Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mama Cat Has Three KittensAnna is 2 years 7 months old now. Since materials of the last week proved to be too difficult, I used an advice from other contributors of Well Read Child to look for more age-appropriate books. Unfortunately, this week many books proved to be "too simple" for Anna. For example, she was interested in Mama Cat for the first days, asked to read it 4 or 5 times and then was done with it. I think that she didn't find the story particularly engaging - she doesn't seem to be a big fan of animal stories unless they are used as substitutions for people (for example, in Richard Scarry's books).

Polar Bear Polar BearThe next book was a classic sequel by Eric Carle - Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Anna liked Brown Bear OK when she was younger. Not her absolute favorite, but she always liked the pages with teacher and children. It was the same with this book - she liked to try to imitate animal sounds, it expanded her vocabulary (and even mine) with new words for animal sounds, but she wasn't particularly interested after the first two days.

Dont Worry BearI personally really liked Greg Foley's book (and checked out another one from the same series yesterday). Anna, however, didn't get the ending. We read A Very Hungry Caterpillar a zillion times, but she has never seen a real transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. So for her the caterpillar was gone, and a butterfly in the end was a new friend for Bear. I wish we could find some real cocoons, so she could see the cycle of butterfly and not just read about it.

The Napping HouseWe read other stories by Audrey Wood before, so I picked this one more or less randomly. It was "a miss" in our house. First of all, the whole subject of napping is not exactly a welcome topic in our house. Second, the grandma is ugly - eewww. Finally, Anna didn't find the story of people and animals piling on top of each other to sleep particularly engaging. I think we read it two times total - a sure sign of rejection here.

EmergencyAnna and I disagreed on this one. I picked it randomly from the shelf, because I know that she is interested in emergency vehicles. Well, she was. She wanted to read this book every day for many times. But in my mind it's poorly written, at least for a set under three. On each page Anna wanted to know what happened, and I wasn't prepared to go into discussions on crime and illegal border crossings. So every time there was a tug of war about this particular book - usually Anna would win and we would read it yet again with me trying to dance around certain topics.

WhoseMouseAreYouTada! I am pleased to annouce the winning book of the week! And, again, it comes from our own collection. We got this book as a present from our friend, and she got it at the library sale. The book was hiding behind other books on the top shelf, and my husband unearthed it by accident. Anna took to it right away. I think she finds it especially engaging, because her nickname in our house is Mouse, and she hears, Whose Mouse are you? practically every day. This book also has very simple and sparse text, but unlike Mama Cat, it's not as repetitive. It was the first book that Anna wanted to "read" by herself and repeated word-for-word in its entirety. I'll see if I can capture it on the video, it's pretty fascinating to watch a two year old that appears to read - with proper intonation and turning pages at the right moments. An all-around winner here :)


tardisgrl said...

I had the privilage of reviewing Greg Foley's first Bear book, "Thank You Bear," for SLJ, and I LOVED it! It resonated with me on a number of levels--no easy task, considering how little text there is. But the books main appeal, at least for me, is that Bear is just like my daughter. (I love it when I find her in books!) If you get a chance to read it with your daughter, I think you are in for a treat, and your daughter will find it more accessable than "Don't Worry Bear".

pussreboots said...

My daughter LOVES Mama Cat Has Three Kittens (or as she calls it, "Boris Naps"). Here's my post.

Autumn said...

Tommy really likes Bill Martin books, even though I can't figure out why since he doesn't have an interest in animals otherwise. I've found Gail Gibbons' books (I got the Train book out once) to be pretty dry for this age, although I like the idea of them. It think they're better for much older children who have more perspective and context than a 2 year old.

We're still going through all the Nancy Tafuri books I can find because those are a huge hit here (again, not sure why since there aren't wheels involved!)

Amy Planchak Graves said...

That's a great moment, when they start "reading" by memorization. A sure sign of a good book.

Jenny said...

Too funny! My daughter loves the Napping House. Of course, she was a bit older when we first read it.

About Color Wonder, I only recommend the markers and paper. The finger paints are really greasy and nasty, so skip those.

Holly said...

We love Whose Mouse Are You? over here. We used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with my older son and this was one of the books recommended to help teach him how to read.