Archive for ‘0 – 3: Board Book’

November 13, 2013

Reading with Dad

Hi! Check out these great ideas by Jake Ball (bio at the end of the post), and settle down with a book and a dad. (Or, as he indicates below, DON’T settle down, but still read.) 

Books and Reading Time with Dad

Reading has traditionally been an activity young children do with Mom.  However, in so many families reading can fall down the priorities list with both Mom and Dad working outside the home or if Mom and Dad are not together.

It is critical for Dad to be engaged in the effort of creating a healthy reading environment in the home.  Kids look up to Dad, just as they do Mom.  When they see both of their parents involved in literacy activities, it helps them develop a strong love of reading.

Dad reads differently than Moms

Dads tend to have a greater ability to be silly with their kids.  We are more in touch with their 12-year-old self. It’s true, whether we want to admit or not!  Dads are often the ones rolling down the hill with their kids or putting things on their head in the grocery store.  Keep that silliness alive even when you are cuddled up on the couch reading with your kids.

Read with funny voices and accents for each character.  Use costumes and puppets. Get off the couch and recreate the action of the story.  Injecting energy and enthusiasm in the story will make reading time with Dad an event not to be missed!

Father-child bonding time

Having that intimate time with your children is crucial and should be cherished. Read without distractions.  Turn off the TV and leave your phone in another room. Instead immerse yourself in the moment.  Texts and emails can wait – focus on the time you have together.  This strengths your bond and shows your children how special they are to you.

How to set the tone in the home

Make reading a priority.  Treat reading time as any other task or appointment on your schedule.  It is just as, if not more, important than anything other commitment you have.  There is always at least 15 minutes to pick up a book and read with your child.

Seeing how important it is to you will boost their self-confidence and motivate them to pick up a book. Dads have such a great influence on their kids – if you love reading, chances are they will too.

So Dad, pick up a book and share in the wonderful experience of reading with your children.  Read with enthusiasm and without distractions.  Put away your phone and turn off the TV. Below are a few selections for that are wonderful you, Dad, to read with your little ones.  Cuddle up with your kids for

hoponpoppigletHop on Pop – Dr. Seuss

Dads can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss. They are always fun to read, for parents and kids alike. The simple, silly rhymes are perfect for beginning readers.

Piglet and Papa – Margaret Wild

This heartwarming tale of parental forgiveness and unconditional love is a wonderful story for dads to read to their children.  Little Piglet has upset her father and wonders if he still loves her.  She feels unloved and seeks reassurance from other animals in the barnyard, learning that no one love her more than papa.  Piglets loving relationship with her papa will comfort any child who has ever been naughty for attention.

owlmoon

guesshowmuch

Owl Moon– Jane Yolen

This book demonstrates to your little one the importance of family time.  It poetically tells the story of a father and daughter going out into the woods one snowy night in search of an owl.  The little girl is so happy to finally go “owling” with her dad that she doesn’t mind if they never find an owl.

Guess How Much I Love You– Sam McBratney

No collection is complete without this sweet and touching little book.  It is a favorite in many homes and can choke up the toughest of dads.

About the Author:

Jake Ball started childrensbookstore.com in 2006 after realizing that there was no website that was a truly independent bookstore that is 100% dedicated to juvenile literature. He loves engaging with the authors, illustrators and publishers who work hard to produce high quality children’s literature. Jake and his wife have 4 beautiful children. These poor children are often used as product testers and they have more books than might be considered healthy.

May 14, 2013

Your glove is on the wrong hand but that doesn’t matter when you are reading

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anything better than standing in the outfield? The sun on your back and a glove in your hand? If you are a baseball fan, you might not think so. But I think I recently found something slightly better. And that is standing in the outfield, the sun on your back, telling the five-year-old next to you that their glove is on the wrong hand and they should probably switch it over before the batter swings, even though the likelihood of the batter connecting with the ball–much less hitting it to the outfield, even though the outfield in this case is about 18 inches behind second base–are, frankly, low.

