Archive for February, 2011

Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri

Daughter’s age when read: 3.5 years old (also good for younger children)

If you have a child that is trying to learn their basic colors or even if they are an older child who is learning how you can combine two colors to create a third color this is a good book to pick up.  When Farmer Gray leaves the farm one day Blue Goose, White Duck, Red Hen and Yellow Chick decide to add some color to the farm.  We follow them as they paint the barn red, the sky blue and so on. Then we also watch as they mix the colors together to create greens, oranges, light blue and purple to add even more color to the farm.

My daughter loves reading this book because a) she loves the farm animals, b) she can “read” most of the book to herself as she turns the pages and can see what color each animal is going to use to paint and c) we have been working on the concept of mixing two colors together to create a third color.  She does not quite have that idea down but this book along with the Blues Clues video we periodically watch about colors is starting to sink the idea into her mind.  So if your little one is working on colors this is a great book to pick up.

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Hello, Robots by Bob Staake

Daughter’s age when read: 3.5 years old

This book is about four robots that live together in a house and each has their own functions like cooking, repairing steel things, gardening and cleaning. One day they are caught in the rain and that causes them to start malfunctioning. So they start cooking clocks, digging holes in the house and raking the windows. They solve the problem by swapping heads and all the robots go back to their normal functions and are happy again.

It’s a very simple book but the images are colorful. You see a depiction of what each robot does so my daughter and I will sit there at night and talk about what the robots are fixing, cleaning, cooking, etc. It makes it a fun book to read together and it branches off into things we have been doing around our house. Like in one page a robot is tending a lemon tree and at our house we have a cherry tree and just planted some strawberry plants and a blueberry bush. So my daughter talks about caring for those.  We also do the sillies like are you supposed to be cooking clocks? No! Would they taste yummy?  No!  A fun, colorful read that the little ones will really enjoy.

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Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

Daughter’s age: 3 years old

This was just one of those random books we happen to pick up from the library and I am glad my daughter chose this one.  It opens up with Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob the dust bunnies playing a rhyming game as they try to avoid the broom and vacuum that’s trying to clean them up. Only Bob notices what is going on but he is scolded by the rest of the dust bunnies because he’s not following the rhymes as he tries to warn them.

My daughter found this one hilarious and it was perfect timing because she has been on this rhyming kick.  Every day she asks me if this word rhymes with this other word over and over.  So when one dust bunny throws out a word like “car” I ask my daughter what words she thinks rhyme with it and once she gets that sound we work on recognizing what the first letter is in the rhyming words so she can sound out the words. So this has been a great learning book as well as a fun reading book.

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Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt

Daughter’s age when read: 3 years old

This is the second Scaredy Squirrel book we have read and this one was a huge hit. If you haven’t read this series it’s about this squirrel who is afraid of pretty much everything and always has a plan on how to deal with different situations. In this one he does not want to go to the beach because he’s afraid of things like pirates, pinching crabs, hordes of jelly fish, etc.  So he instead plans on building his own private beach.  After he is done he realizes he is missing one thing-the sound of the ocean.  So he decides he will go to the real beach, find a sea shell and bring it back to his own private beach so he can listen to the sound of the ocean.  Of course he has this elaborate plan but something goes wrong. When he gets to the beach he’s surrounded by people and is surprised to find he actually enjoys being a part of the crowd.

The best part of this book was the illustrations.  There are so many things to talk about as we go over his emergency plan and the map he draws.  She also finds it funny when we read what happens to Scaredy Squirrel when he plays dead (this is always his last resort when in trouble).  The ending was her favorite when he realizes that the shell he finally brings home with him has a crab living in it. I was amazed after we read it the first time she remembered when I said hermit crabs live in shells and she told her dad that the next time we read the book together. If you are looking for those giggles and lots of fun this series is one to check out.

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I Gotta Pre-Order Press Here by Herve Tullet

Description from Chronicle Books: Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!

A few months ago I went on a tour of the Chronicle Books office in San Francisco and this was one of the books I saw while on the tour.  It looks like a wonderful book and a lot of fun for the kids. It starts off telling you to press the dot and then on the next page it turns a different color, you flip the book and the dots multiply or move around and I think my daughter would love it.  I just saw it mentioned in today’s Shelf Awareness and that reminded me to pre-order it. It looks like loads of fun for the little ones so go check it out!  You can view a video of kids reading it here.Press Here Preview (pgs 30-44)

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