Monday, September 30, 2013

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked

"The Apple Pie that Papa Baked" by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean

This story follows the pattern of the familiar nursery rhyme This is the House that Jack Built. It is about a young girl who tells about the apple pie her father made.

"This is the world, blooming with life, that spins with the sun, fiery and bright, that lights the sky, wide and fair, that carries the clouds, heaped and round, that drops the rain, cool and fresh, that waters the roots, deep and fine, that feed the tree, crooked and strong, that grows the apples, juicy and red, that go in the pies, warm and sweet, that Papa bakes."

The colors in the illustrations add warmth to story and helps to give the reader an ability to almost smell that yummy apple pie!!

Although this would be a great story to read anytime, I think it makes sense to read it in the autumn months to help make the season come alive!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Clifford The Big Red Dog

"Clifford The Big Red Dog" by Norman Bridwell, 1963

This classic story has become an American favorite over the past fifty years with dozens of subsequent stories. There are so many versions, it is sometimes a challenge to come across the original story.

Emily Elizabeth introduces her dog Clifford who is "the biggest, reddest dog" on her street. She describes how they play together and how sometimes Clifford makes mistakes like catching people driving around in their cars! Children will love the humor in the illustrations of Clifford getting into mischief. One of Clifford's strengths is being a great watchdog. At the end of the story, Emily Elizabeth enters Clifford in a dog show, but he doesn't win first prize. Emily doesn't mind because she thinks he is great.

Some of the other Clifford picture books include how he celebrates each major holiday such as Clifford's First Christmas and Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit. There are also beginning reader books such as Clifford Goes to the Doctor and Clifford and the Dinosaurs.

Then of course there are board books, audio books, and a popular television series!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" was written by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault and was published in 1989. It was illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

This is a very popular alphabet picture book where the lowercase letters in the alphabet climb up a coconut tree. The tree can't hold all of the letters, and they all fall to the ground. The capital letters come to help the injured lowercase letters.

"H is tangled up with I. J and K are about to cry. L is knotted like a tie."

You can watch an animated singing version of this book on You Tube. I actually get this song stuck in my head during the day! Uh-oh!

"A is out of bed, and this is what he said, 'Dare double dare, you can't catch me. I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree.' Chicka chicka BOOM! BOOM!"

For more fun, look up the Boom Chicka Boom song on YouTube and have fun singing and dancing to this song! Now you'll never get either one of these songs out of your head!

Monday, September 23, 2013

How Do You Say Good Night?

How Do You Say Good Night?” by Raina Moore

“How do you say good night, my pup? How do you say good night? With a stretch and a yawn, close my eyes until dawn. That’s how I say good night. How do you say good night, piglet? How do you say good night? With a kiss and a sigh and a sweet lullaby. That’s how I say good night.”

Find out how little lamb, cat, duckling and a little girl say good night in this sweet bedtime storybook.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Football Book

"My Football Book" by Gail Gibbons

This little picture book describes the basics of football including an explanation of the uniform, the football field, and the game itself.

"Each team has plans of action called plays. For different plays, the players have different jobs. The team on offense is the one that has the ball. The team on defense tries to stop the other team from scoring. Games are divided into four quarters. To begin the game, the referee tosses a coin. The team that wins the toss has the choice of receiving the ball or defending a certain end zone."

More terms described are tackle, huddle, line of scrimmage, field goal, and penalty. In the back there are further explanations about the offensive player positions, defensive player positions and more football terms like fumble and blocking.

Gail Gibbons wrote similar bookS called "My Soccer Book", "My Basketball Book, and "My Baseball Book".

Monday, September 16, 2013

Raczka Seasons

Bob Raczka's four picture books about the seasons are quick, catchy, bright, bold and poetic.

Guess what quote comes from each book.

"Angels are lovely, sidewalks are shovely. Breathy, nippy, cocoa is sippy."

"Biking, blading, lemonading. Hoeing, sowing, mowers mowing."

"Hooters, howlers, loud meowers. Bonfire builders, pie-crust fillers, even former caterpillars!"

"Sliders, swingers, picnic bringers, Readers, rhymers, tall-tree climbers."

Add these seasonal books to your list of "must reads" during the year! You and your children will love to read them over and over again!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'm Telling the Truth

"I'm Telling the Truth: A First Look at Honesty" by Pat Thomas is part of a series "A First Look at..."

