Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! I am sure that it will be a busy reading year for us. Instead of playing with all her new toys, Smarty is spending a fair amount of her winter break reading. She seems to develop an interesting habit of speed reading all available new books – in 2 days she read about 20 books that we brought from the last library visits including three chapter book of different difficulty levels. Then she selects some of her favorites and studies them in detail. Here are some of her favorites of the week:
Stella Queen of the Snow

We love Stella and Sam series by Marie Louise Gay, and Queen of the Snow is perfectly seasonal (except that we get no snow where we live). The illustrations are beautiful and the dialogs between Stella and her younger brother are amusing for both children and adults. It’s really a dialog between a whimsical artist and a budding scientist, and it made me reflect on how much my own daughter takes after a boy character in these series.
Hunter and Stripe
Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown was one of Smarty's selections from the library shelves, and she scored big with this one. Even though she doesn’t play any organized sports we often have discussions about sportsmanship behavior in the context of winning and losing board games and races. This book is all about handling loss gracefully and not letting competition rise above friendship. Highly recommended, especially for competitive kids like my daughter.
Drawing Lessons from a Bear
David McPail is a wonderful author and an illustrator. I think Drawing Lessons from a Bear is a bit autobiographical (well, he is not a bear, but still) and will be very appealing for young artists. My daughter is not exactly artistic, but she also enjoyed the story of a bear who becomes a famous artist and teaches young boys and girl to pursue their own artistic dreams. Illustrations are great, and the book could be appropriate for a wide age range.
Whistle for Willie
Smarty said that Whistle for Willie was her favorite book of the week. It features the same character as the most well known book by Ezra Jack Keats – The Snowy Day. Smarty practically knows The Snowy Day by heart, and she really enjoyed another Peter story. Even though the character has a different skin color and lives in a different setting, she could fully identify with his challenge – learning to do something new. What a wonderful example of a book that teaches how similar we all are without being didactic about it.


Ticia said...

Oddly enough we have the opposite problem with my boys. They want everyone to win, "Can we keep playing until everyone wins?" It's a little challenging sometimes.

Happy New Year!

Debbie said...

I will have to look for Hunter & Stripe and Whistle for Willie. I am sure Selena would enjoy those.

Mom and Kiddo said...

I'm feeling a bit too lazy today for a blog post, but of course I love all of Ezra Jack Keats' books!

MaryAnne said...

That "Drawing Lessons from a Bear" book sounds perfect for Emma!

Happy New Year!!!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Those books all look great! I see a couple of Magic School Bus books at the top - has Anna started liking those? We love them - but I'm not sure the kids would like them as much if they hadn't gotten to know the characters through the animated series.

Christy said...

We have read Whistle for Willie. I am going to request the others. I think Drawing Lessons from a Bear will be a big hit here.

The girl who painted trees said...

Drawing Lessons from a Bear looks great. My Bear loves The Snowy Day. I think we have read A Whistle for Willie too.

Tracey M. said...

I like your daughter's book choices. Especially the one that encourages their artistic side. Thanks again for hosting!

Anonymous said...

It must be exciting to see how much she loves reading. I love your book choices again.

Elise said...

Anna must be so excited when she returns from the library with her selection of books. It is fascinating to hear that she speed reads through them all and finds her favourties which she savours.

Rob said...

We've been reading Tracey Moroney's "When I'd Feeling Sad" and "When I'm Feeling Angry" books quite a bit lately to help our 4 yr old get a better handle on dealing with these emotions.

Liam is thoroughly enamored with a few of Tedd Arnold's "Fly Guy" books too.

And he can't get enough of the Thomas the Tank Engine books - we must have nearly 20 of those.

By the way, if you're looking for an inexpensive way to showcase your children's books, you might consider rain gutter bookshelves. They're simple to install, super-cheap, and very effective!

Our Homeschool Fun said...

Stella and Drawing Lessons both sound good. I just picked up Whistle for Willie tonight, but haven't read it yet.