Archive for ‘7 – 10: Chapter Book’

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.

March 7, 2013

You can’t put the kids in a cardboard box, but you can call on Neville, Boomer, and Big Ernie

We did it last summer. The neighbors are doing it this summer. It’s as American as apple pie and the Fourth of July: the long distance move. The snow might still be on the ground, but I can hear the birds chirping, and they aren’t the only ones looking for a new nest. I can tell by the posts on my neighborhood moms’ group that many human families will soon be following suit. (***Note to people who aren’t moving soon: just skip the next part and read the bit about “Neville”, a great picture book. Then go back to Facebook and thank the heavens you don’t have to move.)

Let’s be honest, nobody likes moving. But let’s be honest again, I only thought I knew how hard moving was when my husband and I moved from the east coast to the Pacific Northwest. And then from the Pacific Northwest to the South. But I didn’t know, not until we moved from the South to the Midwest. It wasn’t the locations that mattered so much, but the cargo: we now had two kids. Things were about to get interesting.

And what do I do when things with my kids get interesting? That’s right, I buy books. Here are some that were awesomely helpful during that time:

neville

Title: Neville
Author: Norton Juster
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas

Neville was our absolute favorite. It was recommended by a fellow children’s book lover in Nashville. Unlike the others mentioned here, it’s not meant as a how-to on moving, but just a great picture book that happens to be about a kid who just moved. A young boy ventures out into his new neighborhood fairly certain that his mom is WRONG when she hints that he might make friends just by walking down the street. But what happens when he stands on the corner and yells “NEVILLE!” at the top of his lungs? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. I’d recommend this one even if you aren’t moving.

berenstainbearsmovingday

Title: Berenstain’s Bears Moving Day
Authors/Illustrators: Stan and Jan Berenstain

Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day. Some people like these famous bears, some people don’t. And while I understand that they are long and a little preachy, especially by today’s trendy and zen-like picture books, I happen to love the Berenstein bears. And my kids do, too. They tell it like it is, and as long as you agree, they are the way to go. I think this one is an especially good one and definitely useful for a kid who is moving. Brother Bear is sad to leave his cave and his friends, but he learns to love his new tree house (the one we all know and love from other Berenstein Bear books) and find new friends.

boomersbigday

Title: Boomer’s Big Day
Author: Constance W. McGeorge
Illustrator: Mary Whyte

Boomer’s Big Day might be my favorite, especially for the littlest set (2 and up). Boomer is a dog and the family doesn’t really play a major role at all in the story, which I think is nice–it really hits that kid-centric point of view where everything revolves around their world, they aren’t getting enough information, and they are trying to figure it out for themselves. Boomer’s troubles start when he can’t understand why he isn’t getting his morning walk, escalate when his favorite toys are boxed up, but disappear when he sees…his new backyard!

bigerniesnewhome

Title: Big Ernie’s New Home
Authors/Ilustrators: Teresa and Whitney Martin

Big Ernie’s New Home also uses an animal as the point-of-view character, although Big Ernie (a cat) has a friend (Little Henry) who is going through the move right beside him. A little more prose than Boomer, so it might be better for a slightly older crowd (4 and up perhaps) or littler ones who can sit through a story. (It’s not long by any means, but I guess it seems that way in comparison with other books–picture books are getting shorter and shorter every year. One thing I liked about Big Ernie is that it doesn’t make the assumption that the kid is moving to a better place, which some of the books do. It’s a different place (in this case Santa Fe) and doesn’t describe the new house.

Title: Usborne First Experiences: Moving House
Author: Anne Civardi
Illustrator: Stephen Cartwright

Usborne First Experiences: Moving House was a nice short read, factual but with a story about a family. This family is moving across town, so they are able to visit their house before they move. (This was not the case with us, and as a result my son didn’t request this one as much and I didn’t pick it up as much). The book also includes details about how their new house is getting painted and new carpets before they move in, and compares the old house, which is an attached row house, to the new house, a large stand-alone home. If those facts match up, or at least don’t conflict with your story too much, this–while not great literature–is a nice, quick book that’s easy to understand. I think there is also a sticker book that goes with this, so that could be good, too. Especially if you have a long car ride built into your move.

themovingbook

Title: The Moving Book: A Kids’ Survival Guide
Author: Gabriel Davis
Illustrator: Sue Dennen

The Moving Book: A Kids’ Survival Guide was great, and would have been even better had I taken more time to help my son fill out the answers. Part scrapbook, part tutorial on how to move, and part planner for your new town, this book will help calm kids’ anxieties by making them part of the process. I love the way it asks them to find things they are looking forward to doing in their new town. And it has ideas for saying goodbye to friends and keeping in touch.

