Wednesday, December 31, 2008
For a preview of what you'll find, take a look at this video on Emotional Literacy and Children:
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here are a few of my favorite train picture books:
A young boy is busy playing train when his parents announce that it is bedtime. When he can't fall asleep, he takes an imaginative ride on his toy train and gets busy helping the train run.
This simple, colorful book is great for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers who love trains. Easy, rhyming text describe the various uses of different kinds of trains.
Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter are in a hurry! They must get to Red Rock by 2:00 or he'll miss his wedding! Railroad John is running late - really late - andLonesome Bob fears he'll never make it. Will they get there in time? The sepia-toned artwork is beautiful and the end depics a boy playing with an antique train in an attic filled with items found throughout the story. Older preschoolers and early elementary-aged children will enjoy this one.
Join a baby and his stuffed animal friends on a rollicking, rhyming train ride. This one is great for babies, wobblers and toddlers who will love the repetitive refrain and alliteration of "jiggle joggle jee!"
The childhood song "Down by the Station" is beautifully depicted in this fun, colorful book by Will Hillenbrand. Sing along and pay close attention to the pictures as the train picks up new animal passengers on its way to the children's zoo. There's just the right amount of drama as the end passengers' car breaks lose and plummets into a small pond. They are quickly rescued and hurry to rejoin the head of the train as it rolls along the track.
This is a fantastic book that toddlers and preschoolers just love! There's just the right amount of text for a younger audience and rhythmic refrain of "Chugga-chugga Choo-choo/ Whistle blowing/ Whoooooooo! Whooooooooo!!" begs for repeated reading-aloud. This story follows a toy train's busy day and Daniel Kirk's color-saturated, dramatic computer-aided illustrations are full of shine and life.
The train rolls down the track going, "Click clack, clickerty clack." Along the journey each of the train cars inhabitants add their own sounds to the symphony of the train. The highlight is at the end when a parrot who had been carefully listening the whole time repeats all of the wonderful sounds heard.
A girl goes on an overnight train ride with Mr. Barnes, her stuffed rabbit, to visit her grandparents. The story joggles between real and imaginary scenes. Young children who've had the experience of riding on a train - and those who anticipate such an event - are sure to enjoy.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
School Library Journal's book review editors have also recently published their list of the best books of 2008. Check out this list here: School Library Journal's Best Books 2008.
This is the kind of book that many parents will appreciate and relate to - especially right after any holiday gift-giving frenzy. Spencer is a boy with - as the title implies - too many toys. He gets toys on birthdays, holidays, at friends' birthday parties, from kids meals, for being brave at the dentist and doctor, and even for the 4th of July! When Spencer's mother demands that he fill a box with toys to give away, David Shannon's color-saturated illustrations aptly depict the panic Spencer feels at this proposition. With every suggested toy to donate, Spencer can easily come up with a reason to keep it. After much debate, mom and son come to an agreement and Spencer finds toys he can live without...that is, all except one - the best toy of all. And what do you think this must-have toy is???
Monday, December 15, 2008
Hanukkah! by Roni Schotter with illustrations by Marilyn Hafner (Little, Brown Children, 2008)
On the eighth and final day of Hanukkah, a family is busy lighting the menorah, making dreidels and decorations, preparing latkes, and sharing in song, food and celebration. A brief explanation of Hanukkah is given in a note at the end of the book.
The Hanukkah Mice by Steven Kroll (Marshall Cavendish, 2008)
Author Steven Kroll ahs written numerous holiday books and his newest addition, The Hanukkah Mice, is another great addition to the genre. In The Hanukkah Mice a young girl receives a dollhouse for her first Hanukkah gift. As she and her family continue to celebrate Hanukkah, a family of mice enjoy their own holiday celebration in her new dollhouse. Miniature latkes are prepared and served alongside applesauce in tiny dishes; a miniature menorah is placed in the dollhouse; and the holiday is wonderfully celebrated by both big (human) and tiny (mouse) families alike.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level. Perhaps most alarmingly, boys now account for less than 43 percent of those enrolled in college, and the gap widens every semester! The growing gender imbalance in education portends massive shifts for the next generation: how much they make and whom they marry. Interviewing parents, kids, teachers, and experts, journalist Peg Tyre drills below the statistics to examine how the educational system is failing our sons. But this passionate, clearheaded book isn't an exercise in finger-pointing. Tyre, the mother of two sons, offers the testimony of teachers and school officials who are trying new techniques to motivate boys to learn again, one classroom at a time. This book is a manifesto for change--one we must undertake right away lest school become, for millions of boys, unalterably a "girl thing."--From publisher description.
This book follows the author, Peg Tyre's previous article in a 2006 cover story on "The Boy Crisis" in Newsweek. A September 8, 2008 article, "Struggling School-Age Boys" in Newsweek can be accessed here.
Are you an educator, child care provider or parent of boys? What do you think?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
That's Not My Snowman...by Fiona Watt (Usborne Touchy-Feely Books)
This touch and feel board book is irresistible for little eyes and hands. I shared this with a group of one-year-olds this morning and they just could not resist interacting with this snowman book. New copies of this board book can be found at the library in the board book bins.
Lists everything that one needs to build the perfect snowman, from the very first snowflake that falls. Great for building narrative skills!
Kelly doesn't know how to ice skate. But, fortunately, she meets a magical snowman who teaches her that with a little help and patience, wonderful things can happen!
Two children enjoy sledding, skiing, making tracks, building a snowman, and other activities in the snow. This early reader is lots of fun to share with preschoolers and young school-aged kids.
If you're looking for snow-themed crafts and activities, try:
Preschool Snowman Arts & Crafts from Everything Preschool.com http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/snowmen/art.htm
Winter Fun: Snowmen Snacks & Crafts from Family Fun online:
Monday, December 8, 2008
Many a small child is fascinated by things that go and what makes things turn. Wheels! This fantastic book introduces a variety of wheels with great cut-paper illustrations and very simple text. Certain to be enjoyed by fans of transportation and curious young minds. This would also be a useful title to use to prompt conversations about wheels, how they are used and how they work to make things move. A simple math lesson could even follow.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
http://www.lil-fingers.com/: Lil' Fingers Storybooks is a site for toddlers with educational games, storybooks and coloring pages.
http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_en.htm: Literacy Center Play & Learn - get to know letters, numbers, colors, shapes and more.
http://www.preschoolexpress.com/toddler_station.shtml Preschool Express: Toddler Station offers a wealth of activities to enrich your toddler's day.
http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/: Preschool Rainbow provides ideas and inspiration for early childhood educators, care providers and parents alike!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wild Boars Cook by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall (Henry Holt and Company, 2008)