Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Reading Reviews

Well, we have joined the local summer reading club at our library. We being the kiddos. (As if I have time to read!!! Maybe in the future I can give it a try!) We read daily anyway, and being a teacher, I have quite the collection of books here at home, but this does force me to go to the Library each week and gives the kids the opportunity to pick out books and a video of their own choosing. (Okay, I admit, I jump right in there and offer my own suggestions to them as well! I love children's books!)

I did the summer reading club last year with E, and he thought it was great to collect the stickers and find the poster of the "frog" around the library. This year E and Princess A are doing it, only difference being the search is not for a frog to find this year, its a little guy. They are loving it. (The power of being able to put a sticker on a fancy paper for children! I love it!)

So. . .just to do something with it. . .I thought I would offer my {humble} opinion of some of the selections our family has chosen. I'm going to try to review two a week, but as you can see, I'm already quite behind! But here goes a try!

Weeks of July 12-23

Billy & Milly, Short & Silly by Eve Feldman and illustrated by Tuesday Mourning (hee-hee--isn't that cute? We did not read it on a Tuesday morning. . .that was our Library day!)

This is an amazing book--one that would be appreciated more by kids older than pre-school, but was still quite interesting to my 5 yr old. It is a bunch of "short word stories" that rhyme. This book relies heavily on the photos to help tell the story, and teaches synonyms. An example of our own short word story is "tree, me, flee!" The pictures would show a tree, me standing my a tree, the tree getting cut down, me running away before it falls down on me. Get it? I found E asking many times, "What does mean?" So hopefully his knowledge of words/vocabulary is expanded because of reading this book. :) We tried to make up some ideas for stories on our own, but that was too hard at this age, but it would be a great way for a teacher to use the book!

*A good book to teach vocabulary for younger grades or ESL.

Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! by Tony Mitton and Lynne Chapman

This book is great fun--a rhyming information book about dinosaurs! E is totally into dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures right now, so this book was an easy find for him. Lots of information packed into the pages (about 6 lines per page?) The other cool thing about this book is that it has fold out pages that show/ talk about different traits about dinosaurs--for example: one page showed a dinosaur (an apatosaurus?) eating low, and then if you fold the page out, it shows how high it can stretch its neck. Pretty neat, huh? And all kids love fold out pages. (Thank goodness our kids are beyond the breaking books phase, otherwise, this would be hands-off for them!)

Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here! by Barbara Park

What a cute book! I met a friend in the library, and she found this book for me. She is getting ready to have #2 (so she looks like the cover of the book) and my little man is getting well over that newborn stage. When she offered it as a suggestion to me, she said that her mom had found this book for her. It is a story about a baby's perspective of being "trapped" inside and the things going through his/her little mind as he/she grows and gets ready to be born. It is very well done, and after reading it, my kids had a lot to talk about with their new baby sibling! It was neat to hear to hear them say, "Was I like that?" and "Is that what little A did in your tummy?" And it is a very cute book for every mom who knows the feelings of jumpy, bumpy, wiggly, jiggly babies inside! :)

You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

This book is by the same author (and illustrator) as Guess How Much I Love You and a few others with these same characters. A feel-good story about sibling bears who are trying to figure out who their mom and dad love best. Then mom and dad go through reasons why they are each unique and special--and all their favourites! My kids were smiling the whole time. It's just a good, wholesome book! We've read the other one mentioned, and this one was quite similar in style and feel-good-ness.

This book was SUPER special to me because the three bears are the same as my three kids (same age, order, some of the same traits, etc). It was neat to see my oldest be able to make that connection as we read it. (My younger one had to be walked through the connections.)

And, as a mom who LOVES kids and who knows three is it for us, this one got me a bit teary. It reminded me once again that God made each of my kids special for me, for our family, and for his purposes. They are each unique and special for their own reasons--just as in the book.

Well, until next week. . .happy reading!

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