Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Little Miss is at Home

Poor kid, with an ear infection and pink eye, leaking nostrils… not a pretty sight. Especially after being forced to take the “chalky” medicine. Since I’m to keep her quiet, I turned to the electronic babysitter. Here’s my chance, I thought, to introduce her to the classic children’s movies… “Black Beauty”, “National Velvet”, “The Jungle Book” … followed by a free-ranging discussion of the overall themes.

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I’m going to make coffee, brush the dried antibiotic from my trousers and hope she gets bored enough to read with me. Any suggestions for a five year old girl?

20 thoughts on “Little Miss is at Home

  1. My daughter is 18 so forgive me if I am a little off my game on recommending books for a 5 yr old girl. But if she likes animals, the James Herriott Treasury for Children is great (short stories), Miss Rumphius, the Mr. Putter and Tabby series, Wind in the Willows? Both my kids also liked the Land Before Time movies. Crafts are usually a good way to go for that age. Good luck!

  2. Anything from Dr. Seuss. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street is a favorite in our house. And for when they’re sleeping, Dr. Seuss Goes to War is good for the adults.

  3. If you have not read Trumpet of the Swan you are missing an extraordinary experience for you both. I fear this never hit my childhood shelf as the protagonist is a boy (as is the swan.) I’ve read it to each of the boys and each has loved it. The prose is like music; it’s written to be read aloud.

  4. Try the ‘Shoes’ Books by Noel Streatfeil – maybe a bit old for her, but if she is anything like her Mater and Pater should appreciate them.

  5. The Betsy-Tacy series, based on the life of author Maud Hart Lovelace, follows Betsy, Tacy, and Tib from age 5 until they are married. Set in turn-of-the-century Minnesota, they are written to be age appropriate as the girls grow up. Any girl of 5 would love a story that starts with a 5th birthday party where the best gift is “the gift of a friend.” Red autos, horse-drawn buggies, penny candy, playing beggars, “Everyting Pudding”–lifelong friendships to be treasured by many generations.

  6. The Madeline books, my daughter loved all the stories. Also, Adele & Simon, a beautiful picture book and story by Barbara McClintock. My daughter also loved the movie Mary Poppins, which can be followed by a reading of the classic story.

  7. Ditto American Girl books, especially the original ones based on American History. Ditto James Herriott stories–
    Marguerite Henry’s stories about horses (Misty of Chinqutie–spelling way off) are glorious and the illustrations are dear–
    Winnie the Pooh stories are meant to be read by Dad–much funnier!
    Ginger Pye, The Hundred Dresses, Pinky Pye . . . all by Eleanor Estes and usually available at the library–
    Crafts, and never underestimate the calming effect of a warm bath for kids! Fill the tub with toys, and take a seat on the floor and rest a bit. No bubbles, pediatrician says not healthy.

  8. Get her started on the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. No female growing up in this country should be without these books. Series starts when Laura is about your daughter’s age. Warm bath is a great idea, & esp. if she ends up feverish, a room temp bath is relaxing and will help her feel better without medication. Bring lots of beach towels into bath and make yourself comfortable. Oh, the “Jungle Book” stories by Rudyard Kipling are fun to read aloud to kids if you enjoy making different funny voices for the animals. “How the Elephant Got His Nose” is very silly, and “Riki Tiki Tavi” is kind of swashbuckling. For a mongoose.

  9. Definitely the Madeleine books, and the movie, and the videos, and also the Babar books. My father read them to me when I was 5 and 6, and because of those stories, I studied French, spent my junior year in a French University, worked for two French companies in the US upon graduation, studied law in France, speak it fluently now, and have friends in Paris whom I visit regularly. It quite literally opened up the world to me – and all because of my dad and Madeleine and Babar!!

  10. Little House, hadn’t crossed my mind!

    Lil’ Miss is doing much better and may make school tomorrow. Thank you all for the marvelous suggestions. A number of the books are on their way thanks to ABE and Amazon. I was glad to see the Babar suggestions. They are a favourite and the kids have both my books and Mrs. E.’s in French and English.

    Do you like Kipling?
    Dunno, never Kippled.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  11. My daughter is nine. Yes, all the classic books (and others) recommended above are great choices. But her hands down favorite (and mine too), has always been laying on the couch together making up our own stories. I suggest a story line (very Dada–whatever comes into your head), recite a loose story, then turn it over to her to complete the thought. She tosses it back to me and we go on like that until the thing expires and we move on to a new one. We have now evolved this little game into entertainment on the 20-min ride in to school each morning. She’s become quite the little storyteller. Try it. And chicken soup too of course. Feel better, little one!

  12. Grab a copy of the DVD “The Five Children and It” — rather wonderful — just check out Eddie Izzard as the Sand Fairy! Hilarious! Any books by Enid Blyton or E. Nesbit ……and chicken soup. Ginger ale. Ice Cream floats with ginger ale.

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  13. P.S. Don’t know how I could have forgotten Laura Ingalls Wilder! Every one of her stories is a delight. And please don’t forget Anne of Green Gables when she is a bit older! For both boys and girls, pre-adolescents, the Landmark Books series published by Random House, all out of print, are not to be missed! Informative and inspiring stories for young Americans. They present authentic information on American history in vivid and realistic stories. Excellent writers, appealing subjects from America’s past. Find them & buy them!

  14. I know this is an old post, but given my five year old daughter has just recovered from a bout of scarlet fever, I thought I’d mention how I entertained her. We watched lots of Shirley Temple movies,and then she would draw her favorite outfits. The designs would then be taken a step further and constructed in 3D with paper then taped to her body!

  15. I realize this is quite an old post, but there is actually a line of Barbie (yes, I know) movies based on classics such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, etc. Might be more tolerable than MLP when you have to revert to electronics. While I despise Barbie, I was pleasantly surprised at the videos (they were a gift from grandparents). Praying for your wife…

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