Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby Beluga by Raffi Cavoukian

Baby Beluga (Raffi Songs to Read)Baby Beluga by Raffi Cavoukian illustrated by Ashley Wolff is one in a series of "Raffi Songs to Read" books.  Baby Beluga is actually a song written by Raffi.  The lyrics of the song are spread throughout the book and are accompanied by beautiful illustrations.  At the back of the book is the musical score for the song.

Anna loved this book.  We did a search online and found a YouTube video of the Baby Beluga song and we listened to it over and over.

These are great for beginning readers.  If they don't already know it, they can quickly learn the song and then learn to follow along the words while singing it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The dot com Leprechaun by Caroline Stellings

The dot com Leprechaun, written and illustrated by Caroline Stellings, is set in a community on the Bonavista Peninsula of Newfoundland.  Lucy is sad that her family has to leave their home in Newfoundland and when she turns to her computer for a distraction a Leprechaun pops up on the screen and asks her to help him or he's going to be driven from his home.  Lucy is afraid to do what he asks, go down into a root cellar to get something for him, but she overcomes her fear and helps the Leprechaun keep his home. In return the Leprechaun helps Lucy find an artifact, a ring that belonged to John Cabot, that will make it possible for her family to stay in Newfoundland.

Anna enjoyed the story and I liked the fact that it gave me the chance to talk to her about some things that she didn't know anything about, like root cellars and John Cabot and the imaginary world of leprechauns and fairies.

This book is one of the books that was donated by Breakwater Books for our April reading challenge.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Molly Wants More! by JoDee McConnaughhay

Molly Wants More (Happy Day Books)Molly Wants More!, written by JoDee McConnaughhay and illustrated by Sheila Lucas, is a Happy Day book by Standard Publishing

When Molly eats all the cookies instead of sharing them with her little brother, her mother has a chat with her about the more bug.  Molly doesn't like bugs and wants to get rid of it.  Her mother tells her that she can get rid of the more bug by repeating Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need."

We borrowed this book from a friend and we weren't long into the book before Anna was repeating the verse and discussing times when she could say the verse to help her not want more.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee

Clip-ClopClip-Clop, written and illustrated by Nicola Smee, is a great book!  Mr. Horse offers to give some of the farm animals a ride on his back.  The animals urge Mr. Horse to go faster and the end result is they all go flying through the air.  Mr. Horse is worried they are hurt but they come up shouting "Again!"

The pictures and text are excellent!  Anna and I loved it and she too shouted "again" when we came to the end of the book.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chester by Melanie Watt

ChesterIn Chester, written and illustrated by Melanie Watt, Chester the cat wants a story written about him and keeps interrupting the author while she's trying to write a story about a mouse.  Chester's thoughts are in red ink throughout the book and he often crosses out what the author has written to replace it with what he wants written.

The concept of this book is different, and somewhat interesting.  It took a while for the book to grow on me.  Anna loved it and wanted it reread a few times and the more I reread it the more I grew to appreciate it a bit. I had to let go of the idea that I wanted the book to tell a nice story and I just had to accept that it was a different book.  It is pretty imaginative and kind of funny and will appeal to some people's sense of humor.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flags by Maxine Trottier

FlagsIn Flags, written by Maxine Trottier and illustrated by Paul Morin, Mary doesn't understand why Mr. Hiroshi, her neighbour, is taken away.  She promises to watch his garden for him and does so until his house is sold.  This story is set during the time of World War II.  This book was actually republished in 2007 with a new title, Mr. Hiroshi's Garden.  The author's note at the back of the book explains a bit about the background of the time period.

This is the second book by this author that I have featured, the first being Forget-Me-Not.  I am finding that Maxine Trottier's book are wonderful resources for social studies learning.

Because Anna is so young, this time around we simply enjoyed the book for the story but I will definitely be going back to it again to use in a study of the time period.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Little Pink Pig by Pat Hutchins

Little Pink PigLittle Pink Pig by Pat Hutchins is a great book for young children and beginning readers.  Little Pig's mother has trouble keeping track of Little Pig and asks the other animals to help her.  The repeated phrases make it great for shared reading and little ones will enjoy finding little pig while his mother and the other animals keep missing him.

This is the second book I've featured by Pat Hutchins, the first being Titch and Daisy.  Anna and I both enjoyed this book, as we have all the books we've read by Pat Hutchins.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Art's Supplies by Chris Tougas

Art's SuppliesArt's Supplies by written by Chris Tougas is a silly book about a boy named Art who blames his art supplies for the mess that he makes.  The story is told with just a sentence or two per page but also on each page is lots of extra text as the art supplies add their comments.  The illustrations are bright and full of energy.

I didn't like this book at first.  I'm not a fan of too much going on on the pages, but once I stopped trying to take it all in at once and concentrated on the story and then went back for the extras, I grew to appreciate it a little more.  Anna got a big kick out of it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Canadian Starters: Newfoundland

Canadian Starters: Newfoundland is part of a Canadian Starters series of books published by GLC Publishers Limited in Ontario in 1981.  I couldn't find anything about the book online but I wanted to share it because we enjoyed it.

