Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Bag: April

April was full of some old favorites, and a new series (the ZigZag books from National Geographic Kids), as well as some kids' comics and some cooking/craft books to work on together. ****Faves are marked below:

Kid Books:
  1. What's in that egg? : a book about life cycles / by Becky Baines.
  2. Your skin holds you in : a book about your skin / by Becky Baines
  3. What did one elephant say to the other? : a book about animal communication/by Becky Baines.
  4. Bee-bim bop! / by Linda Sue Park ****An old fave of Madeline's, and it includes a recipe for Bee-bim bop (a Korean dish) at the end of the book.
  5. Zig and Wikki in Something ate my homework : a toon book / by Nadja Spiegelman & Trade Loeffler
  6. Rainbow Fish discovers the deep sea / Marcus Pfister ****A fave character in a new story. Love this guy.
  7. Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy / by David Soman and Jacky Davis ****Madeline adores Ladybug Girl. Amazingly, we don't own any of these books yet!
  8. Every planet has a place : a book about our solar system / by Becky Baines****ZigZag Series fave (next to the Bones You Own). Planets are beloved by the kiddos.
  9. Amazons! : women warriors of the world / Sally Pomme Clayton****I loved this one, it's a bit beyond my kids at this point.
  10. Princess Peepers / by Pam Calvert****With a bespectacled Papa, the kids LOVE this one!
  11. Lawn to lawn / Dan Yaccarino
  12. Mirror mirror : a book of reversible verse / Marilyn Singer****Adore this! So creative!!
  13. Carl's summer vacation / Alexandra Day
  14. Giddy-up! Let's ride! / Flora McDonnell****An old fave around here. So sweet, and it adds many lines to the classic song.

Parents Books:
  1. What kindergarten teachers know : practical and playful ways to help children listen, learn, and cooperate at home / Lisa Holewa and Joan Rice****LOVE this book. Bought this book.
  2. Handmade home : simple ways to repurpose old materials into new family treasures / Amanda Blake Soule ****Great ideas for things to create with/for your kiddos! She's got a fab blog too, called Soule Mama.
  3. Classic vegetarian cooking : from the Middle East & North Africa / Habeeb Salloum

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comics Rock!

Scooby Doo. Archie and Friends. Mickey Mouse. Scrooge McDuck, Spiderman. Sonic the Hedgehog. Tiny Titans. Zig and Wiki. Otto. Amelia Rules. Alison Dare. Ben 10. Bone. And, the list goes on... appropriately, Erik recently discovered comic books and fell in love with them. Luckily, we have a wonderful comic book section in the Kids' Section of our library. And, there are a plethora of new comic and graphic novel titles for pre-K through high school readers. Basically, Archie's still out there, but there are a lot more modern heroines and heros to be discovered too. I've tracked down all sorts of great comic book and graphic novel resources for kids...

First, if you're looking for a comic shop in your area that sells comics for kiddos, check out this site:

And, speaking of great comics for kids, last night we read Zig and Wiki in "Something ate my homework" by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffle, and the kids loved it. Then I realized that this book is associated with the comic book "Silly Lilly" that Becky gave Madeline for Christmas last year – TOON Books are featured right here, and come in three reader levels which you can buy online too. Their Web site is great and full of activities, ideas, lessons and online fun like a free carTOON Maker. Check it out.

Another resource, for comics for older-than-preschool kids is Kids Love Comics! which features comics like Alison Dare, Bone, Yarg!, Polo, Go Girl, Owly, and Amelia Rules, among others. Check out their blog right here.

And, then of course, there is the favorite in our house... the Tiny Titans. We've got them at our library, but you can also find them at your local comic shop or subscribe and get them in your mailbox each month (how cool would that be?)!

Coming up this month at a participating comic book store near you... Free Comic Book Day! The first Saturday in May, comic shops all over the country (and world!) give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. This year FCBD is on May 1st, and you can find a participating store near you right here.

I'm loving the comic book format for the kids. The graphics help even 3-year old Erik "read" the story, the text is short, conversational, and full of action, and they are far more interesting than Bob Books or other beginning readers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Absolutely brilliant! Brilliant? Absolutely!

There are two sides to every story, and Marilyn Singer's Mirror Mirror tells them brilliantly! She uses what she refers to as "Reversos," which are poems that can be read both up and down, with changes in punctuation making the tale completely new! While the full genius of this book is a little beyond my kids at this age, I love it. Older kids who are devouring chapter books on their own should find the reversible verse in this beautiful picture book enchanting (and older kids might find it a refreshing twist on writing poetry). It's a great lesson in how punctuation can completely change a sentence, and how important word choice can be in a story or poem. And, it's all about being concise—an excellent lesson to learn.

Every fairy tale poem in this book is told twice, once "forward," and once with the text completely flipped backward, telling the story from the antagonist's perspective (Cinderella vs. the Stepsisters, Snow White vs. the Evil Queen, etc.) "In The Hood," about Little Red Riding Hood is one of my faves (with a hip hop flavor), as is "Full Of Beans," about Jack and the Beanstalk. The rhythm of the text is a joy to read aloud, while the illustrations by Josee Massee are the perfect complement to each tale and its mirror.

This one is now on my top ten list of favorite kids' books, and it's one that I'd love to add to our library some day. And, I'm trying to write some reversos of my own... it is harder than you'd think. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Bag: March

With Pi Day (math), Dr. Seuss's birthday, and garden prep, we've been fairly well covered for topics lately. March was all about the human body, gardening, math, the Transformers and comic books (Tiny Titans, Sonic and Teen Titans). We also checked out several favorites like Munsch, Isadora, and Rylant. And, I'm loving Pam Allyn's child's lit resource book too. ****Faves are marked, as usual!

