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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Diving Dolphin

Diving Dolphin” by Karen Wallace DK Reader Level 1

Two of the reasons I put a lengthy quote in my posts sometimes are to show the type of content in the book to help you decide if it is worth checking out of the library and also in particular with early reader books, to give you a sample of the words to help you determine if your child will be able to read it. Not all early reader levels are equal between series.

“A young dolphin dives through the water. His shiny skin is as smooth as satin. Far below, he sees his mother. His baby sister swims beside his mother. ..The young dolphin roams the ocean. He hunts from fish through beds of seaweed. He rides the waves to travel faster. The waves push him over the sparkling water.”

There are a lot of fiction early-readers on the market, and I think it is important to provide your child with the opportunity to read some non-fiction books too. This book is perfectly appropriate with content (i.e. some non-fiction books I have encountered show over-the-top graphic pictures of animals eating their prey. Early reader books are intended for young children who in my opinion do not need to see such graphic reality.)


This early reader is "just right".

Monday, April 29, 2013

Black Beauty

"The Story of Black Beauty" illustrated by Alan Marks

Black Beauty is a classic story written by Anne Sewell published in 1877. You can introduce this novel to younger children through this picture book.
"'Be brave, Black Beauty,' said my mother. 'All young horses must leave their mothers, and make their way in the world.' 'Just remember-never bite, or rear, or kick. And, whatever happens, always do your best.'"
If you are not familiar with this classic, Black Beauty is told from the first-person point of view. He explains his life journey with different owners, some of them who are not very nice, injuries, friendships and much more.

Sewell's message was simply that she loved horses and wanted them to be treated well. You don't have to be a horse lover to appreciate

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Do Wheels Do All Day?

"What Do Wheels Do All Day?" by April Jones Prince, 2006

This book combines many of the things in our world with wheels. It includes trains, roller blades, bicyles, skateboards, golf carts, ferris wheels and many more.

I love books like this for preschoolers because they use something children are familiar with and shows them part of the bigger world around them.

"Push, Pull, Pedal, Tow, Wheels help to make us go. Wheels whiz, wheels whir. Wheels carry travelers. Wheels circle, wheels spin. Wheels race...Wheels win!"

Hopefully after reading this book, your child will notice different wheels when out-and-about and really begins to comprehend their function.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Zoom, Rocket, Zoom!

"Zoom, Rocket, Zoom!" by Margaret Mayo, 2011

This picture book is filled with descriptive words about all things space related. Lunar modules, space walking, moon buggies, space shuttles, space stations, satellites, robot rovers and much more are described in a fun and exciting manner with sound effects too!

"Smart astronauts are good at guide, guide, guiding, at the controls, watching and waiting. Then-pow! --booster rocket firing. Traveling deep in space."

This is a great introductory book on space for preschool and kindergarten age children. Read this book on a summer night when you know there will be a clear, star-filled night sky. Look at the stars and the moon with your child and imagine what goes on up there in outer space and what it would be like to explore it.

Leo the Late Bloomer

"Leo the Late Bloomer" by Robert Kraus, 1971

This is one of those early social-emotional picture book that has stood the test of time. Leo is a young tiger who struggles with learning to read, learning to draw, and learning to write. He was messy and had a difficult time communicating.

Leo's Mommy and Daddy waited and watched patiently for Leo to "bloom". Several seasons passed, "Then one day, in his own good time, Leo bloomed! He could read! He could write! He could draw! He ate neatly! He also spoke. And it wasn't just one word. It was a whole sentence. And that sentence was...'I made it!'"

I think this book is wonderful for all children. Even children who are not late bloomers can learn early about empathizing with other children who have struggled or are struggling.




Friday, April 26, 2013

Community Helpers: Mail Carriers

Delivering Your Mail: A Book About Mail Carriers” by Ann Owen

This perfect-for-preschoolers picture book simplistically describes what mail carriers do.

“Many people in your community have jobs helping others. What do mail carriers do? Mail carriers sort the mail and deliver it. The mail carrier delivers letters and even birthday presents. Mail carriers always make sure the mail gets to the right place…The mail carrier always follows a route. Mail carriers go to homes in the city and farms in the country. Everywhere, mail carriers deliver the mail.”