The books is copyright to Pamela M. Langston 1981 and the illustrations are by Sigrid Schmitt.  The ISBN is 0-88874-301-7.

The back of the book says "Starters books are written and designed with young readers in mind.  They are vocabulary controlled and the contents have been carefully checked by a critic reader and teacher panel. Each book contains questions for teacher-directed learning, bright and simple illustrations, interesting and informative text, picture glossary and a table of facts."

Some of the information in the book is, of course, outdated but it is a great book for social studies learning.  Anna thought it was wonderful.  I'd love to see an updated version of it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

I Can Only Imagine (CD-Single and Lyrics included)I Can Only Imagine is a board book featuring the song by the same name written by Bart Millard.  The lyrics of the song are spread out through the pages of the book along with beautiful illustrations.  There is no indication of who the illustrations are by but they really are beautiful.  There is a single CD included featuring Jeff Carson performing the song tucked inside the front cover of the book.

I did some searching and came up with a page which tells the story behind the writing of the song I Can Only Imagine and a YouTube video of Jeff Carson singing I Can Only Imagine.

This book is part of a Little Melody Press Series of books, like In My Daughter's Eyes which I featured earlier.  We borrowed both books from a friend and she actually lent us a few more in the series.  The board books are very nice and the added CDs are a great bonus.

I Can Only Imagine is a song that is familiar to us as we sing it in our church.  Anna loved looking at the pictures in the board book and listening to the CD again and again.  I love this book and this song because it talks about the wonders of a time when we will meet our God face to face and tries to imagine what it will be like.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lucky Duck by Jonathan Shipton

Lucky DuckLucky Duck written by Jonathan Shipton and illustrated by Suzanne Diederen, is a very cute story about Lenny and his stuffed toy duck.  Lenny's dad bought him the toy duck when he was little and Lenny took it with him everywhere for years...until he lost it!  He searched and search, but couldn't find it.  Years later, when Lenny had grown up and had a son of his own, Lenny and his son where visiting his parents in the house he grew up in when his son found the toy duck in his grandmother's attic.

Anna and I are both suckers for such cute stories and we both responded with an "Ahhh!" at the finding of the duck.

Friday, May 20, 2011

There's a Cow Under My Bed by Valerie Sherrard

There's a Cow Under My Bed!In There's a Cow Under My Bed, written by Valerie Sherrard and illustrated by David Jardine, Oscar is confused by some common sayings.  For instance, Oscar is convinced a cow lives under his bed and must come out and lick his head while he's sleeping because when his mom combs his hair in the morning she says he has cowlicks.  That's just one sample of the funny literal takes on well known sayings that make this book funny.  The text has some rhythm and rhyme to it that makes it fun to read.

This book is the second that I've featured by this duo, the first being There's a Goldfish in my Shoe!. Anna and I both enjoyed There's a Cow Under My Bed a little more than There's a Goldfish in my Shoe!.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Silly Codfish Tale by Pat Whelan and Arlene Luke

The text in A Silly Codfish Tale is written in English by Pat Whelan and in French by Arlene Luke.  The book is illustrated by Ronan Kennedy.  In the book Dapper Tom Codfish tells about his life in the sea, and about what happens when he gets caught and eaten.  Each double page spread has a text page and an illustration page.  Illustrations are pencil drawings.  Text is just a sentence or two on each page and there is an English and French version on each page.

I thought this book was rather silly, but Anna thought it was great.  I think some children might have a problem with the story going right to the idea of the fish being eaten, but it didn't bother Anna.  I did like that I the book encouraged some discussion about the French language and we had some fun trying to read some of the French text.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? [POLAR BEAR POLAR BEAR WH-BOARD]In Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle, the animals in the zoo hear different animals successively as you move along the book. At the end Zoo keeper hears all the children making animal sounds.  This book is in the same design as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See.

Anna and I had read Brown Bear, Brown Bear earlier and enjoyed it and she was thrilled when we found Polar Bear, Polar Bear.  We had great fun talking about and making animal sounds while reading the book.

This would be a great book to use with a group of kids and have different kids take on the sound of different animals and participate in the reading of the book.  It's also a great addition to either a unit on animals or a unit on sounds.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Ben's Dig by Daniel Wakeman

Ben's Big DigDaniel Wakeman is the author of Big Ben's Dig, illustrated by Dirk van Stralen.  It is a wordless book where the pictures tell the story of Ben's visit with his pie making grandmother and his attempt to escape by digging a tunnel in her yard.  He ends up with a fountain spewing up from the tunnel and his grandmother having to throw all the pies out the window to stop up the hole.

It sounds kind of funny to say that a wordless book is written by someone but what it means is that the author came up with the story idea and told the illustrator what he wanted the pictures on each page to say.

