Posts Tagged ‘read together’

Who Has the Most Fun Reading??Image

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+


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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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Summer is arriving–at least on the East Coast it has arrived with a vengeance.  Our strawberry harvest is nearly over but what a great opportunity to take advantage of fun books about fruits and vegetables…and more, of course! (I admit that I stole a couple of these pictures right off my son’s blog, psoutowood.wordpress.com)

The young guys love to help organize and plant the gardens and, of course, harvest the fruits and veggies when they are ripe!  These are great opportunities to make charts together and label all the fruits and veggies and then talk about what letter each one begins with. Maybe you can draw veggies and sort by the letters they begin with.   Start gathering all the books you can about gardens, fruits and veggies.  I’m including a  few of my favorites below.


         The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood/ illustrated                   by Don Wood

This is just the cutest story with adorable illustrations—did that sound too sweet??? Well, it is, darn it!  It’s a great story to teach kids about the value of sharing—never mind it saves the little mouse’s life!  Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s a great story anyway.  A must read—get it! Ages 2-5



     Rah, Rah, Radishes!  A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre

Your kids may not be great vegetable eaters but maybe this book will help motivate them to at least learn the names and identify all kinds of different vegetables.  The photographs are colorful and the rhymes with the veggies are fun.  Good luck getting them to eat their vegetables.  You’re on your own for that, but this might be a fun game to play when you go to the local market or grocery store to look for different vegetables.  Ages 1-6


 The Gardener by Sarah Stewart/ illustrated by David Small

Notice how I keep presenting and reviewing a lot of the Caldecott Honor and Medal Winners?  There is a reason for that.  They are selected by a group of qualified children’s librarians and authors as the best illustrated and written children’s books each year.  Check them out if you haven’t already.  They are all wonderful.  This book is no exception.  The Gardener is written about a young girl who loves to garden and plant flowers.  She is sent to the city to live with a cantankerous older uncle whom she tries to win over.  The illustrations are fabulous showing all the subtleties of the characters and the story is very dear.  Read it together then go and plant something together!  Ages 4-8.

     June 29,1999 by David Wiesner

Here’s another great David Wiesner book—just as creative as all of his other ones!  Let’s tie this in with the vegetable theme books.  It’s not only a fun and imaginative story but a great way to learn the names of more vegetables.  The ending is a surprise.  Now let’s all create a science project like the one in this book!  Ages 4-9

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