‘Ology: A Branch of Learning

Book cover for IllusionologyDo you have a young reader interested in fantastical subjects, such as wizards, vampires and pirates? We have the series for you. The books in the “Ology” series are located throughout our nonfiction collection, but don’t be fooled – they are not your typical encyclopedias. Common among books of this nature are a variety of illustrations and items to open, explore and touch (for example, ground dinosaur horn can be found in “Dinosaurology.”)

Similar to these “ology” books are the titles in the Girls’ Guides to Everything Unexplained series. These books provide information for young ladies on subjects such as wizards, mermaids, vampires, fairies and zombies. These titles also include manipulatives, stunning drawings and photographs. These books are great introductions for young readers to the world of nonfiction. Who says nonfiction can’t be just as fun as fiction? Seek out your nearest librarian for more information!

Check It Out: Michael Hague’s Read-To-Me Book Of Fairy Tales

picture of coverI checked out “Michael Hague’s Read-To-Me Book of Fairy Tales” by Allison Grace MacDonald to read to my son at bedtime. I really like fairy tales, but sometimes they can be rather long. At bedtime, I prefer to read multiple stories to my kiddo. This book is perfect because the stories are adapted for reading aloud to younger children. When I say adapted, I mean shortened, but they still tell the original tales. Spoiler alert! Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother still get eaten by the wolf, and the huntsman cuts the wolf open. Some of the other tales included are: Continue reading

Best Books for Kids: 2013 Edition

It’s December, and my list-loving heart rejoices! Websites and publications have been naming the best children’s books of 2013 since October. (October! Isn’t that a bit like Christmas carols before Halloween?) These lists are wonderful resources for gift ideas for the young readers in your life, or simply a nice reference if you want to make sure you didn’t miss any highly rated chapter or picture book published this past year. From the fantastically detailed and dazzling illustrations in Aaron Becker’s wordless picture book “Journey” to the antic adventures described in Gregory Hughes’ chapter book “Unhooking the Moon,” you’ll find something to satisfy any kiddo on your gift list. Here are a few of my favorites from these lists, followed by a round-up of links to the lists themselves for your browsing pleasure.

Book cover for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter BrownMr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown
Any kid who has ever squirmed uncomfortably in dress pants or tight shoes, having been admonished to “sit still” and “be polite” (and what kid hasn’t?) will identify with Mr. Tiger. The animals in Brown’s not-too-preachy book about the joy of just being yourself are stuffy, formal and exceedingly proper. Mr. Tiger tries to fit in, but he finally sheds his finery and takes off for the jungle so he can go wild. When he begins to miss his friends, he returns to the city and is pleasantly surprised by changes that have occurred in his absence. A joyful, funny read about self-expression and finding a happy medium. Continue reading

Let Them Eat Cake!

image of book coverI have strong memories of my mother “needing” my help to count or stir things as she baked. She had me move toothpicks from one pile to another to keep track of the number of eggs, cups of flour and so on as “we” baked. Now I know she had me participate for many reasons. I was kept busy, and these activities helped my motor skills, math skills and even my communication skills. As you cook with your child and wait for something to finish baking, enjoy sharing some of these tales of baked goods.

Have a school-age child working on fine motor skills and who loves art? Decorate cakes in an art bakery. Explore fun ways to work on math. Enjoy!

Guys Read!

Book cover for Welcome to Trucktown by Jon ScieszkaAs 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