Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Leaves

Title: Leaves

Author: David Ezra Stein

Illustrator: David Ezra Stein

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, July 29, 2010 (board book edition)

Age: 2 - 4

Topic: Changing Seasons, Fall, Autumn, Leaves, Bear

Opening: It was his first year.

Book Summary: The story follows a very young bear who experiences his first autumn. All is going well until the first leaf falls. Then soon, all the leaves begin to fall on his quiet island. At first he is confused and tries to put them back but soon he gives up and sadly watches all the leaves drop. He gathers up all the leaves and uses them to make a soft bed for a very long winter nap. When he awakes, he finds a wonderful surprise waiting for him.

Autumn is a great time to be out and about in nature. Go for walks and allow your child/ren to explore and observe the changes happening all around them. Why do leaves turn colors? Find our here as well as find science projects for children to do. What makes them fall? A very simple answer can be found here: )
Some other activities can include: at the beginning of autumn when there are still a few ‘green’ leaves, have children create leaf collages. Collect the leaves of various trees. In some regions, there are trees that do not fall, learn about these trees. Got lots of energy, jump into a leaf pile.
Find lots of leafy activities and crafts here.
Why I Like This Book:
I love the author’s simple text, warm illustrations as he allows young bear, and young readers, to explore the beauty and changes of autumn. He shows the mix feelings that the young bear feels as he experiences autumn for the first time. But by the end of the book, children learn the nature of the seasons; that the leaves do come back in the spring. This is a great book to use to enhance a lesson plan on Fall/Autumn. Granted only three of the four seasons are shown in this book, it still opens up for a lot of discussions for the teacher to have with students.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Review: Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin

Title: Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin

Author: Tad Hills

Illustrator: Tad Hills

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, July 28, 2009 (Oversized Board Book Edition)

Age: 1 - 4

Topic: Pumpkins, Animals, Nature, Seasons, Friendship, Directional Prepositions

Opening: Nice pumpkin, Thistle.

Book Summary: Duck and Goose see that Thistle has a really nice plump pumpkin. They want a pumpkin too. So they search together looking through fallen leaves, a downed log, a pond and a tree stump. But they can’t seem to find a pumpkin until Thistle suggests a great spot to find one.

Nature walks. For learning about preposition, send your child/ren on a hunt using the prepositions in the book: on, in, up, under. Learn about other fall foliage including those shown in the illustrations, apples, acorns, leaves and more. And then there is always Pinterest for great ideas.

Why I Like This Book:
Short and Sweet. Amazing illustrations rendered in oil paint. Aside from the fact that I just love Duck & Goose as much as my toddler class does, the author beautifully captures autumn in this book as the adorable friends search for their pumpkin. Children will see colorful fallen leaves, apples, and an acorn as well as pumpkins. This book is great to add to a fall themed lesson plan. It can also be used for introducing prepositions to young children. I also love the potential of interactivity with the book. As I read the book to my group of 15 – 20 month old toddlers, I didn’t really have to prompt them to answer along with duck & goose. When the time came, they would all say, “No,” shaking their heads as I read it. J It is an often requested book to read a circle time (yes, my one year old classroom has circle time that we actually can get through an entire book! J )