Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Reading Reviews

Continuing on our summer reading program with the kids. . .

A few more books we've read for you to take a peek at (from the last two weeks):

Wiggle, Giggle Tickle Train by Nora Hilb and Sharon Jennings

My hubby asked a few weeks ago which is more important in children's picture books/story books: the writer or the illustrator? I said both, and this book definitely demonstrates that. The words are a little rhyming jingle accompanied by a drawn (okay pencil crayons and watercolour as the media) picture of kids being imaginative and creative. On the opposite page, is a photograph taken that is of the "same thing" in real life. Example, on the one page where it talks about a train and the train noises and actions, the "drawn" picture is about kids making trains out of household objects and their imagination. The photo is obviously a real train. There are a few creative ones that my E had to think about the connection between the two. Cool book! On a mommy level it is neat to see pictures of imaginative play and know your kids do the same thing. . .or a variation of such imaginative play!

Once I Ate A Pie by P. McLauchlan and E. McLauchlan Chrest; illustrated by Katy Schneider
This book is about a bunch of dogs. We chose this one from the Library because my son had developed a HUGE fear of dogs (we may have a few in our neighborhood who like to yap a LOT and nibble at ankles! An aside, for all you dog owners out there. . .please keep your dogs on leashes when they are on the streets!!!) So, one idea to help calm his fears was to get a few "dog" books. This one is a cute one, as the photos of the dogs are very well done (E could pick out each dog and compare it to one of the dogs he knows of) and the "story" are all thoughts of dogs--nice ones and naughty ones! Each page is the thoughts of the one dog pictured. It starts with a puppy, and ends with the same one as a dog. . .making the story have a bit of a circular or cyclic feel.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
This author/illustrator also does the book The House that Jack Built. As you can see, it earned itself an honour. . .and I agree. The moral of the story is that "you can always make something out of nothing" and describes this in a very creative and cute way. The part that E and Princess A liked best, was that there are "holes" in the book. . .yes, the one object keeps being re-purposed until it becomes so small and lost. They loved finding the hole on each page and seeing what the new thing was. It is easy reading, a little repetitive, and was a great book for my little reader. Taback includes an explanation about how he re-did this book into this very one and it also includes a folk song in the back for which the story is based on. Me, being the musician and singer that I am, will save that for another fine reader of the book. . .words are easy. . .notes on a staff=not so much!

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman; illustrated by Julie Paschkis
For my Princess A, we need to find "princess books" when we go to the library. She enjoyed this book, but it was way beyond her understanding. This is definitely a picture book for an older crowd! The author tells the story of Cinderella, but tells each part of it in the way different countries around the world have passed on the story. Confusing for preschoolers, but an amazing teaching tool for fantasy literature and fairy tales for older grade levels.
The illustrator does something similar. Each part of the story is illustrated based on what the words say (ie: if the glass slipper as we know it is a golden sandal, then it is illustrated as just that), but she incorporates the name of the country in her illustration, and has used folk art traditions of each of these countries as well. I don't claim to be an artist by any means, but I was impressed with the way this books was done--how much research and authenticity must have gone into both the writing and the artwork. This book is definitely a teaching tool and a work to enjoy.
Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
Super great story for Princess A! It included all the girl-y, frilly, princess-y features needed to please an aspiring little girl of imaginative royalty! I swear this book could have been about my own daughter. . .a very creative story, a very real problem to solve, very creative solution, very colourful and exciting pictures, and just plain cute! I can't wait to read the "purple" version story by the same authors. . .and any others that are out.

Babies: All You Need To Know by Deborah Helligman; illustrated by Lauren Freeman
With a baby is the house, I thought this would be a great little book to read with the kids. . .and it was. This books is a National Geographic book (much to the humor of my husband!) and pretty much summarizes everything tasteful about a baby that a sibling should know. I was quite impressed with it and with the pictures. In the back, there are also a few pages about how those reading or listening to the story can be a baby-scientist. E LOVED that part. . .getting paper and pencil and making some observations. . .very good connection to real part of learning. I'm assuming there are other topics of this kind of book, and I would recommend them as a choice of literature when beginning science experiments in school. Lots of information, lots of things to observe.

1 2 3 I Can Make Prints by Ireme Luxbacher
This is a great books for any age level. . .it tells you about doing art projects using prints. It begins with easy projects and moved on to harder ones, and then ends with an art project that incorporates each kind of print-making taught in the book. What I liked about this book, too, is that it had a bunch of "art words" (vocabulary) used in art projects and clearly explained what they meant. Not knowing the words or terms didn't stop you from making a project, but allowed you to use the words in making it. The illustrations were bright, exciting and made E and A want to start an art project immediately.
Again, I didn't check at the time, but if there are more to this "set", these would be great books to accompany any art curriculum--lots of new info for younger students; lots of good review and easy reading for older students. In the case of older students, this book could easily accompany a station or centre activity (which there are not a lot of resources on) or an enrichment/work finished type of activity. Good for checking for following directions, understanding what was read and making a final project!

Well, that is all for now. . .happy reading. . .

1 comment:

VanEgmond Family Notes said...

When our kids were afraid of dogs, we got a dog. Seems to me that a book is a much better idea!