This is a great conversation-starter picture book that practically invites the reader to participate from beginning to end. Sometimes adults don't know how to talk about some of these more serious issues which is why using these books will help you with the foundation of your conversation.

"Most of us know the difference between what is true and what isn't. And most of us know how important it is to tell the truth. There are lots of reasons why people aren't honest. Sometimes it's because they feel ashamed, or they want to impress others. Some people say things that aren't true to get things that they want but don't really deserve."

There are too red outlined boxes in this book that ask the reader questions:

1. "What about you? Can you think of someone you know about - it could be someone in a story or a real person- who isn't honest? What sorts of things happened to them?"

2. "What about you? Have you ever been blamed for something you didn't do? Was there someone who could have helped you by telling the truth?"

It also reviews examples about trust, actions are sometimes better than words, misunderstandings and much more.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A is for Amazing Moments

"A is for Amazing Moments: A Sports Alphabet" by Brad Herzog, 2008

In addition to being a great sports resource for children, I thought it would be a good book to read during the Summer/Winter Olympic seasons. Not all of the amazing moments referenced are Olympic moments, but many of them are Olympic moments. The Olympic Games get people excited about competition in general.

"E is for the English Channel, twenty-one miles wide, and Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim to the other side. Runners had come oh so close and had been trying for quite a while, but Roger Bannister finally did it. F is the first Four-minute mile!"

Some of the Olympic moments mentioned are Bob Beamon making the "perfect jump" in the 1968 Summer Olympics, Jesse Owens winning gold in the 100 meter dash, long jump, 200 meter dash, and 4x100 meter relay in the 1936 Summer Olympics, and Wilma Rudolph who became the first American woman to win three track and field gold medals.

Let us also not forget that this is also an alphabet book which can be helpful to younger learners.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Do Unto Otters

"Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners" by Laurie Keller

The author writes that this book is based on the Golden Rule and quotes Socrates, "Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you." It is not based on biblical references.

This book is about a rabbit who meets his new neighbors the Otters. He had never met any otters before and was afraid they might not get along. He gets some advice from an owl about the Golden Rule. Mr. Rabbit thought about how he would like to be treated.

"Well...I'd like otters to be friendly. A cheerful hello, a nice smile, and good eye contact are all part of being friendly."

The book also gives five different languages how to say please, thank you, and excuse me.

"I hope they know how to play fair. I'd like it if we could share things: our favorite books, our favorite activities, our favorite treats (hmmm...maybe not the treats)."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kindergarten Alphabet Books for Every Month!

"Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic" by Steven Schnur

"D is for Dancing Dragon: A Chinese Alphabet" by Carol Crane

"Dr. Seuss' ABC: Am Amazing Alphabet Book" by Dr. Seuss

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

"Feelings to Share from A to Z" by Todd Snow

"Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic" by Steven Schnur"

"The Icky Bug Alphabet Book" by Jerry Pallotta

"Summertime: An Alphabet Acrostic" by Steven Schnur

"Community Helpers from A to Z" by Bobbie Kalman

"Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic" by Steven Schnur

"P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet" by Carol Crane

"S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet" by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds

Continue to read lots of picture books to children during the kindergarten year to build their vocabulary and instill in them a love of reading and learning. Add at least one specific alphabet-themed picture book per month which can assist you in reinforcing their learning the alphabet and will provide them with a consistent pattern. Moreover, most of these books have a consistent theme, so they will be learning more than just the ABC's.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wow! Ocean!

"Wow! Ocean!" by Robert Neubecker

This is such a different kind of preschool book. I know this because I read hundreds of picture books. The first thing I thought of when reading this book is that it would be great for kindergarten age (5 and 6 years old), but it of course would make a great preschool book or any elementary age child.

The illustrations are vibrant, bold and detailed. Each two-page spread focuses on one specific aspect of ocean life. For example, "Wow! Rays!" shows illustrations of all different kinds of ocean rays. Then each different kind of ray is labeled with its name. There are sawfish, guitarfish, stingrays, butterfly rays, eagle rays, little skate, torpedo rays, thornback rays, and giant manta rays.

The other focal pages are about shells, tide pool, fish, whales, sharks, jellyfish, what's down "deep", coral reefs, dolphins, anemone, turtles, and lastly sunken ship!

And it is as simple as illustrations, the focus, and the names of specific creatures. So it isn't one of these abundant fact-filled books full of tons of words.