I particularly like the idea of describing an occupation to preschoolers they can connect with since the mail is delivered almost every day. I often take my child with me when I go to retrieve mail from our mailbox and also when I need to mail a package at the post office.


Moreover, I think playing “post office” for pretend play is also very fun. Each person can make a pretend mail box and deliver to each other pretend mail. I remember decorating blank envelopes when I was about 7 or 8 years old and sold them back to my Dad for 10 cents each! LOL! He was the one who bought them originally---but they didn’t have my artistic embellishment on them. He used to send me mail at summer camp in those envelopes!! What? You didn’t want to pay your bills in those rainbow-cabbage patch stamped decorative envelopes?!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" told and illustrated by Iza Trapani

You may remember this tune from elementary school, but Iza Trapani adds words after the first verse to make it about the animals that come into a gardener's garden.

"Oh, how we love to pull up roots, Nibble on fresh and tender shoots. Fill up on plump and juicy fruits, In spring when plants are growing.

Didn't I say, 'Do not return!?' Those pesky critters have no concern. I'll put up a fence and then they'll learn I really mean good-by."

The gardener tries to do everything she can think about to keep the animals out, but they always find a way in to eat the yummy food!

This is a great book if you just want a fun song to sing, if you are teaching a garden or spring theme, or if you are planting a garden with your child's help.

Iza Trapani has many other books in similar form such as The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Baa, Baa Black Sheep and others.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

K is for Kite

"K is for Kite: God's Springtime Alphabet" by Kathy-jo Wargin

April showers, bunnies, caterpillars, daffodils, Easter, feast, grass, heaven, insects, jelly bean, kite, and lamb--these are the first few things in this springtime-themed alphabet picture book.

"Springtime means Sunshine and seeds in the earth. Each sprout shouts God's message of newness and birth.The tall sugar maples are ready to Tap. Let's make maple syrup by boiling the sap. Grab your Umbrella. Here come the showers! God's gentle rain brings forth the spring flowers."

If you like this book, you'll like Kathy-jo Wargin's other seasonal alphabet books.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Preschool Alphabet Books for Every Month!



January
"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin, Jr.

February
"Eric Carle's ABC" by Eric Carle

March
"B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC" by June Sobel

April
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth" by Mary McKenna Siddals

May
"K is for Kite: God's Springtime Alphabet" by Kathy-Jo Wargin

June
"Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert

July
"A Fabulous Fair Alphabet" by Debra Frasier

August
"F is for Fireflies: God's Summertime Alphabet" by Kathy-Jo Wargin

September
"ABC T-Rex" by Bernard Most

October
"P is for Pumpkin: God's Harvest Alphabet" by Kathy-Jo Wargin

November
"Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate Alphabet" by June Sobel

December
"S is for Snowman: God's Wintertime Alphabet" by Kathy-Jo Wargin

Reading lots of picture books to children during the preschool years is very helpful to build on their vocabulary and instill in them a love of reading and learning. Adding at least one specific alphabet-themed picture book per month is a very effective way to learn the alphabet, and it provides a consistent pattern for language development. Moreover, most of these books have a unified, topical theme, so they will be learning more than just the ABC's.

Do Lions Live on Lily Pads?

"Do Lions Live on Lily Pads?" by Melanie Walsh

This is a preschool age picture book with a fun twist on matching animals with their homes.

"Is this the nest of a goat? No, it belongs to a bird. Do crocodiles live in shells? No, but snails do. Is this the burrow of a giraffe? No, it belongs to a mole."

And there are a few more examples. It is simplistic and a fun way to learn and reinforce these concepts with young children.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Two Old Potatoes and Me


Two Old Potatoes and Me” by John Coy

This is a great story about a girl and her father who plant old potatoes together to see if they will grow new potatoes. The girl visits between her mom’s house and her dad’s house since her parents recently divorced. She and her Dad really connect with this project of growing potatoes. 

 “Last spring at my Dad’s house, I found two old potatoes in the back of the cupboard. They were so old sprouts were growing from their eyes. I tossed them in the trash. ‘Wait,’ Dad said. ‘I think we can grow new potatoes with those.’”

They weed, water and wait, and eventually they dig up lots and lots of potatoes together. There is even a recipe for mashed potatoes at the end.

