Posts tagged ‘early reader’

August 27, 2014

when your early reader is (not) a robot

by Wendy Lawrence

At some point, early readers (the people) get tired of the early readers (the books). For my first son, this was before he even opened them. I think I bought one or two out of a sense of duty, but wasn’t even that excited to read them myself. Some of them lack any obvious attempt at plot, characterization, voice, or any trait necessary to call something a “book”. And don’t get me started on the phonics ones.

But these! These are about robots! And aliens! And space adventures! And they have great titles! In fact, I’m pretty sure my son was drawn to this series, which was one of the first ones he read, just because of the title Ricky Ricotta’s Might Robot vs. The Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn.

rickyricottaTitle: Ricky Ricotta’s Might Robot vs. The Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn
Author: Dav Pilkey
Genre: Early Reader, Science Fiction
Ages: 4 – 8

Written by Dav Pilkey, of Captain Underpants fame*, these are a great beginner series. They are books that can be read in one sitting, with easy words (and not too many words per page), tons of pictures, Pilkey’s characteristic flip-o-rama (essentially a two-page flip book illustration), and even instructions on how to draw all the major characters (well, the robot and the alien villians, not the boring ones like mom and dad). 😉 One of my son’s drawings based on those instructions can be found here:

filename-1*For those of you who worry about that sort of thing, there’s nothing of the toilet humor in these books that so pervades Underpants. I realize that my first example has the word “stupid” in it, but that’s not really indicative of how these books are written.

My son’s favorites as he remembers them, are Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha-Monkeys from Mars, Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, and … vs. The Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury. There is a first one, and they were written in planet order (Mercury, Venus, etc.), but you can read them in any order. Every book stands alone.

So, if you have an early reader, I would highly recommend these. A reluctant reader might read them with you–one page you read aloud, then next page he/she reads aloud. (Although I do think reading aloud makes it even harder, so consider that.)

Have you tried these? Do you think you might?

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?

 

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!

August 27, 2012

Another free Ivy and Bean book

Ivy and Bean set out to break a fossil-digging world record in this book, which could be yours for free if you comment below! Just make sure that I have your email address so I can get a hold of you if you win! And three runners-up will be getting a set of mini-notes, Ivy and Bean style. 🙂

Title: Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age: Early readers, early elementary school

Remember, when you are done with a book, you don’t have to forget about it. Why not find some fossils with your kids? You could just dig in the backyard, or you could buy a fossil kit at a toy store or museum store, or you could make your own kit: take a toy, break it apart (a lego person or animal would work well), bury the pieces in some dirt or dried beans or rice or soil or whatever you like, and have your kid dig it up and see if they can put it back together and figure out what it was!

And when you are done, come back here because we will be giving away these books every week! To enter, leave a comment below and remember that I need to be able to contact you if you win. So either check back next week or leave an email (if your username isn’t linked to an email, that is.)

Want to check out some other cool book blogs that are also, reportedly, giving away Ivy and Bean prizes? See below.

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

Leave a comment below to win! And don’t forget to leave an email–or check back next week to see if you’ve won! Last week’s winners announced tomorrow.

August 20, 2012

A lie about cartwheels–and it could be yours for free!

Ivy and Bean are outside with the rest of the gymnastics club. They are taking turns doing cartwheels. Bean does one and then sits down, somewhat dizzy. Emma does nine in a row. Zuzu does twelve plus a backbend. And when it’s Ivy’s turn, she says she is guarding the jackets. When others protest that you can’t be in Gymnastics Club if you are just going to guard jackets and start to doubt whether Ivy can even do a carthwheel, Bean intercedes.

“She can do a cartwheel. I’ve seen her.”

Ivy, who has never done a cartwheel in her life, is surprised by her friend Bean. But any reader with a good friend—the kind of friend who has your back, the kind of friend who doesn’t hesitate to lie about your cartwheeling ability, won’t be surprised at all. And it is this powerful friendship that I love so much about these books.

But, after some shenanigans with boys playing soccer, the cartwheels soon to become irrelevant:

“Like I was saying, I can’t do a cartwheel at the moment,” said Ivy.

“Why?” asked Zuzu with her hands on her hips.

“Because,” Ivy said, “we’ve got an emergency situation going on. Right over there.” She pointed.

Emma, Zuzu, and Bean followed Ivy’s pointed finger across the playground. She was pointing directly to the girls’ bathroom. The one right outside their classroom.

Duh, duh, duh. (Hear the music?)

