Monday, April 30, 2012

Llama Llama, Red Pajama

Llama, Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney, is the first book in a series about Baby Llama and Mama Llama.  This story addresses a familiar stage of growing up---the bedtime ritual.  Children and parents will identify with the “llama drama” that ensues after Baby Llama wants his Mama after she has tucked him in for the night.  The rhyming verse makes this an easy book to read and repeat.  Baby Llama is a favorite character at our house!

*What does Mama Llama do to help Baby Llama go to sleep?
*What is Baby Llama worried about?
*What’s your favorite scene in the book?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mama's Little Duckling

Mama’s Little Duckling, by Marjorie Blain Parker, tells the story of a mama duckling and her efforts to keep her duckling, Dandelion Duckling, safe while also allowing him to explore his world. The author makes the story even more interesting by use of alliteration.  We enjoy reading about all of Dandelion’s adventures with his friends.

In addition to enjoying the story, a parent can use this book to help a child who is questioning boundaries.  The duckling learns how much his mama loves him through her actions.  A surprise ending shows the love Dandelion has for his Mama.  This is a great book for a mother and her children to learn from together.

*Why does Mama Duckling warn Dandelion?
*Who are Dandelion’s friends?
*Were you surprised at the ending?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zinnia's Flower Garden

Zinnia’s Flower Garden, by Monica Wellington, is a beautiful book that follows the adventures of Zinnia as she learns about flower gardening.  Each narrative page is bordered by information that tells more about the aspect of gardening pictured on the opposite page.  Also included in each layout is a page from Zinnia’s gardening journal.

This book is a great example of a book to use a picture walk the first time you and your children read this book.  Examples of information included with the text include:  types of clouds, stages of germination, life cycle of a butterfly, parts of a flower, types of flowers, addition of money, and pictures of the seasons.  There is so much to learn and enjoy from Zinnia’s Flower Garden.  This book is an inspiring, encouraging book to read and learn more about flower gardens.  Enjoy!

*Which type of flower would you like to grow?
*What did you learn about plants?
*What does Zinnia show you in her journal?
*What kinds of work does Zinnia do to grow pretty flowers? 

Monday, April 23, 2012


Mud, by Mary Lyn Ray, is the perfect book to welcome spring.  The easy to read text lends itself to reading together by parent and child.  The story follows the progression of spring into the glory of mud. The illustrations aptly picture a child’s fascination with mud.  Enjoy this book on a rainy spring day!

*Do you like to play in mud?
*What is your favorite picture in the book?
*What words did the author use to make the sounds of mud?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Maisy's Rainbow Dream

Is your child reading color words?  Then, Maisy’s Rainbow Dream, by Lucy Cousins, is a great way to involve your child in duet reading.  The bright colors and word patterns make this a superb way to build reading skills while enjoying the story.  This book could also be used as an early “I Spy” book as you ask your child to find different colored objects.  This is a simple book to learn more about the rainbow colors.  Enjoy!

*What is your favorite color?
*Do you ever dream about colorful objects?
*Can you find the objects in Maisy’s room that caused her to dream about these colors?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Loose Tooth

Loose Tooth, by Lola M. Schaefer, is a great book for beginning readers, as well as those who are losing their teeth!  Children can quickly identify with the family members as everyone tries to offer a solution to pull (or push) a loose tooth.  The easy readability of this book plus the cute illustrations make this book a fun read aloud.  Enjoy!

*What’s the funniest thing you read in this book?
*What advice would you give someone who has a loose tooth?
*Which way do you think is best to lose a tooth?
*What do you think he will do the next time he has a loose tooth?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots

Meet Nellie Sue, a spunky, creative girl who learns about friendship in Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots, by Rebecca Janni. We loved learning how Nellie Sue is trying to make new friends. The author writes with such vivid descriptions that we feel like we personally know Nellie Sue. Many phrases left us laughing out loud.  We readily pictured Nellie Sue’s bike being her two-wheeled horse and the fun everyone had at the Barnyard Bash.  We hope that you enjoy learning about the story of Nellie Sue as she makes new friends!

*Would you like to have gone to Nellie Sue's Barnyard Bash?
*How did Nellie Sue show friendship to the new girls?
*What did Nellie Sue learn about friendship?
*What was your favorite part of the book?

Friday, April 6, 2012

On Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, by Patricia Pingry, is a great complement to The Story of Easter.  Although this book is directed at toddlers and preschoolers, beginning readers can also delight in reading the simply written message.  Written in rhyming verse the story progresses through the secular activities of Easter to focus on the story of Jesus.  Reading this book can help initiate conversations with children about the importance of Easter.  Happy Easter to you and your family!

*Do any of these pictures remind you of how we get ready for Easter?
*Can you find the word Jesus in the story?
*Why do we celebrate Easter?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

God's Great Big Love For Me

God’s Great Big Love for Me, by Max Lucado, is an interactive book that helps children memorize and understand John 3:16. A cut-out at the top of the book contains a set of six colored beads which children can touch and/or slide to help them remember various aspects of God’s love.  A portion of the verse (John 3:16) is revealed on each page.  Then there is a more detailed explanation of each part of the verse below the memory verse.  These components of the book can be used and adjusted to children at various developmental stages.  It can be a little overwhelming to do the beads, read the verse, and then read the explanation the first few times you look at the book.  However, as you explore the book more, children and parents can add the components as the verse becomes more familiar.  This book can be a useful tool in beginning Scripture memorization with your child.

*Can you close the book and tell what each bead color represents?
*Can you say John 3:16 together with me now?
*Why is this verse important?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Story of Easter

We have read The Story of Easter, by Patricia Pingry, many times to show and understand the reason for Easter.  We love the way the illustrations and simple sentences tell the story of Jesus in a way that helps children begin to understand the significance of Easter.  This board book (like others by Patricia Pingry) can make an impact on a child’s spiritual development.  It has been a good conversation starter in our family.

*Which picture is your favorite in the book?
*Do any of the pictures make you sad?
*Do any of the pictures make you happy?
*What does this book tell us about Easter?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Golden Egg Book

The Golden Egg Book, by Margaret Wise Brown, is a classic, timeless Easter tale that can be enjoyed by children and parents.  Young children will enjoy the egg shaped silhouettes that contain the story on each page along with the softly drawn shapes of the animals.  Making predictions comes easily while children are listening to this book. As we're reading we stop and talk about what will happen next. The Golden Egg Book is a fun book to add to a collection of Golden Books.

*Which animal is your favorite?
*What do you think is the silliest thing that happens in the story?
*What do you think the bunny and the duck do next?

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Story of Jesus

Are you looking for a simple book that tells the story of Jesus in terms your toddler or preschooler can understand? The Story of Jesus, by Patricia Pingry, is a great book that helps children understand the basic aspects of the life of Jesus.  This board book is very child friendly in its use of illustrations and coloring of key words on each page.  We also enjoy elaborating each page with what we know about Jesus.  For example, on the pages about miracles we talk about other miracles Jesus performed.  This book is a great addition to a home library to learn more about Jesus.

*Can you name the characters in the Christmas picture?
*Do you know the names of any of the disciples of Jesus?
*What do you like to pray about?