Family Book Festival

Family Book Festival : Suz Lipman Curious George Rides a Bike

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Family Book Festival

Our Family Book Festival just keeps getting better and better!

Family Book Festival is a project to help chase away the doldrums of winter by jumping into the favorite books of our author, illustrator, blogger friends.It’s our hope that, not only will we provide reading families with amazing new booklists and activities, but also give the parents a chance to experience a blissful walk down memory lane as they share favorite books from their childhood.
We are so lucky to have a visit from Suz Lipman today!
Suz and I came to know each other via our blogs. Jump into a Book and Suz’s blog Slow Family Online. Suz and I both subscribe to the Slow Living Lifestyle. Life is to be savored ! We both chose to get off the merry-go-round of hyper activity and create a life of togetherness with our families as opposed to the carpool line.  You can learn more about Slow Family Living on her blog and her incredibly great book filled to the brim with over 300 activities to do with your family “Fed Up with Frenzy”. It was one of my favorite reads for 2012.  I’m still creating and reading from it in 2013 too.
fed up with frenzy
I’d like to introduce you to my friend Suz Lipman and she’s sharing what was on her bookshelf as a child and a jump into her families favorite read Curious George Rides a Bike by Margaret and H.A. Rey.
What was your favorite book growing up?
I loved so very many childhood books, each of which I regard as great friends, and many of which I still have today, having carted them from house to house over the years.  The ones that stick with me most include The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, E.B. White’sCharlotte’s Web, Edward Lear’s The Complete Nonsense Book, and the following two books.
All-of-a-Kind Family
I fell permanently in love with books on a rainy day in second grade. Already a reader, I became enthralled with the “bigger-kid” paperbacks in the school library that spun on their own gold rack. Something about one book in particular jumped out at me. The book was Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family. On its cover was a drawing of five similar girls, of various heights, wearing matching pinafores and high-topped boots. I checked the book out and began devouring its tales of family and neighbors on New York’s Lower East Side, in the early 1900s, a group “rich in kindness, though poor in money”. I read about penny candy and Roman candles, pushcart peddlers and the power of imagination in tough times. I went on to read the book’s three equally enthralling sequels and, when my daughter was in second grade, I read All-of-a-Kind Family to her. I still have my original copy of this book, which I was given, and which has followed me across the country and back, perching on multiple bookshelves in multiple homes. This 60-plus-year-old book about a family that lived more than 100 years ago remains relevant and entertaining today. To this day, long past second grade, I’m rarely without a book to read and I’m still a sucker for the library’s or bookstore’s spinning gold rack.
FBF allkindfamily-1
Hailstones and Halibut Bones
As a child, I read this delightful and beautiful book of poems by Mary O’Neill over and over. Each two-page poem salutes a different color, and each is richly illustrated by Leonard Weisgard, in drawings that use only black, white and the featured color. The poems are very whimsical and incorporate vivid language, word play and flights of fancy as they explore each color. My favorite was ever-changing.
From “What is Pink?”
If you stand in an orchard
In the middle of Spring
And you don’t make a sound
You can hear pink sing,
A darling, whispery
Song of a thing.
From “What is Orange?” in honor of Jump into a Book
Orange is the fur
Of the fiery fox,
The brightest crayon
In the box.

FBF Hailstones and Halibut


Does your family have a favorite book everyone likes to read together?

My husband Michael and I read to our daughter Anna every night, until about the middle of her elementary school years, when she began to want to read by herself sometimes. That time was incredibly bonding and calming for our family. We usually let Anna choose the books. Inexplicably, at age 2, she routinely asked for a book that was actually a face-painting instruction manual. It was a challenge to make up stories to go with the faces, but we did! Later, we read a mixture of picture books and chapter books. We still talk fondly about many of our favorites, which often featured adventure, travel and mischief, in addition to fine writing and beautiful illustrations. These include Pantaloon, by Kathryn Jackson, featuring an indomitable baking poodle; The Sailor Dog, by Margaret Wise Brown, about a very adventurous dog named Scuppers (who was “born at sea in the teeth of a gale”); and many Curious George books, by Margaret and H.A. Rey, especially Curious George Rides a Bike. We also all loved One Morning in Maine, by Robert McCloskey, The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, and Patricia Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt, all three of which are gentle books that explore sweet, slow childhood moments, as well as the passage of time.

FBF Curious George


How to Make a Paper Boat, inspired by Curious George Rides a Bike, by Margaret and H.A. Rey
My family first got the idea to make a paper boat from our beloved book, H.A. Rey’s Curious George Rides a Bike, in which sweet and loveable George secures a paper route, which leads him to make and sail a whole flotilla of folded-newspaper boats. Wondering if a newspaper boat could really float, we got out some old newspaper, folded it into boats using the directions in Curious George, and took our boats down to a local creek, where they indeed sailed along once released, on a gently flowing spring stream. You can make your own boat, using any kind of paper.
Read the whole tutorial here and make your own boat, or even flotilla!

FBF PaperBoatTutorial

FBF paper boat

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) is the author of FED UP WITH FRENZY: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her award-winning blog, Slow Family Online. A near-lifelong book lover, she has written about Slow Parenting for the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. You can find Suz on Facebook and on Twitter.


3 thoughts on “Family Book Festival : Suz Lipman Curious George Rides a Bike

  1. We have just read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats for the first time. My daughter was so convinced that the snowball would still be in the pocket the next day that we did our own snowball experiment!
    We love Curious George too although we don’t know Curious George Rides a Bike.
    I’m really enjoying The Family Book Festival – great idea, thank you 🙂

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