If you are moving this Spring or Summer, good luck! Give your kids some concrete ideas. The Wizard of Why asked a thousand times how his bed was possibly going to fit into a truck, so we googled it and found pictures of a bed going into a moving truck. I cannot tell you how much that helped! Plus, when are truck pictures a bad idea? Find a map of the city you are moving to and make some definite plans: is there a children’s museum you can go to? Find pictures on the web and show your kids. Or an art museum or a movie theatre…anything that gives them something to look forward to and convinces them that you are moving them to an actual place on the planet Earth with fellow human beings–and not to whatever dimension of outer space their toddler mind is imagining.

December 5, 2012

Snicket’s wrong questions make for fun reading

In case things were getting a little too serious around here, I’d like to introduce Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) to introduce the latest book I read, Who Could That Be At This Hour?, which tells the story of Snicket’s rather unusual childhood. And while I’ve been talking about a lot of serious books you can talk to your kids about, nothing gets a good relationship going like a shared laugh. So read this one with your kids now. Laugh together. Build up a foundation of shared reading. And then when the time comes, it will be all the easier to read and talk about the books I blogged about earlier. This would be great holiday reading! Something to share with the kids when school is out.

Anyway, he’s funny as you can tell, and so are his books. If you haven’t read him before, he has a cynical, slightly dark, but extremely fun voice. Definitely recommend this first installment in his “All the Wrong Questions” series. Great laid-back holiday reading!

whocouldthatbeatthishour

Title: Who Could That Be at This Hour?
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Mystery, Humor, Lots of Fun
Age: Reading to Adult, chapter book/early middle grade level

What about you? Do you have favorite funny stories? Have you asked the wrong question at the wrong time? What are you going to read with your kids when school is out?

 

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.

October 8, 2012

Ivy and Bean: the new book is here!

Okay, I’ve been interrupted mid-post a million times, so I need to get this out before another week goes by. Here are the winners from Week 7.

Book: Jennifer Rumberger  Mini-notes: Carol L, Jasmine, vBookBorne

Week 8 seems to have disappeared into some kind of mother-of-2-who-just-moved-into-a-new-house-and-already-has-guests-and-construction-projects time warp. But no worries. This week, we celebrate week 9, where one of the past winners from all the blogs will get a totally cool prize package that includes Ivy and Bean dolls and other really great stuff (pictured below).

So, that about wraps it up for the Ivy and Bean countdown! I hope you’ve liked the introduction to the girls, and if you did, head out to your local bookstore or library and grab a copy. And check out the other blogs that have been playing along:

Media Darlings  http://www.mdarlings.com/
There’s A Book  http://www.theresabook.com
Kid Lit Frenzy  www.kidlitfrenzy.com
In the Pages  http://inthepages.blogspot.com
The O.W.L.  http://owlforya.blogspot.com
Coquette Maman  http://www.coquettemaman.com
Ruth Ayres Writes  http://ruthayreswrites.blogspot.com
Watch. Connect. Read. http://www.MrSchuReads.com
One Page to the Next  www.onepagetothenext.blogspot.com
Van Meter Library Voice  http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The Family That Reads Together  http://thefamilythatreadstogether.com
Roundtable Reviews for Kids  http://roundtableforkids.blogspot.com/
sharpread  www.mrcolbysharp.com
The Children’s Book Review  www.thechildrensbookreview.com

September 24, 2012

A free book for your scientific (or unscientific) girl

 

Getting girls into science is a big deal. I wrote an article about this in ParentMap after a great study was published by the AAUW (American Association of University Women). One of the biggest factors they talked about was having role models for girls in science–that girls didn’t see themselves in the typical movie scientist (think old guy with white hair). So maybe reading Ivy and Bean is all they need! If you think so, and want a chance for your own daughter or student, just comment below!

Here are last week’s winners:

Ivy and Bean book: HeyLookAWriterFellow

Ivy and Bean mini notes: Jasmine, Carol, Tania

Title: Ivy and Bean What’s the Big Idea?
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Fiction
Age: Early Elementary

And if you want to win this next book, What’s the Big Idea, Just comment below! Runners-up get a set of cool mini-notes.

September 19, 2012

Ivy and Bean Dance for Free

 

Title: Ivy and bean Doomed to Dance
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall

I love this one. Who doesn’t have memories of dance class? My memories of my friend and I starting tap dance in 8th grade. For some reason, maybe partly because it was an older age for kids to start, or maybe it’s just the class we found, we took a class with women 50 and above. Some way above. It was absolutely awesome. I totally fit in. I think I’ve always been about 75 at heart…I guess that’s the opposite of being young at heart, but in a good way, I think. My 4yo, the Wizard of Why, is similar. 🙂

Someone told me recently (while I was wearing a top from Talbots) that I couldn’t wear Talbots yet, I had to save that for when I was older. I replied that I had to start on Talbots now because I needed to have time for my LL Bean days. 🙂 But in reality, I’m already wearing LL Bean. In fact, I have one of their sweaters on right now, and one of the things I’m most excited about my move from Nashville to Michigan is that I can put aside the trendy sundresses for some way more practical winter coats. My mom’s LL Bean boots are already in my front closet, just waiting. But back to dance, I am hoping in my new town to find an adult tap class to start again. And this time, I won’t be out of place.

