This week we were transitioning our theme reading from Arctic to space books with some “random picks” thrown in between. We had a lot of winners in all categories:
Polar Bears Past Bedtime from Magic Tree House finally straggled in from the library order and became a chapter book of the week. I got Smarty started by reading the first two chapters to her, then she read it herself. But I was also interested in discussing it further, so I was reading it to her in the evenings one more time. By now Smarty kind of believes that no harm will ever come to Jack and Annie, so she is more interested in the series. The book was also a nice wrap-up of our arctic theme.
Postcards from Pluto by Loreen Leedy begs to be used for art extension project. Even though the book is better suited for older kids, Smarty read it many times in bed and learned a lot of interesting tidbits from this book (like the fact that Uranus kind of lies on its side in relation to sun). The postcards themselves are written by space-traveling kids and have a lot of word play gags in addresses. This part of course was not noticed by Smarty, but I found it very entertaining.
On the Town by Judith Caseley is perfect to learn/reinforce knowledge of community helpers. Again, the book begs to be used for an extension project, and Smarty even started one but ran out of steam rather quickly. The boy in the book visits different places in the community and learns about different jobs that people do. The list of places is pretty comprehensive, and the illustrations are great. The only thing that I didn’t like is that mother constantly praised the boy for his intelligence – I couldn’t tell whether she is serious or joking, but it seemed like an overkill in the book for young kids.
After reading Hunter and Stripe and the Soccer Shutdown we picked up Hunter’s Best Friend at School by Laura Malone Elliott and Lynn Munsinger. It’s another book that teaches good behavior without being too didactic about it. What do we do when our friends lead us into trouble? Do we follow along or can we help them be their best selves instead. I hope Smarty can remember these ideas when she is faced with the situation like this, but so far she has been famous in school for “correcting” her friends behavior so much that she is told by her teacher “to worry about herself” instead.