In honor of the upcoming t-ball season, of the promise of hours in the green grass and the sunshine gently suggesting to batters that they face the pitcher, not the catcher, and to fielders that they put the glove on the other hand, I’m re-posting some of my favorite baseball books for kids. Try reading them right before you grab the tee and head outside.

 

TitleHome Run!
Author: David Diehl
Genre: Board Book, Sports
Ages: 0 – 3

 

The David Diehl sports books were some of my son’s favorite early books. They were the first he learned to “read” by memorizing the words on each page and he was excited to turn the pages and shout out what he remembered. (This one already made the blog, so you can read more about it here if you like.)

 

TitleBaseball Saved Us
Author: Ken Mochizuki
Illustrator: Dom Lee
Genre: Picture Book, Sports
Ages: 2 – 10

 

I’ve blogged about this book already, but this is a great one for young kids and preschool kids and even elementary students. They will each get something a little different out of it. It’s a very versatile book: the youngest readers will hear a great baseball story and be introduced to some harder topics they will only really understand later. Older readers could use this to talk about more serious historical and ethical issues, especially in a teacher-led discussion. In fact, you could use this book in a middle school class and have the kids do their own picture book on an historical event. That would be interdisciplinary awesomeness! 🙂

 

TitleFantasy Baseball
Author: Alan Gratz
Genre: Fantasy, Sports
Ages: Upper Elementary and Middle School

 

I’ve never read this one! But I bought it recently and am excited to. Have you read it? Let me know what you think. He’s got other baseball books out there, including Samurai Shortstop, if you are interested in more.

 

 

TitleThe Art of Fielding
Author: Chad Harbach
Genre: The Great American Novel (I read recently that this is now a “genre” which I thought was both hysterical and accurate. This books certainly fits within that genre, Moby Dick references and all)
Ages: Adult

 

I loved this book. It’s a great read for anyone who likes literature and baseball. And if you had to pick only one of the two, I’d probably buy it for a literature-lover before a baseball-lover, although the whole book really does revolve around the sport.

 

Enjoy your summer, your baseball, and your books!

Betsy's_Day _at_the_Game-coverTitle: Betsy’s Day At The Game
Author: Greg Bancroft
Illustrator: Katherine Blackmore
Genre: Early Reader, Sports
Ages: 4 – 10

Betsy’s Day at the Game is the size of a picture book, but really an early reader, meant more for the adult to read to the child. It’s a text-heavy given the nature of teaching, but explains the game and score-keeping well. This is a book that brings it’s own family acitivity: simply read, head to the ballpark, and start keeping score! Don’t forget to include the family memories like Betsy does, and if you aren’t heading to a ballgame anytime soon, you could start your own memory book instead.

October 22, 2012

Did you notice it’s an election year?

Are you going to be yelling at your TV tonight and want your kids to understand why? Here are my picks for some great election and political books to start talking to your kids about what it means to live in a democracy. (And no, you don’t have to start with negative campaigning, although it appears that’s a big part of it now…)

Check out my book list and activity ideas over at ParentMap.

July 18, 2012

words + numbers = 1derful wumbers

One of the first words the Wizard of Why learned to read was “no”. This meant that everywhere
we went he had to ask what the “no” signs said. “No what?” he would constantly ask
from the backseat of the car, the jump seat on the double stroller, or just his spot walking
next to me on the sidewalk. Thus we spent a lot of his third–and so far all of his fourth–
year, reading things like “no parking”, “no smoking”, “no loitering”.

This book came along at just the right time. We are not quite learning how to read, but we are definitely recognizing a few words and intrigued by the idea that one day we might be able to read. This is a great book for that age. (And a lot of other ages, as I mention below.)