Want to win a great book about a dance class? Just comment below. Tell me about a dance class experience, or if you, too, are an old soul or maybe you are young at heart. Or just leave your name. Good luck!

And here, of course, are WEEK 5’s winners:

THE BOOK: Heidi Grange
The mini-notes: Jennifer Rumberger, Mary Comfort Stevens, and Carol L

Thanks for playing everyone! Come back every week for more books to win! And don’t forget to comment below to enter this week!

 

 

September 10, 2012

Want to win a book? Or maybe you already did!

Yes, it’s week 5 already of our Ivy and Bean giveaway countdown! You can tell I’m surprised by that because I haven’t even announced the week 3 winners. 🙂 So here are the winners of the last two weeks. And if you want to enter to win Ivy and Bean Book 5, please leave a comment (with a way to get in touch with you if you win) below!

Week Three Winners

Ivy and Bean Book 3: Melissa Spradlin

Mini-notes: Heidi G, Vanessa, and Yolanda

Week Four Winners

Ivy and Bean Book 4: Erin Gutierrez

Mini notes: Tammy Shelnut, Jamilee Xiong, and Alson Burke

Happy reading to the book winners and happy writing to the mini note winners! Let the Ivy and Bean celebrations continue!

Title: Ivy and Bean Bound to be Bad
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Realistic Fiction, School, Chapter Book
Age: Early Elementary School

The Ivy and Bean website says this about book 5: Ivy and Bean decide to be so good and kind and pure of thought that wild animals will befriend them. When this doesn’t work, they decide that perhaps a little badness can be good.

Maybe when you are done reading it, you can convince your own offspring to try being good and kind and pure of thought. It’s certainly worth a try!

If you’d like to see other blogs participating in the Ivy and Bean countdown, check these out:

Media Darlings  http://www.mdarlings.com/
There’s A Book  http://www.theresabook.com
Kid Lit Frenzy  www.kidlitfrenzy.com
In the Pages  http://inthepages.blogspot.com
The O.W.L.  http://owlforya.blogspot.com
Coquette Maman  http://www.coquettemaman.com
Ruth Ayres Writes  http://ruthayreswrites.blogspot.com
Watch. Connect. Read. http://www.MrSchuReads.com
One Page to the Next  www.onepagetothenext.blogspot.com
Van Meter Library Voice  http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The Family That Reads Together  http://thefamilythatreadstogether.com
Roundtable Reviews for Kids  http://roundtableforkids.blogspot.com/
sharpread  www.mrcolbysharp.com
The Children’s Book Review  www.thechildrensbookreview.com

Comment below to enter to win Book 5!

September 4, 2012

Your chance at two mischievous plotters

Ivy and Bean want to show that Bean’s sister is the WORST babysitter ever. Will they? Let me know your prediction in the comments below for a chance at a free copy of this book! REMEMBER TO INCLUDE an email address, or to check back and see if you won! I cannot give you anything if I cannot find you!

TitleIvy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter
Author
: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Early Chapter Book
Age: Early Elementary

And remember to check out these other cool blogs who are giving away Ivy and Bean books, too! Free free to enter there as well!

Media Darlings  http://www.mdarlings.com/
There’s A Book  http://www.theresabook.com
Kid Lit Frenzy  www.kidlitfrenzy.com
In the Pages  http://inthepages.blogspot.com
The O.W.L.  http://owlforya.blogspot.com
Coquette Maman  http://www.coquettemaman.com
Ruth Ayres Writes  http://ruthayreswrites.blogspot.com
Watch. Connect. Read. http://www.MrSchuReads.com
One Page to the Next  www.onepagetothenext.blogspot.com
Van Meter Library Voice  http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The Family That Reads Together  http://thefamilythatreadstogether.com
Roundtable Reviews for Kids  http://roundtableforkids.blogspot.com/
sharpread  www.mrcolbysharp.com
The Children’s Book Review  www.thechildrensbookreview.com

Comment below WITH SOME WAY TO CONTACT YOU to win!

August 30, 2012

Week 2 Winners

And the winner from Week 2
(for the awesome Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go) is:

#7: Melissa East

Congrats and happy reading!

And the runners-up (who will each win a set of mini Ivy and Bean notes):

#9: Anne W

#1: Sarah P

#10: Jasmine

Thanks to everyone who entered! Remember the prize package, which will go to one of the winners from all the previous weeks from all the previous blogs, is awesome! (See below) More books and notes each week for nine weeks! Come back soon!