Title: Ivy and Bean: The Ghost that Had to Go
Author: Annie Burrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Age: Early Chapter Book, Early Elementary School
Genre: Realistic Fiction

And so begins another adventure with the two friends, this one about “The Ghost that Had to Go.”

Ha! (If you didn’t laugh, read it again and remember that Ivy was pointing to the bathroom.) Okay, see, now you are laughing. To laugh some more, write a comment below to enter to win a FREE COPY of Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go (Book 2). More details about the contest are here. (Remember, I’m giving away one book every week for NINE weeks, so come back next week too!)

And for ideas about things to do with your kids, check out this page on Ivy and Bean’s way cool website!

Comment away!

August 17, 2012

Ivy and Bean Blog-a-bration with lots of book giveaways!

Ivy and Bean are getting ready to release their 9th book. And I am here to help them count down the weeks until it comes! With free books for you! And when I realized how long it was going to take me to explain all of the nitty-gritty stuff, I decided I should put it in a separate post. 🙂 Good luck!

Here are the details of the Ivy and Bean Blog-a-Bration:

1) Every week I will be giving away one Ivy and Bean book. (yea!)

2) On the last week (week 9), which will be in early October, one winner from all the previous winners on all the blogs participating will will an awesome prize package that includes a complete set of the hardcover books, Ivy and Bean paper dolls, an Ivy and Bean button factory, a poster, Ivy and Bean Silly Bandz (yes! we are THAT cool!), Ivy and Bean stickers, and a super-secret prize that is, apparently, still in the works (which may be why it’s super-secret?). On the right is a picture of all that awesomeness.

CONTEST DETAILSOne entry per person. Enter by leaving a comment ON THE POST (NOT HERE–THIS IS JUST THE RULES!) that includes a way to contact you.

People may enter by commenting on this blog in any of its published locations, which include TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com, ParentMap.com, and NashvilleParent.com. I will choose one winner with a random number generator. (Comment number 1 on TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com will be assigned #1. Comments will be numbered successively, with comments on ParentMap.com next and comments on NashvilleParent.com last (so the last comment on NashvilleParent will be the highest number). If that doesn’t make sense,  take a coffee break and then reread. Or just email me.) ONE winner will be chosen from each week’s comments. As in, NOT one from each site, but one total. I will also be giving away sets of Ivy and Bean mini notes, in separate posts, only at TheFamilyThatReadsTogether.com.

Ivy and Bean Contest Deadlines:

Book 1: Blog posted Friday, August 17. Comment deadline: Monday, August 20, midnight Eastern time.
Book 2: Blog posted Monday, August 20. Comment deadline: Saturday, August 25, midnight Eastern time.
Book 3: Blog posted Monday, August 27. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 1, midnight Eastern time.
Book 4: Blog posted Monday, September 3. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 8, midnight Eastern time.
Book 5: Blog posted Monday, September 10. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 15, midnight Eastern time.
Book 6: Blog posted Monday, September 17. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 22, midnight Eastern time.
Book 7: Blog posted Monday, September 24. Comment deadline: Saturday, September 29, midnight Eastern time.
Book 8: Blog posted Monday, October 1. Comment deadline: Saturday, October 6, midnight Eastern time.
Book 9: Blog posted Monday, October 8. Comment deadline: Saturday, October 13, midnight Eastern time.

November 22, 2010

By gosh and golly, this is a really fun book

I first noticed Bink and Gollie on the Kirkus Book Award list, mentioned in an earlier post.  I was determined to buy it, but then while at the bookstore looking for gifts for my nieces, this was recommended.  Perfect–I get to buy it, read it, and then give it to someone else to enjoy!

Title: Bink & Gollie
Author: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrator
: Tony Fucile
Genre
: Early Reader, Fiction
Age: Kindergarten – 3rd

Summary and Review:

Bink is little and fiesty.  She loves things like rainbow-colored socks.  Gollie is tall and thin and much older–uses laptops and cellphones, but still loves and hangs out with Bink.  They have adventures and learn to compromise, but most of all they are just friends and they hang out together.  My favorite story is one where Gollie, perhaps needing some alone time, locks her door and puts signs specifically addressing Bink not to interrupt her.  She climbs a tall mountain of ice and snow (all the while in her room, of course) and finally relents to let Bink join her once she’s at the top.  The balance of wanting some space and then wanting to share your triumphs (even your imaginary ones) with your best friend, is priceless.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

Ask them about their friends.  Do they have a “best” friend?  What do they like to do with that friend?  What do they do when they don’t agree?