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 )

Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: A Book of Sleep

Title: A Book of Sleep

Author: Il Sung Na

Illustrator: Il Sung Na

Publisher: Knopf  Books for Young Readers, January 11, 2011

Age: 1 - 3

Topic: Animals, Sleep

When the sky grows dark
and the moon glows bright,
everyone goes to sleep . . .
except for the watchful owl!

Summary: Join owl on a moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night.

Animal recognition: point at all the animals and name them. Talk about the sleeping style of each animal.
My Thoughts: A sweet bedtime story that children will love to read over and over again. I love that owl appears on each page as he watches over all the sleeping animals. With wonderful illustrations and spare text, children learn how various animals sleep, including owl.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: The Mitten

Title: The Mitten

Author: Jan Brett (adapted)

Illustrator: Jan Brett

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile, October 4, 1996

Age: 1-3

Topic: Seasons: Winter, Woodland Animals, Sharing

Opening: Once there was a boy named Nikki. He wanted mittens as white as snow.

When Nicki drops his new white mitten in the snow, some curious woodland animals find it and crawl in for warmth. First comes a mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last.

These animal masks would be great for a play reenacting The Mitten story. For this art activity, cut out the mittens and the animals and let them crawl in just like the animals in the story. Teach story sequencing using sequence cards from Creating & Teaching's blog. Homeschool Creations has lots of printables to use with the story. With my one-year olds, they glued yarn on an oversized poster board cutout of the white mitten

Why I like this book:
In this lovely illustrated story, a lonely white mitten becomes a cozy winter resting place for a variety of woodland creatures. It starts off with a small rabbit, and as more creatures appear, the larger they get until a bear squeezes in with the other critters. But when a tiny mouse tries to make his way in, the creatures get a big surprise! I love this edition because of it's brevity yet beautiful illustrations. The toddlers in my classroom love to look at it and listen to the story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Global Babies

Title: Global Babies

Author: The Global Fund for Children

Illustrator: Photography

Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; February 10, 2006

Theme: Multiculturalism, People & Places, Geography, Baby Faces

Age: 0 - 2

Summary: Appealing photos of babies from seventeen cultures around the globe are woven together by simple narration. Global Babies presents children in cultural context. Diverse settings highlight specific differences in clothing, daily life, and traditions, as well as demonstrate that babies around the world are nurtured by the love, caring, and joy that surround them.

Ideas: Dress up clothes from a variety of countries. Music from variety of cultures. Ethnic food tasting. Multicultural coloring pages. Find the different featured countries on a map or globe.

Why I like this book:
Short and sweet, straight to the point, just the way toddlers like it. No matter who you are or where you are from, babies everywhere are loved! :D The photos are absolutely beautiful. I read this book to my toddler classroom all the time and they love it. It is great for observing and describing what they are looking at. I also keep a copy in their classroom library so that they can get it any time they want to look through the book. The photos are colorful and grabs their attention. A great book to have at home and school to introduce and promote diversity.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.