Reading Together

Archive for the ‘book recommendations’ Category

babyDavid Milgrim’s newest book Best Baby Ever is a fantastic book to share with little ones, give to new parents or to commemorate a child’s first day of school.  A new baby is the best baby ever to every parent.  In Milgrim’s book we watch a new baby grow up and the proud parents look on.  From the baby’s first smile to first steps and as the baby walks out the door to get on the school bus for the first day of school.  I have to say I get choked up at the end when I think of my own kids starting school and I am thankful I am still a few years away from my oldest getting on a school bus! My daughter enjoys reading this together because she enjoys books about babies since we have a new one at home.  She exclaimed to her baby brother, “You’re the BEST BABY EVER!” when we were reading this. 

santaduck

Nicholas Duck is mistaken for Santa Claus by all the other animals when he finds a Santa hat and coat on his door step.  Wearing it, the other animals begin to tell him what they want for Christmas.  Mistakenly, Nicholas becomes Santa Duck and passes on everyone’s Christmas wishes to the real Santa and forgets all about what he wants himself.  Don’t worry, Santa doesn’t leave him out! A wonderful addition to the many holiday books on our library’s shelf.  Santa Duck is an adorable character and the cartoon talking bubbles Milgrim uses make this a fun read aloud.

I recently read a blog post on Playful Learning on using DVDs to promote literacy development.  She talks about some wonderful books that were made into wonderful DVDs.  One of my favorite is the Chrysanthemum video which is narrated by Meryl Streep.  My daughter found this at our library and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it more than she did.  But then I found the book and she loved hearing the book read. 

I would take it one step farther as well and recommend reading books that are based on television shows children enjoy.  My daughter recently went through a Dora phase and the Dora books are still popular for her.  I usually try to make a book connection with anything she watches on television.   The following books you can also find a DVD or television show associated with them.  Some were books first and then a television show and some (like Dora) were shows first and the books came later.

Curious George

Clifford

Backyardigans

Arthur

Diego

Charlie & Lola

Martha Speaks

Bob the Builder

Thomas the Tank Engine

Blue’s Clues

Maisy

Sesame Street

My daughter often enjoys reading the books associated with her favorite television shows more than actually watching the shows.

Once you watch your young child graduate from preschool it is time to prepare for the next step: kindergarten.  This is the most important milestone in your child’s school career.  It can also be a frightening transition for a young child.  New school, new teachers and new friends all make transitioning to kindergarten an emotional experience. The National Head Start Association and the SERVE Regional Educational Laboratory state on their Terrific Transitions website that, “There is a great deal of information indicating that a child’s success in school can be linked, at least in part, to effective transition practices and activities”  (http://www.serve.org/TT/). Parents and caregivers must do their part in preparing their child for this transition into kindergarten.
               Parents can ease the stress of this transition by providing children with literature experiences that discuss this new kindergarten and school experience.  Reading books about a potentially stressful situation, with a parent, can take the stress out of the situation.  Here are a few book suggestions parents can share with their child:

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
               A delightful book with fun illustrations by Ashley Wolff depicts a kindergarten teacher and her students getting ready for kindergarten.  It also introduces the letters of the alphabet which is perfect for budding kindergarteners.  The first of a series, this is a must for any preschooler getting ready for kindergarten.
The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain
               Sister Bear is nervous about starting school but discovers all the fun stuff she gets to do at school.   Mama Bear helps to soothe Sister’s fears but taking her to the new classroom and meeting her new teacher.  A classic book, which gently acknowledges a child’s fears while easing the stress of starting school.
The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore
               A favorite song is tweaked to introduce the many people who make up the daily life of a school as they all travel on the school bus.  Children will love to sing along the new verses such as “the librarian on the bus…” and parents can discuss with their children the new experiences and new faces kindergarteners will encounter day to day at their school. 
Kindergarten Countdown by Anna Jane Hays
               Children won’t be able to help getting excited about kindergarten with this appealing picture book.  Rhyming text is perfect for preschoolers and the enthusiasm of the text will rub off on even the most skeptical of would be kindergarteners.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
               Chester the raccoon is reluctant to head off to kindergarten but his mother devises a secret way he will be reminded of her love throughout the day.  Separating from parents can be a tough issue for children who haven’t spent that much time away from home.  This sweet picture book can ease a child’s mind and give parents an idea to help with soothing separation anxiety.
               Parents must acknowledge the fact that moving up to kindergarten is hard for their young child.  Using children’s literature can help with the transition.  Reading together and discussing the situation will help take the stress out of starting school

It has been awhile since my last post and I have a very good reason! The best reason actually.  My new baby boy was born on May 3rd.  He is wonderful but life has been very busy since then.  He is a month old and I have just been able to get back to writing recently.  In his short life he has, of course, been introduced to books.  He has sat in my lap on more than one occasion when I have read to his big sister.  He doesn’t look at the book though but stares at me while I am reading like I am the only thing in the world.  Motherhood is beautiful! I have read to him exclusively, although moments without his big sister around are few and far between and often when I am in need of sleep.  I enjoy reading my favorites to him: Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You. 

blackandwhiteI have also introduced him to the Tana Hoban books.   These are wonderful board books with black and white contrasting pictures.  Babies are better able to see these high contrasting black and white illustrations.  I use them during his “tummy time” to get him looking up.  There is only one object on a page and I tell him what they are and talk about them.  Talking to your baby is so important to increase language skills.  I also get big sis involved.  She will tell him what the pictures are as well and turn the pages.  It is never to early to read to your baby!

