Book Review: BunnyBear

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney. 

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BunnyBear may be a bear on the outside, but he doesn’t act like other bears.  He loves to pick and eat strawberries, hop around, and enjoy life in a calm manner. 

Bears don’t understand him, and bunnies are afraid of him.  Bunnybear wants to be accepted by the other bunnies, but he feels left out.  One day he meets Grizzlybun, a little bunny with a lot of confidence.  She loves to stomp her paws, growl, and make sure she’s noticed.  Grizzlybun quickly teaches Bunnybear it’s best to be oneself, as long as they’re true to who they are on the inside.

You can find BunnyBear along with other great titles about acceptance and being yourself at your favorite Stark County District Library! Make sure you tell your librarian how you liked the book.

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Just Write About It…

Writing is a very important skill for children to master. Writing involves creativity, comprehension, fine motor skills, sometimes the ability to follow directions, reading, and so much more. Writing is one of the five early literacy practices helping prepare children for school.

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Here is a simple activity you can do with your child to incorporate writing into your day.

  • Supplies:
    • Paper
    • Crayons, Markers, or other item for coloring
    • Pencil
    • A favorite book

For my example, we read the story Orange Bear Apple Pear by Emily Gravett. It is a simple story with four words: orange, bear, apple, pear. The author uses the words in fun ways through her illustrations.

Image result for orange bear apple pearAfter we read the story, I asked my group of children to think of four words. They could use any four words. When they had a little trouble thinking of words, I asked them to name their favorite color, fruit, and animal.

We moved to the table. I gave them each a large piece of paper, and I told them to use their four words to write a story and draw a picture to go with it.

The most important part of this activity was letting the children be creative and work on their own. The hardest part of this activity was letting the children be creative and work on their own. Yes, you read that correctly. As adults, we have a tendency to want to make our children’s work perfect or help them the entire way. For this project, it’s important to let them figure it out on their own. Let them sound out the words and “kid spell.” Let them draw an animal the way they “see” it.

We did this with a mixture of age groups from 3 to 8 years old.

This mixes a little bit of process art (letting them create on their own) with a little bit of product art (there’s a specific end result with a few instructions). You will be surprised what your child comes up with!

Book Review: Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak.

Image result for goodbye summer hello autumnSome say nothing is more beautiful than nature.  There are vibrant colors, lakes and rivers, and animals noisily scurrying or perhaps lazily wandering.  When seasons change, so does the sky, wind, and temperature.  All of those pleasant experiences are captured so masterfully in the beautifully illustrated book Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Pak uses conversational text between a young girl and nature throughout the book.  The girl greets everything she sees on her journey through her hometown in late summer, and nature responds as it prepares for autumn. 

This watercolor wonder is my top choice for the Caldecott Award this year.

 

Book Review: The Seventh Wish

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner.

seventhwishHave you ever made a wish?

Some people may wish on a shooting star, while others are granted wishes from genies in bottles.  But what if you could make a wish on a fish?

In Kate Messner’s newest book, The Seventh Wish, seventh grader Charlie discovers a unique fish while out on the ice.  The fish offers to grant wishes so long as Charlie releases it back into the water.  While Charlie intends to use her wishes to help her friends and family, things don’t go according to plan.  Charlie soon learns it’s sometimes best to create your own outcomes instead of waiting for a fish wish to come to fruition.

Geared toward tweens, this story has some serious situations but weaves through the details thoughtfully

Book Review: Pete the Cat’s Got Class

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book Pete the Cat’s Got Class by James Dean.

51Zg+cghrYL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_It’s the perfect read for children as they are preparing to head back to school.

Pete heads to math class in this story, which is one of his favorite subjects. He’s such a great mathematician that he volunteers to help his classmate Tom learn to add and subtract using Tom’s favorite toy, racing cars. Using something of great interest to learn a new task was successful! Maybe Pete will grow up to be a teacher?

Be sure to checkout this book at your local library, and let your librarian know how you liked it!

Tall Blocks, Small Animals

Books become more meaningful when you can expand the story to a hands-on activity. Here is one extension activity you can do with very little supplies.

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You’ll need to read the book Tall by Jez Alborough. (Hint: Stop by your local library and pick up a copy if you don’t own it.) Tall is about a few jungle animals who help a little monkey feel taller than he really is. This is a great book with very few words. You can use the illustrations to talk about what is happening on each page.

Next, get out the blocks or the LEGOs. You will also need a couple small animals or action figures. Now let your child’s imagination go wild. Let he/she build towers as tall as can be (just make sure no one is on the other side in case it falls!). When he/she is done building, place the small animal on top of the tower. Just how tall can the tower be before it falls over? Experiment with different shapes.

This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about the tower he/she is building. Ask questions like how tall do you think it can go before it will fall? What kind of tower is it? Why is the animal or action figure climbing so high? What is it the animal is trying to see?

Try to avoid yes/no questions as they require no other answer. To help expand your child’s vocabulary and comprehension of the story, you want to ask open ended questions.

Credit for activity idea: Teach Preschool.

Book Review: Birdie’s Big Hair

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Sharifa. You’ll find Miss Sharifa sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs. She shares her review of the picture book Birdie’s Big Hair by Sujean Rim.

birdies big hairBirdie’s Big Hair is one of my favorite books. Birdie wakes up one day and her hair has become unruly so her mom tells her she’s going to take her to the hair salon. So we follow the excitement of Birdie going to the hair salon with her mother. The book shows Birdie’s imagination as she daydreams of what her hair will look like once she goes to the hair salon with her mother.

The book has interesting pictures showcasing different patterns of fabric swatches on Birdie’s and other character’s clothes. This book is fun and lighthearted. The story will make you smile as you follow Birdie through her hair journey to find a new hair style. This is a great book for children that love to get their hair done.

Be sure to checkout this book at your local library, and let your librarian know how you liked it!

Thirty Million Words

Remember this post from two years ago (almost to the day!)? Well, talking to your child is still a trending topic. Last week, NPR posted an article based on the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD.

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Read the article here. And check out Thirty Million Words the website here.

Book Review: By Mouse and Frog

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s librarians: Miss Dayna. You’ll find Miss Dayna sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs. She shares her review of the picture book By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman.

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Once upon a time Mouse was writing a story.  In jumps Frog full of ideas.  Frog adds cake and ice cream and a whole list of things to the story.  Mouse has to find a way to tell Frog this is Mouse’s story.  Together the two friends then find a way to write together.

A wonderful book about imagination and friendship.  Frog’s character is reminiscent to Tigger’s in the Winnie the Pooh stories.

Be sure to checkout this book at your local library and let your librarian know how you liked it!

Read, Sing, Talk, Play, and Write…

A few years ago, the Every Child Ready to Read program came out and encouraged parents to use five basic ideas to help increase early literacy at home. These skills are singing, reading, talking, playing, and writing. Seems simple enough. These are activities most children under 5 do all of the time, right?

If you are looking for ways to be more intentional about teaching the early literacy skills to your child, here is a great idea using a favorite picture book. Perhaps you could do one activity each day based on the same book.

Source: Ohio Ready to Read Facebook page

Source: Ohio Ready to Read Facebook page