{5-A-Day Books Challenge: Week 4 and a Giveaway!}

Ok, I have a confession: We've been kind of sucking with the 5-A-Day Books Challenge! It's not that we're not enthusiastic, and it's not that we aren't reading lots of books. It's just that we have a hard time reading all 5 of the books in the 5-A-Day basket every single day. I think there a couple of reasons for this:

1. We read several other books during the course of a day too (especially Princess Pea's beloved series), and bedtime stories are usually something else.
2. Since Princess Pea is usually in preschool all day, it doesn't leave us much time around morning rushhour, dinner rushhour, outdoor playtime, bathtime, naptimes, group activities (music, folkdancing, ballet) and playdates.

I've been considering three solutions to this problem:
  1. The first possibility is that I reduce the number of books from 5 a day to 3 a day.
  2. The second possibility is that I pick 3 picture books to focus on for Princess Pea and 2 more baby books (one word a page sort of thing) for Sweet Pea (since she's not in that 2-6 year target age range for the challenge anyway).
  3. The third possibility is that I still do 5 books for both of them, but make sure that 3 of them are REALLY short (just a few words per page).
When I threw out the first idea to Anna at The Imagination Tree (who created this challenge), I got a 'shocked' emoticon in return! LOL. So I think that will be my last resort! My plan, then, is to try option 3 first of all. If that doesn't work, I'll go to option 2. And if that doesn't work either, then I'll go to option 1.

I usually read one or two books over breakfast, which is a good start to the day. This week I'm including a bath book, so that will help too. So that means just two more to read between after-school time and bedtime. Hopefully that's do-able.

Wish me luck!

So here's this week's round-up of books:

Cuddle! by Beth Shoshan, illustrated by Jacqueline East. A cute rhyming story of a boy imagining what would happen if he cuddled various wild animals.

Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill, illustrated by Charles Fuge. A rhyming story of all the things Little Wombat likes to do for fun.

Freddy the Frog written and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. A squeaky bathbook rhyming story of Freddy's life in the pond.

Strawberry Shortcake: The Berry Big Storm by Megan E. Bryant, illustrated by Margo Querol and Celestino Santanach. This is an 'All Aboard Reading: Station Stop 1' book for beginner readers. Princess Pea picked this one, as she's slightly obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake these days (stay tuned for her Strawberry Shortcake birthday party in another month or so!).

That's Not My Dinosaur by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells. An Usborne touchy-feely book, part of a series of very cute 'That's Not My....' books - our new purchase this weekend, which brings me to our giveaway!....

On Saturday I hosted a children's book party at my house. Sort of like a tupperware party, but with children's books instead. An Usborne independent representative came over with a wonderful selection of children's books. My friends came over and we chatted, ate treats (brownies, cookies, and sponge cake - mmmm), and browsed and bought books. It was a great morning, and at the end of it, Maria, the book rep, offered a book for a giveaway on MPP! Thanks Maria!

Usborne makes the most lovely books, both fiction and non-fiction. We had quite a few already, including some that I had from my own childhood! I am particularly in love with their 'Things To Make and Do' series. I have the Fairy Things to Make and Do and the Mermaid Things to Make and Do, but there are so many to choose from! So, we selected a book to give away from that series: Summer Things to Make and Do. Quite timely as the summer holidays will be here before we know it! This book contains 17 crafty ideas, along with over 100 stickers.

So, how to enter?

Well, firstly, I need to tell you that this giveaway is open to those with addresses here in Hungary only (sorry to everyone else! But yay for all you Hungarian residents who never get to enter most other online giveaways!). Here's what you do:

1. If you haven't already, become a 'follower' of Mama Pea Pod on Googe Friend Connect (over in the sidebar on the right). Being a follower there gets you one entry.
2. If you haven't already, 'like' MPP on facebook. Being a liker there gets you one entry.
3. Become a follower on Networked Blogs. That's another entry.
4. This one is a must for everyone to enter: Leave a comment below telling what you like to do with your little peas in the summertime. This must be done in addition to at least one of the above ways of following MPP.

Entries will close on May 28th. The winner will be selected not by any fancy-schmancy computer-generated randomising (is that a word?) program, but by my own little Princess Pea drawing a name from a good, old-fashioned hat (or more likely a box, we'll see what we can find). She'll love the power it gives her!

By the way, this is not an Usborne sponsored post, these are my true opinions about these books. Maria was kind enough to donate a book to giveaway, with no strings attached. She is just a lovely person! (She's also my quilting teacher! Multi-talented lady!) If you'd like to check out her website, please do: www.usborneonline.org/maria_laza .

So, that's it, good luck and sorry for such a long post today!