Sunday, May 6, 2012

Great Picture Books

As many of you know who read this blog, I am a HUGE fan of the picture book.  I don't believe that you should push children out of picture books in favor of chapter books.  Kids will gravitate to chapter books when they are ready.

There is no correlation between kids who love to read and how soon they move from one genre to the other.  In fact, I worry that kids who are moved ahead to fast could start to dislike reading.  Getting your kids into Harvard will not be dictated by whether they are reading chapter books by the age of four.  If they are reading them by one or two, well that's a different story, Harvard here they come ... but otherwise just let them enjoy a great picture book!

There is a comfort in picture books as readers and listeners linger over the illustrations, and find the subtleties and humor in the best books.  They engage readers and they teach kids to love reading.  So don't be in a hurry to give up this classic genre.

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Title:         Crafty Choe
Author:     Kelly DiPucchio
Target:      Preschool - Grade 2
What this book is about:
Chloe may not be good at sports, or video games, or dance, but she is good at making things.  When a girl in her class buys the birthday gift Chloe intended to give her best friend, she decides to make her best friend a present instead.  But can a handmade gift ever measure up to a store bought one?  Well, it turns out Chloe’s resourcefulness saves the day!
Why I love this book:
First of all, the illustrations by Heather Ross are inspired!  She absolutely catches every nuance of her characters from inspiration to indignation!  The story is just charming and readers will be inspired to get our their scissors and sewing kit.  There is even a website link were kids can learn how to make the items featured in the book!  Love it!  Wrap it up with great messages on friendship and a sense of humor and this book is a winner.
Who this book is for:
Kids who like to create.
Final thoughts:
Chloe says it best, “anything becomes less boring with goggly eyes on it.”

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: Crafty Chloe  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          What Animals Really Like
Author:       Fiona Robinson

Target:        Preschool-Grade 2
What this book is about:
The animal chorus is performing it’s latest work about what animals really like.  While some of the animals fit the bill: ” lions like to prowl, wolves like to howl, pigeons like to coo, cows like to .....dig?”  Some obviously do not!  When our composers finally stops the performance, he learns that the animals have interests that are very different from what he expected, which makes for a much sillier and entertaining performance!
Why I love this book:
Ok, my kids loved this book!  Monkeys who like all-you-can-eat buffets, skiing shrimp, and deep sea diving horses just make this book ridiculously fun.  This is a giggle a minute.  Of course the fact that the conductor is completely flummoxed while trying to keep order only adds to the amusement of the story!
Who this book is for:
Great read aloud, it will keep your group laughing!  
Final thoughts: My favorite books are the ones that turn expectations on their head, and this book delivers in spades!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: What Animals Really Like  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five
Author:      Valorie Fisher
Target:       Preschool - Kindergarden

What this book is about:
Numbers, opposites, shapes, colors, the alphabet - it’s all covered here.  
With fabulous photographs of retro toys, our author gives us a colorful and slyly funny version of everything we should know!
Why I love this book:
As a parent who lived the these concepts with three children, I can say that this book is bright, imaginative and clever! You will enjoy the humor and fun as much as your child (maybe even more!)  The author has added details to every photograph that make them priceless.  There is nothing rote or boring about this book and you and your child will find it delightful!
Who this book is for:
Any child learning the basic concepts to get ready for kindergarten!
Final thoughts: 
This is the one basic concept book I wish I had had with my kids!

To purchase this book, visit you local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly
Author:      Carolyn Parkhurst
Target:       Preschool - Grade 2
What this book is about:
Henry has started a pretend cooking show with his toddler sister Elliebelly.  Elliebelly, really isn’t old enough to be on the show, but Henry shows his good big brother spirit, with a little encouragement from his mom, and works her in.  The consequence - Elliebelly is probably the one really running the show!
What I love about this book:
Perfect play on the older responsible brother and the little sister who just wants to be included (her way!)   It is their interchange that gives the book humor and heart and it is laugh out loud funny.  In just the first few pages, Elliebelly insists that Henry wear a pirate hat and include her doll Baby Anne in the show.  When Henry complains to an offscreen mom, he hears the familiar refrain “Work it out, you two.”  And I can’t forget the recipe they are making, raspberry-marshmallow-peanut butter waffles with barbecued banana bacon.  Yum!
Who this book is for: 
Older siblings and younger ones, each will be able to relate to this brother and sister team.  
Final Thoughts:
Bon Appetite

To purchase this book, visit you local bookstore or click here for a link to Amazon:Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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