Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 FARM Themed Picture Books

1. "Otis" by Loren Long
2. "Farm" by Elisha Cooper
3. "Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown
4. "Barnyard Banter" by Denise Fleming
5. "Puppies and Piggies" by Cynthia Rylant
6.  "On the Farm" by David Elliott
7. "Minerva Louise and the Red Truck" by Janet Morgan Stoeke
8. "Moo, Ba, La, La, La" by Sandra Boynton
9. "Barnyard Dance!" by Sandra Boynton
10. "Five Little Chicks" by Nancy Tafuri

What are your favorite Farm Themed books?

Friday, December 20, 2013

"The Birthday Car"

"The Birthday Car" by Margaret Hillert was originally published in 1966 but was reprinted for a library edition in 2007.

A little boy's father brings home a little red pedal car for a birthday present. The little boy is so exciting to ride in his car.

"I can go up. Up, up, up. I can come down. Down, down, down. Here is a little blue car. Come and play. Here is a little yellow car. Come and play. Come and play."

As he is riding in his red car, he meets up with friends in a blue and yellow car!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve

"Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve" by Janet Morgan Stoeke was the first picture book about Minerva Louise I had read, and it left me wanting more!

Minerva Louise is a chicken who thinks about the world around her too literally much like the character Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish.

At Christmas time, Minerva noticed Santa Claus around the farm but thought he was a farmer wearing red hat, his reindeer were dressed up goats, and his sleigh was a truck without wheels!

Minerva Louise followed Santa Claus down the chimney of his farmer's house.

"Hey, Mr. Farmer, what are you doing? Unpacking? But this is where my farmers live. Now take your stuff out of their socks! And don't eat that! (milk and cookies) It's their breakfast! What will my farmers say when they wake up?"

It is such a silly book, and with your help, your children will be laughing so hard! They will surely request it to be read again and again!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How Do You Know?

"How Do You Know?" by Deborah W. Trotter, 2006

This story is about a young child named Polly and her mother who woke up one morning to a thick fog. The fog was so thick, you could barely see anything outside. Polly thought that everything disappeared because she could not see it anymore.

"Mama laughed. 'Everything's still there. It's just hiding in the fog.' 'What's fog?' asked Polly. 'It's damp air that you can see. And when it's really thick like it is this morning, you can't see through it.' Polly peered out the window. 'How do you know everything's still there?' she asked. 'I just do,' said Mama."

Mama and Polly went outside to see and feel the morning fog. They went to find Polly's swing, picked apples off of the ground that had fallen from the apple tree, found the pond and the barn. They fed the horses some of the apples they picked. Once they were finished in the barn, they went back outside and saw that the fog started to lift. They could start to see everything again.

At night when Mama was putting Polly to bed, and Polly said 'I love you, Mama.' 'I love you, too, Polly.' 'I know.' 'How do you know?' Mama asked. Polly smiled and closed her eyes. 'I just do.'"

This book portrays an accurate picture of the inquisitive nature of children as well as their often limited understanding of the world around them. Children often ask questions because they need reassurance when their world changes unexpectedly like waking up to a thick fog. And Polly's Mama begins to teach her more than just about what fog is but that we can be assured about some things in life like knowing when we love one another.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Solstice

"The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice" by Wendy Pfeffer

This is a fantastic topic for a picture book, and Wendy Pfeffer, a seasoned science-oriented author, teaches an age-appropriate science, history, and cultural lesson.

December 21st is considered the shortest day of the year or the Winter Solstice. This is the beginning of winter as this day has the fewest hours of daylight.

"The earth tilts as it moves around the sun. When the northern part of the earth tilts away from the sun, the north gets less heat and light than the southern part."

People have recognized this occurance for hundreds of years all over the world, but they didn't always know the science behind it. Some people thought that evil spirits caused shorter days because they didn't understand how the earth moves around the sun.

Find out how the Chinese, Romans, Europeans, and Incas celebrated the season. At the end of the book, there are additional facts given, and illustrative diagrams about the earth's orbit around the sun. Morever, there is a winter sunrise/sunset chart to use, an experiment about measuring shadows on the shortest day, and three more experiments! This is a great book for all elementary age children to read.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Night Before New Year's

"The Night Before New Year's" by Natasha Wing, 2009

The kids were excited for the upcoming celebration. "Out with the old and in with the new!" they shouted. They planned to stay up past midnight, hung decorations, had a large feast of family favorites, and played games. The family did lots of things to pass the times even though the kids were getting sleepy.

"'Put on your hats,' said Mom. 'Let's practice our cheer!' Counting down from ten, without a single mistake, we tooted horns and popped poppers! I was now wide awake!"

Do you think the kids were able to stay up to ring in the New Year? Read this family-fun picture book to find out.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

S is for Snowman

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

This book includes so many of the wonderful things we love about wintertime and Christmas time. Gifts, hot chocolate, ice skating, snowman, and wonder.

"E is for Evergreen. The Evergreen branches will twinkle with light to tell us God's love is eternally bright. F is for Frost. God casts the Frost sparkling white on the land, a beautiful blanket spread right from his hand."

Kids will enjoy this book as well as Kathy-jo Wargin's other seasonal books.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by John Rox, illustrated by Bruce Whatley.

John Rox wrote this famous song that became a nationwide hit in 1953. Now you can enjoy this song with a picture book to go along.

A little girl's only request for a Christmas present is one real hippopotamus.

"I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs. Oh, what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes to see my hippo hero standing there."

She saw a hippo at the zoo and has wanted one ever since. She already decided how she will take care of the hippo. And a great and silly illustration at the end of the book is the little girl riding with Santa in his sleigh with the hippo pulling the sleigh instead of reindeer. This is a great quirky book for young children to enjoy during the Christmas season.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Mice!

"Christmas Mice!" by Bethany Roberts

I love those little mice! Bethany Roberts has many other books about these cute little mice during different seasons and holidays. Enjoy reading about how the mice are preparing for Christmas. They are decorating, wrapping presents, baking, and Christmas caroling. While out caroling, the mice spot cat paw prints in the snow!

"What's this? A gift! 'From Cat to Mice.' A Christmas cheese! Oh, yum, yum, yum! The cat has caught our Christmas cheer!"

Then the little mice leave a gift for the mouse. Can you guess what it is?