Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Squiggly Story review

A Squiggly Story

A young boy wants to write a story, just like his big sister.(goodreads summary)

A little boy wants to write a story just like his big sister.  Although he knows words, he does not know how to write them just yet.  With a little gentle encouragement from his sister, he finds his own way to tell his story.  This was a nice book that will help promote thinking skills and the writing process for young aspiring writers.  The interaction between the two characters were sweet as the sister teaches writing a story with patience encouraging her brother to think outside the box with creativity.  Writing does not come easy for some kids and their frustration sometimes even blocks them more.  This story offers a gentle reminder that could help open up and spark the imagination by letting them know that they are in charge of their own story by first writing what they know.  When the boy takes his story to school to share without a proper ending , his class is inspired with some creative and wonderful ideas of their own.  This would make a great read aloud for a writers workshop time in the classroom.  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 5 and up.~

Title:  A Squiggly Story
Author:  Andrew Larsen
Pub. date:  September 2016, Kids Can Press
Genre:  picture book
Hardcover, 32 pgs.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Life on Mars review

Life on Mars

A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars.(goodreads summary)

Everyone thinks this cute little Astronaut is crazy because he believes that there is life on Mars.  He is determined to prove them wrong and sets out on a a mission to find it.  He also brings along a special gift of chocolate cupcakes to offer just in case he finds anyone living there. But when he discovers the planet to be cold, barren and possibly uninhabitable he must admit he could be wrong himself!  All the while the reader sees an alien life form following him around that he does not know is there.  In the end, he discovers a few surprises but  one that will leave him second thoughts on his long journey back home.  

This is a fun story with subtle and sweet humor that kids will enjoy.  They will giggle when they see the Martian following the boy around as he seems unaware on his quest for life and that only the reader knows that it is there.  The text is simple and short for reading while the illustrations depict the dark, gloomy planet well giving you the feeling of what it could be like in outer space.  Any book by this author is a good choice for young kids and I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-6.~

Title:  Life on Mars
Author:  Jon Agee
Pub date:  February 2017, Dial Books
Genre:  picture book
Hardcover, 32 pgs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

10 Things I can do to help my World review

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World

Even young children are eager to help the environment — and here is a bright, inviting novelty book that offers simple ways to make a difference.(goodreads summary)

This Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day and to help celebrate here is a wonderful book that covers a very important topic! It is never to early to begin teaching children the importance of taking care of our planet and this book is a great start to getting the little ones thinking about what they can do to help our environment.  It offers suggestions that can be done in a simplistic way such as turning off the light when you leave the room or making sure you throw away your trash and not leave it on the ground.  It also opens up a great discussion opportunity about recycling or even my favorite thing to do upcycle things for other purposes.  The pages are large, vivid and bold in color while the layout includes a flap so that when you lift it you find an answer to what kids can do which also makes it fun for learning.  The answer includes a brief explanation as to why that act is so important.  The reading works well either in a large group setting or one-on-one. By the end of this book kids will think of even more ways to help keep our world beautiful not only for ourselves but for future generations.  My favorite page is the front cover which has a stamp marked that this book was made from 100% recycled material! I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-7.~   

Title: 10 Things I can do to help my World
Author:  Melanie Walsh
Pub date:  August 2008,   Candlewick Press
Genre:  non fiction
Paperback, 40 pgs.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Children's Garden review

The Children's Garden: Loads of Things to Make and Grow

A garden can be a place for discovery, creativity and fun, and a space that encourages children to enjoy and engage with the natural world.(goodreads summary)

Do you have an interest in building and tending a garden, looking for bugs, doing crafts and outdoor games or just enjoy being outside getting fresh air on a nice day? This book covers over 52 hands-on activities with some fun and engaging seasonal ideas that will help get the family out into the garden.  Not only is getting outdoors healthy for our kids but garden discovery stimulates the senses and brain. Inside it is divided into the four seasons and offering plenty of different ideas you can do for each one.  In Spring, you can start with planting seeds and plants in a pot or recycled old handbag or maybe you would like to make a beast habitat out of pallets and bricks for observing critters or bugs.  Summer arrives with butterflies, potato print art, outdoor games on the grass and nature hikes. Soon it will be Fall and you can make pies with your fall harvest, plant bulbs for spring or just enjoy the autumn colors. Winter is not left out because we can still make a compost bin or feed our bird friends with homemade feeders.  It offers information on just about everything pertaining to gardens which makes for a great educational opportunity as well. There are bound to be a few ideas to spark the creativity and help find your own sense of place in the garden.  Many things in the book seem geared for the older child but activities could be tailored towards younger ones by just using your imagination to change around or use proper supervision.  I definitely feel it is never to early to get kids outdoors to learn in nature!  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 5 and up.~

Title:  The Children's Garden
Author:  Matthew Appleby
Pub. date:  March 2016, Frances Lincoln
Genre: non fiction
Hardcover, 144 pgs.