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Posts Tagged ‘Books for Boys’

Now find me a child who doesn’t love books about dinosaurs.  Stories about monsters–preferably silly or not-so-scary are also big hits. I only have a few books here to share and expect to hear from all of you about some of your favorite dinosaur and monster books.  Depending on the age of your listeners or readers, you can always talk about the different names of the dinosaurs, theories about how they became extinct, what they eat, the difference between dinosaurs and mammals, what animals are alive today that are closest relatives of dinosaurs and what’s the difference between a dinosaur and a monster.  Of course, you’ll have that discussion first about what extinct means and try to steer them away from talking about things that stink—ha-ha.  It’s a good time to go to the library together and hunt down fiction and non-fiction books about dinosaurs.  I guarantee–they will be a hit!  Here are a few to consider.  My granddaughter likes them all!

   

 

     How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?  By Jane Yolen/  illustrated by Mark Teague

Anyone out there have trouble with the youngsters when it’s time to go to bed?   Come on now…admit it.  This is the book for you!  Read it together and you all might have more pleasant nighttime routines.  It’s worth a try anyway, plus the illustrations are awesome and will make you smile.  Each time you read it (maybe every night!) let the little ones guess how the dinosaur will behave.  Of course, you’ll want to compare it with their very good behavior at night.  I loved it!  Ages 2-5

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? By Jane Yolen/ illustrated by Mark Teague

Everybody knows kids love dinosaurs—especially if you can make them cute and non-threatening…at least to 1-6 yr. olds.  This book will be a big hit, especially when you read to a little guy or girl who is not feeling so well and might need a visit to the doctor’s office.  Those tantrums and screaming/sobbing fits might be eliminated after reading this together.  Well…maybe not eliminated, but the decibels might be less!  The bold illustrations will be fun even for the really youngest listeners.  Ages 2-5

   

      Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow/ illustrated by Adrian Reynolds

This is the best!  Harry finds a bucketful of old plastic dinosaurs up in his attic that he takes excellent care of, only to lose them on a train.  As expected, he is heart-broken but all good things happen to little boys who take good care of their pet dinosaurs and this is no exception.  Check it out.  The boys will love it and so will the girls!  Sweet story.  Ages 2-6

     

     Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! By Sandra Boynton

You’ve probably seen Sandra Boynton’s greeting cards, but this is a pretty cute book—especially to go along with the dinosaur theme.  The little ones will like the pictures and have fun turning the sturdy pictures to see all sorts of silly dinosaurs.  They can learn some new vocabulary while they’re at it.  Which one is your favorite?  Ages 1-4

     

     Dinosaurs Halloween by Liza Donnelly

For some inexplicable reason, my 4 yr. old granddaughter LOVES Halloween books all year round and this is her most recent favorite.  It’s not an earth shattering dinosaur story, but a good one to help teach kids about bullying.  It’s a good story to remind kids that even little guys have bigger siblings and friends so….don’t mess with them!  Ages 3-6

   

      Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

While this is not technically a dinosaur book, it falls into that “Monster Book” category and is a good one for the younger kiddos. Scary things always seem to appear around bedtime and prevent “lights out” with a bit of a scene, so try this book at bedtime.  The clever cut outs will be fun for the little guys and the bold colors will just pop out for them.  Kids will feel like they actually have control over those nighttime monsters.  Don’t forget There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer while you’re at it—one of our all time faves! Ages 1-4

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I’ll admit right up front that these are my two sons reading to their cousin when they were young .  So, as you see, “Books for Boys” can also be appropriate for girls.  While I’m pretty sure that the book they are reading is not a Dungeons and Dragons or an Avengers-type book, this young girl is still pretty engrossed in it.  The other thing I like about this picture is it’s verification that reading together and reading aloud is not just restricted to parents reading to their own children.  Summer is quickly arriving, so grab armfuls of books from the public libraries, borrow from a Little Free Library (see littlefreelibraries.org), or pull from your own collections and sit down and read books together!

I’m sharing some more interesting books that I’ve read that I’m just sure boys will love but feel free to let the girls take a peek too.  You’ll notice a certain theme with a few.  Let me know what your little guys –or big guys –think of my selection.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out a couple of other good websites with book reviews, like the Nerdy Book Club at nerdybookclub.wordpress.com or picturebooklog.blogspot.com.  It’s all about finding great books for kids.

   

   

 Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross/illustrated by Stephen Biesty

     Wow!  What a fabulous discovery this was.  This is one of those books that 3 yr. olds and adults will  love.  I am having a hard time selecting an age  group for this creative book.  I’m not a huge history fan but was riveted to this book.  It presents great discoveries and exploration from the Greeks to landing on the Moon in a way that draws you in.  The partnering with the illustrator and the creative fold-outs with elaborate details will hold the attention and interest of everyone who looks at them.  I can’t write enough kudos about this book.  Check it out!  Ages 4+.