The illustrations in this story are more of a busy, modern, funky, urban-style. You really cannot read this book without wanting to try and grow some potatoes of your own!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Waiting Out the Storm


 Waiting Out the Storm” by Joann Early Macken, 2010

“Mama? Yes, buttercup? What’s that I hear? It’s only the wind in the treetops, my dear. Why does it whistle? A storm’s on its way. The wind calls the raindrops to come out and play.”

This beautifully illustrated picture book is a refreshing soft-toned, comforting, poetic explanation of what some of the animals do when it rains, what the sky looks like, what we sometimes feel like, and ultimately, when we are warm and dry inside our homes, we can gladly wait out the storm. This little girl who is frightened by thunder and lightning is comforted in her safe shelter and wise mother.

“We’re comfy inside. Yes, we’ll stay dry and warm, cozy together here out of the storm. Tomorrow the sun will shine. Then we’ll go play. We’ll splash in the pond like the ducks do all day. But for now, let’s just watch. It’s a wonder to see. I am so glad I have you to share it with me.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Community Helpers from A to Z

"Community Helpers from A to Z" by Bobbie Kalman

One of the best ways to teach children about the world around them is by explaining the different occupations of people in their community. Industrialists, journalists, kitchen staff, librarians, mail carriers, nurses and so many more occupations are covered in this A to Z picture book.

"I is for industrial workers. Industrial workers work in factories where products are made. Many work on an assembly line, the part of the factory where things are put together. Assembly-line workers put cars, furniture, and airplanes together a piece at a time. Each worker works on one part or section."

This book has lengthy descriptions for each community helper, so it is probably better suited for kindergarteners and elementary age students.

For more elementary age non-fiction, educational picture books, search for books by Bobbie Kalman.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Carrot Seed


 The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss

A little boy planted a carrot seed. His family did not think that it would grow.

“Every day the little boy pulled up the weeds around the seed and sprinkled the ground with water. But nothing came up.”

The boy did not care what anyone said. He took care of his seed, and one day it grew.

It is a very simple, basic story for the youngest learners.

Baby at the Farm

"Baby at the Farm" by Karen Katz

This touch-and-feel book is a great first farm-themed picture book for toddlers.

"Baby is visiting the farm today. Look! It's a big cow. Moo! Moo! Baby feeds the tiny pigs...and the soft little lamb."

Toddlers will love hearing about the animals and animal sounds they're becoming familiar with as well as feeling the different textures provided.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A is for Astronaut

"A is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z" by Traci N. Todd, 2006

This astronomy picture book provides anywhere from 1 to 3 different astronomy-related items per letter of the alphabet. Unlike some other alphabet topical information books, this picture book gives a term and then a brief statement or short sentence about it and that is all. Other "A is for... or S is for..." books are much more lengthy in content. For this reason, this particular book can be more easily used with younger elementary age students.

For example:

"Asteroid - a space rock that's smaller than a planet and orbits the Sun
 Astronaut - a person who explores space
 Apollo 11 - the first mission to land a person on the Moon

Boots - an important part of an astronaut's space suit
Booster - a rocket that pushes spacecraft into the air
Big Dipper - a group of stars that looks like a big spoon"

There is one error in this book which is that it still lists Pluto as one of the planets, but otherwise this is a perfectly appropriate book for young children.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wacky Wednesday

"Wacky Wednesday" by Dr. Seuss writing as Theo. LeSieg is an I Can Read It All By Myself
Beginner Book.

This book is excellent in many ways. First of all, it's a beginning reading book. Secondly, it's interactive because the reader is invited to figure out what's "wacky" on many of the pages. Thirdly, the wacky things are super silly!

"I was late for school. I started along. And I saw that six more things were wrong. And then seven more!"

And the reader is invited to find the number of things the little boy encounters on Wacky Wednesday like shoes on the ceiling, an umbrella in a pot on the stove, a turtle in a tree, a giraffe in a man hole and so much more!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Five Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath

"Five Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath" by Eileen Christelow

First these silly little monkeys eat messy ice cream cones, and then they stomp around in a mud puddle. They needs a bath!

"Five icky, sticky, yucky, mucky monkeys jump into the tub. Splish, splatter, splash, wash, and scrub!"

These monkeys get a bath but on their way out, some of the monkeys slip and fall down! After some hugs and kiss, they all have some soup for supper. But do they get messy enough to need another bath?

