Friday, March 29, 2013

Visit the March 2013 Carnival of Children's Literature

Are you looking for some new book recommendations?  Be sure to check out the March 2013 Carnival of Children's Literature hosted by Secrets and Sharing Soda this month.  Great reading ideas!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Queen of Easter

Queen of Easter, by Mary Engelbreit,  tells the story of Ann Estelle as she receives a new Easter hat.  The hat is not to Ann Estelle’s liking; it is not fancy enough for the neighborhood parade.  When she leaves the hat behind on the porch, it becomes a nest for a robin.  Ann Estelle then uses her creativity with an old Easter hat in a charming ending to the story.  We so enjoyed seeing how Ann Estelle solved her dilemma in such a positive way!

*How did Ann Estelle change her mind about her hat?
*Were you surprised at what happened to her new hat?
*What do you think people thought about her sign?
*How would you decorate an Easter hat?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Book Displays

It's always fun to put books on display around the house to encourage reading.  Enjoy some of our Easter ideas for displays!

                                      Happy Reading!

Plate stand in first picture found at World Market.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Parable of the Lily

The Parable of the Lily, written by Liz Curtis Higgs and illustrated by Nancy Munger, is a good family story to dialogue about forgiveness and grace.  A young girl, Maggie, receives a gift (a wooden crate of dirt (that she doesn’t appreciate it.  The gift, as you can probably tell from the title, is revealed to be a lily bulb.  The story follows her actions and those of her father (who gave her the gift).  We especially like that appropriate Bible verses are printed throughout the book to help the reader make the correlation between this story and the true story of Easter.  We hope that you and your family enjoy learning from this parable about love and forgiveness!

*What did you learn from this story?
*Who does Maggie represent?
*Who does the farmer represent?
*Who does the bulb represent?
*How does this story tell us more about God’s love?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peter Rabbit Lift-the-Flap Words, Colors and Numbers

Peter Rabbit Lift the Flap Words, Colors and Numbers, based on the original edition by Beatrix Potter, is an oversized board book that introduces young children to the story of Peter Rabbit.   A short part of Peter Rabbit’s story is told on the pages with an accompanying task (find the colors, etc.).   Its interactive features make the discovery of words, colors, and numbers fun as the flaps are opened to reveal the items listed in picture format.  We especially like that when the flap is opened, the word is also revealed, exposing children to written symbols for the colors and illustrations.  This is a fun book to add to your library!

*What’s your favorite picture?
*Can you find Peter in each picture?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wake Up, It's Spring!

Wake Up, It’s Spring!, by Lisa Campbell Ernst, is a beautiful book that has a succession of characters who tell each other that it’s Spring.  It’s fun to follow the progression of each character as they tell the next one about Spring.  The author uses very vivid verbs making this story a great mentor text for writing.  Retelling this story is fun because each scene builds to the next.  Making a chart/timeline would help children develop the story for retelling.  Most of all, it’s just a fun way to introduce Spring!

*Can you retell the story?
*What descriptive words does the author use?
*What’s your favorite scene in the book?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Puppies and Piggies

Puppies and Piggies, by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Ivan Bates, is a beautiful rhyming book that tells about various animals and what they like to do. Puppy, Kitty, Bunny, Piggy, Chicky, Mousey, Goosey, Poney, and finally, Baby all have pages in the story.  The illustrations add depth and enjoyment to the story as it is read.  This book is a great bedtime story and can also be read by young readers.  We hope you have fun reading it!

*Can you name the animals in the story?
*What rhyming words did you hear?
*What things from the story do you like to do?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Big Bad Bunny

Big Bad Bunny, written by Franny Billingsley, with art by G. Brian Karas, starts off with a fearsome Bunny and a calm Mama Mouse. One page depicts the scary Bunny with fierce text and then the next page is very much a contrast with the serene Mama Mouse.  The story progresses as Big Bad Bunny realizes she is lost (the one thing she’s scared of) with the reader discovering that Mama Mouse is looking for her lost child…..yes, her child mouse pretending she is Big Bad Bunny!  It ends up being a humorous book with this surprise ending.  It’s a great conversation starter about making assumptions, the fun of pretend play, and the reassurance that a mother will look out for her child.  We hope you enjoy meeting Big Bad Bunny!

*How would you describe Big Bad Bunny?  Mama Mouse?
*Are you surprised Big Bad Bunny is afraid of anything?
*Do you like to pretend you’re something else?  What?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekend Collection about Books....

I hope you and your family have had a good week filled with lots of reading!  Check out these posts to think some more about reading:

How can we help parents to find quality books for their children? at Jen Robinson's Book Page.

Jen follows up with a summary of comments from that post with this post.

I think it's a good way to start looking at how we share good books!  Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

On the Night You Were Born

On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman, is a beautiful book that every child deserves to hear.  Psalm 139 is quoted at the beginning of the book—For you are fearfully and wonderfully made….and the story unfolds to confirm the special place each child holds.  The rhyming words and the beautiful illustrations paint loving pictures of the night the child was born.  Taking a picture walk before and after reading the story enhances this story and leads to conversation.  We like to read this at birthday times and any other time when a gentle reminder of our special place in the world is needed.  This book is a great gift idea for a family with a newborn!

*What is your favorite picture in this book?
*Why do you think you are special?
*Why do you think God made each person different?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Llama Llama Home with Mama

We love reading Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney!  Llama Llama, Home with Mama follows the antics of Baby Llama on a sick day.  The rhyming words and the clever illustrations add to the fun of reading about Baby Llama. The story takes a turn as Mama Llama gets sick, too.  There are some important lessons about empathy as Baby Llama helps Mama. We hope you enjoy this great Llama book!

*How do you know Baby Llama is sick?
*What things help you when you are sick?
*How does Baby Llama help Mama? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, by Sean Covey, is a children’s book based on the principles found in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The characters in the book (Goob Bear, Jumper Rabbit, Lily Skunk, Sammy Squirrel, Sophie Squirrel, Pokey Porcupine, Tagalong Allie, and Ernie the worm) are featured in seven stories that teach lessons to illustrate each principle.  The stories are engaging and accompanied by fun illustrations (Stacy Curtis).  We like that the stories’ lessons are very evident and life like. 

This is a book that can be read a story at a time as children think about each principle.  A full page Parents’ Corner page is found at the conclusion of each story.  It’s an informative page with a brief description, discussion questions, and Baby Steps (things to do that reinforce each principle).  This is a great book to focus on character development while providing enjoyable, kid-friendly stories.  We’d love to hear any feedback from you if you’ve read this book with your children!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!  Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books!  The whimsical rhymes impart important life messages making it a favorite gift for end of the year celebrations.  The reader is encouraged by positive messages and also told about slumps and waiting in life. The messages can be understood by children and is still appropriate for thought provoking discussions. This is a great book to read to anyone who is embarking on new journeys.  We hope you enjoy Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

*What kind of places do you want to go?
*What’s your favorite message in the book?
*Why do you think Dr. Seuss talks about positive and negative things in life?
*What things have you already experienced in life?