Title: Wumbers
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrator: Tom Lichtenfeld (of Sharks vs. Trains and Duck! Rabbit! fame)
Genre: Picture Book, Numbers
Ages: 3 – 7

Book Review and How to use this book with kids: This is a fun, whimsical book. It’s almost like a comic book–each page is a beautiful picture. Then each picture has a caption written in “wumbers”, a mix of words and numbers. For example: one picture shows two kids in the kitchen below a cookie jar. One kid says “Here’s the plan. I’ll climb to the s2l and go st8 to the cookie jar. You be on the lookout 4 mom.” The other one chimes in, “Okay, but I’m frigh10d“.

While the nonsensical spelling might be seem to be overwhelming to a young reader, I think it’s the opposite. It shows them how to look at each word for each sound on the page. It shows them that each word is made up of sounds and that some of those sounds may be familiar in other ways.

You could make a great game of this. How many words can your child think of that use the sound “8” or “2”? At my house, that would keep the kids in their seats at the dinner table for a few extra minutes at least.

Older children will like the book, too, and it will throw them off their reading game in a healthy way, making them stop to think about the words and the sounds. They will also likely laugh at the illustrations and the captions. You can go further with your challenges to older kids…how is the sound “8” spelled in different words? What about straight? trait? fate? weight?

If you are a teacher, or a babysitter on a rainy day, or the parent of kids who enjoy pen and paper work, you could easily have fun making up your own pictures and captains and before you know it you might have a sequel.

Remember, you don’t have to stop when you’ve read the book. You can play with it, talk about it, interact with it. Let me know if you try any of these ideas at home and if you liked them or didn’t or if you have ideas of your own to add! I love to read comments!

June 7, 2012

You don’t have to wear your glove on the correct hand to read these books

Is there anything better than standing in the outfield? The sun on your back and a glove in your hand? If you are a baseball fan, you might not think so. But I think I recently found something slightly better. And that is standing in the outfield, the sun on your back, telling the five-year-old next to you that their glove is on the wrong hand and they should probably switch it over before the batter swings, even though the likelihood of the batter connecting with the ball–much less hitting it to the outfield, even though the outfield in this case is about 18 inches behind second base–are, frankly, low.

I just completed my first (of what I hope will be many) season of assistant tee-ball coaching. It was really the most fun thing a person can do with a few free weekend hours. And so in honor of that, I’d like to suggest a few of my favorite baseball books for all ages, starting with the newborns and going all the way up to the adults. Yep, I’m including you all this time because it wouldn’t be practice without the people in the stands.

Title: Home Run!
Author: David Diehl
Genre: Board Book, Sports
Ages: 0 – 3

The David Diehl sports books were some of my son’s favorite early books. They were the first he learned to “read” by memorizing the words on each page and he was excited to turn the pages and shout out what he remembered. (This one already made the blog, so you can read more about it here if you like.)

 

TitleBaseball Saved Us
Author: Ken Mochizuki
Illustrator: Dom Lee
Genre: Picture Book, Sports
Ages: 2 – 10

I’ve blogged about this book already, but this is a great one for young kids and preschool kids and even elementary students. They will each get something a little different out of it. It’s a very versatile book: the youngest readers will hear a great baseball story and be introduced to some harder topics they will only really understand later. Older readers could use this to talk about more serious historical and ethical issues, especially in a teacher-led discussion. In fact, you could use this book in a middle school class and have the kids do their own picture book on an historical event. That would be interdisciplinary awesomeness! 🙂

 

TitleFantasy Baseball
Author: Alan Gratz
Genre: Fantasy, Sports
Ages: Upper Elementary and Middle School

I’ve never read this one! But I bought it recently and am excited to. Have you read it? Let me know what you think. He’s a local author and he’s got other baseball books out there, including Samurai Shortstop, if you are interested in more.

