Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Bag: September

Jellyfish are fascinating creatures. They have no brain, no bones, no eyes, there is a vast array of different (beautiful) varieties, and a group of jellies is called a smack. These are the things you learn when you have an inquisitive four-year old... This month has also been Fall, Halloween, Science and Rhyming tales, as well as my favorite counting DVD (featuring Winnie the Pooh), and a wonderful book for parents (and teachers) to encourage pre-K and Kindergarten writers. Enjoy! As, always, our faves are ****'d!
  1. The Snow Queen / by Hans Christian Andersen ; retold by Amy Ehrlich ; [illustrated by] Susan Jeffers.
  2. The Berenstain Bears go back to school / Stan & Jan Berenstain
  3. Books to grow on. Art [kit]
  4. Books to grow on. Camping [kit]
  5. Books to grow on. Machines [kit] ****Erik LOVES this collection of books about all sorts of trucks, cars and boats!
  6. The jellyfish / Miriam J. Gross.
  7. Tan to tamarind : poems about the color brown / poems by Malathi Michelle Iyengar
  8. My soccer book / Gail Gibbons. Gibbons, Gail. 09-15-2009
  9. Outlaw princess of Sherwood, a tale of Rowan Hood / Nancy Springer. ****This series will be part of our home library.
  10. Winnie the Pooh. 123's discovering numbers and counting [videorecording]. ****A great video to introduce young ones to counting. Fun. Roo learns to count (and practice)
  11. Baby whales drink milk / by Barbara Juster Esbensen ****Great science. Fascinating info about mammals.
  12. Halloween night : twenty-one spooktacular poems / by Charles Ghigna
  13. Mouse's first Halloween / Lauren Thompson
  14. Goodnight goon : a petrifying parody / Michael Rex ****Great parody of Goodnight Moon! (Thanks for the tip, Jen.)
  15. The cat in the hat comes back! / By Dr. Seuss ****The kids LOVE the "little cats" in this one!
  16. Fox in socks, by Dr. Seuss ****I LOVE to read this one!
  17. Five goofy ghosts / by Judith Bauer Stamper
  18. It's back to school we go : first day stories from around the world / Ellen Jackson
  19. Jellies : the life of jellyfish / Twig C. George. ****Good detail, and good pics.
  20. Jellyfish / by Ann Herriges
  21. Jellyfish / by Leighton Taylor
  22. Jellyfish / by Martha E.H. Rustad
  23. The jellyfish / Miriam J. Gross.
  24. Brooms are for flying / by Michael Rex. ****Madeline loves that the little girl witch "dresses up" as a "human little girl dressed as a witch"
  25. Jellyfish / by Carol K. Lindeen
  26. I'm your bus / Marilyn Singer ****Awesome rhyming in this wonderful story about your friendly school bus!
  27. Gooey jellyfish / by Natalie Lunis ****This one's the fave of the jellies books - really colorful, fact-filled and great photos!!
  28. Already ready : nurturing writers in preschool and kindergarten / Katie Wood Ray with Matt Glover ****Great book with fun ideas about what to provide for little folk to encourage them as "writers." I've been creating little books for the kids to "write and illustrate" themselves and they LOVE it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

By The Book...

Congratulations! Meet your beautiful new baby. Oh, and here's your user's manual...

What? You didn't get yours?

Yeah, neither did we.

Would you like one? Because, boy are there are a lot of really great resources out there if you're looking for ideas on the care and handling of little folk. Books that provide a great many techniques and methods on helping raise up polite, thoughtful, responsible, respectful, independent members of society who will go out into the world and make it better (and who don't whine incessantly, backtalk, or drive you completely nuts) . Sounds good, right? The more tools you have in your toolbox, the less likely you are to resort to whining (= nagging), backtalk (= yelling/shouting) or driving yourself completely nuts (= pleading, begging, bribing, cajoling, and giving in to your kids just this one time... or two).

OK, so — here are your user's manuals (they are all linked directly to Amazon.com in case you need to buy one or more - stat!)... while most have egregiously long titles (I've abbreviated many in my list), these are all books I've read, am reading, or have on hold at the library. Most have been recommended by friends, relatives, and acquaintances (from new parents to grandparents) who've used ideas from books in this list with great success. Read some, read 'em all, because depending on the day, you may need a whole lotta tricks up your sleeve. If there's one thing I've learned about being a mom... you've gotta be a little crazy. Crazy like a fox! Good luck, and happy reading!!

