Welcome back to my Best Books By Age and Month series. My daughter is now 7 year old and a very fluent reader. I maintained a diary of our reading activities in weekly What My Child Is Reading entries in my blog. I decided to make these reading diaries more useful and create a new series on my blog where I will share our best books for each month for ages 3, 4, 5, and 6. Moreover, I will pair each book with an extension activity – sometimes with ours and sometimes with activities from my creative friends from Kid Blogger Network. In this post I am featuring books that we read when Smarty was 4.5 years old.
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1. US Holiday of the Month – Father’s Day
While I have mixed feelings about The Berenstein Bears, my daughter loved this series and we read an untold number of them when she was younger. At 4.5 years old she was reading them herself. We Love Our Dad is a perfect book to read to get in the mood for spoiling your Dad on Father’s Day. Our Dad received a decorated photo frame, but you can browse an amazing number of DIY Gifts for Him from Red Ted Art. I think we might try this Dad Rocks Paperweight from Crafts by Amanda next year.
2. Flag Day
The Flag Keeper by Stacy Juba illustrated by Larry Drumtra is a great book to read for Flag Day. Children can learn proper flag etiquette, and even I learned a lot of interesting facts from the last page that explains how the flag should be treated. There are plenty of Flag crafts on the net, but I really enjoyed the post about Find the Flag cooperative game from No Time for Flashcards.
3. Anansi’s Party Time
Five year olds develop their sense of language and enjoy humor, this is why Anansi’s Party Time from Eric Kimmel/Janet Stevens was one of the favorite stories for my daughter to read that month. Anansi stories are generally gentle and have a multicultural “bonus”, since they originated in Africa. My daughter spent a lot of time replaying the story with puppets, but more crafty children might create their own Anansi out of recyclables following this simple spider tutorial from Creekside Learning.
4. Stories from India
As the first generation immigrants, my husband and I are very keen on raising our daughter to be a citizen of the world, not only a US citizen. We make sure to pick books set in different cultures and traditions. We usually try to follow a certain theme for a month or so. Stories from India by Anna Milbourne is a beautiful introduction to Indian folklore including some stories about Indian deities. My daughter really enjoyed this book and read many other Indian myths since then. Kid World Citizen has a variety of resources on India including this beautiful Indian elephant craft.
5. Lots of Coins
During our preschool years, our daughter loved non-fiction, especially if it was wrapped in a story. Lots and Lots of Coins by Margaret S. Mead illustrated by True Kelly is a fascinating book about coins, their origins, and their history. For a while after reading that book, my daughter was inspecting all pennies in the hopes of finding an older copper penny. We also did a lot of other hands on activities to prepare her for kindergarten and teach her about money.
6. A Boy and a Turtle
Writing about A Boy and a Turtle by Lori Lite/Kimberly Fox made me glad that I went back and looked up the books we read 2 years ago. I forgot about this book, but I remember thinking at the time that it would be great to teach my daughter how to relax through guided visualization. Lately she was taking a really long time falling asleep, and I am going to see if this book or other in the same series might help her unwind before bed. I would like to pair up a couple of great resources for anxious kids – a DIY anti-anxiety kit for children from The Chaos and the Clutter and Lego Calm Down Jars from Lemon Lime Adventures.