 

Title: The Art of Fielding
Author: Chad Harbach
Genre: The Great American Novel (I read recently that this is now a “genre” which I thought was both hysterical and accurate. This books certainly fits within that genre, Moby Dick references and all)
Ages: Adult

I loved this book. It’s a great read for anyone who likes literature and baseball. And if you had to pick only one of the two, I’d probably buy it for a literature-lover before a baseball-lover, although the whole book really does revolve around the sport.

Enjoy your summer, your baseball, and your books!

October 28, 2011

the furious dragon that blows fire and is not nice

I read a great book this week. It was penned on my living room carpet (the one wearing three years worth of stains from juice boxes and wine boxes, unsupervised sharpie markers, vomiting and potty-training children, and who knows what else).

The book is called “The furious dragon that blows fire and is not nice”. The title, as you can see, tells you a lot about the temperament of the main character. It also tells you a little bit about the temperament of the author, who is currently and lunatic-ly a three-and-a-half year-old. He narrated it as I wrote. I will relate it in its entirety, with commentary:

“First, the dragon gets in his cave. He walks around it and tries to get lions and tigers and bears.* Then the dragon gets very mad and very fast.** Then the knight comes and looks for that dragon. Then he gets on his horse. The dragon looks for that knight. The dragon keeps blowing fire and trying to look for the knight. Then the dragon finally finds the knight. The knight kicks the dragon. Then the knight dashes the dragon down.*** They still fight mean.**** Then they hit each other. Then they stop being mean. Then they hear a noise…”*****

*Scribe’s note 1: Oh my! Yes, we are VERY into the Wizard of Oz. The author is planning to be the Tin Man for Halloween.

**Scribe’s note 2: The author also gets very fast when he is very mad. I think like most first novels, this book is partly autobiographical.

***Scribe’s note 3: I’m not sure the exact meaning of “to dash down” but it is clearly violent and said with a lot of volume and emotion. (Volume and emotion go together in the same way as the previously mentioned qualities, speed and anger.)

****Scribe’s note 4: This page was written after I reminded the author that he only had a few pages left. (We had created and bound the book before writing it.) I think it was his way of saying “So what? you can’t force a peaceful resolution on me!”

*****Scribe’s note 5: Showing that he’s learning something about stories, if not his own temper, he decides when faced with the last page to end the fighting. But not the suspense. You should hear “DUH, DUH, DUH” playing as the story ends.

Follow up with the kids

No, you can’t find this book on Amazon. Not yet, at least. But you could find one a lot like it in your own living room. Sometimes the best stories for finding a connection with your kids aren’t already published and on a shelf somewhere. Sometimes you need to take a stack of paper, punch some holes, tie it together with ribbons (Halloween ribbon in our case) and let imagination fly. Chances are, you will find out something your child won’t otherwise tell you (like the fact that when he’s frustrated and doesn’t always know what to do with his anger he wishes there were a dragon he could dash down).

Writing a book like this with your child not only gives you insight into what they are feeling and thinking, it also helps them practice story-telling skills, using their imagination, feeling empathy for characters, and problem-solving (unless, of course they decide to ignore the problem in their story and just continue the fighting…)

You can be creative about how you make the book. Don’t stop with just stapling (or tying) paper together. If you have an older child who has worked hard on the book, consider scanning in the drawings and printing the book out. Or sending it to a printer as a photo album and getting a nice hardbound copy printed out. (Think holiday presents!)

If drawing isn’t your child’s thing, or they are searching for inspiration, consider cutting magazine photos for the pictures, or printing out family photos for a fun family-inspired story.

Have fun with this! And I hope your knight and dragon, or your princess and unicorn, or whatever the story is, becomes a wonderful family memory.

December 8, 2010

Toddlers and puppets and books, oh my!

I have yet to meet a toddler that loves books.  And I have yet to meet a mother who doesn’t proudly proclaim that her toddler loves books.  And why not?  Books are awesome, wonderful, cool things that teach toddlers all kinds of things they want to know.  And even all kinds of things you want them to know (and some that you don’t).  As kids grow up, that ratio will likely shift to a lot of things you don’t want them to know and some that you do, but hey, they are reading, they are exploring their world, and if you can give them that at a young age, then I think that’s the equivalent of giving them an infinite number of lives to live, one for each time they open the pages of someone else’s story.

