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Monday, January 27, 2014

G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet

"G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet" by Brad Herzog, 2011.

There are so many interesting and unique things to cover with children involving the Olympics. There is history, geography, sports (of course), physics, nationality, patriotism, health and fitness, mathematics, teamwork and more.

And this picture book uses the alphabet to identify specific Olympic-related material as well.
"How do you determine the world's best athelete? The decathlon is a good place to start. It measures an athelete's speed, endurance, strength, and jumping ability."

I haven't found a lot of picture books about the Olympics, but this is the best I have found so far. This one covers summer and winter sports. It doesn't cover all of the sports, but some of the ones featured are track, figure skating, gymnastics, soccer, skiing, archery, swimming and more.
"The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for 'Swifter, Higher, Stronger.' Whether the athlete is a hockey player rushing toward a loose puck, a diver springing into the air far above a pool, or a decathlete throwing a discus with every ounce of effort, each is constantly trying to improve and reach his or her ultimate potential."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox

"Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox" by Susan Blackaby, 2011

This endearing story is about a groundhog and fox who encounter one another on February 2nd, Groundhog's Day. The groundhogs name is Brownie and saw her shadow when she crawled out of her winter den. A hungry fox saw Brownie and proceeded to knock her over and said, 'Hold still...I'm trying to eat you for breakfast.' Brownie was quick-witted and said it was too late for breakfast, so the fox didn't eat her!

They set off walking together discussing whether or not there were any signs of spring. Fox told Brownie that she was his first sign of spring! These two begin a hilarious relationship as they play together in order to work up their appetites.

Read this book to find out more about their adventures and to find out if the fox ever eats Brownie! This is a great winter time and Groundhog's Day picture book.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter is the Warmest Season

"Winter is the Warmest Season" by Lauren Stringer

This cleaver picture book is an explanation told by a young boy about why winter is the warmest season.

"When winter comes, my jacket puffs warm with feathers, my hat grows earflaps, my pants hide deep in fuzzy boots, and my hands wear warm woolly sweaters."

He tells of how the animals stay warm in their dens, steaming hot chocolate and soup, sparkling fireplaces, friendly parties where people fill a room, and hot baths and snug pajamas.

"And in winter, when it's the very warmest and I close my sleepy eyes, I might dream of summer...just to cool me off!"

I love the illustrations and the different perspective this book brings to help children think outside-of-the-box.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Brambly Hedge Series

The Brambly Hedge Series, written by Jill Barklem, is about a mouse community that lives among the trees in Brambly Hedge. These talented little creatures work and play hard just like humans.

In the book Winter Story, Mr. Apple is the warden of the Store Stump. He and his wife Mrs. Apple lived in Crabapple Cottage. I love the illustrations of the tunnels the mice dug through the snow that connected their houses to the Store Stump. Mr. Apple announced that Lord Woodmouse and he would declare a Snow Ball would take place.


"When the snows are lying deep
When the field has gone to sleep,
When the blackthorn turns to white,
And frosty stars bejewel the night,
When summer streams are turned to ice,
A Snow Ball warms the heart of mice."

The illustrations are so very detailed, you and your children must look at the pictures while reading this series.

Other titles in the series are Autumn Story, Summer Story, and Spring Story.

I was hooked from the first book, and I then I had to read all of them...mostly to look at the pictures.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In the Snow

"In the Snow" by Peggy Collins

This is the perfect snow-fun picture book for preschoolers. A little boy wakes up one morning to find that it snowed during the night. He prepares to head outside and play, and his father joins him. The illustrations and story are perfect for this age group.

"The birds look hungry. I help daddy fill the bird feeder with yummy birdseed. I think those squirrels really like the birdseed, too. I see a bunny hopping away from the tree. Hey little bunny, wait for me! I can HOP HOP HOP, too. That bunny is VERY fast. While I was hopping, Daddy made an enormous snowball...I wonder what it's for?"

The boy and his father build a huge snowman. I love that this book features a father who plays with his son too. I try and remember books that feature fathers and their children to get for my husband to read to our child. I think it helps to provide fathers with tools for discussion starters and reinforces the father/child relationship.