I wasn’t participating much in this link up in February, but this doesn’t mean we haven’t been reading. A lot of what Smarty read on her own came from the recommendations we received from The Children’s Bookshelf linky. I also stuck to my general principle of reading together at least one book for each of the special events of the month and books based on Smarty’s current interests.
One of the highlights of the month for us was the fact that our 6 year old got interested in chess through attending an afterschool chess club in her school. I was surprised by the speed with which she mastered the moves, but playing with her showed that she didn’t learn much yet beyond the moves. We are reading together Chess by Daniel King that explains basic principles of strategy and Smarty is very interested in exercises given in the book. It might be a good book for older kids interested in uplifting their game beyond the random moves on the board.
Returning to more age-appropriate books, we read a cute Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller/Kathi Ember for The Groundhog Day. In the book a groundhog is sick and looking for a substitute. Several animals try out but disqualified. Eventually a visiting Texan armadillo volunteers for a job. Smarty predicted that an armadillo will get a stage fright and curl into a ball. Did it happen? Read a book with your 4+ kids to find out.
We didn’t read a lot of Valentine’s Day books this year, but I saw Woof: A Love Story on “new books” shelf and couldn’t pass it by. The illustrations of Holly Berry make the rhymed story of Sarah Weeks even better. We don’t have pets, so Smarty couldn’t quite understand why a cat would be scared at first, but then she quite enjoyed the story and reread it a couple of times on her own. This book might be appropriate for 3+.
Speaking of the matters of the heart, February is a Heart Health Month. To celebrate it, we read a non-fiction book Hear Your Heart from Let’s Read and Find Out series. Unfortunately, right now Smarty is in “fiction stage” when she doesn’t enjoy science books as much as she used to, but reading this book motivated her to get out her neglected doctor’s kit for a while. Good for 4+.
February was also a month of Backyard Bird Count. Unfortunately, we sort of missed it, since we had other plans for that long weekend, but we tried to be more aware of our feathered friends all month long. I brought several bird books from the library, but the only book that Smarty was interested in was Hatch by Roxie Munro. It’s constructed as a “question and answer” book making readers guess whose eggs are pictured in one double spread with clues and giving a detailed answer in the next page. Beautiful illustrations, and a great read for bird lovers of all ages.