So that’s why I think it’s cool to get kids involved in books at a young age.  And that’s why I think it’s a good idea for parents to show their kids that they read, too, and that they interact with the books in the same way they want their kids to do so.  So here’s an idea for interacting with books that will allow you to have an infinite number of conversations about an infinite number of books.  And a lot of fun, too.

Paper Bag character puppets

We all know paper bag puppets–you get a small sandwich-size paper bag, turn it upside down, draw a face on the bottom of the bag, usually with half the mouth on the lower edge of the bottom and the other half of the mouth on the bag where they meet (so the mouth opens when you move the puppet), and decorate the rest of the bag below the mouth, and even on the other side if you desire with the puppet’s outfit.  Anything can be used for this–stick to just crayons if you have a young one or like to keep it simple.  Or buy stickers and googly eyes from a craft store, buy yarn for the hair and felt to make hats and shirts.  Get construction paper and scissors and glue.  Finger paints.  Whatever your level of comfort with the crafting scene, go with that.

Then choose your favorite book (or even better, let you toddler/preschooler pick).  If you’re unsure about their picking powers, you might want to limit them to a few choices.  Not only does practice choosing between a few things help them with confident decision-making later, but it will allow you to limit their choices to books with characters that will work well for this project.  A win-win!  Sorry, I actually cannot stand that phrase…

At any rate, make puppets that showcase the characters of the book.

If you are REALLY into crafts, you can make a really easy puppet theatre with a tri-fold poster board (the kind you see at science fairs and are in most grocery stores now).  Just cut a hole in the center of one of the folds, decorate as you wish, and stand it up, putting the puppeteer and puppets behind it.  Feel free to improvise curtains with a tired napkin or dish cloth.

Okay, now you’ve got the stage.  Here are some ideas:

1. Act out the whole book for your child.  Reading each of the character’s lines with the puppets on your hands, show your child the whole story.

2. Have your child act out the story in their own words.  Learning to summarize is such an important skill!  This will be hard for many kids and feel free to help.  Start by asking them questions–what happens first in the story?  What is one character saying to the other?  Encourage them to paraphrase rather than look up the actual quote if you can.  They are really learning about reading now!

3. Engage your child in a new story, with each of you acting as one or two puppets.  For toddlers, just let them play and imagine any scenes they like.  They will probably be simple, but they will really show you what a kid is thinking!  Reluctant children might like for you to hold the puppet at first while they ask it questions, and you can answer as the puppet.  Later, they might be ready to act out their own puppet.  Older children can put on whole plays and stories with the characters as themselves.  In other words, if the dog puppet is mean in the book, the dog puppet will be mean in their story, even though it’s a new one.  Think of it as writing their own sequel.  That would really teach them to think about who the characters are in the book, apart from the one story they see them in.

4. Let your imaginations run wild!  That, after all, is the whole point of reading!

October 24, 2010

Our nation’s pastime, in funky illustrations

My mother-in-law bought us this book.  I still remember meeting her at Barnes and Noble with growing newborn in his sling.  She took one look at me and burst out laughing, and admittedly, it does look funny when the baby is hidden away in a sling.  He was getting bigger, but still able to fit inside the sling, tucked away from all the world around him.  At some point during the shopping trip, she picked out this book.  At that point, he was too young to read for himself, so I was choosing books that I liked to read, like Winnie-the-Pooh chapter books or really anything short of a Biology textbook because, seriously, it didn’t really matter.

