Saturday, December 4, 2010

This week marked the first advent, first day of December and beginning of Hanukkah. We have a lot of holiday books stashed in our own library and also borrowed from a public library, but we also read some good non-holiday books this week.
It's a MiracleIt’s a Miracle
 was very popular with Smarty this week. It’s a long book that features one story for each night of Hanukkah. Each story is told by grandma of a main character and, as it turns out in the end, almost all the stories are true and related to one of the members of his extended family. We both loved the book, and Smarty read it to herself every single night since we got it. She was also very excited when we let her light Hanukkah candles almost on her own, and she assumed the title of an official candle lighter of Hanukkah.
Wake Up House
Wake Up House! by Dee Lillegard is a book of short poems (each no more than 4 lines) about various things found in the house – a stove, a refrigerator, a sink, a clock, even a bathroom floor. Illustrations by Don Carter are beautiful and appear three-dimensional. This is a great way to make young children to look at ordinary things with fresh eyes and attempt to compose their own poetry. Some words were a little… advanced, but overall both Smarty and I give this book 5 stars.
The Biggest Best Snowman
I was thinking that Smarty will be interested in a snowman craft earlier this week (she wasn’t), so I picked up the only remaining snowman book in our library – The Biggest Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler. It was a big hit for our California girl who has never seen real snow, since it kind of explains the process of making a snowman. Now Smarty is even more determined to see snow this winter.  I thought that the family dynamics was a little weird where big sisters were allowed to bully their younger sister, but Smarty didn’t pick up on it.
Imagine You Are a Tiger
We continue to work through Houghton Muffin Reading program, and our topic this week was Animal Adventures. Smarty read through several books recommended for the 1st grade. Imagine You Are a Tiger was her favorite. I kept thinking that the text structure sounds familiar and then I realized that we own I am a Tyrannosaurus by the same author Karen Wallace. I think young naturalists will like the book, especially the ones who don’t mind reading about animals eating other animals. This book doesn’t mince words about it, but the illustrations by Peter Melnyczuk are not explicit and quite beautiful.


MaryAnne said...

I really like the photo on the cover of "Wake Up House!"

Is it okay to link up a post that is a review/giveaway of a children's book?

Mom and Kiddo said...

I'll have to find that Hanukkah book for next year, it looks good.

Julie said...

Interesting books this week! I may check out the snowman one. We get such little snow the kids may need a reminder on how to make a snowman too!

Debbie said...

I may have to look for The Biggest Best Snowman. Though now Selena relates snow with bitter cold instead of fun.

Christy said...

It's always weird when I think about people not having experienced snow. I hope Anna gets to experience it soon. My kids have seen a LOT of snow and yet they are still super excited every single snowfall. AND, even though it presents challenges, I love the snow myself.

We have not read any of these books. They are going on my list though. Thanks again.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I hope Anna gets to see at least a little snow this winter.

The girl who painted trees said...

Those all sound like good books. Thanks for the link to the Houghton Mifflin reading program a while back. Now that Bear is reading, I like to use the lists there to pick out books that we can read together. A whole book still overwhelms her so we alternate pages. I think it may be because her eyes tire looking a the print. When I was a third grade teacher, I remember having a conversation with my optometrist at the time and he said that our eyes are not actually fully developed to read print until we are 7 or 8! Totally validates the whole Waldorf approach to wait til then to teach reading don't you think?

Anonymous said...

As usual, you have great book picks. I imagine that snow does seem like something completely foreign to Anna.

Thanks for your nice comments on our Whoville. We did use acrylic paints for our houses. They don't wash out of clothes well, so I'm always a little nervous when we use them.

Tracey M. said...

It's hard to believe that the holiday season is truly upon us. Sounds like you're nice and prepared. I liked the Wake Up House book with the idea of teaching our kids about poetry. I've only done a little of that but think it is a great idea. Oh and we love Harry the Dirty Dog! We bought the scholastic reader DVD that has that book in it.

Ticia said...

Okay, so I didn't leave a comment like I thought I had......

The last book would be wildly popular in our house.

And I'd like the first book to teach about Hanukkah, it's one of my goals, but I'm thinking it might wait until next year.

Our Homeschool Fun said...

It's a Miracle sounds like a great book to add to our time on Hanukkah.

I love snowmen, so I hope to find The Biggest Best Snowman.

Thank you once again for new book titles Natalie!

Elise said...

You always come across such interesting books. I am curoius as to whether you do some research before you go to the library, or do you (and Anna) browse until you find books that appeal to you.

Wake Up House sounds fascinating.

Joyful Learner said...

The Girl Who Painted Trees - JC had the same problem with fine print or if the words were too close together. But for some reason she seems okay with it now. I have been concerned with her eyes for various reasons so we had her eyes checked out. I remember my opthamologist telling me that kids' eyes are meant for looking far away and there's been an increase of vision problems. JC's pediatric opthamologist told me most children are slightly far-sighted but JC's vision was not. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not but JC began reading a lot on her own this year. That may have something to do with it. I do make sure there's enough light and the light source is coming from the left side on her desk where she likes to draw. My husband and I had glasses at a young age and our vision is poor so we want to protect her eyes as much as we can. Sorry, it's off topic but we've had the same concerns and I wanted to address it.

As for experiencing snow, JC was SO thrilled to see snow on our way up to Tahoe that she pretended to need to go potty just so we would stop the car! When we discovered she really didn't need to go but just wanted to touch the snow, we were flabbergasted!

RedTedArt said...

Oh I love the look of the snowman book! We need to find new "snowmen books too".. I think it is time we made a visit to the library!!

Red Ted Art