I thought this was a rather silly book, but Anna did enjoy it.  I used it as a chance to talk about using pictures, instead of words, to tell a story.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Horsey-hops by Anthony Barton

Horsey-hops, story and pictures by Anthony Barton, is a book with rhymes about six imaginary beasts of Newfoundland folklore.  In spite of the fact that I am a born and bred Newfoundlander I had never heard of these beasts before.  Newfoundland musician Fergus O'Bryne wrote a musical score for the rhymes in the book and that is included in the back of the book.  I searched and searched, hoping to find an online audio file of some sort to hear the song played and sung but unfortunately I didn't find one.

Anna got a kick out of the book and we both had fun identifying the beasts in a couple of illustrations that featured all of them together.

Horsey-hops was one of the books donated by Breakwater Books for our April Reading challenge.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado

Hermie, A Common Caterpillar (Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends)In Hermie, a Common Caterpillar, written by Max Lucado with illustrations by GlueWorks Animation, Hermie and his friend Wormie look around at all the things their friends are so good at and they keep asking God why He made them so common, but God keeps telling them that He's not finished with them yet.  This little board book for children is based on Lucado's Just Like Jesus book for adults.  The message of the book is that God made each of us unique and we must allow God to work in us to make us like Him.

On the Hermie and Wormie website, under the Games section, you can colour Hermie and Wormie online or print of a Hermie and Wormie pdf picture to colour. You can also buy Hermie and Wormie plush toys.

We borrowed this book from a friend and while I was reading it to her Anna reminded me that we actually have a DVD of the story that she has watched and enjoyed many times.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Red Wolf written and illustrated by Margaret Shannon

The Red WolfIn The Red Wolf, written and illustrated by Margaret Shannon, Roselupin's father keeps her locked up in a tower to protect her from the evil world until she uses a gift she received for her 7th birthday to make herself a special wolf suit to get out.  This book has many different twists and turns that you don't expect.

I wasn't sure what I thought of this book.  It's a little too weird for my liking.  Anna seemed to think it was okay.  I may have to go back to it again some time to see if I feel any differently.

I found an online interview with Margaret Shannon talking about The Red Wolf.  I thought it was interesting that in the interview she says that The Red Wolf is not the type of book that she would have liked as a child but some children do like these types of books.  I also enjoyed listening to the people from Just One More Book blog talk about their thoughts about The Red Wolf.

If you read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Mole Sisters and the Cool Breeze by Roslyn Schwartz

The Mole Sisters and the Cool BreezeThe Mole Sisters and the Cool Breeze, written and illustrated by Roslyn Schwartz, is a little book with just a sentence or so per page. The Mole sisters are looking for a cool breeze but can't find one and end up making one by fanning themselves with dandelion leaves, and that's the beginning of some fun happenings.

Anna has watched The Mole Sisters cartoon on TV before, but I didn't realize that the cartoons were based on books written by a Canadian.  If this one is any indication, these are great books for preschoolers and early readers.  Anna was thrilled to find the familiar characters in a book and she remembers watching a cartoon episode based on this particular book.  The fact that there was just a sentence or two per page also made it easy for her to help with the reading.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Emily & the Captain: A High Seas Adventure by Noelle Hall

Emily & the Captain: A High Seas Adventure, written by Noelle Hall and illustrated by Mel D'Souza, is part of a series of books set in Newfoundland. In this book the captain and his crew get lost at sea because of a curse by the evil sea imp but Emily and the animals help to find and rescue them.  This is a chapter book that we spread out over the week reading a couple of chapters each day.

This is our second Emily and the Captain book and Anna really enjoys them.  At first I wasn't crazy about them but I've grown to look past what I don't like and I don't mind them quite as much.  I'm not a fan of fantasy and these books have an element of fantasy.

Emily & the Captain: A High Seas Adventure was one of the prizes donated by Breakwater Books for our April reading challenge, and they actually donated 5 copies of the book.

Though neither the author or illustrator are from Newfoundland, they both have a Newfoundland connection of some sort.  Noelle Hall lives in the states but has roots in Newfoundland.  Mel D'Souza is a Newfoundlander at heart.  This is actually the 4th book that I've featured that was illustrated by Mel D'Souza, the first being At Ocean's Edge, the second Captain Bob Bartlett and the Karluk Adventure, and the third The Amazing Adventures of Captain Bob Bartlett.  Mel seems to like working on books with a Newfoundland theme.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Bravest Dog Ever by Natalie Standiford

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Step-Into-Reading)The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto, written by Natalie Standiford and illustrated by Donald Cook, tells how a dog named Balto helped to get medicine to Nome, Alaska, during a snow storm in 1925.  Once again Anna enjoyed this book because it involved a dog but it also is a great history lesson.  Balto's run is part of the inspiration behind the Iditarod, an annual dog sled race in Alaska and I plan on doing a unit study around the Iditarod in the future so we will definitely be coming back to this book.

I found a pdf study guide for The Bravest Dog Ever which has some comprehension questions that could be used along with the book.