Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Polar Lands

Polar Lands, by Margaret Hynes, is a good choice to introduce more nonfiction in your young child’s library. Children can learn more about the polar lands and the animals who inhabit it.  The animal photographs enhance the text and encourage discussion.  Vocabulary words at the bottom of each page can be used to further language development.  It’s fun for beginning readers to find the vocabulary words in the text above the definition.  We also enjoyed the maps at the beginning.  This is a book that we enjoy reading and viewing for more information.  We hope you enjoy it!

*Where is the Arctic region? Antarctica?
*Why do some polar animals migrate?
*What are three new words you learned?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Animal Babies in Polar Lands

We have lots of fictional books about snow, snowmen, and snow animals.  One of our reading goals is to include more nonfiction.  Animal Babies in Polar Lands, by Jennifer Schofield, is a delightful book that introduces children to learning more about polar animals. 

The first page about each animal presents a close-up photograph of a baby animal with information about the animal and closes with a question about the mommy’s identity.  The next pages show the baby animal with its mother and give the baby’s name (such as pup, chick, etc.).  The superb photographs along with the factual information make this a great book to introduce nonfiction to your reading time with your children.  We re-read this book often because it’s so enjoyable.  We hope you learn from it too!

*Which animal is your favorite?
*Which animal looks most like its mommy? 
*Which animal looks least like its mommy?
*Can you remember the names of the baby animals?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowmen at Night

Are you looking for a fun, engaging book to spark your child’s creativity?  We love reading Snowmen at Night (written by Caralyn Buehler and illustrated by Mark Buehner) to imagine what snowmen really do when we’re not looking.  From skating to baseball games (played with snowballs, of course!) to sledding, these snowmen are busy!

Reading the verses in rhyme while laughing at the pictures always makes us come up with new ideas.  This is also a great book to do a picture walk either before or after reading to find the hidden pictures in some of the snow scenes.  Have fun reading this book and looking for them!

*Which snowman scene is your favorite?
*Can you think of other things snowmen might do at night?
*If you were a snowman, what would you do at night?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Learning About Book Displays-January

We love books!  We enjoy having our books out in bookshelves for ready access.  Some families prefer to keep a few out, rotating books in a few at a time.  We look at our home library a lot like a public library.  All books are available, with a few on display.  The ones on display follow a monthly/seasonal pattern.  For example, right now, books about snow and snow animals are displayed.  

As children get older, they can help with the displays.  It’s good practice to categorize books and gives ownership to the book display.   It’s been interesting to watch these skills develop as time goes by.

Some displays include stuffed animals, figurines, and/or word art to complete the “exhibit” of books.  Have fun making some book displays of your own!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, continues the fun tradition of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? substituting “hear” for “see” through the pages. We enjoy making the sounds of each animal as we read the descriptive details.  
After a few readings, children can “read” this book by sight. The ending also provides a great way to slip in sequencing skills as it recounts the animals you’ve “heard” as you’ve been reading. We love to read all of Eric Carle’s books, and this one is a great addition to our home library.

*What’s your favorite animal?
*I’ll say an animal’s name and you tell me the sound it makes.
*How could you dress up as an animal using things we have at home?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Three Snow Bears

Three Snow Bears, beautifully written and illustrated by Jan Brett, uses the character of Aloo-ki as the counterpart of Goldilocks in the traditional tale of the Three Bears.  Aloo-ki, an Inuit girl, explores the igloo of the Snow Bears until they arrive home.  Taking a picture walk through this book before and after reading furthers the enjoyment of the story.  We love looking at all of the details Jan Brett puts in her illustrations.  We also enjoyed comparing the book to the Three Bears.  Aloo-ki is a very likeable character, and we laughed at the things she did.  Enjoy her adventures!

*Can you imitate the different bears’ voices?
*Are you anything like Aloo-ki?
*What would your life be like if you lived in an igloo?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Polar Bear...

Dear Polar Bear, by Barry Ablett, is a fun, fictional book that teaches children lots of information about bears.   Polar Bear writes to his various friends (other bears) around the world with his problems, and his friend, Postman Penguin, delivers his letters.  The envelopes are addressed to each friend with factual information about the bear’s habitat.  Each friend responds with a letter containing a solution.  Children have fun opening the letters to find out what the friend has sent. 

Children learn more about bears and their habitats while having fun listening to or reading this book.  In addition, the inside cover is illustrated with a world map showing each bear’s location. There is also much to be learned about friendship.  A surprise ending shows how much the other bears care about Polar Bear!  It’s a fun, heart-warming story to share with your children. 

*Which kind of bear is your favorite?
*Which gift surprised you the most?
*What would you send to Polar Bear?

Friday, January 6, 2012

How To Build A Snowman

How to Build a Snowman is a fun, textured book that invites interaction between the listener and the book.  Younger children love to touch the various items that go into building a snowman.  Preschool children can help the reader in listing the steps that go into building the snowman.  This is a fun book to read right before going outside to build your own snowman!

*Can you tell me the colors of each item?
*What’s your favorite item in building the snowman?
*What could we use from our home to build a snowman?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Taking Stock

January is a great time to review your children's book collection.  We're looking at books that need to be repaired, genres where we need to add some books, and re-reading old favorites.  We've also repositioned a chair to the playroom where it has become a new reading nook.

One genre that we need to add some new books to is nonfiction.  We're on the hunt for some biographies and informational books.  Right now we're going through our books to make a display of snow books!  Stay tuned for some new reviews!

Happy Reading!