Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Reading Review Continued

If you missed my first post about the summer reading club I am doing with my kiddos (and are interested in reading it), go to this post.
Otherwise, here is a continuation of my {humble} reviews a few of the books we've read together.

Week of July 19-25

The Turn-Around, Upside Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst.

See the little sticker on the book? This one is recommended by the library to develop early reading and literacy skills.

In my humble opinion, I'd have to agree!
This book is great. I remember taking it out last summer with my son, and he found it again this year and loved it! Each letter is big and bold in the middle of the page, set against a contrasting-like background. Then you have to turn the book to view the "picture each letter creates at each angle. The denellian writing tells you what you should be able to see. This year it was neat to see E show Princess A what the picture was supposed to be and even read some of the words. It was also neat to see if they came up with another picture than the ideas given in the book. Later on E even made a picture out of the letters in his name. . .not quite following the way the book uses letters to make pictures, but it sparked something of interest for him, so I'm grateful for this book. Princess A tried to join in, but her pictures are usually just blobs of colour at this point. My only negative for this book is that because most children's books are not written using denallian writing, some of the letters caused him some trouble in reading (ie: the letter k).

The Princess Party by Joy Allen

If you have a princess in your house, you can't NOT take this book out! It's a little rhyming story about a group of girls having a princess party. It's very cute in that you see each girl dressed as a different kind of princess--from ballerinas to cowgirls. . .and you see their "real" clothes under their dress-up attire. The photos also show a little brother in the background (hee-hee!) of many of these scenes. Another creative bit to the pictures is that when the rhymes refer to "castles" or real princess-type words, the girls are shown jumping on a trampoline or playing something in the backyard--again, spurring the imaginative minds of little kids.

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.

You might be familiar with other books by Michael Hall, but this one was just GREAT! Again, rhyming verses about animals, all created using various sizes and colours of hearts. This book can definitely be a good one to have around Valentine's day, along with a google search on making animals out of hearts. Many "teacher pages" have printables on how to make dogs or penguins (two I've used) using different sizes of hearts for a Valentine craft or Centre activity.

Week of July 26-August 1

Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman; Illustrated by Jane Dyer

I chose this book for my kiddos because we had been weeding the garden and "tending" to its growth(its amazing how you can get a little bit of watering done to your garden during a water/sprinkling-ban when you give a kid the nozzle!) But this book went far beyond any gardening information. It showed ALL the parts of a garden and environmental factors that work together to make a garden grow. So when the question "Whose Garden Is IT?" is posed, it becomes clear that this is not an easy-answered question. Very thought provoking. Perhaps a little beyond my kiddos in terms of the thinking process, but still quite enjoyable. It would definitely be a good book to read along with any plant, garden, or spring unit in school.

The Animals Watched: An Alphabet Book
I LOVED this books too!This was great because we recently bought some passes to the zoo, and as small as our {local} zoo is, many of the animals in this book are at the zoo. Aside from an illustration of that particular animal, the minds eye was at work. The book told the story of Noah from the perspective of each of the alphabetical animals. I thought that was very creative. The other thing I liked about this book was that it didn't pick common animals. B wasn't for bear. (Yes, Z was for zebra, but come on, what other animals that started with Z could have walked two by two into the Ark?) Capybaras and Kiwis were featured. Then, at the back of the book, there were a few pages giving a brief paragraph of information about each of the animals (where the lived, what they ate, etc). In a household of Zaboomafoo-watchers, this book was definitely a hit!

Week of August 2

Yah. . .lost the photos on my camera, so. . .from memory, here goes. . .

Elevator Magic by ?

This book was good in terms of teaching some basic math skills. It did some addition and subtractions of what floor the elevator had to go to. (ie: 7-2=5. . .they had to be on the fifth floor if they were to go down two floors). But the "magic" part of this book was kinda dumb--in my humble opinion. The kid lands up on a floor and there is a farm taking over the bank. . or something along that line. There is nothing in the book that builds up to these weird occurrences on each floor and nothing that ties it all together except that it has been a fun and weird day type of ending. I could've done without this one. . .

Sea Creatures by?

Again. . .not sure who wrote it or published it. . .but it was an information book. The kind your kid takes home from the school library and you dread reading it with them because it goes on forever! This one was good in that it just had a few paragraphs on each page. We read a few each day, and it was bearable for me, and very interesting for E.

I know there was one really good book this week, but can't think of it at this point. Need the photo to jog my memory!!! I promise that next week I won't delete photos and I'll have a few more reviews for ya!

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