Eileen Christelow also retold & illustrated Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed which is great too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Eating the Alphabet


"Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z" by Lois Ehlert

This has been a long time favorite picture book of mine. The illustrations are big, bright and bold, and although the fruits & vegetables are watercolor collages, they look appealing to eat.

What's unique about this book is it's combination of the familiar and unfamiliar. C is for corn, celery, carrots and cucumbers, but C is also for currant. K is for kumquat, kiwifruit, and kohlrabi. P is for peach, pear, papaya, persimmon, pomegranate and more! Whenever I go to the grocery store and see ugli fruit and star fruit, I think about this book where I first learned about them!

You can use this book to help your child with his/her alphabet, learning to identify and name new fruits & vegetables and maybe, hopefully TRY to eat something new!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Planet Earth/Inside Out

"Planet Earth/Inside Out" by Gail Gibbons

This is another great book about our planet earth (the living planet) and what makes it unique from other planets.  This is a fact-giving, diagram-showing picture book covering terms like gravity, Pangaea, continents, outer/inner core, continental crusts, faults, earthquakes, volcanoes and more.

"The Earth is ever-changing. Some of the plates beneath the oceans move apart in a process called seafloor spreading. As they pull apart, magma from the mantle rises, cools, and becomes solid, adding to the edges of the plates. There are earthquakes and eruptions in the oceans, just like on land. Underwater earthquakes can cause hug waves that are called tsunamis, or tidal waves. One was actually recorded to be 278 feet tall!"

Side Note: After having read and posted on "How Mountains are Made" by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, this book covers that content basically and more. If you want or need to reduce the amount of books on this subject, I would choose this book because it covers more. Otherwise, you can read both and reinforce the information.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Tooth Book

"The Tooth Book" by Dr. Seuss writing as Theo. LeSieg is a Bright and Early Book for Beginning Beginners.

This goofy book is all about teeth and has illustrations of humans and animals with teeth. Teeth are important for eating, smiling, and speaking. The importance of keeping those teeth healthy and clean is also included.

"Clams have no teeth,' says Pam the clam. 'I cannot eat hot dogs or ham.' 'No teeth at all,' says Pam the clam. 'I cannot eat roast leg of lamb. Or peanuts! Pizzas! Popcorn! SPAM! Not even huckleberry jam!"

Side Note: I just have to mention (because it's my blog) that the illustrations are not my favorite. They are bright and bold which is fine but the human illustrations are highly exaggerated and make the people look ugly and a little frightening. I would recommend this for children past the preschool stage. They add to the humor in the book, but it's just not my style I suppose. I compare it to The Eye Book authored and illustrated by the same people, and it is not like that at all. The Eye Book would be considered a preschool age book.

There are also books called The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss and The Ear Book by Al Perkins both of which are also Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners. Both of these books would also be appropriate for preschool age and up.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Lighthouse Family



 
The Lighthouse Family is a series of five early-reader books by one of my favorite authors Cynthia Rylant.  It is illustrated by Preston McDaniels.

There is a lighthouse overlooking the sea and a family of five lives beneath it. Pandora the cat and Seabold the dog find three orphaned mice children and take them in. Their names are Whistler, Tiny and Lila. Read about their adventures in meeting new creatures, and see how they learn to give help to, and receive help from, others.

In the book, The Turtle, the Lighthouse Family helps Aurora the turtle, who was traveling to see the Northern Lights (after whom she was named) but became very tired and weary because of the long journey. With the help of some pelicans, Aurora returns home safely.

In The Octopus, Whistler and Lila explore an estuary  during low tide.  There they encounter a young octopus named Cleo who was caught in a hole. Whistler assured him that there wasn't anything to worry about because when the tide comes in, it will carry him back out to sea. As Cleo waited, Whistler and Lila kept him company. The next day, Cleo came to visit the Lighthouse with his parents, and together they shared lunch with the whole Lighthouse family. "Everything was good this day. It was always good to make new friends."

Other books in the series are The Storm (the first book), The Eagle, and The Whale.

This family-oriented series is about friendship, loyalty, hospitality, and generosity.  These values are embodied by the characters themselves, and the stories will enrich your children's understanding of how to live out the same values in their lives.

