Friday, November 15, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Title: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Author: Hena Khan

Illustrator: Mehrdokht Amini

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2012

Age: 4 - 6

Themes: Colors, Cultures and Religions (Islam)

Opening: Red is the rug dad kneels on to pray, facing towards Mecca five times a day.

Summary: A young girl guides very young readers on a colorful adventure as she shares simple and easy to understand facts about her culture and religious traditions.

Color hunting: Try singing this chant with your child(ren) as you go on a color hunt around the room.

We Are Going on a Color Hunt

We are going on a color hunt, we going to find the color red
We are going to look high and we are going to look low
until we find the color red.

Blue, Gold, White, Black, Brown, Orange, Purple, Yellow, Green and Silver.

The book explores a lot new and probably unfamiliar vocabulary, create word puzzles, and word finds to help learn the new words.

Talk about the architecture of the buildings, the domes and minarets, how do they differ from other houses of worship.

Henna Designs: Allow children to copy or draw their own designs using this hand template. Or find inspiration using these. Learn more about the history of henna here

Make a fanoos, a traditional lamp used during festivals.

What I like about the book:

I really enjoyed the illustrations. They were rich, vivid, and colorful. They brought to life the words on the pages. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is a wonderful addition to any classroom library as it beautifully reflects both Middle Eastern culture and the Muslim religion. Children are able to explore and learn about the traditions and celebrations of Muslims.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Recommended Picture Book: Care for Our World

Title: Care for Our World

Author: Karen Robbins

Illustrator: Alexandra Ball

Publisher: Compendium Inc,  July 15, 2012

Theme: Planet Earth, Environment, Care for the Planet

Age: 4 - 6

Opening: Care for our world, for you and me, for all living things from mountain to sea.

Summary: Children meet a wide range of animals from every continent as they learn just how important it is to take care of our planet. It is our home as well as the home of every living creature both animate and inanimate.

Great list of K-2 lesson plans and activities that promote Earth and environmental awareness.
Ideas and resources that are helpful when teaching about the environment and how to care for it.

What I like about the book:
The author does a great job conveying the importance of taking care of not just the earth but every living creature on it. The text is rhythmic and the illustrations draw you in with their warmth and joy. Visit every continent as you turn the page. Meet playful creatures from around the world in their natural habitat.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin

Title: Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin

Author: Tad Hills

Illustrator: Tad Hills

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, July 28, 2009 (Oversized Board Book Edition)

Age: 1 - 4

Topic: Pumpkins, Animals, Nature, Seasons, Friendship, Directional Prepositions

Opening: Nice pumpkin, Thistle.

Book Summary: Duck and Goose see that Thistle has a really nice plump pumpkin. They want a pumpkin too. So they search together looking through fallen leaves, a downed log, a pond and a tree stump. But they can’t seem to find a pumpkin until Thistle suggests a great spot to find one.


Nature walks. For learning about preposition, send your child/ren on a hunt using the prepositions in the book: on, in, up, under. Learn about other fall foliage including those shown in the illustrations, apples, acorns, leaves and more. And then there is always Pinterest for great ideas.

Why I Like This Book:

Short and Sweet. Amazing illustrations rendered in oil paint. Aside from the fact that I just love Duck & Goose as much as my toddler class does, the author beautifully captures autumn in this book as the adorable friends search for their pumpkin. Children will see colorful fallen leaves, apples, and an acorn as well as pumpkins. This book is great to add to a fall themed lesson plan. It can also be used for introducing prepositions to young children. I also love the potential of interactivity with the book. As I read the book to my group of 15 – 20 month old toddlers, I didn’t really have to prompt them to answer along with duck & goose. When the time came, they would all say, “No,” shaking their heads as I read it. J It is an often requested book to read a circle time (yes, my one year old classroom has circle time that we actually can get through an entire book! J )

Saturday, November 2, 2013

National Picture Book Month: Why Are Picture Books Important?

Picture Books bring words and pictures, readers and non-readers, children and parents together, in one place, one time sharing the joy and love of reading a good story.

November is National Picture Book Month

November is National Picture Book Month! Katie Davis asks a variety of well read and loved authors and illustrators, "What is a picture book?" Check out their answers in her video?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Recommended Board Book: Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Title: Leaves

Author: David Ezra Stein

Illustrator: David Ezra Stein

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, July 29, 2010 (board book edition)

Age: 2 - 4

Topic: Changing Seasons, Fall, Autumn, Leaves, Bear

Opening: It was his first year.

Book Summary: The story follows a very young bear who experiences his first autumn. All is going well until the first leaf falls. Then soon, all the leaves begin to fall on his quiet island. At first he is confused and tries to put them back but soon he gives up and sadly watches all the leaves drop. He gathers up all the leaves and uses them to make a soft bed for a very long winter nap. When he awakes, he finds a wonderful surprise waiting for him.


Autumn is a great time to be out and about in nature. Go for walks and allow your child/ren to explore and observe the changes happening all around them. Why do leaves turn colors? Find our here as well as find science projects for children to do. What makes them fall? A very simple answer can be found here: )
Some other activities can include: at the beginning of autumn when there are still a few ‘green’ leaves, have children create leaf collages. Collect the leaves of various trees. In some regions, there are trees that do not fall, learn about these trees. Got lots of energy, jump into a leaf pile.
Find lots of leafy activities and crafts here.

Why I Like This Book:

I love the author’s simple text, warm illustrations as he allows young bear, and young readers, to explore the beauty and changes of autumn. He shows the mix feelings that the young bear feels as he experiences autumn for the first time. But by the end of the book, children learn the nature of the seasons; that the leaves do come back in the spring. This is a great book to use to enhance a lesson plan on Fall/Autumn. Granted only three of the four seasons are shown in this book, it still opens up for a lot of discussions for the teacher to have with students.