Parent Resources:
  1. Jump into math : active learning for preschool children / Rae Pica.
  2. What to read when : the books and stories to read with your child and all the best times to read them / Pam Allyn. ****Love the recommendations in this book!!
  3. Roots, shoots, buckets & boots : gardening together with children / Sharon Lovejoy. ****We're doing the Sunflower House this season - yeah!
  4. Inquiry into math, science, and technology for teaching young children / Arleen Pratt Prairie
Kid Books:
  1. Did I ever tell you how lucky you are? / by Dr. Seuss.
  2. I can lick 30 tigers today : and other stories / by Dr. Seuss.
  3. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now! / by Dr. Seuss. ****A new fave introduced to us by the Domkes!
  4. Richard Scarry's Pie rats ahoy! Scarry, Richard****LOVE this one!! (recommended by the Mills)
  5. 123 pop! / Rachel Isadora. ****Awesome graphics!
  6. Sophie skates / Rachel Isadora. ****Wonderful book about ice skating for kiddos.
  7. Kallaloo! : a Caribbean tale / by David and Phillis Gershator ****A Caribbean twist to stone soup, and a classic fave for us
  8. Glass slipper, gold sandal : a worldwide Cinderella / Paul Fleischman ; ill. Julie Paschkis. ****LOVE this book!! Cinderella told from many cultural perspectives. Each page is a different country. Paschkis' illustrations are amazing as always!
  9. Hansel and Gretel / Cynthia Rylant
  10. The Duchess bakes a cake, written and illustrated by Virginia Kahl.
  11. COMIC BOOK Sonic the Hedgehog
  12. The body's business / by Rebecca Weber.
  13. The magic school bus : inside the human body / by Joanna Cole
  14. Gone fishing : ocean life by the numbers / David McLimans. ****Madeline adores this book.
  15. Our skeleton / Susan Thames. Thames, Susan. 03-19-2010
  16. Transformers animated : the AllSpark almanac / by Jim Sorenson n' Bill Forster****The kids have spent hours pouring over the pages of this, together, peacefully - admiring the illustrations and talking about all the characters. They LOVE it!
  17. The human body / Seymour Simon.
  18. Teen Titans : year one / written by Amy Wolfram
  19. Sunflower house / Eve Bunting****Hooray! A story about a sunflower house. M's even more excited about ours now.
  20. ABC pop! / Rachel Isadora. ****One of our favorite Alphabet books.
  21. The bones you own : a book about the human body / by Becky Baines. ****LOVE this SMART book for kiddos!!
  22. Sonic the hedgehog archives. Volume 1
  23. The human body / created by Gallimard Jeunesse and Sylvaine Peyrols
  24. More pies! / Robert Munsch****Classic fave of ours.
  25. Hansel and Gretel / written by the Brothers Grimm ; retold and illustrated by Rachel Isadora.
  26. The Usborne complete book of the human body / Anna Claybourne ****Good book, as usual for Usborne.
  27. My brain / by Carol Lindeen.
  28. My heart and blood / by Dana Meachen Rau. ****Good illustrations, and clear information.
  29. My bones / Sally Hewitt.
  30. Books to grow on. Gardens [kit]
  31. Books to grow on. Kids create stories [kit]
  32. Zebras / by Jill Anderson.
  33. Tiny titans. Adventures in awesomeness / Art Baltazar & Franco****We ♥ the Tiny Titans!!! LOVE them!
  34. Tiny titans. Welcome to the treehouse / Art Baltazar & Franco****We ♥ the Tiny Titans!!! LOVE them! Might need to subscribe...

Kid DVDs:
  1. Transformers animated. Transform and roll out [videorecording] / Cartoon Network****Good one.
  2. Talking words factory [videorecording] / LeapFrog****Excellent phonics and consonant blends
  3. Learn to read at the storybook factory [videorecording] / produced by Bruce D. Johnson
  4. Meet the sight words 2 [videorecording] / created by Kathy Oxley. ****Good, but too slow for the kids. Madeline asked, "Why do they keep repeating the same thing over and over and over?"
  5. Meet the sight words 3 [videorecording] / created by Kathy Oxley.
  6. Talking Words Factory 2. Code word caper [videorecording] / LeapFrog, Torchlight Entertainment****Really good info about silent "e" and vowel rules...

Because Kids Are Smart!

Finally! I found a smart, fun book about the human body for the kiddos! A couple weeks ago, Erik started asking me about his bones, and we went on to talk about blood, muscles, etc., and I wanted to get some books about bones, the circulatory system, the brain; basically how the body works. There are a lot of these books out there for kids, and a lot of them are very very simplistic and don't give much information. I wanted a fun book with good illustrations, good information, and the real names of bones.

After reviewing many books, Becky Baines' The Bones You Own from National Geographic Kids, fit the bill perfectly. Tibia, humerus, stapes, illium, ribs, femur, vertebrae... you name it, it's there, and the book has the kids feel their bones, gives fun facts and info (like the fact that babies have 300 bones, but adults have 206), and the photos and illustrations are wonderful. This book even shows the inside of a bone, comparing spongy bone, compact bone and marrow (the "gushy, jelly-like part...") — "Eeeew!!" said the kids — they loved it! And, at the end of the book, there's a two-page spread of questions in "thought bubbles" that you can Zigzag through to explore more thoughts about bones, like: "Why do you have to wear a cast on a broken bone?" and "What would you look like without any bones?"

I've already put her other anatomy book Your Skin Holds You In on hold at the library, along with several other books in this ZigZag series (there's one about the solar system and another about animal communication). Hooray for smart books for smart kids!!


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