I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted an entry but…well…I’ve been busy, it’s been the summer, it’s been hot, I was caught up in other things. You know how it goes. Finally…I’m back!
I love this picture of brother and sister with their uncle having a good read first thing in the morning–sitting comfortably in their jammies and enjoying a good story together. If you ask almost any child between the ages of 2 and 10 (and probably even older) how many books they enjoy reading or listening to a day, they’ll tell you 20 or a zillion! All of us and our kids need to step away from our iPad and iPhone games and videos, get to the library, go to a Little Free Library or just pull out some of our favorite books from our own bookshelves and READ. Research has shown that children who are read to often and read a lot, have much great imaginations and creativity. Take a look at some of the books I’ve described below and read them together and see for yourself! Children have a much better opportunity to imagine the magic of the settings, the emotions of characters and the sense of excitement, fear, hilarity, and thrill from a book much better than a video game or movie. And this is coming from someone who loves movies! See for yourself.
The World’s Greatest Elephant by Ralph Helfer/ illustrated by Ted Lewin
I loved this book! it’s based on a true story of the relationship between a young boy and an elephant who grow up together. It reminded me so much of another one of my favorite reads as an adult, Water for Elephants. It reinforces our knowledge about the close ties humans can have with their pets and with animals as well as how sensitive animals really are. You will all enjoy reading this true story together. Read it next to Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson. Ages 4-10
Tsunami! By Kimiko Kajikawa /illustrated by Ed Young
This story and original paper cut-out illustrations by Ed Young make a wonderful book for the slightly older children to read or listen to. In light of the horrific tsunami in Japan a few years ago, children will be able to relate to that event in Japan. It has a warm and caring message that will be good for all children to hear. Ages 5-10.
Dave the Potter – Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill/ illustrated by Bryan Collier
This beautifully illustrated Caldecott Honor book will teach you and your young listeners not only about how to make pottery, but about the life of a slave who lived about 200 years ago. I would call this book a narrative expository book because the author has to imagine some of the facts but it is based on the story and life of a real person. You and your children will gain a new appreciation for this artist and his famous work. Ages 4-10
A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley
I’ll be the first to admit that I prefer fiction to non-fiction but when I looked through this book, it really grabbed me. The photographs by National Geographic photographers are breathtaking, of course, but the message about the universality of water as a basic need to all of us throughout the world really came across. Talk about this one together. What are some of the problems people in the world face in accessing fresh water? You won’t regret it! Ages 4-10
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein
I thought I knew all of Shel Silverstein’s books, but continue to find new ones I haven’t read. This was definitely meant to be read out loud. You’ll have a blast with it. I don’t know what it is about his books that draw both children and adults together but they do! Even if you’re a bit squeamish, as I am, about guns or certainly about lions eating hunters, it is underplayed and will make you laugh right out loud. The illustrations are the best. Like Lafcadio, maybe you will crave marshmallows after reading this book! Ages 4+