Books by Tana Hoban include the following titles: Black & White, White on Black, Black on White, and Who are They?

Beginning with Books is an early literacy outreach organization in Pittsburgh, PA.  Every year they come up with the “Best Books for Babies”.  This year’s list has just been announced:

http://www.beginningwithbooks.org/best-books-babies-11

I haven’t seen them all yet but I imagine I will soon.  They usually put out a great list.  Here are two I would definitely recommend for babies and toddlers that are on the list this year.

buckle1,2 Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  Great illustrations and a wonderful book to learn to count with.  My daughter and I spent quite a bit of time talking about the colors and counting with this book.

fingers1Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox.  Such adorable babies and a smooth flowing text perfect for reading aloud.

 

I also love to see the inclusion of a book about sign language for babies on the list (Baby Signs: A Baby-sized Guide to Speaking with Sign Language  pictures by Joy Allen) .  I am passionate about using sign language with babies and taught my daughter sign language.  I have another blog which I have not updated in forever but will once I begin to teach my son (on his way any day now) how to sign.  You can find it at http://signingmommy.blogspot.com.

Karen Katz is a prolific author/illustrator of children’ books.  Her books for babies are among my favorite and my daughter’s favorites.  Her folk-art  illustrations of babies are nothing short of cute and adorable.  She has created a series of holiday books for babies and toddlers that feature flaps which are always a hit with little ones.  Flaps in a book are great for babies and toddler because they get your child interacting with a book.  Some of the titles in the series are:

Where is Baby’s Valentine?

Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs?

Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?

Where is Baby’s Dreidel?

Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake?

This year she has already published several new titles.  1The first is Shake It Up, Baby!  featuring again Katz’s charming baby illustrations and a fun, interactive text.  Making it a sure hit with babies and toddlers is the spine filled with tiny beads so when the book is shaken it sounds like a rattle.  The babies in the book are shaking their rattles and clapping their hands. 

Next is a sequel to Princess Baby, which introduced the sweet baby who was called everything else besides what she wanted to be called, “Princess Baby.”  In Princess Baby, Night-Night, Princess Baby is getting ready for 2bed.  As her parents are asking her if she is putting her pajamas on or brushing her teeth, she is preparing her stuffed animals for bed instead of herself.  She ends up on her bedroom floor curled up with all her animals.  This is relatable for all toddlers who love to play pretend with their animal friends.  I hope Princess Baby returns for more.

A Child’s Good Morning Book  is a poem written by Margaret Wise Brown 3which Katz illustrated.  The babies in this book, as in all Katz’s books, are sure to catch the attention of babies and toddlers and make them favorites.  Babies and toddlers can relate to the books as well because the babies are all doing things they do themselves; whether it’s searching for a Valentine, shaking a rattle, putting their favorite toy to bed or as in A Child’s Good Morning Book, waking up and starting the day. 

 

index1I am a strong believer in learning important lessons through books.  This may be because some of my favorite books growing up were The Berenstain Bears.  These days you can find a lot of books to help your child transition through hard times and learn about important events coming up in their lives.  There are great books on toilet training, moving from a crib to a bed, getting rid of the pacifier, or welcoming a new baby for toddlers and preschoolers.

I recently came across a series of board books by Elizabeth Verdick for toddlers that deal with many different issues parents may need a little extra help with.  Each comes with tips for parents and are well illustrated and have simple text toddlers will be able to understand.  They are a great way to help toddlers who are having difficulty with different situations. 

Naptime by Elizabeth Verdick. This is a great book about the importance of naping.  I’ve read it to my daughter because she recently has had some trouble napping. 

Tails Are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick. I also read this to my daughter to teach not to pull our cat’s tails.  This along with some other good books helped her learn that she was hurting the cats and she doesn’t (usually) pull their tails anymore.

Here are other titles by Elizabeth Verdick:

Bye-bye Time

Clean-up Time

Listening Time

Diapers are not Forever

Pacifiers are not Forever

Germs are not for Sharing

Words are not for Hurting

Feet are not for Kicking



  • None
  • Amber: Thanks for sharing my blog with your readers! You summed up the reason for the name better than I've been able to :) Good luck in the giveaway!
  • Musing: I wasn't able to finish Twilight myself, but I'm always glad to hear of young people being turned on to reading. :)
  • juliannahelt: I forgot about Twelve Hats for Lena. It is a great book! Thanks for mentioning it.