We finished over 180 pages of Peter Cottontail in under 24 hours. No lie. He kept picking it up and asking me to read it to him during the day, during lunch, before naptime, and before dinner. We had to go to the library the next day to get another one of Thorton Burgess's wildlife tales so we could tag along for more of their adventures. Right now, we're deep into The Adventures of Old Granny Fox.
If you're looking for epic adventure, look elsewhere. These books follow about twenty animals and their adventures at a fairly slow pace. What I love is the language! Big scrumptious words. Well-developed characters. Fictional stories that are teaching real-life natural history. Best of all, they are just the right pace to pick up and read a few chapters right before bed. I'm noticing that the nights we do read them, Caleb settles down to sleep much faster. It's definitely worth the extra fifteen minutes of my time to give him the extra sleep, the nature study, and the experience using his imagination without the help of illustrations.
So here's the new tradition. We read baby books with Ben and tuck him into bed; then Caleb gets ready for bed. After a book with Teacher Man and some serious tooth brushing, Caleb and I curl up in his bed and read together. It's delightful! I love hearing, "Another chapter, Mommy! Please?"
Yes, our local library does have several of these, but we may have to pick up a collection to have for our very own. My son already talks about the animal characters as if he knows them. Love that!