Thursday, May 31, 2012

Easy Street

Do your children like to watch road construction?  As we run errands and travel in the summer, we’ve found our “waiting” time during stops for road construction can be turned into learning opportunities.  Easy Street, by Rita Gray and illustrations by Mary Bono, is a great way to read more about how streets are made.  The sequential three dimensional clay people and construction materials make the book’s rhyming story even more fun.  The diversity of the workers also makes the book more realistic.  After a few readings, children will be able to quote these fun rhymes and understand the street making process. An added page by the author also gives more detailed explanations of how asphalt is used in the street making process.  We hope you enjoy this fun book!

*Which job would you like to have on Easy Street?
*What kinds of tools are used in making a street?
*Can you tell some rhyming words you heard?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Welcome to the Zoo

Are you and your family planning a trip the zoo soon? We love to read books as we prepare and return from family outings.  Welcome to the Zoo, by Alison Jay, is a beautiful, wordless book that we enjoy talking about as we learn more about zoos.  The pictures captivate you as you take a picture walk through the delightful pages. This book is good preparation for developing children’s observation skills before they go to a zoo.

It’s fun for children (and adults) to spot all of the events happening at the zoo on each page.  Children can find and name the various animals in the book as well as think about animals they might see on their zoo trip. The author also includes two fun learning pages at the conclusion of the book.  These pages encourage children to take a look back at the book to find some specific items.  There are some funny things happening at this zoo, so don’t miss out on the laughs!

*What was the funniest thing you saw in this book?
*Which animal is your favorite?
*What questions would you like to ask the animals?

Monday, May 21, 2012


The cover of this book grabbed our attention first:  Mathematickles,
poems by Betsy Franco
+ illustrations by Steven Salerno =
fun poems to tickle your funny bone

This book is filled with clever ways to use math words and symbols to tell about changes that come with the seasons. One example we enjoyed was:  sphere + sphere + sphere = snowman.  Many of these made us laugh out loud! Younger children may not know some of the math symbols, but we enjoyed reading the words and figuring out the meanings.  This book lends itself to coming up with your own creative math problems and solutions.  Enjoy!

*What’s your favorite math equation in this book?
*What made you laugh in this book?
*Can you make up a math problem and solution like one of these?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Making Cents

Making Cents, by Elizabeth Keeler Robinson, is a fun way to introduce children to money.  The characters in the book are trying to build a clubhouse. Each coin/bill is introduced with a description, illustration, and example of what that amount can buy.  The progression of the story helps readers understand each successive coin/bill.  Children can have fun reading this story while also learning more about money.

*Can you tell me what a dime (penny, nickel, quarter) looks like?
*If you had this money, what would you buy?
*Which picture is your favorite?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Up, Down, and Around

Up, Down, and Around, written by Katherine Ayers and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, is a delightful book to read during gardening season.  The colorful drawings add to the simple story of which plants grow up, down, or around.  The details in the illustrations catch the attention of children as they explore this book.  We loved going back to reread this book and to find details we had missed the first time.  Happy Reading about garden plants!

*Can you remember which plants grow up?  Down?  Around?
*Which plant do you like to eat the most?
*Which animals and/or insects did you see in the pictures?

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Croaky Pokey!

The Croaky Pokey!, by Ethan Long, is a laugh out loud book to enjoy with your children.  This book is a great example of a book to do a picture walk with before you read the text.  Frogs do the “Croaky Pokey” to chase a fly around a frog’s mouth.  You’ll be laughing out loud as you read and view the frog’s antics.  Best of all, it has a surprise ending!

*Can you sing these words together with me?
*Which picture is your favorite?
*Were you surprised by the ending?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ladybugs, Red, Fiery, and Bright

We are always looking for interesting nonfiction books to add to our library.  We also like rhyming books and beautifully illustrated books. Ladybugs, Red, Fiery, and Bright, by Mia Posada, is all of these things.

This is a perfect book to do a picture walk so you and your children can enjoy the beautiful illustrations first.  The first few pages describe ladybugs in general followed by descriptions and illustrations of the life cycle of ladybugs.  We liked learning new vocabulary (larvae, molting, etc.) and the follow-up section at the back of the book that shows different kinds of ladybugs.  This is a great book to add to your nonfiction collection!

*What did you learn about ladybugs?
*Can you find some rhyming words used in the book?
*Have you seen different kinds of ladybugs?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Love You, Too

A perfect gift for a mother to share with her child is I Love You, Too! by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.  Beautiful illustrations accompany the story that begins with Little Brown Puppy searching for a gift for his mother.  He brings a bone to her, so she tells him she loves the bone.  She also tells him that she loves him too.  Other animals then begin looking for the perfect gift for their mothers.  Each mother animal loves the gift and tells her offspring that she loves him/her also.  The story ends with Billy giving his mother the best gift with her responding that she loves him too.  Rhyming is used in each animal’s conversation. Reading and discussing this book together can affirm parent love.  We hope you enjoy this book!

*What’s your favorite part of the book?
*Did you hear any rhyming words?
*Can you name an animal that isn’t in this book and predict what it would bring to its mama?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Love You, Little One

I Love You, Little One, by Nancy Tafuri, is a gentle book about mothers and how they love their children.  Each section begins with an animal in the deep woods asking its mama if she loves him/her.  Very reassuringly the mother answers and tells her child how much she loves him/her.  The story progresses to a child in a log cabin deep in the woods making the same inquiry of Mama.  This is a good bedtime story to be shared with children. 

*Which of these animals have you seen?
*Which animal is your favorite?
*Can you think of other animals and what their mothers would say?

Monday, May 7, 2012

How Do I Love You?

How Do I Love You? by Marion Dane Bauer is a fun, love-affirming book to read with your toddler/preschool aged child.  The sunny illustrations by Caroline Jayne Church add to the positive ways that the reader compares his/her love for his/her child using similes from things the child would understand.  This is also a great story for families to add examples of how they love their children.  Enjoy this sweet book!

*Which picture is your favorite?
*Can you name some of the items in the story?
*What ideas can we add to this story?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Momma, Will You?

Momma, Will You?, by Dori Chaconas, is a heart warming story told as a little boy, his baby sister, and Momma go about their day on a farm. The little boy asks his Momma various questions about the farm animals they encounter.  Every question is followed by, “Yes, or no, or maybe?”  The mother answers each question in a rhyme that adds to the ease of reading this book. The paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher add to the beauty of this book.  The “question” pages have a simple silhouette of the animal in question on a colorful background while the “answer” pages have beautiful vignettes of the little boy, baby sister, and Momma.  We hope you enjoy this peaceful, heartwarming book about family relationships.

*What is your favorite question in the book?
*What question would you ask about a farm animal?
*Which picture is your favorite?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Llama Llama Misses Mama

Llama Llama Misses Mama, by Anna Dewdney, is an enjoyable book that helps children work through the feelings of missing their mothers while going to school.  As usual, Anna Dewdney provides a fun story full of rhyme and colorful illustrations to delight the reader.  The message of loving parents and school is told in an understandable way. 

*What parts of Llama school look fun to you?
*Have you ever missed your Mama?
*What does Baby Llama find out about himself?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Llama Llama Mad at Mama

Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney, continues the story of Baby Llama and his antics.  The rhymes, pictures, and story combine to make this a tale that children and mothers can relate to---frustration with shopping!  Re-reading this story has resulted in us being able to quote much of the book.  We love Baby Llama, and hope you will too.

*Have you ever felt like Baby Llama?
*Can you tell me some of the rhyming words in the story?
*What does Mama do to help Baby Llama?
*What does Baby Llama do to help Mama?