Posts tagged ‘elementary school’

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. ūüôā 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
There’s A Book
Kid Lit Frenzy
In the Pages
The O.W.L.
Coquette Maman
Ruth Ayres Writes
Watch. Connect. Read.
One Page to the Next
Van Meter Library Voice
The Family That Reads Together
Roundtable Reviews for Kids
The Children’s Book Review

Comment below to enter to win Book 5!

November 21, 2011

IVY and BEAN probably don’t play German Crossing

The little one escaping to play with the neighborhood kids.

I loved my neighborhood friends growing up. With the exception of one or two families, I wasn’t really close to that many of them, but that never mattered when it came to baseball or tag. On a long Seattle summer night, when the light stayed up as late as your mom let you, neighborhood friends were always there and ready to play. One of our favorites (and this admittedly sounds ridiculous in 2011) was German Crossing. Yes, one side of the road was East Germany and one was West. You had to cross from one to the other (presumably from East to West although the details of the game escape me) without being tagged by the guard with the flashlight, who wasn’t allowed to stray far from his/her post. You could sneak your friends out of jail by sneaking over to the jail near the guard and tagging them. Hours and hours and even nights and nights were spent at this game, sneaking through the neighbors yards, hiding in their bushes, and trying to stay out of their sight if they were one of those “adult” houses with no kids in the game who may or may not understand people sneaking through their yard.

Reading Ivy and Bean–the at first reluctant to be friends neighbors–reminded me of that game. But when they finally cross the street and meet, the tomboyishly adventurous Bean and the imaginative bookworm Ivy become fast friends and hilarity ensues. There’s even some sneaking around in neighbors’ yards. I want to thank my niece because without her recommendation of these books, I might never have found them!

Title: Ivy and Bean
Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Genre: Early Chapter Book
Age: K – third grade

Follow-up with the kids:¬†This is the kind of level for kids who are really starting to read on their own. This is a great time to engage them in conversations about books so they get used to thinking about their reading and talking about it while they still have memories of cuddling up with picture books with their family. Ask your daughter (it is probably a daughter reading this book as boys tend to prefer books with boy characters–the same is not necessarily true for girls) if she is more like Ivy or more like Bean. Or does she have elements of both? What about her friends? Getting kids to think about their reading and to relate their reading to their own lives, is an important first step to higher level reading comprehension. And also a great step towards really enjoying books!

September 7, 2010

Justin Case is a wonderfully likeable worrywort

Title: Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters
Author: Rachel Vail
: Matthew Cordell
Genre: Fiction
Age: Chapter Book for grades 2 – 4

Summary and Review: I laughed; I cried.¬† Was it better than Cats?¬† Almost definitely: I’m a musical fan but I didn’t love Cats.¬† But this is a great book!¬† The hero of the story is Justin, a third grader with a long and hard-to-pronounce last name who gets the nickname “Justin Case” from the class bully who is a surprisingly good friend and supporter (and even, partially against Justin’s wishes, gets him voted to the student council).¬† The nickname, as the title of the book suggests, is an allusion to Justin’s tendency to worry.¬† About everything.¬† Justin worries about the new dog he begged his parents to get (and is terrified of in a wonderful way that reminds me of Mo Willem’s The Pigeon wants a Puppy).¬† He worries about his stuffed animals and the ominous way some of them look at him when the lights go out.¬† He worries about climbing the rope in gym class.¬† Most importantly, he worries in a lovable and funny way that will make many kids relate to him.

The ways in which Justin overcomes his worries is also priceless. For example, at home at night he is terrified often.¬† But when his little sister is scared, it’s his bed she sleeps in and he who comforts her.¬† He is scared of nothing more than “Bad Boy” an imaginary enemy he often thinks is in his house.¬† But when he hears his dog whimpering (and let’s remember he’s also scared of the dog), he jumps out of bed to the rescue, ready to battle whatever forces of evil await him.¬† If you have kids who are similarly scared, they might find some short passages a little scary.¬† But you don’t have to worry–everything has a good explanation and Justin will prevail.

The writing is wonderful.¬† I find myself quoting Justin now.¬† Should I be embarrassed about that?¬† Maybe.¬† But when Justin’s mom reminds him to say “no, thank you” instead of “I hate” when asked if he wants something, Justin translates that to every use of the word hate, and I’ve begun to as well as when I recently said to my husband “I no thank you cockroaches”.¬† And there you go.¬† In Justin’s own words, “There’s always tomorrow for all the bad things that didn’t happen today.”

The book captures a lot about elementary school that goes beyond Justin’s tendency to worry, though.¬† Being friends with girls, for example.¬† Dinosaur Day project presentations.¬† Being forced to practice the violin even though you are terrible.¬† Being forced to play soccer, basketball, and baseball when you’d rather be anywhere else in the world.¬† Birthday parties and everything that comes with them.¬† Classroom social dynamics.¬† Still sleeping with stuffed animals and finding out that even some of the “tough” guys do, too.

Definitely a book to pick up for your 3rd grader, worried or not.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

I think the best conversation to have about this book would be to talk to your child about the main character.  Did she like him?  Could he relate to him?  What was funny about him?  Clever about him?  Does your son have any friends like him?  Could the book help your daughter to understand someone else she might previously not have liked?

Talking about how Justin prevailed over his anxieties would be great, too, although honestly I think that a kid would relate better if you come at this subject indirectly from just talking about Justin.  Every kid worries, whether you consider them a big worrywort or not and seeing a great example of an everyday wimp becoming his own hero is a great thing.