Friday, April 24, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Title: Flora and the Flamingo

Author: Molly Idle

Illustrator: Molly Idle

Publisher: Chronicle Books, February 2013

Age: 3 and up

Topic: Friendship, Ballet, Flamingos, Emotions

Opening: This is a wordless book.

Summary: In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony.

Printable activity sheets can be found here
Common Core aligned teacher's guide for Flora and the Flamingo. 
The five basic positions of ballet here.

What I like about the book:
This book is just too cute for words!!! The fact that it is wordless allows readers to interpret the actions, reactions and interactions between Flora and the Flamingo she wishes so desperately to dance with. The illustrations are just adorable, simple yet elegant, detailed but not overwhelmingly. Children will see a reluctant relationship bloom into a wonderful friendship.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Hands Say Love by George Shannon

Title: Hands Say Love

Author: George Shannon

Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 16, 2014)

Age: 2-5

Topic: Hands, Love, Family

Opening: Hands that do all they can do are also saying, "I love you."

Summary: Hands touch, hold, and hug. Hands feed, give, and share. Hands create, mend, and heal. Hands say love! Every day, our hands show the most important people in our lives how we care about them, from parents helping children learn to walk to families playing and working together to friends waving hello and good-bye. This perfect read-aloud for toddlers celebrates the many hands-on moments we share and reminds us that even the simplest gesture can be a profound expression of love.

Let child(ren) come up with their own ways of saying "I Love You" with their hands.
Encourage child(ren) draw a picture of something they like to do with their hands.
Teach the sign for “I love you.” The sign for “I love you” in American Sign Language is the pinky finger, index finger, and thumb pointed straight (with the middle two fingers held down to the palm). Another fun thing to do is make up an original sign together for your own family to use to tell each other how much you love each other. Find more hands-on activities that teach children about love here.

Why I Like This Book:

This gentle book for toddlers and young children celebrates all the loving ways the hands of their caregivers care and love them. Cute pictures illustrate loving and kind acts. From holding, to hugging, entertaining to feeding, healing and so much more. Starting at the beginning of the day to the end, follow along as memorable hands-on moments are created and shared. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Red: A Crayon's Story

Title: Red: A Crayon's Story

Author: Michael Hall

Illustrator: Michael Hall

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 3, 2015)

Age: 4-8 years

Topic: Identity crisis, social issues, emotions and feelings,

Opening: He was red. But he wasn't very good at it.

Summary: A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis

Resources: find a fun printable activity here.

What I Like About the Book:

Hilarious and touching.

Red wants anything to be the perfect red. He tries his but all he can manage is blue. Even with the help and encouragement from his friends, Red is more blue than ever. It is not until he meets a new friend, he begins to appreciate himself, as does everyone else.

A great story to help children learn to be themselves and appreciate their unique abilities and talents. Red's new friend does not try to push Red to be a better red but encourages Red to see that the color he makes is equally beautiful and useful. It illustrates to children we can't all be or do the same but we can all be important and come with our own unique talents and abilities to share with the world and make it a more beautiful place to live in.