(The illustrations in the hardcover books are much more vibrant than in the paperback books. They almost have a 3D affect.  Because the illustrations are so amazing, it really does enhance the story. If you can choose which ones to read, choose the hardcover.)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Goodnight Moon ABC and 123


If you and your child are big fans of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, there are two additional books you can read as they begin to learn their alphabet and numbers. 

Goodnight Moon: ABC Alphabet Book is based on the book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. She takes the reader through the Goodnight Moon book by pulling out objects for each letter of the alphabet.  

For example: "“A” is for air as in “Good night stars, good night air, good night noises everywhere”. “B” for brush, “C” for clock, “D” for doll."

Goodnight Moon: 1, 2, 3 A Counting Book is also based on the book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. 

One quiet old lady whispering hush, two little kittens, three little bears sitting on chairs, four cows jumping over the moon, five telephones, six bowls of mush.  It goes until 10 and then there are one hundred stars.

Instead of continuing to read the same book over and over again, you can read it in a new and interesting way. They are kind of like the sequels to your favorite book.

Sounds All Around

"Sounds All Around" by Wendy Pfeffer is a Let's Read-and-Find-Out Science Stage 1 picture book.

This book reviews many of the sounds that humans make with their mouths, musical instruments, or with their feet in the leaves. Animals make all kinds of different sounds and sometimes to send messages to other animals for protection, mating, or calling animals towards them.

"Feel your throat as you sing, talk, or hum. Your fingertips tingle because your vocal cords shake to make sounds. They shake back and forth very fast. This is called vibrating. And that makes the air around them vibrate. These vibrations move through the air in waves called sound waves."

This book also mentions terms like sonar and decibels. There are several sound-related activities in the back of the book which include making a guitar, making musical glasses, and listening to sounds through solid objects.

The recommended age range is K-3rd grade.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs



Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs” by Byron Barton

Byron Barton books are really great older toddler and young preschooler books. They are simplistic, introductory, and topical picture books. (He has several books on transportation.)

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs is a good choice for introducing your child to dinosaurs. There are many dinosaur picture books out there that are lengthy, sometimes scary, and just really "busy." This book is appropriate for younger children just starting to learn about these fascinating creatures.

“A long time ago, there were dinosaurs. There were dinosaurs with horns and dinosaurs with spikes. There were dinosaurs with clubs on their tails and dinosaurs with armored plates.”


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Counting by Feet Book


One is a Snail Ten is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre, 2003. Ages K-2

Using animals and insects, this book counts the feet! Count the feet along with your student from 1-10, then 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100!

“80 is eight crabs…or ten spiders. 90 is nine crabs…or ten spiders and a crab. So, 100 is ten crabs…or, if you’re really counting slowly…one hundred snails!”

This is a fun and creative way of learning to count and add. Even if your student cannot yet count to 100, this is a great introductory tool to get him or her interested.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat?" by Iza Trapani

Iza Trapani has created illustrations and added lyrics to this familiar tune, after the first verse, to tell a story about a bear family who row their boat down a river.

Here are a couple of verses:

"Row, row, row your boat, Stroke and follow through, Fumbling, flailing, oars go sailing--What a clumsy crew!

"Row, row, row your boat, Row with all your might, Rocking, bashing, water splashing, Better hold on tight!"

The bears will have you laughing as they work their way down the river and even encounter a storm!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Love For YOU


MY LOVE FOR YOU All Year Round by Susan L. Roth, 2003.

This picture book featuring mice as the characters is about love, months of the year and rich, descriptive language.

“My love for you…is warmer than a snowsuit in JANUARY, sweeter than heart-shaped chocolates in FEBRUARY, gentler than a newborn lamb in MARCH…My love for you is warmer, sweeter, gentler, softer, brighter, sunnier, louder, quieter, rosier plumper, fuller, cozier all year round.”

I recommend this to all parents and educators of children around ages 4-6. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pluto's Secret

"Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery" by Margaret A. Weitekamp with David DeVorkin, 2013

This book is associated with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Many of us grew up believing there were nine planets. We loved to say that Pluto was the adorable last little planet.

As of 2006, Astronomers no longer consider Pluto to be a planet. They had to actually define what a planet was because it had not been done before. This picture book gives the history of Pluto's journey from discovery to today's identification that it is part of the Kuiper Belt. Some refer to Pluto as the dwarf planet.

