As a mother of two boys (3 and 7 years old), I am always looking for reading material that grabs their interest. At our house there is one author who has stood the test of time — Jon Scieszka. We first started reading Scieszka’s series Trucktown, a great choice for any parent who has a truck crazy little one (boy or girl). There is also an interactive and educational website that accompanies the series. Our obsession with Scieszka continues today. My seven year old son has discovered Scieszka’s quick-witted, fast paced Time Warp Trio series.
In addition to creating the Trucktown and Time Warp Trio series, Scieszka is the first National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. He has developed a web-based literacy program, Guys Read, that is devoted to helping boys become “self-motivated, lifelong readers.” Continue reading
Jan Thomas’ books are known for their humor, and “Let’s Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy” doesn’t disappoint. Turning a typical bedtime routine on its head, the parent – played by the brave cowboy – continues to halt the bedtime process. Cowboy’s wild imagination turns flowers into spiders and sticks into snakes. Luckily the cows and a not-so-scary wolf alleviate his fears, and he happily croons everyone to sleep.
Kids love guessing what inanimate object is scaring Cowboy. Their enthusiastic and imaginative guessing reminds me of a simple game I made up as a child. I called it… “The Peek Game.”
How do you play this marvelous game, you ask?
- Gather a file folder, scissors and some interesting images from magazines or calendars.
- Cut several flaps in the front your file folder. Larger flaps are perfect for young ones. Tiny flaps make the game more challenging.
- Hide an image inside the folder.
- Let one player pick a flap to open.
- Given this peek, what could the image be?
- Continue opening windows and guessing until you guess correctly.
- Swap places and let the other player pick an image.
Looking for more fun? In the vein of Throwback Thursday, take a peek at our past blogs for another popular guessing game and my favorite cowpoke lullaby (actions included).
I love Neil Gaiman’s books, and his new one, “Fortunately, the Milk,” is no exception. What I love the most about this story is that it’s about a dad, a really great dad, as told by his son. Orphans and absent parents abound in children’s literature, but silly books about amazing parents are rare. It seems like even fewer books are about dads.
This story features a father’s quest to bring milk home for his little children’s breakfast cereal. Kids will love this crazy tale. There are pirates, aliens, volcanoes and tinkering with the space-time continuum, all complemented by Skottie Young’s super expressive and crazy line drawings. After I read this story, I went into the kitchen and said to my husband, “Guess what! This book could be about you!” Then I read it to him while he made dinner. (He’s also a really great dad.)
With rare exceptions like Kate Middleton or Grace Kelly, most little girls with royal professional aims will need a back-up to an “I’m gonna be a princess when I grow up!” career plan. But until that need arises, DBRL has beefed up its Disney Princess Collection by popular request for your little prince or princess to peruse.
While the celebrated Disney Princesses themselves are big attention-grabbers and can easily be enjoyed in their own right, they also have the potential to serve as the (often less gruesome) introduction to the original tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen or even from history itself. These stories can be the doorway to exploring the concept of very old stories, their purposes, different interpretations in different cultures and even how they have changed over time from the original versions.
Wait – fairy tales were originally SCARY? Continue reading
We’ve already raved about Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat books and why kids are eating them up and demanding more.
So let’s take a different route and talk about how parents and teachers are using this lovable character as a jumping off point into a variety of educational areas.
Check out how this teacher incorporates music and builds a sense of community in her classroom with Pete the cat. (Watch the kid with the gong! You won’t regret it.)
The list goes on and on! Google “Pete the Cat activities,” and you will receive a list of over 5 MILLION links. Now that’s one popular cat.