As part of our evening routine we spend anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour reading books before brushing teeth and getting ready for bed. It's relaxing to cuddle up on the couch and share stories, especially now that M can read to us too (rather eloquently too!).
I thought I'd share a book we've read repeatedly. The kids were attracted to the story and it has become one of those that we read almost every night to the point of overload! Daddy instituted a new rule because of this book - we give preference to new books in the stack. If there is a book in the stack that we read the day before, it is moved to the bottom of the stack, to be read after the new arrivals. This helps us continue to expose the kids to new books, while still reading the favorites - otherwise they'd just read the repeats and we might skip over the new books.
The book is called Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood. When a mother of seven goes off to market, promising to bring each child back a gift, a witch arrives at the house and turns the children into food. The mother must figure out which food is which child in order to turn them back into their proper children form - or else the witch is going to eat them for supper! Somewhat fairy tale, somewhat folklore, somewhat mystery, somewhat horror story! The illustrations are absolutely stunning and move off of the page.
M is intrigued by the children, who are named after the days of the week. She also enjoys the matching puzzle the mother solves to discover which child is which food by matching them to the gifts they requested at market. C is a bit terrified of the whole thing, and won't look at any page with the witch on it, but he enjoys the story, especially the end when the witch jumps into the river and is never seen again!