There is a robotic spacecraft called New Horizons that was launched on January 19, 2006. This will be the first spacecraft to pass Pluto and provide new information. Pluto may reveal even more secrets! It will continue to further explore Kuiper's belt as well.

You can follow additional information on the New Horizons spacecraft expected to reach Pluto in 2015 on the NASA website.

This picture book gives all of the most up-to-date information on Pluto in a child-like story manner that will fascinate children.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big is Big


Big is Big (and little, little): A Book of Contrasts” by J. Patrick Lewis

“Mad is mad and sad is sad if you disobey your dad. A cry’s a cry, a laugh’s a laugh-I prefer the second half…Day is day and night is night. One is dark and one is light. Earth is earth and sky is sky. One’s to walk on, one’s to fly. Hello, hello. Goodbye, good-bye.”


This is a bold and vibrantly illustrated picture book about opposites with silly little rhymes to help children remember as well as hopefully laugh! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Earth Day Picture Books


So, I'm pretty picky with my books on this subject (OK, like I am on many subjects). There have been several books that I have read that did not make the list. But thankfully, I did find books that I really do like and think are educational and interesting. Click on the titles to read prior posts on the individual books.

1. "S is for Save the Planet" by Brad Herzog
2. "Earth Day, Birthday" by Maureen Wright
3. "Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth" by Mary McKenna Siddals
4. "101 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet Before You're 12!" by Joanne O'Sullivan

Everyone can make a difference!

B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC

B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC” by June Sobel

This clever construction alphabet book reviews different types of trucks and construction terms throughout the story as they are building a roller coaster ride at an amusement park!

“Let’s find the Operator at the controls, guiding the Pipes into the holes. The welders won’t Quit till the metal is bent, and the new safety Rails are placed in cement.”

I really like the creativity the author uses to tell this story by making the characters build a roller coaster as opposed to a building, bridge or something less exciting to a child. 

And what a great book to read with your child in the summertime before and after visiting an amusement park!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Earth Day, Birthday

"Earth Day, Birthday" by Maureen Wright

The jungle animals celebrate Earth Day, but a silly monkey keeps saying it's his birthday! And in celebration, they decide to plant some trees and a garden. They also pick up trash, recycle items, buy food at a farmer's market with a reusable bag, and start a compost bin.

Throughout the book though, the silly monkey insists it's his birthday.

"Deep within the jungle green, the silliest monkey ever seen, shimmied up a tree and said, 'It's not Earth Day! It's my birthday!' Snake slithered through the leaves up high, as the monkey scampered by. She raised her head and said, 'Oh my! It's Earth Day, not your birthday!'"

It turns out that it IS monkey's birthday AND Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Compost Stew

"Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth" by Mary McKenna Siddals, 2010

Love this picture book! It really does make you want to start composting if you haven't delved into it yet. I have to admit, I do not yet compost. But I do believe it is in my future.

"Ingredients: Apple cores, 
Bananas, bruised
Coffee grounds with filters, used
Dirt clods, crumbled
Eggshells, crushed
Fruit pulp left behind, all mushed
Grass clippings, 
Hair snippings,
and an Insect or two."
You want to know what else is on this list don't you!?

It's simplistic way of describing how to compost is informative and persuasive. You will love it too!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"S is for Save the Planet"

"S is for Save the Planet: A How-to-Be Green Alphabet" by Brad Herzog

When I first started out looking for picture books related to Earth Day and/or the environment, I wasn't finding books that I felt were worth recommending. But as the "green movement" moves forward, more authors are creatively writing worthwhile books on this subject.

"Appreciation for our planet--that's our letter A. Every April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. Life everywhere is connected--from land to sea to air. We're all in this together, so let's each do our share. B is for a bright idea-a bulb that lasts much longer. It saves a lot more energy, which makes our planet stronger. B sure to turn off every light. Computers and TVs too. We'll burn less harmful coal that way. It's the least that we can do."


Brad Herzog has written many other books in a similar format like "D is for Dinosaur", "A is for Airplane", "S is for S'mores", and others. In addition to a brief topic mentioned for each letter, there is an expanded column which provides many more facts, history and/or statistics. These books are great for in-depth conversations on a particular topic.

This is definitely a good choice whenever you need a great picture book about helping the environment. You'll learn about conservation, insulation, recycling, trash, ultraviolet rays, vermicomposting, and so much more!