Monday, October 13, 2014

Recommended Picture Book: A Flower in the Snow

Title: A Flower in the Snow

Author: Tracey Corderoy

Illustrator: Sophie Allsopp

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, December 1, 2012

Age: 4-8

Theme: Friends, Friendship

Opening: In an icy kingdom faraway, lived a little girl called Luna.

Summary: Luna and Bear are best friends. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Everything they do, they do together. Luna and her polar bear friend (Bear) discover a beautiful gold flower growing in the snow. But when the flower fades, Bear goes on a search around the world for another to bring to Luna. It's only when he returns home that the true strength of their friendship is revealed.

Ten Fun Winter Activities that goes with the book.
Make yellow paper flowers to stick in your snow-covered yard. Don't have snow? Create snow by gluing cotton balls to a cardboard box, then, add your yellow flowers.
Grow your own yellow flowers. Follow the instructions on the back of seed packets.
Learn about polar bears and their habitat, Enchanted Learning, BBC Nature Wildlife, Kidzone, and Polar Bears International.  

Why I like the book:
Luna and Bear show children, in a gentle way, just what friendship really means. Children see that Luna and Bear love to do things together. When Bear gives Luna a special flower, she cherishes it. When the flower dies, Luna becomes very sad and Bear goes off to find her another one. What Bear doesn't know, is that Luna misses him very much and is sad that he is gone. She has a big surprise for him when he returns home.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recommended Picture Book: Nightsong by Ari Berk

Title: Nightsong

Author: Ari Berk

Illustrator: Loren Long

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; September 25, 2012

Age: 4-8

Theme: Bats, Adventure, Growing up, New experiences, Echolocation

Opening: The sun had set, and the shadows clinging to the walls of the cave began to wake and whisper. “Chiro? Little Wing?” the bat-mother said to her child. “Tonight you must fly out into the world, and I will wait here for you.”

Summary: A young bat sets out on an adventure during his first solo flight to the pond to eat.

Enchanted Learning has bat resources that include crafts, activities, worksheets and more.
A short video of a Fishing Bat
Check out these Echolocation Facts.
Here is a song about echolocation that will have the kids jamming to the beat!
Bats 4 kids has bat resources including games, quizzes, facts and even instructions on how to build a bat house.
Check out BBC for more information about bats and other animals that use echolocation

Why I like the book:
What drew me to the book to begin with was Chiro! He is the cutest little bat I have ever seen! He has curiosity written all over his face! The illustrations are absolutely astounding. While it is a dark book, the colors were vivid. I especially loved the contrast between the black/gray of the night and the detailed colors in Chiro's echo field.
The author and illustrator did a great job complimenting each other, however, I feel like it was a bit long for the younger (4ish) crowd. I can see a few kids I know having quite a few questions about the book. But I think questions are great, that is how children learn!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Recommended Picture Book: Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

Title: Sophie's Squash

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller

Illustrator: Anne Wilsdorf

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013

Age: 3-7

Topic: Seasons, Fall, Squash, Friendship, Loyalty,

Opening:"One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmer’s market. Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas."

Summary: A young girl befriends a squash.

Resources: Download the activity page here and here. Fall is a great time to read this book. For science class, children can observe and document the changes in fall harvests like squash, pumpkins, apples and more.

My Review:
A sweet tale of love, loyalty and friendship. Sophie finds a quiet and loyal friend in a squash she picks up at the farmer’s market. She names it, Bernice. Her parents try to prepare her for what will happen to the squash as days and weeks pass. But Sophie believes her friend will last forever. That is, until she begins to notice the changes in her friend, Bernice. Sophie goes to the farmer’s market to find out how to help her friend. With her tips in place, Sophie waits all winter with her new friend, Ace, a goldfish. Spring brings Sophie, not just her friend Bernice, but a little surprise with it.