Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snow Day

We’ve happily been enjoying all of the snow this year!  It’s been fun to read our books about snow since we can really make connections with text now!  Snow Day, written by Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Hideko Takahashi, is a great book to enjoy a great variety of words describing snow and snow activities.  Taking a picture walk can add to the connections. The vivid words make the story come alive.  If you child likes to act out books, this book is perfect for that!  We hope you enjoy the fun this book provides!

*Which snow day activity do you like best?
*Which vivid words do you like best?
*Can you think of other words to add to this story?

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Biggest Snowman Ever

The Biggest Snowman Ever, by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Jeni Bassett, is a story about two mice who enter the town snowman contest.  Both are trying to build the biggest snowman ever to win.  The book follows them and their friends as they go through the steps in building their snowmen.  The rivals soon discover the same idea---they can work together.  Their cooperation leads to winning the contest and developing their friendship. 

This book can be enjoyed for its story, a mentor text for writing instructions, and a discussion starter for social skills needed to develop friendships.   It’s a fun book that young children will enjoy!

*Which snowman did you like best?
*What do you think Clayton and Desmond learned?
*What did you learn from this story?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bea at Ballet

If you have a young dancer in your family, Bea at Ballet, written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora, is a great book to read together.  Colorful, labeled illustrations accompany the simple text about Bea going to ballet class.  It’s fun for beginning readers to read the labels about dress and ballet positions as you turn the pages.  We especially liked the pages depicting the five positions in ballet.  They provide a great way to help beginning ballet dancers to view the correct positioning and to then show it themselves.  This book would make a great gift to any young ballet dancer!

*Does this remind you of anything about your ballet classes?
*What’s your favorite part of the book?
*Can you show me the five positions from the book?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bible Story Color 'n' Learn

We’ve been looking for some ways to add more structured, developmentally appropriate Bible instruction during the week.  Bible Story Color’n’Learn by Michelle Medlock Adams (published by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc.) is one of our finds. The format is a full size coloring page accompanied by a full page narration.  Eighty-five stories (Old and New Testament) are included in this book.  We like that it provides a way to study the Bible in an age appropriate way beginning with the Creation and continuing through the New Testament. NIV Scripture reference is given at the beginning of each story.  Also on each page is a list of new words that may be outside the reading vocabulary. The reading level (K-1) is appropriate while maintaining a child’s interest.  We’re happy that we’ve found this book.  Please let us know of books that you’ve found that help with Bible instruction in your home.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Children Just Like Me

Children Just Like Me, A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World, by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley, is a fascinating nonfiction book to introduce readers to other children around the world.   As a DK Publishing book, it maintains the high standards readers are accustomed to as they learn through their books.  We like learning about other cultures so we really enjoy this book.  

This book is divided into five sections:  The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia and Australia.  Children from various areas representing those sections are presented through detailed photographs of themselves, their families, homes, and artifacts from their daily lives.  This book is another great nonfiction book that may best be seen through a picture walk when it is introduced. 

Some children’s stories are told in one page while others are told in two pages.  There are so many interesting facts and photographs that it might be fun to just read about one or two children at each reading time.  One fun thing we like is that each child writes his/her name so it can be seen with the article.  We’d recommend you have a globe/world map handy when you read this book.  It’s fun to find the countries as you read about each child!

*Which children have lives most similar to you?  Most different?
*Which children would you like to meet?
*What did you learn about other children?
*What would you like to ask these children?

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Lucky Day

As a family, we love reading humorous books!  My Lucky Day, by Keiko Kasza, is a book that’s fun to read plus its humorous ending is just delightful!  A fox feels very lucky when a piglet knocks on his door.  Of course he grabs the piglet and begins making plans to eat him.  His lucky day turns into a lot of work, but he keeps his eye on the anticipation of eating the pig.  The pig’s clever resourcefulness causes a surprising ending to the day.  We won’t tell you the ending, but you’ll enjoy finding out whose lucky day it is!  Have fun!

*What was the funniest part of the story to you?
*Why do you think the fox listened to the pig?
*How did the pig trick the fox?
*What do you think the pig will do next?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals

We are trying to add more nonfiction books in our reading time and in our home library.  National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals has been a great choice!  There are over 120 pages full of information about animals from the grasslands, ocean, desert, forest, and polar regions. 

Each section (divided by the regions) includes large photographs accompanied with a definition of the area.  Several pages follow focusing on specific animals.  The superb photographs really pull in the reader’s attention.  A picture walk might be the best way to view this book initially.  There’s just so much that can be gained from studying the pictures!

Along with the oversized text, fact “cards” give information about the kind of animal, home, size, food, sounds, and babies.  Circles of text give more interesting facts about each animal.  We really like the questions that accompany the reading.   One example is:  How old were you when you learned to walk?  These questions really help readers make a connection to the animal’s life.

Two pages at the end of the book give parent tips to extend the reading experience.  Many are simple activities to help enrich a child’s learning.  An animal map is also found at the end of the book.  Continents are color-coded with a key to indicate which animals are found there.  Finally, a glossy provides a way to enrich your child’s vocabulary.

This animal book is one of the best we have found!  It’s a book that can be picked up to view, read, study, and research.  Children and adults will find a great example of nonfiction reading!  Enjoy!

*What surprised you most about animals in this book?
*Which animals would you like to see?
*Which photos do you like best?
*What words in the glossary helped you understand the book better?

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

Have you set any New Year’s resolutions about reading each day to your children?  We read each day, at all times of the day, but especially before bedtime.  A very inspiring book, The Reading Promise:  My Father and the Books We Shared, by Alice Ozma, certainly reinforces our belief that reading is important in a family.  Alice and her father set a goal of reading for 100 nights, then extend that time, and end up reading each night until she goes away to college.  Alice recounts some of the books and what was happening in their lives in her story.  I found it very inspiring and touching!  If you’re already reading daily to your children, this story will resonate with you.  If you’re not making daily reading time a priority, then this book will inspire you!  Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, is a classic story that we love to read.  Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Award, it continues to engage the reader as Peter encounters a snowy day. The illustrations depict all of the ways in which Peter enjoys his snowy adventures.  Taking a picture walk through this book encourages young listeners/readers to anticipate the story.  It’s a fun book to read in anticipation of snowy weather!

*Which snow activity do you like to do best?
*Which illustration is your favorite?
*What do you think Peter and his friend do after the next snow?

Monday, January 7, 2013

One Little Penguin and His Friends

One Little Penguin and His Friends, illustrated by Claudine Gervy, lets your child push and turn durable board book slides to answer questions about various Arctic animals.  The answers pop or slide up in a counting pattern to reveal the answers.  The simply drawn animals are fun to view as children have fun interacting with the book to find the animals.  This book is a great tool to introduce facts about Arctic animals.  We’ve found this book to be very durable through the years with lots of pushing and turning the slides.  We think your children will enjoy this book too!

*Which animal is your favorite?
*Which animals have you seen?
*What’s the funniest part of the book to you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


1-2-3peas, by Keith Baker, follows with the same kind of fun reading and illustrations that is found in LMNOpeas.  In this book the peas count to 10, then count to 100 by tens with a rhyming pattern.  This is an amusing book that children will enjoy.  It’s fun to see how the peas will be depicted on each page and to count along with them.

If your family enjoyed LMNOpeas we think you’ll enjoy this book also.  Have fun counting!

*Which page is your favorite?
*Can you tell some rhyming words you heard in this book?
*What activity do you like best in this book?