This book was one of my first introductions to board books as a parent (and I don’t remember them as a kid so it was really my first introduction).  I remember wondering what was the point of board books, especially since it would take quite a few of them to meet our nightly reading ritual of fifteen or twenty minutes.  My husband wondered too.  Not for long.  It turned out to be a brilliant choice of a book, my son’s favorite above all other books and as I sit here writing about, two years later, the same copy sits here next to my computer held together with tape on my desk.  And now, our son “reads” this book to us.  If that isn’t beautiful, I don’t know what is.

Title: Home Run!
Author/Illustrator: David Diehl
Genre
: Board Book, Sports
Age: 0 – 3, although I can tell you right now, we are going to be older when we stop reading this book

Summary and Review:

Each page is a colorful and fun illustration of a crucial part of the baseball game, usually with one simple word to describe it (bat, ball, glove, etc.)  I love the drawings, and if I knew more about art, I could probably describe with with some sort of high-falutin’ word, but I can tell you that they are fun and slightly funky.  One of the greatest things about this book is that even though it appears at first glance to be just a list of baseball terms, one on each page, it actually reads as the story of a whole game.  There are hits and slides, runners who are safe and those who hit fly balls and get out.  And of course, there is a home run, which looks by the scoreboard at the end of the book to be a game-winning, bottom-of-the-ninth, grand slam.

To say that my son loves this book would in no way capture his true feelings.  He knows it by heart and has for some time.  He recently took it to school with him to share with his classmates.  And it’s almost always in our car, ready to go with us wherever we end up.  As we enjoyed this one so much, we’ve since bought the soccer and basketball ones, and there’s a football one as well.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

Invite your child to really interact with the art in this book.  What does the umpire do when he calls a “strike”?  My son loves to throw his hand up in a fist and yell “strike!”, imitating the book, even when we are playing baseball at home and he’s the one with the bat in his hand who just missed the ball.   Same with the sign for “safe” which I am all but required to deliver when my son slides onto our carpet after running around the bases, which is either a lap around the house or about twenty laps around the carpet, necessary of course because almost everything he hits he declares a “home run!”

You can also engage your toddler in the story.  Instead of just showing him the “grounder” page and the “out” page, show the two-page spread as part of a story.  The fielder is getting the grounder, so the runner is then tagged out.  This will help them recognize story format, even in a simple board book, and also help teach them the flow and rules to America’s greatest game; which, seriously now, is an important lesson.  On the next page, the two pictures are “steal” and “slide”, and you can do the same thing–telling the story of the base runner who slides when he steals a base–with these pictures as well.

The pictures are simple, so asking your child to recognize details can also help them become good observers.  (I have to laugh every time I use the word “observe” now because it’s something they taught my son as part of some introduction to science lesson and now he is fond of complimenting almost everything I say with “That’s a good observation, Mom.”  Seriously.  But an example: the “on deck” page shows a donut-style bat weight on the bat.  Ask your child if he notices anything different about the “on deck” bat and the other bats and then you can tell him or her about the weight.

At the end of the game, the final score is 8 to 9.  Ask younger children to read the numbers and ask older children which is the higher number–i.e., which team won the game?

And then, if it’s the right season, head out to the ballpark and test your toddler’s new knowledge in the real world.

October 21, 2010

The first time he laughed

That, at least, is how I will always remember this book.  As the first time my baby laughed.  There might have been other times, but I remember this one.  In the rocking chair, reading the brilliantly simple language and looking at the beautifully simple illustrations of Leslie Patricelli.  Every time I read the loud pages, he laughed.  I think we tried to film it; not sure if we were successful.

Title: Quiet LOUD
Author: Leslie Patricelli
Genre
: Board Book
Age: 0 – 3

Summary and Review:

If you are a baby, the whole world is a wonderful mystery, waiting to be discovered.  It’s easy for adults to forget this, but this is one author who hasn’t.  Her simple books are to be loved and marveled at for the talented way she makes us see everyday actions and items for what they are–truly amazing.  This book is a great example of that.

