Posts Tagged ‘Reading together’

I don’t know why I’m drawn to books about sheep.  I’m not particularly fond of sheep.  I’ve been told that sheep don’t really make such great pets, although, no one can deny that lambs are pretty cute.  I’ve heard that sheep aren’t all that smart and they make lemmings behavior look like Einstein.  They stand in clusters on the roads in Scotland and England and won’t move no matter what you might shout–or perhaps suggest to them.  All that being said, I love sheep books but I think it’s just the clever illustrations that draws me to them.

 So here are a couple of books I think you’ll enjoy reading together…about sheep, of course!


  Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox/ illustrated by Judy Horacek

Well isn’t this just the cutest book for those little ones?  You’ll love the fun animated pictures and the kids will love learning and saying all the different kinds of sheep in the story.  They will like hearing this one over and over.  Great opportunity to talk about vocabulary.  Maybe they can even imagine different kinds of sheep to talk about.  Ages 1-5


Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton

I don’t know what my attraction to stories about sheep is but this book is just great fun!  You know it’s written by someone who lives in England and is most likely surrounded by a lot of sheep.  The illustrations are a hoot.  It’s about a sheep who can’t fall asleep at night and all the gyrations he goes through to help fall asleep.  You’ll get a good chuckle out of it—and so will the kids too!  Ages 2-5


  Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw/illustrated by Margot Apple

Here I go again with another sheep book.  This isn’t the world’s best literature, by any means, but fun rhyming for the youngest guys with funny illustrations.  I even think it’s a great book for emerging readers to enjoy—much better than many of those publisher’s reading program books.  Everybody will like it. Ages 1-6

Now, if you have any other really clever and irresistible sheep books, please share!


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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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Grandma has a special reading time with her granddaughter.

Grandpa reads all about dinosaurs to his grandson.

Some of my own children’s favorite memories were being read to by their grandparents.  They were so lucky because all of their grandparents had a love for reading and enjoyed sharing their enthusiasm for books with all of their grandchildren whenever they visited.  My children had an extra bonus because one of their grandmothers was a children librarian and was one of the best storytellers around.  It was always such a treat for our kids to be able to sit down and have that very special one-on-one time with their granma or grandpa.  So the message here is…whether you’re a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or guardian, make those moments special and I guarantee that they will be filed away forever in those wonderful memory file cabinets.  Here are a few books you can read to the younger guys.  Don’t forget, however, that the older grandkids love to be read to just as much as the little ones.  Pull them away from the TV and video games for awhile!  I promise that it will be worth it.

                                      The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

          This wonderful cumulative good night book sort of reminds us of Goodnight Moon.  The story is comforting and perfect for a nighttime story to help the little ones fall asleep.  The illustrations done in pen and ink with touches of yellow are intriguing.  Great read aloud.  Ages 1-4


                                The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

How does Tomie dePaola write so many wonderful books for children that have basic themes but are so wonderful?  He talks about writing books related to his own experiences growing up so that’s what makes them so easy to identify with.  He shows how important it is to let kids have a chance to be creative—even if it’s not part of the regular curriculum, plan, or day.  Let them go!  Ages 3-6


                                                The Baby Sister by Tomie dePaola

         It looks like Tomie dePaola had to cope with adjusting to a new baby sister AND a grumpy grandmother to boot!  What a fun story to show how they all learn to adjust together and Grandma even softens a bit, of course.  Notice how no one talks about those sleepless nights with all the night feedings and wake-up  time, however.  Fun read for a little one getting a new sibling.  Ages 2-7


                                                  Pinduli by Janell Cannon

            The author/illustrator of this book wrote the beautiful book, Stellaluna.  It is a perfect book to help children gain some confidence—especially for those who might be introverts or frightened of other children.  The illustrations are really fun and kids will love how even the king of beasts gets frightened.  Lots of great information in the back about animals.  Good read.  Ages 3-8

                                      Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? By Shel Silverstein

          Fabulous!  Where does Shel Silverstein get his ideas?? I laughed right out loud with this one.  Of course, his illustrations just make it a winner but the story is so imaginative.  Could this be the best imaginary pet ever??  A must read for all of us!  Ages 1-5

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