Confession: it’s been a busy few weeks. Currently, I am typing this blog post one handed while the 3-month sucks on my fingers–his favored pacifier. Pictured above is Week 3 and I have Week 4 that I had to renew yesterday because we’re a little behind in our reading, and housework, and schoolwork. You know what, life, we’re behind in life right now.
But, onto the books we got from the library. I will not be able to do the kind of review I normally write due to the fact we returned these over 3 weeks ago. I only know of the amount of time due to the fact I had to renew our current checkouts for going past the allotted 3 weeks.
Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno
This started out as a ho-hum kind of story but then I began to see more and more things that sparked my interest. Yes, you count the birds in the air, and the trees growing, but it is much more than that. You see the seasons change and find more activities happen as this small village grows. Of all the counting books I have ever done/seen/read, this would be my number one choice! It is more Americana kind of feel but not lacking in imagination. I think it would easily become a timeless treasure worth having on your bookshelf. I will definitely be on the lookout for our own copy.
Another Anno book that sparks mind challenging thoughts; this one is on multiplication and preparedness. Anno’s Magic Seeds could easily become another mathematics book that will be gracing our bookshelves before long. I love finding mathematics books that are subtle but also show how math works in our every day lives. We get to see how Jack’s plants help him as a young man and throughout his adult life and then when disaster strikes, all in the form of multiplication. I am really starting to love this author.
Magnus and the Fire by Jennifer Armstrong
Confession, we have read this before many times. My son had a fascination with fireman and all things firetruck. Magnus has been checked out time and time again. We love the horse steadfastness to fighting fires, no matter what the firehouse changes. The loyalty Magnus brings to the pages are beautiful and in the end, it is the horse that saves the day and not the modern engine. I think you and your family would love this book as much as we do.
Otters Under Water by Jim Arnosky
I don’t remember too much about this one, to be honest. I thought the illustrations were lovely, I remember that much. Amazon says this about it: “Under the watchful eye of their mother on the shore, two otter pups glide, dive, hunt and explore their underwater world. Arnosky’s watercolor illustrations deftly entice even reluctant, landlocked readers into his aquatic underworld.”
Bats on Parade by Kathi Appelt
Excellent book on not judging a book by its cover, or in my case, its title. When I first saw this in our stack, I bit my cheek and rolled my eyes, it just looked cheesy and I thought, “here we go again”. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the fun way this book put together a band using instruments and multiplication. Can you tell I have a fascination for literature using math to help children? I am quoting amazon again here because it so adequately described the book: “Up marched the saxophones,
all 25 —
sopranos and altos
they come five by five
The creators of Bat Jamboree, which School Library Journal called “a witty combination of counting book and theatrical experience,” are proud to introduce — 385 marching band bats! From the drum majorette, who marches 1 X 1, to the sousaphones striding 10 X 10, these bats march in multiples to the tune of Kathi Appelt’s snappy text and Melissa Sweet’s boisterous illustrations.” So, next time you are at the library, be sure to check this gem out. And for my son who studied bats in one of his co-op classes, he found another reason to love bats.
Once Upon a Banana by Jennifer Armstrong
This wordless book pretty much held no appeal to my family. We looked at the pictures and tried to put our own story to it but found our interest waning and therefore, we did not pick this one up again during the time it was in our home.
Crinkleroot’s 25 Mammals Every Child Should Know by Jim Arnosky
If I remember correctly, this book was one I thought should be on our shelves for nature study. It is more picture based than text. You learn to pick out the differences between mammals that look alike by finding differences in the way they look. It would not be the kind of book you would want for a book report but I could EASILY see my children looking at the pictures and copying them in their own drawings. Because it didn’t have a lot of text and story telling, I didn’t get a request for a second reading from the children but I didn’t consider that as a negative aspect for the book, to be honest. I think it would be one of those treasures that come in handy on a whimsical day where they want to use their own imaginations in story telling and illustrations.
Counting Crows By Kathu Appelt
I preferred her Bats On Parade book. I don’t remember too much about this. Here is what Amazon has to say about it:
“Help hungry crows avoid a feline foe in this clever concept book from the author of The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath.
One, two, three, crows in a tree, bedecked in red scarves and hungry as can be. So they fly out of their nest with snacking in mind, and snack they do. Snack one, snack two, snack three—all the way to a dozen! But before they have time to complain about bellyaches, they have a bigger problem: a cat has been eyeing them…as potential snacks! Can these well-fed crows become well-FLED crows? Read and find out in this counting book from Newbery Finalist and two-time National Book Award Nominee Kathi Appelt, with spot-on illustrations from Rob Dunlavey. It’s the cat’s meow!”
Let’s Find It: My First Nature Guide by Katya Arnold
“My First Nature Guide by Katya Arnold uses a seek-and-find formula to help youngsters identify objects in the natural world. In each spread, various plants and animals appear labeled on the left, and the right-hand page features a full-color illustration in which all the elements are included. Final pages categorize the flora and fauna (plants, fungi, animals) and list where each can be found within the book.” From Amazon.
Incredible Me- Kathi Anholt
I think we can safely assume at this point that if I don’t remember anything good or bad about a book then it was probably ho-hum ;). “Join a rambunctious child as she exuberantly celebrates all the wonderful qualities that make her special — her nose, her toes, her ears, herself!
Award winners Kathi Appelt and G. Brian Karas team up to create this joyous tribute to the wonders of being … ME!”
I’ve been saving the best for last!!!!
Tim in Danger by Edward Ardizzone
When I first read this book I was like, “wow, they don’t write like this anymore! Children running away to take on responsibilities and sea captians helping them work towards their goals and then two more children running away to save their friend– this is a great book.” If you are blinking at me and thinking, “Did she really just say that and is she being sarcastic?” Yes I did and no I am not being sarcastic. The children work hard due to their pocket money gone missing. It’s an adventure that children love. It captured our imagination and excitment. I know my children won’t really run away and join a ship’s crew but in their hearts, they are Tim, Ginger, and Charlotte working along side and earning their way back home to tell mother and papa all about their adventures on the open sea! I really hope I can find more Tim books and imagine my delight when I was listening to the Read Aloud Revival Podcasts and they happen to mention these series on there! See what I mean folks! These library trips to reading all the books can open up some amazing things books that I have never read but dearly love.
Jake Drake Class Clown by Andrew Clements
Also inspired by the Read Aloud Podcasts, I went looking for Frindle and came home with this book. I read it first because I was still leery about reading it aloud. I really don’t want to inspire silliness in my children since they have enough of that and I learned with Diary of a Wimpy Kid that just because it has good reviews doesn’t mean it is a good fit for OUR family. I felt that while it was amusing and silly, I did not find anything objectionable in it and read it aloud. The children LOVED it. I think they could really relate and then learning that there is a time and a place to be silly really helped them to see another point of view and for me, I learned that children are children, I need to be extra patient, not forgoing my principals and teaching because they are children but show more understanding. If I were to find this second hand, I would surely pick it up and add it to our shelves.
Well, there you have it. I have another stack waiting to be read and I will hopefully be sharing our thoughts on this very shortly, in the meantime, enjoy and I hope this inspires you to check our your library for new family favorites.