Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fun, Practical, Quick

Need some fast solutions for handling daily issues with your fast-growing "babies?" You know, those pipsqueaks who it seems like you brought home as sweet bundles a few weeks ago... or (Yikes!) was it years?! How does the time fly, and how does a busy parent keep up? Learn from the experts, I say! And, who knows better about the daily handling of the under-6 set? Kindergarten Teachers!!!

I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to find What Kindergarten Teachers Know by Lisa Holewa and Joan Rice. While searching out picture books that introduced going to Kindy (for Madeline), I stumbled upon this listing at our library.

And, Holewa and Rice's book did not disappoint. In fact, I bought it, and am very likely to gift this baby! It includes five pages of additional resources at the end of the book, which I will likely look into, but right now I'm busy implementing their amazing advice!

Perhaps my favorite thing about their "advice" though, is that it's practical, fun, respectful (in that not all things work for all kids) and the #1 goal is to make sure kids know they are loved. And, isn't that really what it's all about?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Singing Books...

We're big fans of what the kids call "singing books" in our house... books that need to be sung instead of simply read out loud. We own several, and have checked out a great number of them over the years. A few of our favorites include a handful from Iza Trapani (a great author for singing books), The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Robert Wells (illustrated by Doris Barrette), Giddy Up! Let's Ride! by Flora McDonnell, and Sing Sophie! by Dayle Ann Dodds.

I discovered The Christmas Song: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire by Mel Torme and Robert Wells when searching for books that were illustrated by Doris Barrette. I love her work in the book Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes (not a singing book, but a good one with great rhythm). Both are wonderful holiday books and make a great gifts.

I'm a Little Teapot by Iza Trapani is our favorite of her singing books, and is beautifully illustrated, with wonderful verses that include the teapot and kids on a Fox Hunt in England, in a row boat in China, in outer space, and on a pirate ship... to name a few. It's brilliant!

Sing Sophie by Dayle Ann Dodds attracted me because of the great little cowgirl on the cover, and all the better that her name was Sophie... similar to cousin Sophia! This little cowgirl makes up lovely and original tunes and sings them with gusto! No one wants to listen until her singing proves very useful to the family!

And, finally, Flora McDonnell's Giddy Up! Let's Ride! takes one of the kids' Gramma's oft-sung tunes and adds many verses... this is the way the knight, jockey, clown, fairy, nomad, cowgirl, and many others.

All of these favorites have really fun and beautiful illustrations that add to the stories, and all of them are very fun to sing, as well as being filled with wonderfully rich vocabulary and sparking creativity in little listeners. Check them out!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mouse-o!

I admit it. I ordered Cinco De Mouse-o by Judy Cox from M's Scholastic book order simply for the Cinco tie-in. It made me smile. And, since my birthday is on Cinco de Mayo, I have a fondness for the holiday, as I do for this cute little mouse (maybe it's his tiny blue specs) who's just trying to enjoy some delicious "beany, cheesey, ricey" food, and maybe a piece of candy for dessert.

Oh, and the cat who chases him has "greeny eyes," I love that line. The book is full of excellent, rich vocabulary in both English (including "hailstones" which we learned all about earlier this week) and some Spanish (mariachis, anyone?).

The illustrations by Jeffrey Ebbeler had Erik riveted. But, of course... the pages where the pinata busts open are a kid's dream-come-true, right there to study. I won't be surprised if I find the boy licking the pages.

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