  1. Discipline Without Tears by Rudolf Dreikurs
  2. Children: The Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs - Highly recommended by a friend who says that it saves her sanity on a daily basis. It's waiting for me at the library right now.
  3. Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay- I've not read Cline and Fay yet, but have had several friends ask me if I have after witnessing how I handle my kids at the playground, etc. So, I've got it in my reading pile now — will be interesting to see what they say since I'm apparently already using their "method."
  4. Helicopters, Drill Sergeants & Consultants: Parenting Styles and the Messages They Send by Jim Fay- some of Fay's books come in audio and DVD versions too.
  5. Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children- This book was great - a refreshing perspective on the challenges of parenting and the gift of childhood, what it can teach us, and how staying in the moment can help us help ourselves. She's also got one called "Becoming a Mindful Parent" that looks good, and is well-reviewed on Amazon.
  6. Your One Year Old by Louise Bates Ames(there are many years in this series - one book per each) - These books have some socially outdated text in them, but are great for outlining age-appropriate behavior for kids and periods of equilibrium/disequilibrium, and came highly recommended by a mom with four wonderful teenage children
  7. No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba- straight-up practical ideas and plans for specific behavior issues - 38 to be exact. I'm reading this now.
  8. Parents Do Make A Difference by Michele Borba
  9. Hearing Is Believing: How Words Can Make or Break Our Kids by Elisa Medhus
  10. Raising Children Who Think For Themselves by Elisa Medhus
  11. How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too by Sal Severe(and the ... So Your Children Will Too version.) - Oh. I love these books. "Discipline is teaching kids good decision making." and "The time to prepare for adolescence is when your child is four." Brilliant, practical ideas here. Great ideas here for kids learning good choice vs. bad choice and owning the outcome
  12. Positive Discipline For Preschoolers by Jane Nelsen - Some good ideas and a lot of theory. Interesting. If you want to get practical ideas now, and don't have a lot of time to ponder, go with Severe or Borba, Fay or Dreikurs.
  13. Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka- some great ideas, and a lot of theory. Heavy on the "specialness" of "spirited" children, or kids that are "more" (sensitive, perceptive, etc.)
  14. Supernanny: How to Get The Best From Your Children by Jo Frost- Quick and dirty, no nonsense ideas to hit the ground running with. Love the involvement technique, sleeping problems advice, whining, etc. Don't let her outdated ideas on breastfeeding put you off her otherwise good tips.
  15. Raising Our Children; Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort- love this one. Why you parent the way you do and what you need to "fix" in yourself to improve your own issues, not pass them on to your kids, and raise your kids well in the process.

Got a favorite book that's not on this list?? Please, do share!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Is Here... Hooray!

This little board book is a big deal in our house. After discovering it at the library a couple years ago, I had to buy it. Ann Burg paints an inviting picture of a little puppy going on a walk one beautiful Autumn evening in Autumn Walk.

She describes the colors wonderfully in her crimson and pumpkin gold world, and Burg's vivid language has kids crunching through the leaves too; "A whiff of apples and cinnamon toast, air that is corduroy cold."

As soon as the Summer is ending, we get this out, and don't stop reading it daily until the snow falls (and to be honest, we read it in other seasons too, when we miss our favorite season — Fall!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Tales of Rowan Hood

Adventures in Sherwood Forest with the daughter of Robin Hood, and her band of merry outlaws... I love this series. I've not read any of the Rowan Hood series books by Nancy Springer to my kids yet, but a friend's 8-year old daughter loves them, so I wanted to check them out.

Rowan is a brave, smart and kind leader and a wonderful heroine, and Springer easily pulls readers in with her beautiful descriptions of Sherwood Forest, and adventure in spades. Rowan's father, the King of Thieves himself—Robin Hood, makes appearances in the stories too, and helps save the day occasionally. I've yet to finish the series, but this series is a fun twist on a classic tale.

I see these books being a big hit in our house in a few years.


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