“Thinking is quiet.  Singing is LOUD.”  This might seem obvious, but this book makes it seem like a wonderous mystery of life, and to your baby, that’s probably what these mini revelations are. Each two-page spread includes one of these pairs of opposite sounds and then the final spread includes a whole page on each side of many quiet things (pillows, bunnies, and plants, for example) and many loud things (teakettles, burbs, and fire trucks).

The illustrations are perfect–kids get them and they love them.  And if there was a way to illustrate loud sound, Patricelli has found it in this book.  Other similar titles by Leslie Patricelli include Yummy YUCKY and BIG Little.  So the fun doesn’t have to stop with this one!

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

First, just have fun with the book.  Whisper the first page “whispering is quiet”, and then shout (or speak loudly) the next one “screaming is loud”!  Continue that pattern throughout the book–you are teaching your baby about sounds, volume, opposites, and of course, having fun.

Because of the repetition, this is a good one for early talkers to participate in.  Leave out the last word as you read: “whispering is …” and let them finish in their own whispered voices and screams!  (But beware that you will get what you asked for!)

When you get to the last pages, these provide a great opportunity to learn words.  Ask them to point to the bunny or the firetruck.  Or ask them to point to something quiet and tell you what it is in a whisper.  Or make the noise of one of the loud objects (a drum, horn, rooster, etc.) and ask them which ones makes that noise.  Or point to an object and ask them to make the noise of the object.  There are an infinite variety of these games to play!  Have fun, and if you enjoy them, try some of Leslie Patricelli’s other books!

September 15, 2010

Yes! Yes! I love you! More than you will ever know (unless you have kids someday and I promise I won’t bother you about that for at least 30 more years)

Let’s admit it; sometimes we buy books for our toddlers that are really for ourselves.  This might qualify as one of those.  Why?  Just the title alone should tell you it’s a book moms are going to want to buy.  And the illustrations are beautiful.  And the story is a different culture–a native american/eskimo family instead of the standard white kid in a picture book.  So really, we buy it because it’s the kind of book we want our toddler to like.  But here’s the best part–mine loves it!  Loves it!  So I’m especially happy to write about this one today.  Dads might feel left out of this one, but single moms might appreciate that it’s only about them and the kid.

Title: Mama, Do You Love Me?
Author
: Barbara M. Joosse
Illustrator
: Barbara Lavalle
Genre: Board Book
Age: 0 – 5

Summary and Review:

A girl wants to know:  Will you love me even if I fall and drop our eggs?  Even if I do something on purpose like pouring water on our lamp or putting fish in your jacket?  EVEN if I turn into something different than I am now–like an animal?  EVEN if it’s a scary animal and I scare you?  EVEN if I run away?

Of course, the answer is always “yes”, and the story is beautiful and real.  The pictures are also great and I also love that it has new vocabulary for my son to learn–umiak instead of canoe, ptarmigan eggs instead of chicken eggs, mukluks instead of boots.  Not that I expect my toddler to go around using these words in everyday discourse, of course.  But I think examples like these only serve to show kids that there are so many different ways to live and eat and dress.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

Basically, when you read this book you just want to give your kid a big hug and assure them you DO love them!  SO much!

While I don’t think you need to lecture, it’s never too early to teach a student about what to do when they read a word they don’t know.  So ask them.  What’s an umiak?  Can they tell from the picture?  What is an ermine?

You could even take this a step further.  My 2-year-old loves to look things up.   And while I know we are supposed to limit screen time (and believe me, I try) I think a great introduction to the computer is uses like this–you are using the computer as a tool to learn something, and not as an end in itself for entertainment.  Also, it doesn’t take that long.  Search for a picture of ermines and learn more about them.

Or go the more traditional route and get a book from the library–my son is also very much into this–he gets to type “ermine” into the search box (or whatever it is–usually “baseball”) and then we go and find a book.  He gets to take home new books on different subjects every week or so.  And he loves it!