   

      A Street Through Time by Anne Millard/illustrated by Steve Noon

Notice a theme here??  I’ve been looking at a number of these cross-section books and up-close books much like many of the wonderful David MacCauley books.  This colorful book is fascinating because it identifies a particular location—in England, I presume—and follows it’s growth, development, demise and strife through the ages from pre-historic times until today.  The fun thing is to locate the character in each illustration who is the Time Traveler.  By the way, not that you care, but I found all but one picture of the Time Traveler—maybe two.  Kids will love the details and have fun looking for different objects the writer asks for.  Talk about the good as well as the  bad things that happen in civilizations and how events are often repeated.  How could we avoid some of the problems with the progress of our country?  Great fun for kids and parents!  Age 8+

Egypt in Spectacular Cross-Section by Stewart Ross/illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Here’s another one!  Children love learning about the pyramids and the building of that sophisticated empire.  Let’s not forget that that empire and most of the awe-inspiring structures were built by slaves—another matter. A young boy, his father, one of the engineers for one of the many buildings, and his family are at the center of this story.  The reader follows them along their lives to discover all about how that huge empire was built.  Another fabulous cross-section book to find minute figures and details.  Fun way to learn about that period.  Ages 8+

 

 

  Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

It is hard to believe that this wonderful series of books was initially written in 1929.  Its stories of adventure, imagination and resourcefulness are fun for children to read today.  Young adults and older children as well will love how this family relies on each other and their cleverness to get them through exciting adventures involving boats, islands, pirates and more!  Anyone who loves the sea and boats will definitely love it.  Hard to put down and is still popular.  Get all the books in the series.  This follows the lives of the family members as they grow up.  I couldn’t resist showing a picture of the boat they used in the series.  Don’t you just want to hop in?  Ages 8+

   

 

   

       The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

     This fantasy series has been around a long time but still stands out as one of the best.  It is pre-Harry Potter but has many similar elements of that famous series.  Susan Cooper is a good writer that will hold the reader for this entire series.  Best to start from the beginning of the series with Over Sea, Under Stone so as not to get too confused.  It might be fun to have kids compare Harry Potter with this series and discuss similarities and differences and what they like about each.  Ages 10 +

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I’m reluctant to title this blog as “Great Books for Boys” when, in fact, I know that it’s not reasonable to assume that there are books that are really only geared for boys or girls.  I do know, however, that this post won’t include any of the Fancy Nancy books or the story of Cinderella or the Angelina Ballerina  stories — which, by the way, is one of my very favorite series.  I’ve selected books that I do feel, however, are sure fire hits with most boys who love the idea of adventure and exploration.  Watch out boys!  The girls will be stealing these books out from under your noses to read when you’re not looking!

My own sons while growing up, couldn’t put the books down.  My oldest son is standing here in front of the Atlantic Ocean on the OuterBanks of North Carolina, totally oblivious to the dancing dolphins and parading pelicans as he’s absorbed in some wild adventure.  He was too engrossed in the story to even sit down to read!  This is as it should be!

Now let’s talk about some of these books and tell me what you think.

                                             

 

                                           Spy Cat by Peg Kehret

This Newbery Award winning book is a fun read.  The story is written from two perspectives—a cat and a young boy who loves to spy.  While the story isn’t riveting, it does have a contemporary theme about burglars and kidnapping.  It demonstrates the bravery of a young boy along with the intelligence and creativity of a pet cat.  Good read for those young readers. Ask kids to talk about what were smart things the young spy did and maybe some things that might not have been such a good idea.  Ages 8-11.

                             

                                  The Indian in the Cupboard – by Lynne Reid Banks

Now here’s a winner.  My boys absolutely loved this series when they were young.  And while I heard them talking about it, I never read it.  What a clever idea for a story,,,magical.  This even makes a dandy read-aloud to all ages.  What could be more exciting than following the ad ventures of a plastic miniature cowboy and Indian as they magically become alive?  It’s a great opportunity to talk about friendship and the responsibilities that are an important part of friendship.  You know…always a lesson to be learned and talked about.  Ages 7-10

   

                           Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Even though the U.S. space program may be on a temporary (we hope) hiatus, kids still love learning all about the original astronauts and going to the moon.  The illustrations and story here about the Apollo 11 flight to the moon will have even the die-hard fiction readers intrigued.  Kids who love learning about space flight will love it the best.  It’s a winner. Ages 4-10

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

             Looking for good books for young adult boys?  Well—look no further.  This book really surprised me—nothing like anything I’ve read before.  It’s sort of autobiographical of the Native American author, Alexie.  It’s written from a young 14 yr. old Indian’s view and talks about living on a reservation “rez” in Washington.  He’s bound and determined to fight against the odds thrown at him—a disability at birth, poverty and alcoholism on the rez and in his family, dysfunctional school and bullies all around.  Pick it up and read it together.  The cartoon illustrations are great fun.  A must read for boys, especially boys who live on a reservation.  Highly motivational.  A note…there are some references to “boy stuff” and some language some may shrink at, but it’s real and heart wrenching yet said with humor.  See—I can’t stop talking about it!  Ages 13-16+

 

 

 

 

             

 

                                    Incredible Explosions by Stephen Biesty( illustrator) and Richard Platt (text)

Stephen Biesty, who illustrated the book Egypt in Spectacular Cross-Section  and Into the Unknown , creates a fascinating close up look at a variety of things from windmills, a base station in the Antarctic and even the human body.  We’re supposed to provide more non-fiction sources for our children these days and this is a great place to look.  You can spend hours—OK, maybe not hours—but a good long time, looking closely and learning the minute details about how things are built and work.  Guaranteed hit with the older guys.  Ages 9+

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