which book(s) she wants to read - and this changes from day to day.

We wanted to share Saxon’s favorites and you’ll see them listed in the sidebar. Pat the Bunny, a gift from one of my clients, was one of her very first faves. The other three are on her current reading list - in “heavy rotation.”

Clip-Clop is the story of dog, cat, pig and duck (dcp&d) who all go riding with a horse. Saxon loves the part where the horse starts going really fast and dcp&d scream, “Whoa” and they all go flying through the air, landing, with four “plops” in the hay. While playing on the arm of the couch, Saxon likes to reenact the scene. Sometimes it takes me a moment to catch my cue (”whoa, whoa”).

Llama Llama Red Pajama is about a baby llama, who, yep, you guessed it, wears red pajamas. After going to bed, baby llama, gets scared and anxious and gives shout-outs for him mama llama. The first time I read this, I wondered, “why in the world am I reading this to a child who has not yet exhibited fear of the dark or being alone? am I simply planting seeds of fear in her little brain?”

Haven’t seen any dark consequences yet, but maybe this is the type of thing she will have to work through with her therapist 20 years from now. Carey has asked if I could please hold off on getting Saxon Llama Llama Mad at Mama for a few years.

Where is the Green Sheep is my favorite of the three. Not only is it beautifully illustrated in a minimalistic style, the book shows all kinds of sheep (i.e. Near Sheep & Far Sheep) until it gets to the end where you find the green sheep sleeping. About 2/3 through the book, Saxon starts “shhh, shhh” so we won’t wake the green sheep.

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Books Chris 12 Apr 2008 No Comments